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ArtZone Heading
Faking Window-Shaped Highlights
Added on: Mon Dec 17 2001
Page: 1 2 

Step five, occlusion

Now we have a problem.
What if something passes between the window and the surface with the faked highlights?
Well since we only ratrace the self-illuminating window-panes the reflection will be undisturbed by anything. Even if the panes are completely blocked by something, the highlight will remain.

One solution to this could be to just add the blocking geometry to the Include list of Raytraced object, for the highlighted surface. That doesn't work all that well. We don't want anything but the window reflected, now, all of a sudden, we have other object reflected on the surface.

Here's an example where I have, for demonstration purposes, turned up Self-Illumination on the occluding object, just to show you what it looks like.


This looks hokey. We'll fix that by creating a sort of "hold-out clone" of the object we want to occlude the window.
Remove the occluding object from the Include list of the Raytrace map and then clone it. Assign a pure-black material,with absolutely no specular highlight. Include that object in the Raytracing.

Now, link the hold-out object to your regular object, so that it moves with it. Finally, right-click the hold-out object and select Properties, turn off the "Visible to Camera" option. This will make sure that the hold-out object won't get rendered, but it still raytraces allright. The final image will turn out something like this.


Step six, animation

If you want to animate something passing in front of the windowpanes, occluding the light, make sure to lower the Glow and Specular Highlight we added, it looks more realistic that way. You can download a short and simple animation showing that
effect anim.avi (DivX AVI).

 
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