Render this: L.E.D lighting

Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:32 pm

Okay, for the next challenge and by popular demand, we are doing LED lights.
Initially I could not figure out how best to do this as there are so many LED type lights these days from car head and tail lights, cabinet lighting, under cabinet lighting, on boats, flash lights, as spots, recessed, etc. With today's 'Green' revolution LED lighting is becoming the industry standard, so lets master how to use them.
So I modeled a generic strip light that is commonly used for a range of applications, I have this type under my kitchen cabinets as well as above my bathroom mirror.
I have only modeled the fixture as well as Al Hart made a Dynamic component version so you can choose which to use depending on how you plan to render it.

The emphasis is on how to create an LED light as close to real as possible, some may choose to light it with point lights while others may opt for emitting surfaces.
So without getting too technical, let's play and see how we can achieve this, try a close up if possible as the lighting is after all the aim here.

LED2 strip.jpg


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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby notareal » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:47 pm

A slight issue. All LEDs I seen, do have a solid epoxy enclosure.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:51 pm

Or like a rope light enclosure.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby notareal » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Did mean how a single led is made...

There are naturally plenty of different packages, but encapsulation is always solid.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby ely862me » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:26 pm

1st try Hypershot
emitter on the inside cube, colored tinted glass on the led and thin glass film on the outer glass.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:29 pm

I see what you are referring to, I assumed you meant the casing for the strip.

If you would like I can remove the inner part of the dome, or you can as they are componented if that will help with the render.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:31 pm

Here is another version without inner bits to the LED's.

LED3 strip.skp


And here is a shorter version with a center core, so there are many options, feel free to modify as you feel necessary as this is not an absolute model but just a guideline to start from.

LED4 strip.skp
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby modelhead » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:48 pm

You could shorten it a bit...it's a bit awkward to throw around. :)
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:49 pm

I did, see LED4 above.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Chris_at_Twilight » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:20 pm

I have a bunch of LEDs in front of me from a Christmas toy I tore apart. It looks like the curve of the acrylic is positioned just right to focus on the emitter, just like a lens. I suspect that distance is important. (Anyone know the IOR of the acrylic? 1.49 is a common acrylic number)
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby notareal » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:39 pm

There are so meny different materials used so it's safe to use IOR 1.40 to 1.60.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:50 pm

I'm using 1.45, the problem is the cover as having a plastic cover above an acrylic texture slows things down somewhat.
Not an easy challenge.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby remon_v » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:47 pm

quick try

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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby solo » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:55 pm

First attempt.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby remus » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:43 pm

Excuse the dodgy kerning.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:37 am

Cool reference photo. It would be even cooler to have a LED model like this one (wink, wink).
http://www.otherthings.com/blog/images/ ... _small.jpg
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Al Hart » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:48 am

modelhead wrote:You could shorten it a bit...it's a bit awkward to throw around. :)


I took Solo's LED light strip and made a Dynamic component out of it.

If you stretch it the number of lights will change to match the new length.

Also, you can right click and change the light spacing or length if you have dynamic components enabled:



The DC is inside the .SKP file, so you could copy and paste the entire component if you wanted to use it in a different model.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:11 am

Ok, here's my try with Twilight:

I used a very, very darkened HDR as background so the light coming from the LEDs would be the focus of the image. This caused the problem I had already foreseen because I've experienced it many times when taking real photos: If you lower the exposure until you see clearly the shape of the LEDs, the rest of the scene is too dark:

Expo 1.jpg


And if you rise the exposure until the rest of the scene looks better, the LEDs themselves become overexposed.

Expo2.jpg


Of course, I could have used a brigther HDR background from the very start (Duh!), but I want to make a point here, so please bear with me.

I saved the render as an HDR and opened it in the free program Picturenaut, which is a very handy tonemapper, HDR creator, HDR<->EXR converter, etc. I used a "photoreceptor" type tonemapping with these settings:
PictureNaut settings.jpg


And here's the result:
Tonemapped with PictureNaut.jpg

I could have chosen a higher saturation level but I like how it looks.

So, which one do you prefer?
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Chris_at_Twilight » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:19 am

Your second image looks most realistic to me... LEDs are often overexposed in photos.
By the way, what kind of material did you use? The LEDs themselves look really good.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:27 am

Well, in the reference picture I linked to I noticed that LED light comes from:

So I used the SSS Rubber Ball template (which by default has IOR = 1.4, which seemed adequate after reading the first posts here), made it completely clear with no color, and rendered it with simple MLT (aka "Easy 09"). Perhaps I could have gotten better results with Bi-directional MLT (Easy 10).
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:00 am

Closer observation of LEDs reveals that only a part of the plastic is actually lit, so here's an update.
closeup4.jpg

In reality, the lit part starts with a conical shape; I'll try that tomorrow.
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Last edited by Ecuadorian on Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby thomthom » Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:44 am

Ecuadorian wrote:Cool reference photo. It would be even cooler to have a LED model like this one (wink, wink).
http://www.otherthings.com/blog/images/ ... _small.jpg

Nice reference photo.
I had a bunch of LED's next to me when I was trying this out earlier. Kept hot-wiring them to a battery until they got hot.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Ecuadorian » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:54 pm

OK, this time I modeled a tiny metalic "cone of shame" (he he he) around an even tinier emitter, to better simulate the light source in a LED.
LED Closeup SU.jpg


I'm not sure if I like this image better than the previous one:
closeup5.jpg


Different exposure:
overexposed.jpg


EDIT: Added the model with the cone.
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Last edited by Ecuadorian on Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby EarthMover » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:45 pm

Miguel...the new one looks better, IMO. I think the "cone of shame" added a lot of realism. Care to post the model?

Here's an attempt with a green LED. Not really happy with it. I used a tiny Vray sphere lighting in each of the LED's. I tried an emitter plane, but it looks crappy. Used a soft water SSS material for the bulb casing. Took forever to render the 202 lights!
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby majid » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:50 pm

this is my try.sketchup + KT and also the result is a photoshop combination.
Also you may try it(unzip and load the KT file, attached)
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby rev3rse » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:58 pm

OMG!! A Point-Light for any led, it's a rendering nightmare... :o
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby thomthom » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:00 pm

rev3rse wrote:OMG!! A Point-Light for any led, it's a rendering nightmare... :o

Not if it's just a handful of LED for close ups.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby olishea » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:31 pm

i think majid's and earthmover's LEDS are most convincing. majid captured that falloff that you get with LEDS...they act like mini spotlights (well the one on my keyring does anyway). So I imagine loading an IES will work well.
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Aidus » Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:29 pm

Here is mine:
Led Test.jpg

Transparent materials - real glass and that's the only correct material here :)
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Re: Render this: L.E.D lighting

Postby Al Hart » Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:04 pm

First try

led1.jpg


(I know I am a little slower at getting this done than some of you. Actually we found a bug where we were processing curved light emitters too slowly, so this helped fix up the software as well)
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