Reflective Lighting

I am attempting to re-texture a mesh of the stargate and the room in which it resides. Everything is going fairly well, but I am having some difficulty with the lighting. When the stargate is active, most of the lights in the room are dimmed, and the stargate itself is providing most of the illumination. To try to simulate the “rippling” light that it provides, I am trying to make a circular mesh, rippling it using the wave effect, then shine a light on it. However, I cannot figure out how to get the light to hit the circular mesh and bounce back to hit the walls of the room. It sounds like something that ray-tracing might do, but I do not really know how that works. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

You could make the mesh itself give off light with Radiosity (at render time). Just turn on the Radio option in the scene settings, same for the Radio option for each material you want to affect and raise the emit value for the material of the mesh that will emit light.


so, you are trying to simulate the waves that would be created on the cieling of a room with a pool of water essentially?

blender has no means of tracing a light reflecting off of something [called photon mapping in many raytracers]

theeth’s suggestion [radiosity] also will not produce those lines because radiosity doesn’t consider the direction light is coming from

so, the solution is: yafray!
[or another raytracer]
beyond that, I couldn’t really tell you how to export well to a raytracer or material settings or anything

you could easily fake it using some fractal textures assigned to a spotlight. there is a small programm called “caustics generator”. it produces - guess what - texture sequences with the well-known caustics effect you surely know from swimming pools. see if that can help you.


Thanks for the program. I just downloaded it and will see if it works. Actually, it may really help, because I was not sure if I could get the wave effect to make it look like it should anyway. I also just started trying to assign textures to a spotlight to get the stargate’s blueish lighting effect.

Hi ! I am a french user of Blender, and a fan of Stargate !

You could affect a moving texture (video avi) (generated by Caustic generator or other way) to the circular mesh. Apply to the mesh a low alpha factor, and enable Ray transparency. Then you could sent through the mesh some light , from the rear side of the Stargate, using a Spot light with a wide open angle, placed close to the Gate, in order to cast shadows (enable this feature too, in the mesh material panel). You should have moving patterns on the walls and the ceiling.

If the mesh is animated by waves, a static texture could be used , instead of a moving one.

Try it and tell me ! It’s just an idea… :wink:


I found that if one uses the stuci texture and shines a light right in the center of it, it makes and excellent water-like texture. Unfortunately, it does not work for movies, as it is static. I will have to try using the caustics generator to animate the wormhole. I also just tried putting a spotlight behind the stargate and shining it towards the back of the room to get a blueish tint on the back wall. I will give the caustics generator a try and get back with you. I am rather new to Blender, so I am learning a lot as I go.

Hi Ryan Ritch! I’am using Blender for 6 months, several hours a day but I am very far from a complete Blender Artist , indead, I think I 'll be a newbie for a while ! Until this day, I have ever found here answers for all my questions. Reading the manual, even if it is well made, as Blender Manual is, doen’t replace the amount of knowledge an ideas shared by the community :smiley:


You can animate textures. (To a certain degree).
You know how you create IPO points in the 3d window by pressing “i” IKEY, and it brings up a menu of things you can set?

Well, the same is true in the Material-buttons window. Press IKEY, and have a look at the options. The one you want is “Offset” or “Ofs”.

Have a play with the various options. You will need to adjust the “OfsX/OfsY/OfsZ” settings (mapping, I think).

Here is a quick demonstration I just made (latest CVS bf-blender, but I don’t think I’m using any particually new features), except the new textures (but I can’t remember if they are new in 2.34 or 2.33…) (divx4?)

Hope you find this helpful…


I’ll bet you could “fake” this thing very easily. You don’t really need to make the stargate emit light; you simply have to create a plausible impression that it is doing so.

It seems to me that you could put a bank of lights (in plain view… no one can see them!) to shine on the various objects from the right direction, and animate the color and brightness of those lamps. And/or animate the “emit” value of objects in the room.

Presumably, when someone encounters this scene they are going to be looking at the stargate, not the objects in the room. So you don’t need to burn up a lot of computer-time producing an “accurate” effect when all that you want to achieve is simply to give the impression that the light in the room is coming from the stargate. You might even be able to cheat some more and use lamps that don’t cast shadows, because they’re faster and because you guess that the viewer isn’t going to notice their absence.

