Lighting

Overview

As SketchUp has no artificial lights of its own, Enscape provides lights that are accessed via the Enscape Objects window, either using the Extensions menu option in SketchUp or via the Enscape ribbon.

Enscape Objects button

Enscape Objects button

Enscape Objects window

Enscape Objects window

NOTE
Real-time rendering is unable to process an unlimited number of lights sources, depending on your hardware. While equally spread lights are usually no problem, many lights overlapping each other can impact performance in Enscape.

There are two light sources to choose from:

These can be easily placed with four clicks, which is described below.

Spot Light

A spot light is placed with four clicks, the first two clicks determining the end point and the second two clicks determining the direction of the light cone. It is sometimes easier to quickly place the light and then adjust it to how you want it to be after the initial placement.

So, to place a spotlight, click once to select the surface or axis off which the placement of the actual light source is based of.

Click 1: Pick Spot light source placement surface / axis

Click 1: Pick Spot light source placement surface / axis

Moving the mouse will then allow you to define the axis or face that you wish the light to run along or be placed.

Once decided, make the second click to define the lights light source.

Click 2: Place the light source

Click 2: Place the light source

Move the mouse again to select the surface or axis off which the placement of the light target is based of.

Click 3: Pick Spot light target placement surface / axis

Click 3: Pick Spot light target placement surface / axis

Once you have clicked to select the face or axis, move your mouse to finally select the actual light target.

NOTE
The maximum length for a spotlight cone in Enscape is 10 Meters.
Click 4: Place light target

Click 4: Place light target

Once placement has finished you will see three red control points on the light. These can be individually clicked to alter the lights ‘From Point’, ‘Target’, and ‘Beam Angle’. You will also notice that more options become available for the light in the Enscape Objects window.

The Spot light is now placed

The Spot light is now placed

Now, you can see all of the above steps in action when placing a Spot light.

Full Spot light placement

Full Spot light placement

Clicking on the SketchUp Select button, or hitting the ESC key on the keyboard, will result in the Spot Light’s control points being hidden. Double click the light to show the light’s three red control points again.

The Spot light with its control points hidden

The Spot light with its control points hidden

As already mentioned, the Enscape Object window will show two sliders which will allow you to adjust the Luminous Intensity, which defines the brightness and range of the light (measured in Candelas), and the Beam Angle to control the width of the light’s beam.

Also available is the option to load an IES Profile file.

Spot light controls

Spot light controls

Here, the light is shown in the Enscape window when a low Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle is set.

Low Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting

Low Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting

Now shown with a high Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle being set for the light.

High Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting

High Luminous Intensity and Beam Angle setting

NOTE
It’s important that the light source is not placed on, but just next to, the surface of your geometry as setting it directly on an object’s surface could result in the light being obscured.

Rectangular Light

The difference between the Rectangular (Rect) light and the Spot light is that the Spot light acts as a single source point, whereas the Rect light acts as a complete rectangular source. Placing it is done in the same way as with the Spot Light, using the four click system.

Once a Rect light has been placed, you will get a number of control points which allow you to adjust the length and width of the beam.

Rect light control points

Rect light control points

One difference with the Rect light is that it has one control point which is colored pink.

Rect light rotate control point

Rect light rotate control point

Clicking that point will make it turn blue, and will also display two blue arrows horizontally placed either side of your mouse pointer. You can then drag the mouse horizontally to rotate the light around the light direction’s axis.  This rotation is based on the local co-ordinates of the light.

Rect light rotating

Rect light rotating

We can adjust the initial size of the Rect lights source by adjusting the the four control points, as shown here.

Adjust Rect light

Adjust Rect light

We can also achieve the same result using the sliders in the Enscape Objects window.

Adjust light Width and Length with sliders

Adjust light Width and Length with sliders

We can adjust the intensity of the light via the Luminous Power slide, which is measured in Lumens.

Adjust the Luminous Power of a light

Adjust the Luminous Power of a light

Coloring lights

Coloring lights is done via the use of the SketchUp Paint Bucket tool, whereby you can pick a color from the SketchUp Material Editor and apply it by clicking on to the light object in the SketchUp window. As you can see once a color has been applied you can then further adjust the color which will be seen directly in the Enscape window.

Adjust the color of an Enscape light

Adjust the color of an Enscape light

Self-illuminated Materials

Lastly, one other lighting option that is not available in the Enscape Objects window are the Self-illuminated materials.

This feature can be implemented either by adding the keyword Emissive to the material name, or through the Material Editor, which allows you more control over the materials options such as luminance, intensity, and color. You can change your object material type to Self-illuminated. You can read more about how to use this technique by clicking here.


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