View Full Version : How to emit light froma plane

08 August 2007, 04:19 PM
hello im going through the gnomon workshops free SSS shader tutorial that u can find on there site and i've come across a curious problem, in the lesson they show their very own light rig where they have a spot light connected to a plane with an incandense texture (as he calls it), well i want to know how do u connect lights to an object like a plane and have it produce light in that manner, because i want to create flourescent tubes and a whole bunch of other cool lights that i think i could create by using objects such as cylinders, flat planes, boxes and create neon light signs, flourescent light tubes. amusment park rides that light up, etc, i just wanted to know how i can make an object emit light like that in maya 8.5 well thank you im just a sculptor trying to start his journey on lighting any tutorials links and suggestions would be greatly appreciate thank you,

08 August 2007, 01:43 AM
I dont know about the tutorial, but you could use area lights, where you can have different light projections, tube, square..etc.

08 August 2007, 08:52 AM
well how would u go about parenting the light to an object and having the object produce the would u go about it techniquelly step by step

08 August 2007, 03:00 PM
I have not tried it but this MR shader claims to do what you want:

I think its 32-bit only.


08 August 2007, 03:53 PM
thank you very much for your help but i believe thats nto what im looking for, im basically trying to make my 3d model/object SHINE actually make the light itself, for instance i create a PLANE object and parent a light to it. and then the 3d PLANE object acts as the light and produces the when u see the reflection of light bouncing off the object u dont see no small round light but a big rectangular light, its real simple what im asking, its an amateur question, i mean extremely simple...u have a box, make the box the light source, how would u add this step by step. im a total noobie, never went to school for 3d animation or anything like that, im learning on my own and i just want to be able to make objects shine light, please if anyone knows what im talking about please do help its just a step by step process, a click here and click there and presto u have an object producing light.

08 August 2007, 04:27 PM
not really understand what you trying to ask... however if u tried final gather with high ambient on that object... it should be able to light up... learn from a tutorial too...
tried it b4.. however not sure if that's the effects u would like to wan...

08 August 2007, 06:12 PM
this is what im trying to say hopefully this brings a better understanding
do u see now? in the rendered picture u could see the reflection coming from the nurb plane onto the model. THE NURB PLANES ARE PRODUCING LIGHT! HOW DO U MAKE THEM PRODUCE LIGHT LIKE THAT?

08 August 2007, 06:45 PM
Those nurbs planes are probably not producing any light. They are used just for reflections. The light emission itself is taken care of by the spots.
To make your textures more incandescent to better show in the reflections, you can raise the Color Gain attribute of your textures. Remember you can set it beyond 1.
If you want your objects to really emmit light, then that link Thomas gave is in fact what you're looking for. ctrl_objectlights would be the way to go. There's a tutorial in about it. You'll see it does what you need.


08 August 2007, 07:48 PM

I saw this tutorial too the other day and these planes are for reflection only! What Alex did was plugin the grid texture into the Incandescence value of the Shader also and using this in conjunction with Final Gather! This not just gives you the reflections but some diffuse lighting as well.

Hope this helps.

08 August 2007, 10:22 PM
Interesting, I thought that it might have been a reflection bouncing off that texture too, but the reflection seemed too intense to be a reflection, I suppose he jacked up the light intensity quite a bit, this is a brilliant way of getting some soft lighting on ur model I pressume,
So do u think the spotlights are directly hitting the nurb plane in order to produce this effect?

08 August 2007, 01:37 PM
You can do this with just increasing ambient color above 1 on a normal lambert shader. Like the attached image. You will have to have FG enabled to do this. No lights in this scene, just the box with a lambert and ambient of HSV: 0,0,16.

Surface shader works too, and is probably easier and faster. Just increase out color above 1.

