Rendering Question - Balancing Sun, Sky and Artificial Lights

Balancing Sun, Sky and Artificial Lights using IRender nXt

On our Forum we often get questions about balancing artificial lights with sunlight and light from the Sky. There are a number of ways to do this. For instance:

  • You can make the lights brighter by increasing their Wattage.
  • You can make the sun and sky darker by changing their setting in the SketchUp Shadow menu.

But it is probably easier to do by one of these methods:

  • Use the Light Balance Slider on Presets or Lights Setup Tab
  • Use Lighting Channels to balance the lights after rendering.

When producing exterior scenes at dusk, or interior scenes with light from windows, you will want to balance the Sun, Sky and Artificial Lights.

Using Lighting Balance Settings

Lighting Balance Slider

The default lighting balance on the Light Setup Tab, and on the Presets Tab is 60. To make the Aritficial Lights brighter, move it to the right. To make the Sun and Sky Brighter, move it to the left.

You will need to re-render the scene to see the effects.

Brightness Slider

Note: As you balance more towards Sun/Sky or Artificial Lights, the Automatic Exposure will keep the scene brightness about the same. If you want to make the entire scene brighter or darker, use the Brighness Slider - after rendering - to adjust it as desired.

The image below sun, sky and articficial lights and a light balance setting of 60.

Sample retail night - balance 60.jpg

This image has the light balance setting lowered to 20. File:Sample retail night - balance 20.jpg

This image has the light balance setting raised to 90. You can see more of the effect of the street lights and lights inside the building. Raising the level above 90 would make this effect even more dramatic.

Sample retail night - balance 90.jpg

And this final image has the light balance at 90, but the brightness lowered from 50 t0 45, which produces more of a dusk effect. (Of course, for dusk or nighttime, it would have been smart to turn off the sun, or remove it with the Light Balancer) Sample retail night - balance 90-45.jpg

Light Balancer

With IRender nXt you can use the Light Balancer to quickly increase the intensity of the lights, or decrease the intensity of the sun and sky after rendering.

Lights are placed in up to 8 separate groups and can easily be adjusted with sliders during and after rendering.

By default,the Sun, the Sky, ceiling lights, and other lights are placed in four groups so you can easily balance them.

You can also place individual lights, or groups of lights in the remaining groups if you want more control.

Light Balancer

using the Light Balancer.

the Light Balancer is an important new feature of IRender nXt which lets you quickly adjust light sources. By assigning channels to sun, sky, and groups of lights, you can quickly adjust the intensity of each channel with a slidebar and immediately see the effect on the final rendering.

You can quickly adjust the intensity of each channel with a slide bar and immediately see the effect on the final rendering. This will saves time both in determining the relative intensities to use for light sources and in fine tuning the final image before publication.

Videos and Tutorials

Adjusting Wattage of Individual Lights

If you want to increase or decrease the effects of individual lights, you can also adjust the Wattage of the lights.

Edit lamp.png

For lights created with the Light Wizard, you can right click on the light and set new values:

Here is a Spot Lamp placed from the Light Wizard, and the Right Click - Edit Lamp dialog to change its settings;

Override Light Settings.png

For other lights, or components which contain 1 or more lights, you can override the Wattage of the entire component with a right click.

Adjusting SketchUp Shadow Settings

The Light and Dark Settings on the SketchUp Shadow Settings Window are use to set the brightness or the Sun, Sky, and the amount of cloudiness.


See also