Help - More than 9 lights do not light in scene

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  06 June 2006
Help - More than 9 lights do not light in scene

Hi all -- This is more of a lighting issue within my viewport and when I render. Basically, I have a cathedral interior scene. I have six point lights for braziers, onde spot light for bringing out the point of interest, one spot for fill and one directional for subtle ambiance. That's nine lights in total, all with quadric decay except for the directional light.

Now for the problem. If I duplicate any of the existing lights, the new light will not work. That is to say, it will not light anything in my scene and nothing when rendering. The other nine lights work just not any more than the total of nine lights. What gives??

All lights are not linked to geometry and not parented to anything at all. I've made sure to reset the new lights to default and still nothing. Any one who can shed light (pun intended) on this problem will be most appreciated.

Thank you,

  06 June 2006
light probs

the number of lights rendered in hardware(viewport) is limited by your gfx card. 9 or 8 is the max on most cards. you just cant go higher that's y i always use "use selected" in the viewport lighting options.
this shouldnt matter for software rendering i dont see why you should have any problems unless you are using hardware rendering and not software.
  06 June 2006
That answered it!

Gal -- That totally answered my question. I've been working with maya for two years now but I always come across something that makes me feel like a total newbie. :-)

FYI, I'm building a scene for a MMORPG proof-of-concept (who isn't, right?) and our middleware partner mentioned something about games being restricted to a finite number of lights that could be rendered. Obviously we haven't gotten to the point of assembly but is your answer tied to games as well? That is to say, will games only support an N amount of lights based on the graphics card? -- or is it dictated by the DirectX and OpenGL API?

Oh, and yes, the lights that did not "appear" to light in the viewport did render out fine in Maya software and MentalRay.

Thanks again for the patience in answering such a basic question.

  06 June 2006

cant say for sure but as far as i know.
the graphics card is an accelarator of directx or opengl. based on how good the graphics card when you use directx or opengl you will have a limit of lights in any hardware rendering engine (games,maya..whatever) BUT.. it's based on the engine, the engine could use different hardware/software accelration techniques that pass that issue.
i think the best card out there can do 32 lights with opengl so that's more than enough.
think about clipping and disabling/enabling lights as the camera move out of that area in a game. there is no need to enable them so other lights can be turned on instead. going back and forth.
  06 June 2006
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