Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

The Twilight Render Team shares tips, ideas, helpful hints, and more on using Twilight Render
Fletch
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Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by Fletch » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:57 am

Did you know you can set a default sky for Twilight so that each new scene you make uses your favorite settings automatically? :shock:

Simply set up any new scene however you want to be your default, and choose "File>Save As Template" give it a name.
You can even create one in Centimeters, and one in Inches (if you work in both) and load them at any time from: "Window>System Preferences>Template"

If you want the fast and easy way... simply:
  1. Open up one of the attached files with good recommended quick-rendering defaults for Twilight,
  2. Set your location on earth under "Pull-down Menu>Window>Location" (if you don't live in Colorado, USA)
  3. then choose "File>Save As Template" and give it a name.
  4. This will now be your default Template in SketchUp.
Here is a step-by-step for setting up this new template for yourself including some things you may not have thought of... some of them will speed up the performance of SketchUp on your machine if you have a mid-level or lower-level graphics card.
  1. In SketchUp choose "File>New"
  2. In SketchUp use Ctrl+A, then Delete key to Delete everything in the New scene (for instance, the default "Sang" face-me guy component if he is there... do really you still need him? No offense to Sang of course! :D )
  3. In SketchUp open the "Model Info" Dialog in the "Window" pulldown menu item.
  4. Statistics>Purge Unused (gets rid of extra materials and components left over from deleting the model of Sang)
  5. Animation> Set Transition time to however you like,
  6. Animation> Set Scene Delay to Zero (so that if you render animations, it will not render the same scene over and over for the length of the scene delay... add delays in your video editor in post-pro)
  7. Location> Set your preferred Location on Earth
  8. Units> Set your units for your favorite (architectural inches? centimeters?)
  9. In SketchUp Window Pull-down menu choose "Shadow Settings":
    1. UNCHECK "On Ground" (gets rid of pesky shadow falling on nothing in the SketchUp view, and reminds you that there's no such thing as an invisible ground plane when you render with Twilight)
    2. if you do mostly interiors... TURN OFF "Display Shadows" and CHOOSE "Use Sun for Shading" , then set the Shadow Light and Dark to something like 80 and 80 (brightens up view in SU for interiors ;) )
    3. if you do mostly exteriors... set the Shadow Light and Dark to something you prefer, and if you are one who prefers to work quickly, TURN OFF "Display Shadows".
    4. Set Date and Time to something you like as default
  10. Pull-down menu: Window>Scenes ... check or uncheck boxes as you wish for SU to remember for your new scenes
    (do you really want it to remember the axes location and style and fog settings?)
  11. Pull-down menu: Window>Styles:Edit Tab> UNCHECK "Extensions" and UNCHECK "Profiles"
    (improves speed of SketchUp view, for modeling and just looks better than the annoying fake sketchy look. :halo: )
  12. Pull-down menu: Window>Fog set to OFF
    (if this was on, which is not likely... but we thought we should mention it)
  13. NOW FOR THE COOL PART... 8-)
    • Open Twilight Light Settings Dialog:
      1. Make sure the sky type is the default "Physical Sky" Set your Sun (radius) Slider to 7 or 10.
      2. Set sun color if you wish like this... (NOTE:this will significantly reduce the blue cast that comes with the default Twilight Physical Sky, and give a more refined white brightness)
        • rgb(230, 214, 209)
        • Maximum Sun Intensity: 4.00
  14. :!: Now Save this Scene Setup as your Default SketchUp Template by going to File>Save As Template... give it a name, and description if you like.
  15. :idea: Now, you can create different templates with various sky settings... perhaps try one of these suggestions:
    • Evening Sky? Try a Late October Sky (assuming Boulder Colorado location) at 4:45pm, then DISABLE THE SUN in the Twilight Sun/Sky Dialog. Leave Physical Sky on.
    • Mars? Using some experimentation, Set sun shadows to perhaps 3, sun brightness to at least 5, and sun color to quite a warm red. Use a small test scene and re-render on Low+ to check the settings as you work.
    • Product Shots? Disable the sun and set sky to "Spherical" and load your favorite Light Tent .hdr, setting Sky Intensity to what renders best for your typical product. This may be as low as .1 Sky Intensity!
    • Product Shot Alternative Setting? Set sky to light grey and disable the sun.
    • Product Shot Alternative Setting2? Insert the Twilight Component with the Product Studio Lighting and disable the sun, set sky to Background, black color
    • When ready for a new scene, choose any template you wish before you start modeling from "Window>System Preferences>Template" (if you already have a model, but wish to load a different sky, you will have to open a second instance of SketchUp, set your template, then copy the model you are in, and paste-in-place into the new model template. There is this script called PageExIm.rb available that will allow you to export your scenes from one model, and import them into the new model.
:idea: Before saving your new SketchUp Template, insert some small rectangular faces with your favorite materials that you may have created from the Twilight Material Templates... this way they are already in your default scene when you load it.
Attachments
Centimeters Twilight Warm Sky.skp
Decimal - Metric - Centimeters
(367.55 KiB) Downloaded 1039 times
Inches Twilight Warm Sky.skp
Architectural - Inches
(367.54 KiB) Downloaded 767 times

fakircho
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Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by fakircho » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:01 pm

