VI-Suite v0.4 – Artificial Lighting Simulation

Lighting simulation of Blender's classroom scene

Radiance visual and falsecolour rendering of Blender’s classroom scene

The VI-Suite can simulate artificial as well as natural lighting. Three main methods are available:

  • Specifying a Radiance light material to mesh elements.
  • Associating an IES file with a Blender lamp.
  • Associating an IES file with a Blender mesh plane to create an array of lights.

IES files, which are text files describing the brightness of a lamp or luminaire from different viewing angles, are released by manufacturers for their specific lighting products and can usually be downloaded from their websites. This gives the opportunity to see how real world products will illuminate a scene visually and with the VI-Suite numerically.

As ever, the video below describes these three methods.

VI-Suite v0.4.10 & Esri Grid import

I have just released version 0.4.10, which mostly has changes to the Esri Grid import node (ASC node). Esri Grid is a common geospatial data format.

I have removed the split mesh option from the ASC node as this is now turned on by default. This reduces memory consumption during import, and the user can join the meshes together after import if desired. The image below shows an annual shadow map on an imported 12,000,000 sensor point Esri Grid terrain map. This was done on a machine with 8Gb of ram, and would not have been possible with split mesh turned off.

Brighton shadow map

20x15km shadow map of the coast around Brighton at 5m resolution

I have also added an option to deal with invalid data in the Esri Grid file. These points can now be zeroed or deleted from the imported mash.

Esri grid files do not necessarily contain terrain height data but can include instead other geospatial data types; rainfall for example. If you want to colour the imported mesh based on these data values you can use the material node  set-up below.

Esri Grid visualisation

Material node set-up for Esri Grid data visualisation

An example colour visualisation of annual rainfall in Africa is shown below.

Rainfall in Sub-Saharan Africa