Self Illumination (Glow) Rollout
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Material Editor Arch & Design Material Self Illumination (Glow) rollout

Note: The Arch & Design material appears in the Browser only if the mental ray renderer is the currently active renderer.

These parameters let you specify luminous surfaces within the Arch & Design material; for example, a translucent lamp shade.

NoteThe Arch & Design material works only with the mental ray renderer, so in order to see it represented accurately in the sample slots, you must first set mental ray to render in the Material Editor. For details, see Assign Renderer Rollout.

A self-illuminated surface does not actually cast light, but it can optionally act as a source of indirect light when Final Gather is in effect, so it can have an impact on scene lighting in the rendered image.

The optimal settings for self-illuminated surfaces depend on the lighting conditions and desired effects. This table provides recommended initial settings for lights and the glow options under different circumstances:

  Light Object Self-Illuminated Surface
  Affect Specular Affect Diffuse Visible in Reflections Illuminates with FG
Area Lights Off On On Off
Point Lights On On Off Off
Glowing Object not applicable not applicable On On
TipThe easiest way to toggle the Affect Specular and Affect Diffuse switches for a light source is to select the light in a viewport, right-click it, and then use the Tools 1 quadrant settings. This affects only one light source at a time.
See Also


Self Illumination (Glow)

When on, the material is set to be self-illuminating, and the remaining rollout settings become available. Default=off.

Color group

To set the illumination color, choose either option and adjust its parameter:

  • Light Pick a common lamp specification to approximate the spectral character of the desired illumination.
  • Kelvin Set the color of the self-illuminated surface by adjusting the color-temperature spinner. The color temperature is displayed in degrees Kelvin.

Use a color filter to simulate the effect of a color filter placed over the self-illuminated surface. For example, a red filter over a white luminance source casts red light. Set the filter color by clicking the color swatch to display the Color Selector. Default=white (RGB=255,255,255; HSV=0,0,255).

Luminance group

To set the brightness of the illuminated surface, choose either option and then adjust the numeric setting:

  • Physical Units Sets the brightness in candelas per square meter. This is a physical value that takes the physical scale into account.
  • Unitless Uses an arbitrary numeric value to represent the brightness.
[numeric value spinner]

When Physical Units is chosen, sets the brightness in cd/m2. When Unitless is chosen, sets the brightness as an arbitrary value.

The following table shows some representative real-world luminance values.

Object Brightness in cd/m2
Cathode-ray tube (CRT) television screen 250
Liquid-crystal diode (LCD) television screen 140
Bright light-emitting diode (LED) panel on an electronic device such as a DVD player 100
Frosted lens in front of a desk lamp 10,000 (average)
Frosted lens in front of a residential recessed halogen lamp 10,000 (average)
Exterior of a ceramic lamp shade on a decorative fixture 1300
Interior of a ceramic lamp shade on a decorative fixture 2500
Frosted incandescent bulb inside a decorative fixture 210,000
Cloudy sky in the afternoon 8,000
White ceiling in a brightly daylit room on a cloudy day, oriented north 140
Reflection from a cloudy sky on a varnished wooden floor 875
Dark asphalt on a cloudy afternoon, outdoors 115

Glow Options group

Visible in Reflections

When on, the illumination produced by the settings on this rollout appears in reflections on other surfaces. When off, the object is still reflected, but the illumination is not.

Illuminates the Scene (when using FG)

When on, and Final Gather is in effect, the self-illuminated surface acts as an indirect light source and contributes to the Final Gather lighting in the scene. When off, has no effect on Final Gather.

Self-illuminated spheres not illuminating the scene

Self-illuminated spheres illuminating the scene