Using a Render to Evaluate Aircraft Interior Lighting

I may be way off in thinking this is feasible, but here’s what I’d like to accomplish. I’ve been asked to look at options for lights in the cabin of a business jet that we’re currently using to test various equipment. I think it would be cool to be able to mock these up with some nice, rendered images, but I don’t know that I’ve got enough data to do this without making too many assumptions to provide a good approximation of reality.

Here’s what I’ve got to work with:
-The plane is modeled in NX, so I’ve exported it as an .stl and imported this into Blender. If anyone has any suggestions for a better alternative to .stl, I’m open to them. NX can make some decent renders, but they take a really, really long time, and there’s much less flexibility in lighting and such. I’ve added an array of spotlights in the cabin.
-For one model of cabin light, the vendor has provided some information concerning the cone of light produced. I know what the brightness is at a distance of 28" along the centerline, as well as at various radii, in foot-candles.


One idea I had was to use this table to mock something up with a single spotlight on a disc. I could dial in the angle of the cone by measuring the light at some points compared to the center until I ended up with ratios like the table provides, but I don’t know what values for falloff, blending, etc. would be reasonable for something like this. I’m not even sure if there’s a way to analyze images like that.

If anyone has any advice for a simple engineer, it would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Billpo,

Your attachment is not found.

Blender is not intended for things like evaluating lighting. There are another optical software for tasks like that. Also there might be some plug-ins for NX (at least, there is one for SolidWorks).

I think that the model is imported as hi-poly. So, after importing your model into Blender, try to do this steps:

  • Go to Edit mode and convert triangles to quads (Alt+J);
  • Go back to Object mode, add Decimate modifier, and play with Ratio value.

Oh, it definitely comes in with a high poly count. It was originally about 25 million, and was almost impossible to work with. It seemed faster to just export it with a lower poly count because of the amount of time it took to decimate in Blender.

As far as the attachment goes, I’ve tried again, but there may be a problem with our corporate firewall or something.

I knew it was a long shot to get this idea to work, but I appreciate the input.