Don't wait for the next version: Cycles Spotlights on 2.63 !!!

All done with material nodes and a single plane per lightsource.

Plain Spolights:
(Example scene shows 3 monocromatic spotlights at different positions and with different cone sizes)

Free Bonus!
The highly focused Comet Tail Searchlight!™ :eyebrowlift: :stuck_out_tongue: :
(Example scene shows 3 parallel white highly focused Comet Tail Searchlight!™ 20 metres from each other, the orange things are standard sized Suzannes spaced 10 metres apart set to not cast shadows, placed there to provide a notion of scale with the distance, and in the upper lineup those are white 8x8m planes spaced 100 meters apart that also don’t cast shadows placed to show the stability of the beam with distance.)

Any questions?

ps: those node setups are still considered WIP, i expect there is gonna be room for improvement, and i don’t expect i will figure out the perfect setup alone and probably won’t even have any significant participation in those improvements.

Aren’t spot lights now supported in cycles?

Not in 2.63, they are treated as plain omnidirectional lights; i just ran the 2.63a installer again just in case i had forgotten to install the latest version after downloading it and indeed 2.63a doest support stock Spotlights in Cycles, it even mentions in the GUI that spotlights are not yet supported:

i had a stab at something similar
have a look here:

In which version did you make that .blend?

ah, sorry. made that in a self_compiled version.
2.63a is still missing the light fallof node
here it is for 2.63a :

erm guys? maybe not 2.63 official release, but it’s definitly been added since then:

It was added way back in revision 47426. If you dont know how to get an up-to-date version of blender, you can either get one from graphicall, or from the official bot over at (which is updated every couple hours I think).
And if you’re feeling particularly nerdy, you can set up SVN:

@grezaal: you may be right.
but what we have here is a little different.
more like a directional arealight:

Stuff like a window with a fuzzy light somewhere behind it can easily be done by using things like the dot product of the direction you want by the direction of incidence in place of the Layer Blend value for example (might need a bit of tweaking in the math to get values in a range and gradient that you want though); it’s pretty much an area spotlight with the beam direction independent from the face’s orientation. With a bit of math and a spherical panorama texture you can even make a window shining light from a place that isn’t there.