Light Placement SketchUp - make it easier

  • That'S currently only working out for emissive materials. As SketchUp has no lighting system we need to work with light proxies which cannot be assigned as material to surfaces.

    We'll check the feasibility for optimization.

  • (Again, the input dialogue has sliders with no facility to type in values: please bump the request to make all values {in all dialogues} be able to be input from a text box rather than just changing a label.)


    A few things that could do with being looked at in regard to this tool:

    - The 'rotate' function of the current add/edit is almost impossible to work with any accuracy: it does not snap and you cannot type in a value.

    - The scale handles do not stop at maximum length; they just move the box to align with the last clicked point along the scaling axis. (Same with the minimum; it won't flip the axis or stop, it will just move the light object.)*

    - It would be quite intuitive if the length of the 'shine direction' could be constrained and was related to the luminosity of the object.

    - The two-click positioning of the target shine direction and central movement point is not very user-friendly: it takes 4 clicks to insert the light and more to shape it. For accuracy you have to create guideline geometry before you can place the light plane. I would suggest:

    - Click once on a surface to add the light object - it's mid-point is defined by the point clicked, it's plane and orientation are taken from that surface. Done.

    - The object's location/size/orientation can (should?) be changed with native move, stretch and rotate tools. Size could also be changed with the dialogue.

    - Have the colour selection within the 'edit' dialogue and show the 'shine' guide shapes with this colour when editing.

    - Change the "Move Light" button into two buttons: move source (keep target) and move target (keep source)

    - Be able to orientate the source and target on different planes

    - Fill the object with 10% opacity as default

    - Have a button to 'reset' object to the glued plane



    * Note that using the native programs scale tool does not change the recorded "width/length" of the object but it can make the enscape object much bigger/smaller than the min-max. If you do this then try and change the size with the handles it bugs out with NaN as the size and vanishes the enscape object so that it's only selectable through the outliner.

  • Hey Gadget , thank you for your detailed feedback!

    - The scale handles do not stop at maximum length; they just move the box to align with the last clicked point along the scaling axis. (Same with the minimum; it won't flip the axis or stop, it will just move the light object.)*

    We're aware of this behaviour and we try to find a way to actually prohibit the use of the size tool in SketchUp. The reason: We cannot define any actual size limits for this SketchUp tool, for example how far a Rect light can be stretched. Rect lights currently only work with a size of 3x3m maximum anyway, even if they may look bigger in SketchUp when the size tool has been used. This begs the question, do you generally just wish to further increase the size, width or length limit of your light(s) than currently possible?

    Quote from Gadget

    - It would be quite intuitive if the length of the 'shine direction' could be constrained and was related to the luminosity of the object.

    I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, could you let me know about which light(s) you're talking about? For example, if you're talking about our spotlight, would you like to set a low luminosity, so that the beam stops mid way and there is no light spot on the surface which the spotlight is being directed at? Maybe you could quickly give me a more detailed description of this request.

    Quote from Gadget

    - Click once on a surface to add the light object - it's mid-point is defined by the point clicked, it's plane and orientation are taken from that surface. Done

    Would you elaborate your use case for this? Generally, if you were to apply a Rect light to a wall for example, the whole wall would be covered by a Rect light, but it would be better to use an Emissive material for that kind of scenario. An alternative would be to add a functionality to the spotlight for example which would allow you to click on a surface, the spotlight gets added and directly chooses the floor as it's main orientation by default. That's just an example, maybe you have some further ideas you'd like to share?

    - The object's location/size/orientation can (should?) be changed with native move, stretch and rotate tools. Size could also be changed with the dialogue.

    To change the location/size and orientation, you'll have to click "Move light" accordingly, do you experience any problems with that process?Similar to your second point, do you often increase the size of lights through SketchUp, and does our current way to size the lights via the "Enscape Objects" window directly restrict you, as in, you require bigger lights, but the sliders are already at maximum?