08 August 2007, 09:16 PM
that looks good, thats what i also been wanting to do, the lighting effect is beautiful, i could learn how to create objects that glow now, like the neon tubes from a ferry wheel, pieces and objects from outer space, like a spaceship, alien fingers, control deck , eyes, the inside 'deck' of the car where u can see the MPH etc, a cellphone, etc, this is how its done basically huh olegr? it looks good thanks for that great piece of infomation now i can create some stuff and thank you for posting up the site ( im learning alot about lighting which i must now continue to study, because the next big thing from modeling in zbrush and rendering normal maps in maya, is learning about lighting and getting that proper effect to glow on your model, if anyone knows any more good sites to teach please feel free to drop a link, it would be grandly appreciated, so i see now.. on your model of the sphere the reflection is crisp and hard edge, but on the model of the girl it was diffused, very soft, so probably the best way to get that diffuse lighting is to produce a relfection i suppose, and of course theres probably trillions of ways id just have to learn about it, hmm, i could see myself running around in circles trying to figure every small thing out and asking for help, what would be the best approach of trying to tackle/conquer the world of lighting and learning it step by step so that if almost anything comes up my mind i could learn to create it, i hope you guys understand me, just like in math, the best way to learn it its to actually sit down, grab a pen and do it, and same with drawing art, save your artwork and never throw it away, well how then could i go about lighting, should i just get curious and practice and keep rendering, or can i learn lighting in a different way, where i wouldnt have to keep rendering to see a very small effect, well i ask because it looks like some of you guys would know some really good study tips, thanks for that information olegr, oh and by the way, u know how ur models are shining white light, well is it possible to kinda get like a rainbow effect to emit and have it STREAM thru the model, do u kind of understand what i mean, kind of like this is what i mean
i wanted to create a ferry wheel with neon tubes and at the same time get the colors to change over time, u know what i mean to shift color to color from time to time, as time passes by, i want to make my lights very dynamic, well either way thanks for ur information, it glows! lol,

08 August 2007, 10:08 PM
i set the V to 16 and it worked out nicely, it produced a very bright effect, how did u get the ball to reflect in that manner, did u use HDR? or did u give it a certain material if so what did u use?

09 September 2007, 05:19 AM


09 September 2007, 09:34 AM
I used a mia_material with the chrome preset. No IBL.

09 September 2007, 11:42 AM
There are many approaches, but unless I'm missing something, I think people are overcomplicating the matter a bit. The easiest way would be to use a surface shader with a texture plugged in and Final Gathering turned on.

09 September 2007, 12:46 PM
ok thank u very interesting,thank u for all ur help guys i really appreciate all the help u guys have given me here on this thread, i gave everyone excellent comments for their beautiful gestures, thank you very much and happy modelling

09 September 2007, 11:07 PM
to animate the color of the tubes, just animate the color parameter of your incandescence color in the material, and it will make it do what you want. very simple. no idea what these guys are on about with hooking all this bizness up but i use mental ray for work all the time, seems to work fine to just use the incandescence parameter of your material to make it cast for the final gather...

for example all the light in this scene is from materials applied to geometry..


09 September 2007, 12:14 AM
wow amazing but how did u make the thing switch colors and what extactly did u apply to the incandense portion of the material for the objects with the colors all flashing, for example what extactly did u do in the incandensecent portion of the object? did u use a map, a texture file, if so what kind of material or whatever map or whatever it is that u used if this is out the subject then forgive me i was really interested in knowing something more like that after i found how that i could jack the up the V in ambient color to 16 to get the portion to shine..(thanks for that info by the way) well, im just curious, ...did u create that video? if so do tell me, but either way, were u talking about just cranking up the color in the incandescent part of the material or did u use a map of somesort? if u used a map tell me? im mostly knowing if u used a map to switch colors and if so what did u do to illuminate them in that way.. they look very good when the light reflects on them well please, let me know i wanna get this neon fluroscent tube to shine and stream different colors of the rainbow u know.

09 September 2007, 01:27 AM

09 September 2007, 06:56 PM
select your material, select the incandescent color, and key it. go to another frame, change the color, and key it again. i did make the video i posted and thats how all the lighting animation was created. if you only need the light to emit a solid color, there is no need to texture map it.

