I recorded a UV mapping tutorial for Modo today which I will not be releasing. I mention this because I started talking out loud about how I didn’t know how the scene was being lit. You can see the image example below.
You’ll notice how the floor is much more blue and lit than it should be. The are no lights above it, and the only light source in the scene is way down the hallway. I’d been scratching my head for a few weeks as to why the attic portion of the building, which has absolutely no windows was just as lit. I finally figured it out today. Its the Indirect Range in the Global Illumination settings. When I first started texturing the building I set this to a low value and everything magically rendered faster and was better lit. I checked the manual to find out that if the GI rays don’t go far enough the geometry will pick up the color of the environment. So that’s why the floor of the interior was sky blue. After setting the Indirect Range back to zero I got this:
As you can see, everything is as dark as it should be. However, this presents an interesting problem. First of all, my render times more than doubled. Everything looks much better, it just takes longer to make it happen. So I fired up my PowerPC G5 tower and figured out the network rendering process. It shaved off about two seconds. That was kind of disappointing, but I think it might come in handy when the animations start getting rendered.
So that’s my Modo tip of the week. If your interiors seem like they’re getting lit when they shouldn’t be, check the Indirect Range. It might be too small.
Now that the scene is nice and dark I have to figure out how its going to be lit.