SNoWs - yep I’m in Colorado and am happy to say we got dumped on with snow, alot more then Denver but happily I live near the mountains so did not get the 15-20 foot drifts the plains got.
A friend and I have been discussing lighting thought processes and this was my reply to him on how I’m designing mine for this scene. I’ll through in images showing the results when I finish the light rig.
Man, well I was going to create a whole new sticky thread just on your post Cesar but if this is just a readers digest version then I’ll wait.
Books Lighting Design:
This is my breakdown of how I’m approaching setting the lighting up. First this one is tricky because in essence this is an interior architectural lighting setup, yet because of massive size, an infinitely long tube which is 20 km wide it behaves like an outdoor scene. Almost all the lighting comes strictly from a 5 km wide blue, blue, blue, plasma tube running down the Way (the cylinder). What makes even harder is some of the structures are completely inside the plasma tube. This means the lighting is completely flat, saturated almost completely shadowless lighting. Well thats easy to achieve however the image would be horrible to look at.
So the first thing you think is ahhh, the Way itself reflects light as a bounce so we can use that to provide much needed interest to the scene. But sadly the Way is not made out of real material, granted at the beginning of the Way there is dirt (brought in from other worlds), mountains, rivers, clouds, ect, here however there is nothing and the way is basically black with red and bronze splotches. Also there are no light contributions coming from either end of the Way.
Next you say the city, Axis Nader, provides lighting to the scene. yes but no. In fact when Patricia first describes the sight of Axis Nader the interior appears black (hard to believe since the plasma tube runs down it!) and the out side glitters with thousands of sparkling small lights. So little light contribution comes for it.
My Lighting Design:
Fake GI:I first created a set of lights which stretch a huge length along the plasma tubes exterior. I’ll use this as faked GI with NO shadows! This is important since the light by its nature saturates almost everything with equal lighting. To do this I thought there were only two options (The lights stretch over 1000km along the tube to light the Way, meaning either area or linear lights. Linear could not be used thanks to way to much noise, even with incredibly high AA/MB levels. Area lights were extremely pretty but expensive. Final render size is 3636x2657 along with a much smaller 4-8 second animation. What I finally came up with shocked the living heck out of me, point lights! I have four point lights which I both rotate and travel 1000km along the plasma tube. Its fast, saturates the scene even though I’m only using extremely low light saturation here.
Shadows on the Way itself: I created 4 area lights which spans almost the length of Axis Naders Interior and set them up with my modified spinning light trick setup. In modeler I created a special Cylinder that matches the basic cylinder geometry of Axis Nader. I set it so it contributed shadows to only onto the Way itself and unseen otherwise.
Back Lighting: I’m cracking open the Way and adding galaxy and stars as backdrop fro symbolism. I’m using that as the background lighting, light and subtle but designed to provide different color lighting to the scene.
City Lighting: Main little point lights are going to be scattered around both the inside and outside of Axis Nader to provide little hints of lighting.
Main Spec/Color lighting: I don’t care what really would happen I’m adding in some main key lights for color, spec and shadows to actually make the scene pop.
Secondary Spec/Color lighting: Even though there really is none according to the book I solved alot of the structural gaps in the book with the using of Tensor beams made up of particles/HV’s. I’ll use these as areas I can add in lights to help contrast color/light the scene.
Its going to be a huge lighting rig which I’ll control with a special LScript with Sliders I’m writing to help texture the scene. This also means a few bogus lights added here and there just to allow faster/easier rendering.