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LED strip light details
show user profile  laptop
Hello all,

I'm modelling a wine cellar, and would like to add some strip light details as per the sketches attached. I was just wondering if anyone could recommend some good techniques for constructing convincing-looking LED strip light illumination. As always, any thoughts greatly appreciated.

I should add that I'm not much of a renderer so idiot explanations work well for me - oh and I'm using an old version of Vray on an old version of 3d studio on an old version of windows... but I can provide the max files if that's useful. Also, it's a little hard to see it here, but the lighting recesses are all modelled.
Wine cellar unlit
Wine cellar with LED strip lights
Sketch detail of strip light
read 5008 times
5/13/2013 2:52:04 PM (last edit: 5/13/2013 2:55:21 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
We had a post exactly (well, pretty damn similar) like this a few months back, can't seem to find it in the search, but I think self-illumination and surface properties are what you will want to tweak. Someone with more know-how will chime in shortly, no doubt.

edit: The other post was sligtly different (was to do with edge-illuminated plastic found at exhibitions and tech shows etc) essentially the light bounces around the opaque, flat parts of the material and then diffuses out the 'grazed' or 'roughened' edges to create an illuminated edge.

If you were using Mental Ray you could use the MROmni light and set it to cylindrical, have your light object itself (the geometry), not cast or recieve shadows and have a self illuminated material applied to it. I would assume vRay has it's own way of achieving this.
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5/13/2013 2:56:21 PM (last edit: 5/13/2013 2:58:41 PM)
show user profile  laptop
So you think I should model/represent each individual 'strip' (as cylinders) rather than just have one massive plane of light bouncing off the shelf stiles?
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5/13/2013 3:11:53 PM (last edit: 5/13/2013 3:11:53 PM)
show user profile  chillywilson
I do work for a company that does just that.

do you want them to be dimmable?
are you going to hardwire it?
How many feet in lights are looking to run connected?

I can tell you exactly what to get.

Oh wait your talking cgi :)
I thought you were building the cellar ha.

I would put a self illum. surface with some soft lightsin the same spot.
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5/13/2013 3:16:42 PM (last edit: 5/13/2013 3:19:03 PM)
show user profile  laptop
:-) I'm already familiar with your website but, if I'm allowed to say so, it makes the same mistake as lots of other lighting product websites. It focuses on images of what are essentially 'concealed' light fittings. We (architects and interior designers) don't much care what the thing looks like. Instead we want to know what kind of illumination it's going to provide in a given setting. AND ONLY THEN what we need to do to achieve that effect, and the size, noise?, heat?, limitations, access requirements for transformers, etc. I'm sure that a gallery of fairly large/hi-res AND GORGEOUS images showing ALL the products in use would benefit your business! Also, there's so much misinformation about dimming in relation to LEDs, I think it would be nice to make a dummies guide for that too!

Anyway, thank you very, very much for pointers. Will definitely play around with that...
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5/13/2013 3:38:06 PM (last edit: 5/13/2013 3:38:06 PM)
show user profile  laptop
So next step - does anyone know where I can find a low poly and free wine bottle (unopened) - I'm going to need a lot of them but the websites I've found all seem to be repositories for viruses!
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5/14/2013 6:25:29 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 6:25:29 PM)
show user profile  herfst1


It's easy to make. The time consuming part is making all the different labels.
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5/14/2013 6:28:05 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 6:28:05 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
just tile a radial gradient in both self illumination and displacement, if you use MR make sure you turn on "illuminates scene" and crank up fg

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5/14/2013 6:35:30 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 6:35:30 PM)
show user profile  FX
Vray has a LightMaterial you can apply to strips of mesh but the shadowing isn't great, and I got blotchy renders using it.
You could use a photometric light and select "line" from the Shape dropdown, useful for long inset light strips and better shadow control than Lightmtl gives you.
I think the best one to use is a standard Vray light and select "Mesh" Type which obviously turns any mesh into a light source, but gives you full control.

You want empty wine bottles?.... check ma wheely bin :)

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5/14/2013 7:10:33 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 7:10:33 PM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Modelling wine bottle 101:
Download photo of front view of bottle from google image search. Set image as background I front viewport.
Start new spline object and trace one side of the outline of the bottle very roughly - just use straight line segments if you don't like beziers (ie vertex type to "corner"). Apply lathe modifier. Apply turbosmooth. Refine the spline with addition vertices to created harder corners where necessary. Apply shell modifier. Scale accordingly. Win.

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5/14/2013 7:28:28 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 7:28:28 PM)
show user profile  chillywilson
Thanks for the input
Yes a dummies guild is coming for the site.
All specs about the lights are on the individual product pages and in the catalog.

Dimming is ass weird. 120v dimmer you need dimmable driver or hard wire a box to a 12v dimmer to the lights.

Back on topic since LEDs have spaces in the light areas I would consider making texture with brighter circle set to self illum. and place a small omni with falloff at each SMD area will give you the best results but will kill render time.
You can see on the bottom that there is slight space between the emission of the LEDs

 photo led_zps1d2f3a83.jpg
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5/14/2013 9:07:01 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 9:07:01 PM)
show user profile  FX
chillywilson has a point, you can use a texture in the Lightmaterial for a similar effect..

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5/14/2013 9:29:27 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 9:29:27 PM)
show user profile  laptop
Thanks for all the tips everyone. In the end I made several instances of a narrow 'plane' vray light (roughly the height and width of the mullion) and buried each within its adjacent mullion, but then 'excluded' those mullions. I think it looks fine for now. Oh, and yes I made a wine bottle, thanks, but I think I still need to work on reducing it's 'poly count'...
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5/14/2013 11:43:09 PM (last edit: 5/14/2013 11:43:09 PM)
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