Night City Highrise Building Lights?

Creating a night scene in a city. I’m using a tileable image of a high rise building at night, with various room lights on. I’m trying to use the texture, but also have some light/glow coming from it (as the lights on from inside a building would produce).

If I use an emission texture (with or without an alpha mask), it turns the windows one solid color. I want to be able to keep the colors inside the window texture (colors of the desk, tables, people, whatever) but just have it emitting light or a glow. Any ideas?

Cycles or BI? Lamps don’t achieve the effect you’re after?

Would having the same lighting that a real life room in a building would have (lights on ceiling etc) spill out, and mimic the effect?

Cycles. The building is just a low poly cube, so there’s no actual windows, just a texture. Not
Sure if I could place that many lamps, there’s a hundred
Buildings or so

This definitely sounds like a rather perfect compositing situation to me, and BI might be a simple way to get that “window glow” part of it.

Treat the two objectives separately. The “money shot” part of it is being able to look inside all of those windows and to see offices. Use Cycles for that, but while doing so, forget about the glow. Next, use “whatever means” to get (at least, the location of …) “the glow,” without worrying about offices.

Now, you have two channels of information. “Mix them down.” Take the glow-channel, maybe fiddle with its color, blur the heck out of it, maybe streak it in a particular direction, desaturate it, and then add the two channels together.

My point is: once you’ve got those two two-dee channels of information set into your “digital mixing board,” you can tweak the shot in real time until it’s perfect. (“All your rendering days are done.”)

None other than Ansel Adams once said that, “a photograph is captured in the camera, but it’s made in the darkroom.” And it’s 100% true. You don’t have to make the entire effect come together, “like Venus :eek: popping out :eek: from a clamshell on the beach.” Split the shot into n pieces, get each one of them “pristine and isolated,” then “mix them down” to taste.

You’re right, I don’t know why I didn’t think about compositing them separately. How do you mix a BI and Cycles render together? Especially for an animation?

Would you use multi-layer EXRs?