The information in this article applies to:
When I create a 3D camera view, my cabinets and other objects appear washed out, or do not have the definition that I want them to have. Why is this?
In 3D views, lighting is calculated on a room-by-room basis; only the light sources in the room containing the camera are used.
When the camera is outside a building, the program normally uses sunlight for lighting calculations and turns off all other light sources. You can turn the sunlight off and use all the other exterior lights to simulate night time views.
The maximum number of light sources that can be turned on in a view at the same time is determined by your video card. If your video card's maximum number of lights is eight, the program only uses the eight light sources closest to the camera's position. You can manually turn on and off certain lights in order to get the desired lighting effects.
Lighting is extremely important in 3D views. Even small changes can have a large impact on image quality.
Notice the difference between the two images below. The top utilizes the default light and the cabinets are clearly defined. The lower image has only had a single light placed above the bed, but this drastically changes how light reflects on the cabinet faces, making them less defined.
There are four ways to create light sources for 3D views, and each individual light source has a set of properties, such as intensity and color, that can be defined. The four ways to create light sources are:
If you create an interior 3D view and no user defined lights exist, the program creates a Default Light source within the room. The Default interior light acts like a central point light source.
The Default Light cannot be adjusted in any way. If you want to control the light in an interior 3D view, you must add a light to the room that you are rendering by placing a lighting fixture, or by adding a light source using 3D> Lighting> Add Lights .
An electric symbol that represents a Light Fixture has a light source associated with it. Properties for the light source such as color and intensity can be modified in the fixture's Electrical Service Specification.
If you create an exterior 3D view, the program creates a Default Sun. The Default Sun acts like a parallel light source, but its location is not based on any real world locations.
The Default Sun can be opened for specification in a 3D view by selecting 3D> Lighting> Adjust Lights to open the Adjust Lights dialog, clicking on the Default Sun option to highlight it, and then choosing the the Adjust button.
Light sources in the current plan can be accessed and edited using the Adjust Lights dialog. Select 3D> Lighting> Adjust Lights to bring up the Adjust Lights dialog.
All lights in the current plan display in the Adjust Lights dialog list. Check the box beside a light to turn it on or uncheck the box to turn it off.
To adjust the properties of one or more specific lights, select that light in the list and click the Adjust button. Make changes to the light in its specification dialog and click OK once done. Select another light to adjust or click Done.
If you are in a 3D view, the view will regenerate based on the new light settings.