formZ | Lighting


"Ocean City Convention Center, Daytime View," Craig Williams, Becker Morgan Group, Inc.



The Maxwell for formZ plugin supports the native Point and Cone light types. The plugin also adds several unique Maxwell light types to the formZ environment: Softbox, Ambient Field, IES, Projector, Physical Sky, Sky Dome, and IBL. All these light types may be created and edited though the formZ Lights palette and Light Parameters dialog.

Point, Cone, Softbox, IES, and Projector lights are emitter-based light sources, and are called Emitter Light Types in the following discussion. These types are primarily intended for artificial lighting in interior lighting instruments and exterior night shots. See Emitter Lights.

While, the built-in light types are very convenient, they may not be appropriate for some situations. If many emitters with complex geometry or many emitters with the same parameters are needed, use Emitter Materials.

Physical Sky, Sky Dome, and IBL (Image Based Lighting) lights provide global environmental illumination throughout the scene, and are called Environment Light Types. These types are used for daytime exteriors and interiors with significant light penetration. IBL is also commonly used for photo-studio type interiors. See Environment Light.

To create a new light, click on the ‘plus’ icon in the Lights palette. To change it to one of the Maxwell light types, double-click on the name of the light, then adjust the ‘type’ parameter in the resulting dialog. Click on the Maxwell item in the list on the right to edit the Maxwell-specific parameters of the light.


Relative Efficiency of Light Types


Of the emitter light types, the Softbox type is the most efficient (it will clear noise in the image the fastest), followed by the Point, IES, and Cone types, in that order.

Sky Dome is faster than Physical Sky.


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