What do the sliders & buttons in the Spotlight properties do? (prior to V8)

What do the sliders & buttons in the Spotlight properties do? (prior to V8)

Article Details



Poster: peterm
Article ID: 2711
Posted: Wed 17 Jan 2018
Approved: Yes

QUESTION
What do the sliders & buttons in the Spotlight properties do?

ANSWER



Cone Angle: This slider specifies how wide the beam of the light should be.

Show light source: This On/Off button shows/hides the spotlight mesh.


See Our Video Tutorial:
Build Mode: Spotlight Additional Settings

Configure the look of a spotlight. Set the color, brightness and cone angle etc.


Night activation: All lights with the 'On' property switch on at the same time at sunset (which is ideal for streetlights for example). All lights with the 'Random' property switch on at a random time around sunset.

    See Our Video Tutorial:
    Build Mode: Spotlight Night Activation Settings

Enable night activation for spotlights to turn lights on when it gets dark. It is also possible to set it to random so the lights will turn on with different offsets.


Shadows: Choose the shadow types that should be used.
In version 8 you click the toggle button that shows either as Static or Dynamic.  Clicking on one will switch (toggle) to the other main setting type.

Dynamic has just the one option - as Dynamic (see below).
Static has two options - Medium or High quality resolutions to select, the default being Medium.

  • Dynamic: The shadows are updated every frame (Slow!). Every time you add a light with Accuracy turned on, the entire scene has to be rendered once more. Add 10 lights and the scene has to be rendered 10 times more every frame. Each light uses a 1024x1024 pixel shadow texture.
  • Medium (Static): The shadow from the light uses a static 512x512 pixel texture which is not updated (Fast, moderate memory usage)
  • High (Static): The shadow from the light uses a static 1024x1024 pixel texture which is not updated (Fast, very low memory usage)



Recommended Settings for Spotlights:
To reduce render times, we recommend that distant lights (e.g. street lights) in your scene use either the Medium or the High option, so that the shadows are not updated every frame. If your graphics card has enough memory, the best option is High.

Use Dynamic for your lights if something that casts shadows is moving near the light (a car driving past a street light for example). Or if the light itself moves/rotates (stage lighting for concerts for example). Or if you need high-resolution shadows in certain areas (typically close-ups of interiors).

Please note that shadows from Spotlights are not displayed all the time for performance reasons. If you render an image or a video the shadows will be rendered. Click here to see how to preview shadows from Spotlights.

    See Our Video Tutorial:
    Build Mode: Spotlight Shadow Quality Settings


Tip: Spotlights shadows can slow down things if you place a lot of them. By configuring the shadow quality you can speed things up.


Target Light(s): Click on a surface that you would like the Spotlight to point at.

    See Our Video Tutorial:
    Build Mode: Targeting Lights

Use the target function of lights to point spotlights at a specific location.  Or, you can use the Orientation Tools to adjust Heading, Pitch and Bank.


See Also:
Copy/Paste Colors From Elsewhere: in Article How do you change the color of cars, trees and furniture?

Relates To:
This Article is for Version 8 and above.  For earlier versions see What do the sliders & buttons in the Spotlight properties do? (prior to V8)



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