Seemingly random thoughts about Autodesk Revit, BIM, & digital content creation. Also considers how they are changing the practice of Architecture as we know it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Light it up!

Have you ever rendered a night scene with revit and wished the lights would "glow", or rendered an interior scene and wished to "soften" the light in the space? Unfortunately it is not really possible to get volumetric effects like this with Revit's implementation of accurender. But all is not lost, you can easily fake this effect in the photo manipulation software of your choice!

Here is revit rendering I did a few years ago, it looks OK, but it would be great if we could give it some “life”.

Adding a glow to the lights and lit windows helps a lot.

Better right? It lends some warmth to the image. Now lets see how to do it. Please note that I am using Photoshop 6 for this tutorial but this should work in almost any version of Photoshop, paint shop pro, or possibly Photoshop elements. As long as your software supports transfer modes this should work.

Step 1: Create the glow layer.

Start with you raw rendered image, duplicate the “background” layer and name it “Glow”.

Step 2: Adjust the levels of the glow layer.

With the glow layer selected, go up to the pull down menus and select Image Adjust Levels or simply press “crtl + L” Now comes the subjective part, adjust the sliders until your image pretty much only shows the secular highlights, by that I mean only the brightest parts (ie the lights)

Here is what my level settings were:

And here is what the image looks like:

Not very nice right, but just wait.

Step 3: Blur to taste.
Next apply a gaussian blur to the glow layer. Do this by selecting Filter Blur Guassian Blur… from the pull down menu. Adjust the radius to you liking, personally I typically use a blur radius of 4 pixels.

Ok here is what the image looks like now, still not much. We’ll fix that in the last step.

Step 4: Set the glow layers transfer mode to Screen.
I won’t into detail about image transfer modes here, but you should learn what the do, as they are very powerful. In our case simply set the transfer mode from Normal to Screen for the glow layer by using the pull down menu on the layer tab.
Optionally, you can adjust the opacity of the glow layer to make the effect more subtle, or even edit color balance slightly to change the color of the glow.

Thats about it! Here is my final image.


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