09 September 2007, 10:08 PM
thank u very much for that very helpful and useful piece of information, it helped out alot, i mean it did a tremendous job of applying lights and illuminating them very nicely on my object and thank you for telling me how to switch the colors by inputting it in the keyframe, could u also control ways of how the light shifts colors? such as having the colors shift/change from left to right, up or down , or diagnoally, u see what i am saying? can i create and CONTROL patterns of colors to do crazy things or simply just shift from one color to the next, i want to get creative with lighting up objects to glow. , such as surfaces of alien armor or weapons, or a wizards crystal ball or something mystic like that, i also one day want to create a glow in the dark hand blow glass ornaments that has mutliple colors that move around on the surface, kind of like one of those crazy mechanicisms u might find at spencers where u touch the surface and the thunderbolts go streaming onto ur hands, we all seen them, its round shaped, they have two kinds the old fashion crystal ball and the more modern flat ones, i wish i could show u video but either way before i get too complex i guess i just want to know for now how can i have 2 different ambient lights glow on one model at the same time. , do u understand what i am talking about? i just want it to stream light to right, from hot pink to neon blue, or simple just have 2 solid colors shining on one object but with an obivious smooth and soft fade in the middle . well i hope u guys could understand me and if its not too much to ask from you, once again thank u for that great piece of information it was very helpful thank you so much

09 September 2007, 10:46 PM
instead of a solid color you can use a gradient and animate all its parameters. check out the gradient option when you go to map a color :)

09 September 2007, 07:04 PM
ok now i 2 questions,

question 1,
in ur video, its very dark, the shadows are soft, in my image here everything is a lambert and at default except of course for the sphere, but in ur video the place is dark and shadowy simply put how is it that ur environemnt like that? because in mine its kinda bright and i know it must have something to do with the material because there are no lights except of the sphere,

question 2,
im sorry real quick could u kinda navigate me to where the gradiant map is at in maya 8.5, im kind of slow and unfamiliar i know at one time i found it, i use to do this in flash all the time and photo shop using the graident tools but cant find it in maya if u know please do tell if its not too much to ask

09 September 2007, 07:08 PM
check in the render globals and make sure the default light is turned off. another way to make sure theres no extra light in your scene is to create a light and turn its value entirely to zero. it definitely looks like something in your scene beside your material is casting light, and if you do not create another light in the scene, by default maya has a default light. stupid maya is trying to help you, it does not know that your texture is creating light, because thats a mental ray thing :)

as for the gradient, i explained it already in my previous message, also the manual explains that one clearly :)

09 September 2007, 07:26 PM
question 2,
im sorry real quick could u kinda navigate me to where the gradiant map is at in maya 8.5, im kind of slow and unfamiliar i know at one time i found it, i use to do this in flash all the time and photo shop using the graident tools but cant find it in maya if u know please do tell if its not too much to ask

Use a maya ramp texture.

09 September 2007, 07:46 PM
the gradient is called ramp in maya. i didnt even think about that. sorry for the confusion.

09 September 2007, 09:08 PM
thank you modern, thank you ven, i also thought using a U or V Ramp might do the trick as well, thats what kind of got me thinking, thank u for helping, in the CREATING believing eyes they go over ramping in order to get a transperency over the iris of the eye i guess id have to do the same but instead of transperency id do it for color thank you, ima go and check out how my lighting effects look with the light turned off thank u again for the info its very appreciated, very much guys thank you.

09 September 2007, 09:29 PM
bingo, this is extactly what i wanted to do, u know im just curious im a noobie to this whole thing, but when i seen ur videos the glare on ur shine objects were cubic or diamond shaped the way they shined, u know how u look at a picture of a diamond and the light relfects into an X shape, we all seen them, its common, ur video has that kind of effect and also has sprites emitting that shape, as if ur eyes had something in them and if u were seeing things just a tiny bit foggy and blurry, u kind of understand what i mean right. im just curious to know, im just trying to learn as i move along, trying to start somewhere u know, this is gonna help me create some gorgeous effects soon on a variety of things. thank u for ur help, and i hope to hear from u if its not too much, but either way thanks a bunch guys i appreciate it all the way...oh and i know u used motion blur on ur video and what kind of texture did u use for those wings, they have a beautiful straight pattern on them, are the wings also incandescent color emitting light? just curious and would like to know thank you again for all ur help

09 September 2007, 10:47 PM
hey im having a problem now, i dont know what it is but in one scene i got the lights to emit perfectly good like in the picture with the pink spheres up there, but in a scene im creating everytime i set the V up to 20 or so the color changes to yellow, im not getting this effect in my other scene, it stays that one particular color but in this one scene the color is trying to change to yellow, does anyone have any clue whats going on? im using a lambert on a nurb surface.

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