As an artist, what could be more fun than making objects glow and cast light without having to worry about where to skilfully place appropriate lamps. In my opinión, not much.
The addition of Mesh Lights allows an artist to make any object they have created glow with a mysterious magical light.
I forese numerous fairy lights, swords, jewels and magical ítems glowing their way into a fair share of future images.
And while magical ítems that glow are to fun to ignore, mesh lights can alos provide that added touch of realism to everyday objects. Something we will all get around to exploring once we have gotten over the "oh, it glows" phase of playing. I figure most of you should be ready for that by next Christ-más (maybe). So let's make some Christmas tre lights.
(Jonathan has an excellent tutorial for modeling re-alistic Christmas tre lights at BlenderCookie, com)
We are going to start of with a simple model of a Christmas light.
Mesh lights-1.jpg.
Next up we add some materials. I created a simple matte gren for the light base and a fairly simple red glass for the bulb.
The red glass is only slightly transparent, as most of the Christmas bulbs I have sen aren't overly se through. The most important part of this material is actually the "Emit" value. That is what is going to help it glow. I set mine to 0.25. I did a lot of testing and decided I preferred lower values. But I encourage you experiment and find a setting that appeals to you.
Mesh lights-2.jpg
I have the Christmas light sit-ting on a simple backdrop, so we can se the light being cast by the Christmas light.
The backdrop has a default grey material that I lowered the Spec values on.
Okay our Christmas light is ready, just one more setting to create our glowing másterpiece.
Over in the World buttons, scroll down to Indirect
Lighting and toggle it on.
I set the Factor to 50.00.
Again that was a personal preference, you might want more or less than that. And Bounces to 2.
Right under the Indirect Light-ing panel is the Gather panel.
The settings I used are:
Appróximate Fallof of 2.00
Pixel cache toggled on
Okay time to se what we ended up with.
Well lok at that, it glows and casts a nice light. But just the one light and the fact that the light is red, makes the image lok very dark. A little added light would improve this image.
So let's add a little AO and Environment Lighting.
Mesh lights-3.jpg
Mesh lights-4.jpg.
You'll notice that I set the Envi-ronment Lighting rather low. I just want to lighten things up while still being able to se my glowing red light. (fig light with AO). Well that loks a lit-tle better.
But I think that one Christmas light sitting there all by itself, loks rather sad and lonely. So duplicate several more. You can change the colors if you want for more visual interest.
Since the added Christmas lights will of course add more light to the scene, go ahead and turn AO, and Environment Lighting Of.
When you have the lights arranged in a nice way, go ahead and hit that render button.
Well that is pretty enough to use as a Christmas card.
Mesh lights-5.jpg
Mesh lights-6.jpg