UberSoftLightKit

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UberSoftLightKit is a revolutionary lighting kit that gives you the realism of IBL/GI while allowing the control of conventional lights. UberSoftLightKit includes a lighting kit comprised of 3 new light types that work together allowing the user to paint and sculpt light is a very precise and controllable fashion. The rich feature set includes a Sky light, pseudo area-lights, incredible shadow controls and more.


Contents

Features

  • Built in Skylight/Ambient controls with separate Zenith, Horizon, and Ground colors with adjustable Horizon Height.
  • Ambient Occlusion
  • Indirect Lighting (Global Illumination)
  • Directional Soft Shadows
  • Controllable Shadow Softness
  • Add up to 20 UberSoftLights with minimal effect on render times. Computationally expensive shadow is calculated once then used across all UberSoftLights.
  • Shadowing takes all UberSoftLights into account, and creates a single modulated, soft shadow.
  • UberSoftLights act as Fast Pseudo Area Lights with light Wrap and Wrap Falloff controls.
  • Unique single shadowing technique allows for Directional Lighting control which provides a blend between point (omnidirectional) and distant (directional) lights.
  • Per-light attenuation controls

User Guide

The UberSoftLightKit is comprised of the following 3 light types: UberSoftMaster, UberSoftPoint and UberSoftDistant.


UberSoftMaster

UberSoftMaster ui.jpg

The UberSoftMaster Light is the master light which contains the principal shadowing and sky controls for the UberSoftLightKit. It acts as a collector for all UberSoftPoint and UberSoftDistant lights in your scene.

  • Tip.gif The UberSoftBase light can be rotated to change the direction of the 'sun' or skylight.

Sky

The Sky controls are powerful in and of themselves giving you power to create an infinite number of virtual skies.

Sky Intensity
The overall intensity of the contribution of the sky color.
Zenith Color, Horizon Color and Bounce Color
The 3 colors describe a color gradient of a virtual sky from top to bottom (sky to ground).

Uslk wedge sky color.jpg

Horizon Height
The height of the horizon. A low value will give you more sky (zenith) and less bounce.

Uslk wedge horizon height.jpg

Occlusion

If you have used UberEnvironment or UberEnvironment2, you should be familiar with many of the Occlusion controls.

Occlusion Softness
The Softness of the shadows

Uslk wedge occlusion softness.jpg

  • Alert.png As this light kit is designed to give soft light effects, this control should be used sparingly and generally gives better results when used with Directional Shadowing.
Directional Shadowing
A control to blend between non-directional shadowing (ambient occlusion) and directional shadowing. The shadow direction is calculated by taking an intensity weighted average of all UberSoftLights in the scene. This calculation is per shading sample so direction can vary through the scene depending on light placement providing complex and realistic shadowing effects.

Uslk wedge directional shadowing.jpg

Indirect Lighting

Using indirect lighting will provide Global Illumination (GI) or bounced light effects.

  • Alert.png Using Indirect Lighting will significantly increase render times.

Advanced

The advanced controls are best modified by the provided Quality Presets or RenderThrottle. Aditional info is found on the UberEnvironment page.


UberSoftPoint and UberSoftDistant

UberSoftDistant ui.jpg

These lights have the same controls and in fact will react the exact same way. The only reason there are 2 light rather than just one is only for OpenGL preview. These lights give you the amazing ability to blend from a Point Light effect to a Distant Light effect by using the Directional Lighting control. When Directional Lighting is 1, the light will act like a Directional Light; when it it 0 it acts like a Point Light; 0.5 will be halfway in between.

Softness

Wrap Falloff
The speed at which light falls off as it wraps the surface. A small value will falloff slowly; A value of 1 is normal falloff and high values create a fast falloff.

Uslk wedge wrap falloff.jpg

  • Tip.gif High values can be used to create specular light effects.
Wrap
The amouth that light will be allowed to wrap around the surface. 0 for a pin light; 1 for a normal light; 2 for a large area light which wraps around the entire surface.

Uslk wedge wrap.jpg

  • Tip.gif Use high values to create pseudo-area light and backlight effects.
Directional Lighting
A control that allows a blend between omnidirectional (Point Light) and directional (Distant Light) lighting. This is the control that separates UberSoftPoint from UberSoftDistant.

Uslk wedge directional lighting.jpg

Falloff

The falloff controls are the same as UberAreaLight and are used to attenuate the light by distance. Basically, Falloff occurs between the start and end points at a rate described by the Falloff Decay exponent.

Falloff Active
Turn on/off falloff
Falloff Start
The distance at which falloff begins
Falloff End
The distance at which falloff ends of the the distance at which the light will attenuate to zero.
Falloff Decay
An exponent describing how fast the light will falloff. 1 = linear falloff. 2 = inverse squared falloff (faster falloff)

Other Falloff notes:

  • The default settings are set to me the most "physically accurate" but the idea is to give you maximum control over the look.
  • When End is <= Start, falloff will be infinite. Providing a falloff with speed up your renders.
  • All units are in cm; 100 = 1m
  • Alert.png My free OmNodeTools can be used to measure distances between objects in order to help you determine falloff.

Instructional Videos

A couple instructional videos are available on my YouTube channel:


1 of 2 Instructional videos covering the parameters and controls of the Uber Soft Light Kit. This video covers the main "Uber Soft Master" light which controls the shadows and sky controls of the light shader for DAZ Studio.


2 of 2 Instructional videos covering the parameters and controls of the Uber Soft Light Kit. This video delves in the controls of the "Uber Soft Distant" and "Uber Soft Point" lights in the kit. These lights allow for pseudo area lights via light wrapping controls as well as advanced falloff controls via custom light shaders for DAZ Studio.

Tips and Tricks

  • Alert.png You should really only be using one UberSoftBase in your scene.
  • Alert.png The light kit currently only allows for a total of 20 UberSoftPoint/UberSoftDistant lights in your scene. Additional lights will be ignored.
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