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Rendering Disappointment!

November 6, 2009

Currently I am attempting to do some first experiments with my light screens by rendering the shadows that they cast using a ray tracing engine. The idea here is purely visual analysis. As I mentioned, I want to be able to alter the hue of the incoming light by coloring the panel surfaces it strikes on the way in. The inspiration for this is, of course, Stephen Holl’s work at the St. Ignatius Chapel in Seattle and the Kiasma Art Museum in Helsinki, both of which I have been fortunate enough to visit in real life.


Here, you see the light coloration most clearly on the walls surrounding the screening panel at the St. Ignatius Chapel. At the Kiasma the goal is not to compete with the artwork, so light is admitted and softened by bouncing it off intermediate surfaces.

Unfortunately, the problem I’ve encountered is that the renderer I currently own, Flamingo, is not powerful enough to do the rendering I require. So now the question is…which renderer do I move up to?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:57 pm

    Maybe Maxwell?

    • November 9, 2009 11:40 pm

      A good thought, thanks. I am less familiar with that one than others and will take a look at it. I downloaded an eval copy of Brazil today, in part because of the obvious easy interface with Rhino.

  2. November 12, 2009 9:38 pm

    Perhaps you already have, but you might give Radiance a try. The path of least-resistance is through Ecotect, using Greg Ward’s Window’s port called Desktop Radiance. Getting the materials correct will be the trick (but that’s the case with all rendering, right?) At least Radiance will give you photometric results.

  3. November 29, 2009 4:45 am

    VRay from Chaosgroup (VRay for Rhino thru ASGVIS) is a remarkable product and has an active and indispensible support forum. The plug-in for Rhino will have no problem handling the radiance patterns. Cheers.

  4. Gary permalink
    April 11, 2010 9:13 am

    I have used Maxwell Render and Mental Ray. I found Maxwell Render easier to use just because the materials feel much more simplified and easier to understand. Also, if you haven’t already, I would suggest getting a book on professional photographic lighting. I used “Light, Science & Magic” by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua. Since Maxwell is uses ‘physically accurate’ lighting, I found it very helpful to understand good lighting technique.

    Good luck!

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