Thanks for this :^:

JGA
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Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by JGA » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:39 pm

Very helpful, thanks.
JGA

psname
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 2:50 am

Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by psname » Sun May 23, 2010 3:05 am

thanks very much

SectionAA
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Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by SectionAA » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Despite this advice, still my render is very very blue.
Apologies in advance but dont know where might be best place to post these following comments.

Having had some dissappointing results with rendering an outside view, I read the manual, searched forums, and watched the tutorial, and experimented with settings in both SK and Twilight, but have not found any good solutions.

Firstly, the manual is inadequate in explaining the Twilight Light Editor Sun/Sky settings. The manual itself is 55 pages, but only one page and 3 paragraphs are given to explaining some of the settings.
The following are given no explanation at all, or what values should be used and when:
Sky Brightness
Dusty Sky
Background/Sky rotation angle
Sunlight
Maximum Sun intensity.
(Mention made in this post, but insufficient explanation).

Guidance is needed for these settings - if they actually affect anything, which in my trials they did not in many instances.

In the Light Editor, there is a drop down choice for From Scene of All On, or All Off. But it is not possible to tell which is selected. They both look the same in the drop down box.

Some unwanted results from my experiments:
1) Selecting background colour in Twilight changes all the colours in the render.
2) Shadows set in Sketchup were ignored in Twilight render.
3) Selecting Pysical Sky resulted in an overall blue cast to everything.


Searching the Forums is frustrating. If I search for "sun settings" it says these words are too common and were ignored. Ditto sky settings. But to go through all the topics is too demanding. Under Tips and tricks there are 83 topics/4 pages listed. Questions & feedback lists 678 topics/28 pages. Red Carpet Technical has 346 topics/14 pages.
Can I suggest either a better search facility, or a breakdown of topics which would help narrow down any topics. Sure, some questions/answers might fall in more than one sub-topic; just duplicate the posting.
To find this post I had to go as far as - umm not sure now maybe page 10 of 28? Hard going. Maybe it would have been worth it if it had worked.

Fletch
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Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by Fletch » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:47 pm

SectionAA wrote:Despite this advice, still my render is very very blue.
Please see the Tips and Tricks below. I suggest 30 seconds of very simple post production in a photo editor to fix the problem. In V.2 you will have color correction built into the Render Editor Dialog Window.
SectionAA wrote:Having had some dissappointing results with rendering an outside view, I read the manual, searched forums, and watched the tutorial, and experimented with settings in both SK and Twilight, but have not found any good solutions.
Sorry for the frustration.
SectionAA wrote:Firstly, the manual is inadequate in explaining the Twilight Light Editor Sun/Sky settings. The manual itself is 55 pages, but only one page and 3 paragraphs are given to explaining some of the settings.
The following are given no explanation at all, or what values should be used and when:
Sky Brightness
Dusty Sky
Background/Sky rotation angle
Sunlight
Maximum Sun intensity.
(Mention made in this post, but insufficient explanation).
We will see how we can improve the manual in these areas. Until then...
Sky Brightness is the multiplier controlling how powerful is the light coming from your sky (not from the sun!) and contributing to your scene. It effects HDR or JPG spherical and hemispherical and probe sky types as well as any other sky type you have chosen with a "sky" in the name.
Dusty Sky (aka Turbidity) changes how the PHYSICAL SKY colors transition into one another and how the sky will contribute color of light to scene and to reflections.
Background/Sky Rotation Angle allows you to rotate any spherical sky or hemispherical sky image you have inserted around the origin on the z axis so that you can quickly change which part of the spherical sky you are seeing in your rendering.
Sunlight is the Sun in SketchUp. How you set your sun in SketchUp's Sun/shadow dialog is how it will be in Twilight if you have not turned the sun off in Twilight's light editor dialog. Twilight will attempt to match sun positions as closely as it can, it may end up with results differing up to 15 minutes or so.
SectionAA wrote: Guidance is needed for these settings - if they actually affect anything, which in my trials they did not in many instances.
Not knowing what you did in your trials, it's easy to see how they may or may not effect something in your scene. But it's also difficult to provide guidance without the test scene.
SectionAA wrote:In the Light Editor, there is a drop down choice for From Scene of All On, or All Off. But it is not possible to tell which is selected. They both look the same in the drop down box.
This choice does not effect sun or sky. It would be easy to tell which one you just chose, because when you are looking at the "Standard" light tab in the Light Editor dialog box you will see that your lights are either set to be on or off. We may change how these choices appear in the future so that you can see by looking in the dialog pull-down menu whether you have them all off or all on.
SectionAA wrote:Some unwanted results from my experiments:
1) Selecting background colour in Twilight changes all the colours in the render.
Do you mean to say "sky color"? Because if you set this to be "Background color" it may give strange results, and should generally be avoided, and would not even register in your scene's reflections, etc. Any sky type with the word "Background" in it does not effect the reflections or light coming from the sky at all. (as explained in the manual)
SectionAA wrote:2) Shadows set in Sketchup were ignored in Twilight render.
Can you be a bit more specific in the exact steps made to repeat this error?
Twilight's shadows are slightly different from SketchUp, but completely ignored would be strange indeed. Twilight's sun is a different distance from the "earth" in Twilight than in SketchUp.
SectionAA wrote:3) Selecting Pysical Sky resulted in an overall blue cast to everything.
Well, in real life the shadow areas do have a bit of blue in them, artists have recognized this for hundreds of years. But yes, the bluish tint is a bit much for some tastes. I suggest these Tips and Tricks Master list topics:
Subject: Bye-Bye Blue Sky
Subject: First thing to do to warm up the Sun and Sky
SectionAA wrote:Searching the Forums is frustrating. ...
Can I suggest either a better search facility, ...
Under the search box at the top of the forum, click "Advanced Search" then there is the option to search only this forum, but using Google's search engine. It usually finds exactly what you need very quickly.
SectionAA wrote:To find this post I had to go as far as - umm not sure now maybe page 10 of 28? Hard going. Maybe it would have been worth it if it had worked.
Sorry about the frustration. You get bonus points for your effort. Sometimes it's faster to just post the question "where can I find out more about this-or-that?"

