Photoworks soft shadows

Hello, I’m new to solidworks but will really appreciate any help on this matter.

I have modelled a scene in solidworks and am now rendering that scene… please ignore crappy decals and materials, I’ve not finished those yet but instead I am currently focusing on lighting.

I want to create a convincing daylight scene and so tutorials have advised me to use a spherical environment mapping the clouds. I figured a single directional light would best simulate sunlight. So far so good?

Anyway, first image shows a basic render with that single directional light. Basic shadows evident, no problem. But as soon as I engage soft shadows and slide the bar up a little, the directional light source seems to reduce to a very small arae (see second image). Why does this happen? Is it due to the radius of my environment? If so which radius is it? The spot of light doesn’t seem to change in size when I alter the sphere radius even by 10s of metres.

Also it seems you can define shadow softness with indivudal light sources but also in the scene properties. Does one control override the other?

Help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

Go to Options in Photoworks and switch on indirect illumination. You’ll need to cut all of your lights down to virtually no power. You’re bouncing light now instead of shining it. It will slow down rendering, but will increase how real your scene looks.

Are you using SW 2006 or 2007? It appears that 2007 is defaulting to indirect illumination in Photoworks.

Hope this helps…

Thank you very much for the advice but it didn’t work :frowning:

my scene just went very dark but still retained that lighter patch… it seems to be a sympton of soft shadowing since enabling this is only when the patch occurs… the shape of the splodge looks distinctly spherical but I can’t seem to make it bigger? Also why would a directional light be influenced by a sphere?

Try switching to a point light that would be more like the SUN :smiley:
If you’re using a directional light it is a cone shape I believe…

that’s my advice…Good luck!

Hey Greg,

Take a look through this Podcast, afterwards you will be a render master…


and look for the Photoworks and Rob Rodriguez


Point light worked a treat!!! :slight_smile:

Brilliant thank you! Also thanks for the links, very useful. You’ve fixed my problems!