My original question was too complicated. I need to use Blender to see how much light from a point source makes it through an extruded mesh (like a section of honeycomb) onto a screen.
I have a mesh with hexagonal, open cells with straight walls, like honeycomb, created as a part in SolidWorks. I have no trouble with the import/export. What I don’t know is the best way to get the resulting shadow-map and total light incident on the screen.
The context is not strictly artistic. It’s physics. My expectation is that Blender, plus the appropriate render engine, can give me information no less useful than from a complex, expensive optics modeling package. All I want to do is compare how much light from the point source gets blocked by the mesh, as compared with how much would make it to the screen if I didn’t have the mesh in the way. This seems like something trivial for Blender to handle, but I don’t know that to be the case. Since I am a novice with the tool, however, I am coming to the forum for some help - even some pointers to other threads or sites.