Is Area light the quickest soft light?

I have a room lit by soft area lights (psuedo Flouro tubes) and want the blury shadows rather than a point source shadow. Are ‘area lights’ the only way to go? as an animation will kill my render times. Should I bake the lighting, how do I do that? can I keep adjusting my materials underneath?

Thanks for any advice.

area lights with soft shadows take all day to render(especialy at higher sampling frequencies) try using buffer shadows( a spot light option) They make for infinateley soft shadows.

Area lights with soft shadows don’t take too long to render for me. I’d say for animations keep the samples from 4 to 8, 16 will take a while.

I have to completely disagree with Cyborg Dragon.

Unless your scene is ridiculously simple, area lights are going to take a long long time to render.

Buff shadows are far quicker.

yeah, cyborg, you must have a monster CPU, area lights always take awhile, especially if you want the shadows to look nice.
but glad they work for you!
Any way, like I said, spot lights with buff shadows render pretty darn fast

Hi guys,
I was reading some tutorials about lighting and they were talking about a “soft value” of the spot lighting. I can’t find that tweak in my Blender 2.42. It looks like this feature has moved or has been replaced right?

The 1st is for the spotlight edge, the second is for the shadows cast by objects.

soft is how much your shadows will distort and fade out

Hey thanks everyone, yes it was intended for an animation, and yes I did use spots with render buffers. 3 per light fixture. The real killer was dupliverting the fixture over a 4x4 grid! It ended up looking great, but I did prefer the look of the area light with 4 samples and blur.

Spots with buff shadows 2 mins per frame
Areas with 4 samples 10mins per frame

It ended up looking great, but I did prefer…

woa, wha?! looked great? don’t we get to see it?!

Then again my scenes are either not that many polygons or I have only a few arealights at any one time.

The materials need a LOT of work! The puddles turned out well but the asphalt sucks, some of the concrete is ok, but at least the lighting looks good now.

These frames are larger than the video size that I rendered, these took 5 mins each, with OSA 5.


good stuff. glad to have seen it. looking forward to the anim :wink:

I would post it on you tube but the quality sux.

Sounds like youtube would be the ideal place to post it then :smiley:

haha, very nice, glad i could help. The difference between a spot and an area, is that area lights have a much stonger glare (specularity) strength, since they’re meant for simulating soft outdoor light. Unfortuanately, the samples have an insane rendering time.

You need to bevel yo edges :smiley:

You might also want to add some AO.
(Yeah, that’s right, I double posted)

I did bevel my edges, And I’m not sure I can afford the AO render hit for animation. But thanks, and the double post makes my thread seem more interesting with more posts!