SAW Vision Presents.


     I've been trying to get things to glow ever since I started playing with Poser, but no matter how bright I made things, they never effected other objects in the scene. Turns out there was a piece to the puzzle that no one told me.

Before You Start - Render Settings.

     Before you start, make sure you have Raytracing enabled. To enable Raytracing you will need to go to Render/Render Settings in the drop-down tabs across the top of the Poser window. Once in RenderSettings got to Firefly and Manual Settings. There you will see a box labeled Raytracing. Make sure there is a checkmark in the box. You may also need to enable Cast Shadows (I always have this on, so I don't know for sure if you need it for this to work).

     Also make sure you at least have the slider next to Raytrace Bounces up to at least 1 (again, I always have this on at least 2, so I don't know for sure if you need it for this to work).

Step 1 - Make an object glow.

     In the Material Room select the object you want to make glow. Click on the Advanced tab at the top of the Material Room window.

     On the PoserSurface you will see that there is a Ambient_Color and an Ambient_Value. This works just like a Diffuse_Color does, only the lighter the color, the brighter the object appears. The problem is that no matter how bright it looks, it doesn't effect anything else in the scene. With the lights all turned off, this object is the only thing we can see.

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Step 2 - Make the glow effect other objects.

     So now that you have your object glowing bright, it's time to set up the other objects in the scene so that they know about the other object.

     In the Material Room select the object you want effected by the glow. Click on the Advanced tab at the top of the Material Room window.

     At the bottom of the PoserSurface node you will see a plug named Alternate_Diffuse. This is the plug we will want to use for this. Usually this is empty of anything, but if it isn't, don't panic yet as there are other ways around using the Alternate_Diffuse.

     Into the Alternate_Diffuse, plug in a Gather node, which is located under NewNode/Lighting/RayTrace/Gather. Make sure the Alternate_Diffuse color is White.

     Now when you render your scene, that object seeks out light put out by other objects and adjusts it's glow accordingly.

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Simple Tip 1 - Gather More.

     Sometimes I don't get the best glow from the default settings and I want an object to receive more glow than usual. The best way I found for doing that (so far) is to run the Alternate_Diffuse through a Color_Math node before the Gather node.

     To do this plug in a Color_Math node to the Alternate_Diffuse plug. In the Color_Math node, set it to Add, and then plug your Gather node into both Value1 and Value2 (and make sure they are both set to white). This doubles the amount of glow that is received by the object.

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Simple Tip 2 - Floor Gather.

     Sometimes you may want to have the object glow onto the GROUND plane. Just set the GROUND up like you would any other object, but make sure that Shadow_Catch_Only is unchecked.

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Anatomy - Gather Node.

     On the Gather node there are 4 settings: Samples, MaxDist, RayBias, and Angle.

     Samples - The higher this number is, the smoother your glow reflection looks. Be warned though, the higher the number, the slower the render. Default setting is 5, but I usually use 25 (but it takes 2 or 3 times longer to render than 5 does).

     MaxDist (Maximum Distance) - This setting determines how far out from the object the Gather searches for light. Depending on how far away your glow is from your object, you may want to raise this number for better results.

     RayBias - This is the finicky dial. I usually don't mess with this one because it can lead to bad results like black spots. Default setting is 0.011796.

     Angle - This one tells the Gather how far around it should search for light. The Default setting is 180.00000.

Alternate Options - Gather.

     If you already have something plugged into the Alternate_Diffuse port, then you can also plug it into the Diffuse_Color, Ambient_Color, or any of the "Color" ports (though some, like the Specular_Color may give you slightly different results).

Alternate Options - Glow.

     Instead of using the Ambient_Color port, you can also plug a NewNode/Lighting/Diffuse/ProbeLight into the Alternate_Diffuse or the Ambient_Color ports for similar results. I haven't played around enough with the ProbeLight to go into much details here.

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This site was established on August 6th, 2005. This page Copyright Scott Watson and Corey Phoenix 2005.