faking Gi will ever rest in peace?


When I first stumbled upon simulated GI with standard light, and that was in time when GI was already common, I thought this is kind of an old-mannered conservative approach that doesn’t respect for much attention. But when I started testing animation it started shining in a new light.
But I am wondering: the processor’s power grows rapidly, but so are the resolution. And one more point: if we come to the point where GI is quite fast, non-GI will still be times faster.
So in your opinion, will it ever become a history or stays as a valuable solution for lighters for a long time ahead?


I think in some industries the technique of bouncing lights aka GI is has already settled down, however using direct lighting to tweak the look or to troubleshoot is always needed as long as people are comping for animation or print.


Yes, this problem is encountered in real life by DP’s, so that’s what they do - tweak the GI all the time with reflectors, diffusers and so on. Not very natural approach.


Artists will use all the tools available to them, to create the result they need. I dont see traditional lighting being affected by either technical advances or hardware improvements.

GI is a method, direct illumination is another method, raytracing, non raytracing, pencils, pens, tablets, photoshop, scanning, digitizing etc etc. The arsenal of an artist may continue to grow, but that doesn’t mean they push others into history.

Another example, its perfectly feasible to apply effects and filters of course to shot footage, either in post or right at the end in the grading stage. Yet DOPs & camera men still put filters on their lenses. :slight_smile:


One thing I have learnt to respect is “if it looks good, it is good”. At least to a certain point you shouldnt complain too much about other peoples workflow if if creates good art.

Still, the rendering capabilities of going “mental ray all-in”, instead of faking various effects with old school approaches with maya software is in many cases not very time saving or can give close to the beauty of highend Gi renderings.

Example from yesterday. I managed to compress rendertime from 18 to 10 minutes for one image. Both versions were FG renders with diplacement, skinshaders, occlusion and basically entirely reflective surfaces. Just by optimizing the settings carefully. I doubt I could even simulated most of those effects with any “traditonal” solutions, or save much rendertime.
For me, Gi joe and other metods are dead and buried.

Of course I cannot answer for companies with renderfarms and 1million+ render hours :slight_smile:


I tend to see GI as a piece of the “make art” button. I mean the difference before GI and after GI appeared is quite notorious. And in fact I had the impression that people who didn’t know about it, got impressed by those works that used it, but once they learned to press the same buttons, everything became more even.
So I think, it’s a tool, it’s an advantage for some, but not for everybody, and the future is full of it. I would not be surprised to see GI everywhere in the viewport.

But I also think that the artist is the computer, I mean the lighter is the computer itself, and the human is and artist too but more as a technician or composer.

if this technology becomes more available, I’m pretty sure it will become priority



Go make art.


you first, show us, then I’ll follow you.


I dont have this wonderfull button, but you seem to have found it.


In case I’m not expressing well;

People is asking over and over for a magic button, and they are getting it.
Personally I try to give the same importance to fake GI and GI itself, because I see GI as something that is taking priority against art, that’s my point of view; People likes those renders with special effects, like GI reflection, projected textures etc. I do, but personally I find much more creativity/art from the 2D/concept art galleries.

“Make Art” button, for me is a Fallacy, an illusion; In a similar way, I don’t pretend to be an artist and I do not use that word to describe myself, because that is not the same as creativity, art is related to society, fashion, tendencies, technology, etc

I’m just trying to see it all independently of prejudice or stereotypes. so I don’t thing it is going to rest in peace as long as people keeps art as something human and not something technological.

for example, architectural renders should focus on the architecture itself, but that’s not happening, they are focusing of photorealism. in other words, people is becoming distracted by technology, and that’s a tendency that seems is not going to rest in peace.

And if you feel against my thoughts, I can’t avoid that, just express myself.



Ruramuq, I think GI is not an art by itself and the same about faking GI. Both have technical advantages and disadvantages, and even GI sometimes harder to get working well than fake GI. I just don’t get your point: do you think that using GI, reflections, projected textures is something that makes people losing the art of what, lighting in a non-cg sense? Because when you said GI is an art button this sounds strange. As long as you are an animator I think you agree that GI to the art of lighting is what motion capture to the art of animation. I just see technical dificulties in cg lighting make it a long way to get to traditional non-cg lighting way of thinking.


I share your point of view when you say GI is not and Art by itself, but I don’t think everybody knows that.
I’m in favor of both fake GI and GI. Art itself is a game sometimes, I mean If a person is relying on technology to become a great artist, then they are wasting their time, and that’s the reason why I consider GI as part of this illusion, I mean for those who want great quality depending a lot on technology like GI.

