This page gives information on the Light Select Render Element.
The Light Select Render Element represents the lighting contribution from one or more selected lights in the scene. Each Light Select channel can output selected lights' raw, diffuse, or specular contributions to the illumination, or overall (normal) contribution. When multiple lights are selected, all the contributions from the selected lights are combined into a single render element. Multiple VRayLightSelect elements can be rendered for a single scene, and lights may be included in more than one VRayLightSelect element.
This element is similar to the Lighting Render Element. However, the Lighting element combines the effect of all lights in the scene while the Light Select element allows for a user-selection light or set of lights to be broken out, showing their own individual effect(s) on the scene's illumination. By using these render elements, specific lights in the resulting render can be adjusted (color, temperature, brightness, etc.) in a composite without the need for re-rendering.
For example, by generating a Light Select element for all of the backlights in a scene, an artist may adjust the backlighting of the rendered scene easily in the composite without affecting the rest of the scene's illumination.
UI Path: ||Render Setup window|| > Render Elements tab > Add button > VRayLightSelect
This render element is enabled through the Render Elements tab of the Render Setup window in 3ds Max and displays its parameters in a rollout at the bottom of the window:
Lights – A list of lights included in the VRayLightSelect Render Element.
Add – Adds a light to the VRayLightSelect Render Element.
Remove – Removes a light from the VRayLightSelect Render Element.
Type – Specifies how the list of lights works from the following:
Include – Includes the lights in the list of Lights in the render.
Exclude – Excludes the lights in the list of Lights in the render.
VrayVFB – When enabled, the render element appears in the V-Ray Virtual Frame Buffer.
Color mapping – Applies the color mapping options specified in the Color mapping rollout of the V-Ray tab in the Render Setup window to this render element. This option is enabled by default.
Multiplier – Sets the overall intensity of the render element, where 1.0 is the standard multiplier.
Mode – Sets what type of lighting contribution is generated in the element as follows:
Direct illumination – Lighting within the VRayLightSelect element behaves as normal and contains diffuse and specular information.
Direct raw – Lighting within the VRayLightSelect element behaves as a raw render element.
Direct diffuse – Lights within the VRayLightSelect element output only their diffuse contribution and contain no specular information.
Direct specular – Lights within the VRayLightSelect element output only their specular contribution and contain no diffuse information.
Full – Lights within the VRayLightSelect element provide full output for all information available in the scene such as GI, SSS, reflection, refraction, etc.
Common Use: Changing Lighting in Composite
Below is an example of how to use the Light Select Render Element in a composite.
For this example, each light is assigned two VRayLightSelect render elements: The first element's mode is set to Direct diffuse, and the second element's mode is set to Direct specular. This gives a finer degree of control to allow separate tuning of each light's diffuse and specular contributions. In addition, two of the lights were rendered with a third element with the mode set to Full.
For Light #3, although the diffuse contribution is low, it is essential to the overall lighting of the scene in this example. This light has no specular contribution, so the Light Select specular element would render as black.
VRayLightSelect Render Examples
Light Select Dome Light Diffuse element
Light Select Dome Light Specular element
Light Select Dome Light in Full Mode
Light Select Light #1 in Full Mode
Light Select Light #1 Diffuse element
Light Select Light #1 Specular element
(specular contribution is minimal)
Light Select Light #2 Diffuse element
Light Select Light #2 Specular element
(specular contribution is minimal)
Light #3 (no Specular contribution) Diffuse element
Combined Light Select Diffuse elements
(Same result as VRayLighting Render Element)
Combined Light Select Specular elements
Combined Light Select Diffuse and Specular elements
(Diffuse and specular contributions from all lights)
Beauty element prior to changes
Warmed and increased intensity of Dome light
and warmed Plane light
Cooler Light #1 Diffuse contribution
and warmer Specular contribution
The following diagram shows the compositing formula to recreate all the light in a scene in its most basic form, but only when each light in the scene is accounted for in exactly one VRayLightSelect element for a particular mode. If a particular light is used in more than one VRayLightSelect element, this equation will result in brighter lighting than intended because that light will contribute lighting more than once.
For VRayLightSelect to work correctly, all enabled lights need to be accounted for in a Light Select Render Element.
When the VRayLightSelect Render Element is set to Direct raw or Direct specular mode, the sum of all the VRayLightSelect nodes replaces their respective render elements in the Back to Beauty composite.
When using VRayLightSelect, a good practice is to have one VRayLightSelect element for each light source in your scene. This way the Lighting element can be recreated from them, and adjusted as needed while compositing without re-rendering.
If the VRayLightSelect element mode is set to Direct illumination, the specular contribution is added to the render element. While this is perfect for simple compositing, a better workflow is for each light to be selected for two VRayLightSelect Render Elements, one with its mode set to Direct diffuse and another with its mode set to Direct specular. In this way, the specular and diffuse lighting can both be controlled independently at a composite level.