In answer to sundialsvc4, yes, I had thought of doing something along that line. I had thought of making a sphere in the middle of the room and making it invisible (by alpha). I would then make a large number of lamps of different shades of blue and parent them to the sphere. Then, I would make the sphere revolve continually, and the lights would thus cast various hues on the walls at different times. You are probably right that I do not need to be spending too much time messing, but I am being sort of a perfectionist. I also thought that there might be an easy way to get the light to bounce off of the wormhole, making it unnecessary to mess with my sphere idea.

As to MadProf, I have never tried to animate textures. I am still not quite sure what you did in you file, but it looked excellent. Do you know of a tutorial where I could learn about animating textures? At any rate, I am rather happy with using the caustics generator. I did a quick render using it: Room.avi
I would like to emphasize that this mesh is a very long way from being finished. Also, the computer screens have nothing to do with what is actually happening!

In reply to ROUBAL, I have been using Blender for about six months as well. I do not get to do it quite as much as I would like to (my life is usually quite busy with school and other stuff), but I have been fascinated with what I have done. I just got signed up with this forum a few days ago. I am messing with the stargate and its room for a project that I am doing. Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] .

Oops; it appears that the forum did not like my space in the title. Here is a new link:
EDIT This file has been removed to save space. The link will no longer work.

You guys amaze me. :smiley:
That’s pretty cool.

Ryan: Looks good!
I don’t know of any animated-texture (of the type I’m talking about) tutorials off hand… There are some, I’m fairly certain. Anyway, I can post a quick walkthrough here…

[>] Put a texture on an object, as usual. Use one of the procedural ones, like clouds, or voronoi, or whatever.

[>] Go to Material Buttons. (F5).

[>] Go to the first frame of your animation. (SHIFT-DOWN).

[>] Put your mouse-pointer in the Material Buttons Window.

[>] Press “i”. (IKEY).

The “Insert Key” Menu will pop-up.

[>] Click on “Ofs” from the menu.

[>] Go to the last frame in your animation. (SHIFT-UP).

[>] In the Materials Buttons, Find the “Map Input” tab/box.

[>] Set OfsX, OfsY, and OfsZ to 7.0 or so.

These settings tell the material to offset (move) the texture along by a certain amount.

[>] Render the animation! You’re done!

Now you’ve seen how you can animate the Offset of a texture within a material. You can do exactly the same thing with a texture on a light also. You could even apply your caustics animation as a texture to the a light! :slight_smile:

For your star-gate/room texture, You could use a voronoi type texture (perhaps), and animate the “Size” mapping properties as well (exactly the same as above, just Size not Ofs). At least, thats one of the things I might try. Experiment :wink: Have fun. Animated lights are very cool.

Once you have added a few IPO keys (IKEY) as above, you can even use the IPO window to animate it even more exactly.

Hope this has been useful!


Hi !

Ryan Ritch, I couldn’t see your AVI file sooner, because I had no divX player. Now I have installed one, And I understand Why Jeff_A is amazed ! I am Too ! your Stargate is very nice !

Thank’s to MadProf for its quick-water.blend example which helped me to understand some usefull things : I never had animated textures on lamps before.

I am clumsy with lightings, and I have to learn about it, and shadows, and much more !

I have added this night some pages in a directory of my professionnal website to make a little gallery of my current works with blender, and my paint works too. here is the link :


Thanks for the quick guide. I got it figured out. I also suddenly found all sorts of other uses for animating textures. This has indeed been a very useful thread for me.
Philippe, did you model those yourself? They are very nice. Hopefully, I can get my room to look as nice as yours does. I wish that I could say that I have modeled the things in my stargate room myself. The various items in the room come from anything from a .3ds mesh to a .bsp Quake III map! I have just been undertaking the painstaking process of retexturing them.

I had no idea you could do that. :expressionless: That’s so easy! :smiley: Is it as effective as going through the whole process, via the Radiosity buttons?

Thats a great animation of the Stargate Ryan 8) I also like the screen graphics as well. Very real!