SectionAA
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:18 pm

Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by SectionAA » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:08 am

Thank you very much Fletch for your speedy and comprehensive answers.
I have done some further tests, without leading to the improvements I would like, which it might be helpful to send you.
The text file lists all relevant data for each render.

Main points. Physical Sky (1-.jpg, 2.jpg) - BLUE, No shadows
Sky Colour (6.jpg) no shadows.

Sketchup shadows shown in SK Export.jpg. (Actually I was able (Allowed?) to upload this.

If you can see what I am doing wrong it would be a great help.

(I am just rendering the model in order to superimpose onto picture of the site, which I concluded was the easiest way for me.)

Many thanks
Attachments
1-.jpg
1-.jpg (42.3 KiB) Viewed 16621 times
2-.jpg
2-.jpg (41.41 KiB) Viewed 16623 times
6-.jpg
6-.jpg (43.23 KiB) Viewed 16620 times

SectionAA
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:18 pm

Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by SectionAA » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:44 am

A follow up specifically about shadows Fletch.

Two images, one showing SK shadows, the other Twilight shadows.
How different could they be?
The Twilight sun looks as if it is coming from below ground!

Any explanation please?
Thanks.
Attachments
SK Shadows.jpg
SK Shadows.jpg (81.32 KiB) Viewed 16621 times
Twilight Shadows.jpg
Twilight Shadows.jpg (217.87 KiB) Viewed 16624 times

Frederik
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Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by Frederik » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:44 am

SectionAA wrote:How different could they be?
The Twilight sun looks as if it is coming from below ground!

Any explanation please?
Without the scene - or at least a part where this issue is present - it's very difficult to say exactly what's going on...

I've never experienced a problem like this in any of my renders...
To me the TWR sun match the SU sun exactly...
Cheers
Kim Frederik
Twilight Render Support
“…Life is drawing without an eraser...”

SectionAA
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:18 pm

Re: Default Sky Setting for Twilight... and speed up SU

Post by SectionAA » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:05 pm

Kim,
What do you mean "Without the scene..."?
The first image "SK Shadows" is the image export of the scene, showing light from top left.
Second image "Twilight Shadows" is saved Twilight render of the SK scene, light coming from bottom left.

I wonder .......

The location is just outside La Paz, in Bolivia, altitude in my model is 3565.7 metres. This is where the model sits in 3D Sketchup space.
Would that make the difference? Does Twilight sun assume everything is at sea level? Clearly Sketchup works out sun/shadows/altitude correctly. But what does Twilight do?
I wondered if it was a northern/southern hemisphere issue, but changing location to Boulder Co. still produced topsy-turvy Twilight shadows - but at same altitude of course.

Any further insights anyone?

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