I’m not trying to generalize. GI by itself is indeed a great tool. and it depends on how anyone uses it But I honestly see that some people forget that. I can see a favoritism and dependency for GI, etc, to show higher quality. and you can see that on movies, publicity, where the quality is great, but the content is poor(including lighting).

GI is part of a long chain of automatization tools that will become more and more available. And thats ok with me. that¡s not the problem except when you rely on it.

How is possible to appreciate a work/art/render if GI becomes a big attraction that technology by itself is imposing. I mean how can anyone stay impartial, when it’s becoming difficult to notice some subtleties not related to photorealism of light(an attraction that we are feeling, a fascination we are feeling because of technology that is so popular these days and especially because it’s yet incomplete). Look at cgtalk, technology is quite important here, we are always talking about it. How realistic is this, how fast is that, how accurate is this movie, how good is this software. it¡s an obsession.

do you think that using GI, reflections, projected textures is something that makes people losing the art of what, lighting in a non-cg sense?
No, I think it dependents on how you use it. I think that some people is so much depending on technology, something like : “oh Vray, make of me a great great artist, oh please I want to be famous”. And in those cases, YES, It’s likely that I might feel that the Artist is ‘the computer and render engine’ itself with much higher priority than the human that learned how to press those buttons. absolutely yes.

To be clear, I can see two groups, one of people waiting for a magic button(including GI, faster CPUs, simplified tools, etc), that always wants more, and fast, and cheap, and the other group that depends on their own creativity, for example fake GI, or GI itself, or whatever they can create; and with this in mind, I think of fake GI as something that should NOT rest in peace.

In time GI will be so easy and fast, but in time, and probably so boring. I feel that we are having a lot of fun already.

I’m not saying that GI is an art button, I think I should have been more clear, but English is not my language and perhaps I said it very wrong, I just tend to think GI as part of this magical figurative button called “make art” that many(yes many) people desperately wants.


Lighting is an art, GI is a tool. All the new technology is doing is allowing cg lighting to naturally behave more like real world lights do, thats all. In the real world isn’t lighting an art, are there not people who spend there careers learning how to use light for photograpy, movies, etc? Good lighting is the goal and no matter how good the technology is, it makes no difference if the users doesn’t know how to use it. There is no magic button.



It’s not my opinion (I borrowed it), but working with lighting in GI manner creates another approach: if you use a fill light, you do not nessesarily put a lightsource there, you put a bounce card. That’s the difference. It just moves towards real-life techniques of lighting, and I don’t see this boring at all, I’m fascinated with these possibilities. Though it’s a bit early for now using such an approach, but this time will come. You can of course, but rendertimes will be too high. I think the fun is yet ahead. Imagine working with such a realistic engine as Maxwell in realtime using something like fresnel light with real bandoors, umbrellas as diffusers and so on. :slight_smile:


GI is a great thing, but the problem with it is that you can’t really control it. If you are doing a scene and you realize that you want to have light glint of the surface of something, you aren’t going to be able to do that with GI unless it happens by chance. Also, as someone said, right now GI is a heavy lighting system so that definitely plays into account.

GI is use usually good for a pass of rendering. Then you can put it together with traditional lighting.


In production, using GI/FG is a life saver. As a student interested in lighting, however, I think its critical that one doesnt get too caught up in using GI/FG and instead concentrates on learning how to fake bounce and indirect light through placing extra lights and comp tweaks.

I think this will better develop the eye and overall make one a better lighter. Ofcourse, they should know how to use GI/FG as well, but in the long run, not depending on it as a means of achieving good looking lighting will be beneficial.


…with a couple thoughts here, respectfully.

First, when it comes to the fabled “Make Art” mentality, perhaps this may be true with some GI renderers but with others it’s not even close. Case in point, mental ray. There’s nothing close to one button to do it all, it’s more like a thousand. Or even more, if you make a complex scene. Vray is much simpler, but still not a one-click setup.

I think that approximating real-life lighting phenomenon with say, Maxwell, isn’t so much a one-click “Make Art” situation but again, a new and powerful tool which unfortunately takes too long to render to make animation feasible. But even with Maxwell, you have to do all kinds of tweaking and such to “get it right”.

GI is a great thing, but the problem with it is that you can’t really control it.

Again, with mental ray for example, you have TOO much control. Or perhaps the implementation is just so obnoxious that it’s overly complex for no reason. Both may be true in the end; it’s very difficult to get a scene lit with MR right the first time, in fact I’ve never even heard of such a thing.

But I do concur that using fill-lights and such to adjust or alter your composition is something that will never really go away, no matter how clean your GI render gets. And the same holds true in real-life photography!


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