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Renderzone lighting: Why does it NEVER work properly?


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8.6.5 w/Renderzone user here.

Been dealing with this issue for YEARS.  Example:

Rendering a display.  Model:


There are supposed to be LED strips under the front lip of each of the shelves down/backlighting the product below.  Fine.  Extruded box, area light.  Parameters:






Absolutely nothing.  The shelves below should be illuminated, the sides of the dividers should be illuminated, the insides and back of the cabinet should be illuminated.  All the textures are matte.

No, I don't want to upgrade to the latest version and VRay; I just want a solution so lighting works as advertised.  Very frustrated.  What gives?

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Try Line Lights when doing this in RenderZone.  You'll need to create a simple 2d line and then select it and then create a Line light, or change an existing light to Line light after selecting the simple 2d line.

This might help too:


Edited by Justin Montoya
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Done.  1/2" diameter, just under the top shelf:


100% intensity, soft shadows.  Result:


All over the place.  The sides of the dividers get no light on the right for some reason, and the light goes through the shelf and illuminates the insight of the cabinet ABOVE for some reason.  And goes through the cabinet and blows out the floor.

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Did you try a Line light type?  

If you look at the example images on the RenderZone documentation link I attached, you will see the Line light with Shadows ON will give you the desired effect without going through other objects like your shelf.  

What are the other lights in the project file?  I suspect you have another light illuminating the overall scene from above, casting shadows on your right side inside the cabinet. 

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Yes, that's a Line light.  I drew a 2D line and converted it.  The above is the result.

I have a pair of distant lights illuminating the overall scene and a low-level ambient light for fill.  I've tried turning them off, the result is the same (only darker).

I was able to achieve most of what I need through trial and error.  Used a series of cone lights angled away from the camera, and turned off shadows for the right-side cabinet wall.



Not perfect, but it'll have to do.

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You're right, this should be very straight forward with any rendering option in FormZ.  I suspect your light is slightly extended beyond its intended 'enclosure' and causing the light bleeding issues.  Try a shorter line and a .1 diameter.  With RenderZone this is a very delicate approach, requiring way more detail than some of the newer lighting methods for rendering.   I wish RenderZone had evolved they way the rest of the rendering world has, there are much easier ways of doing this now.

I don't use RenderZone anymore because I can get similar quality from OpenGL based Shaded Full with the settings all cranked up.  Technically OpenGL can use emitter materials as lights like V-Ray, but FormZ has not implemented this yet.  If it did, that would be a huge help to creating these sort of quick conceptual images.

Not sure why you are so against V-Ray for FormZ?  It's perpetual cost option instead of subscription isn't too high, and it can very quickly save you time in the end.  Getting up to speed is pretty easy using the default settings as well.  Just a thought.

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I did a simple and quick test in fZ 9.2.2 with two line lights, two spotlights from the back to create contrast, and one low ambient light, all with hard shadows in raytracing mode.

It's been years since I've used RenderZone, and there are a lot of settings missing, but they seem to work.

I'm attaching the file in v.8 in case you want to check it out.

line lights test v8.fmz.zip


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