    - Change the "Move Light" button into two buttons: move source (keep target) and move target (keep source)

    May I ask, what would be your advantage?

    - Be able to orientate the source and target on different planes

    Could you also elaborate what exactly you mean by this? Right now, you should easily be able to orientate / move the source and target onto different planes. Do you experience any issues with that process?

    - Have a button to 'reset' object to the glued plane

    I suppose, you would like to have a "revert" button to take you back to the previous step, is that correct? Are you aware, that you can also just press Ctrl + Z in SketchUp directly to revert your last step? It would be nice if you could also detail your advantage this functionality would provide. :)


    Further, the rest of your other requests have been filed accordingly.


    Ya...this is exaclty what I meant in my comment. Creating a rect/plane light by either a single click, then using the sliders to adjust the size and intensity or two clicks - diagonally to create a plane.

    In this case, if you'd require only one click, the rect/plane light should have a default size, which would then be further adjusted? Do you prefer the first, or second idea of yours? :)

  • I did have a long reply answering each point, but it was too wordy; I find the current method of entry and editing really cumbersome and inaccurate. Pretty pictures for a concept instead -


    Spot, Rect and Disk all replaced with one tool - slider to specify number of 'segments' the source has.


    Key to image:

    • Green; source point (click to lift, drag to constrain to path*)
    • Red; target point (arrow keys to constrain to relevant tangents**)
    • Pink; source size (both X and Y, constrain to tangent)
    • Orange; light spread (constrain to tangent)
    • White; Luminosity (constrain to path)

    Source size, light spread and luminosity available for numerical input on the dialogue. And a colour swatch.

    If the light spread entered >= 180 then ask to swap for a spherical source. Spread constrained to <= source size.


    * Path : the vector between source and target

    ** Tangent : at right angles to the Path


    To add a light source: click once (places green) click again (places red). It would be good to be able to store some default light settings (like spot, rect & disk) for quick entry, but they would all use the same thing.


    Quote

    Be able to orientate the source and target on different planes

    Could you also elaborate what exactly you mean by this?

    I was thinking on making a false window with a light plane; the illumination source is rectangular, but the target is not parallel to the source. The obvious way would to actually make an opening and place the source behind it, but in terms of calculation that seems wasteful - why not just make the 'glass' a light plane and point the target where I want the sunbeam to fall?



    PS the "line" light type - I don't see any use for it that emissive surfaces can't handle? Am I missing something? (And the fact all the surfaces are inside out really bugs me.)

  • Hey Gadget , your detailed feature request to rework our Enscape SketchUp Lights has been filed accordingly and thank you for clarifying my questions this way.


    I was thinking on making a false window with a light plane; the illumination source is rectangular, but the target is not parallel to the source. The obvious way would to actually make an opening and place the source behind it, but in terms of calculation that seems wasteful - why not just make the 'glass' a light plane and point the target where I want the sunbeam to fall?

    To make sure that I understand your request correctly, you imagine being able to do something like this:



    Is there any particular reason for why you want to create a "false window" instead of using normal windows through which our sun is able to shine?

    PS the "line" light type - I don't see any use for it that emissive surfaces can't handle? Am I missing something? (And the fact all the surfaces are inside out really bugs me.)

    Our lights are not equal to our emissive materials, as in, the general lighting calculations used differ between the two, so there are different use case scenarios for both. Further, could you elaborate what you by "all the surfaces are inside out"?


    I would prefer a single click option. The sliders to adjust width and length, a slider for intensity and color, and on option see it illuminated or not

    I'll gladly file this as a further feature requests but please allow me to ask, should the rest of the functionalities stay the same, like as it already, or would you also like to see the feature request of Gadget to be implemented slightly differently, with the altered proposed options of yours instead?

  • To make sure that I understand your request correctly, you imagine being able to do something like this:

    Is there any particular reason for why you want to create a "false window" instead of using normal windows through which our sun is able to shine?

    Yes, I think that's what I'm asking.

    The initial reasoning for it was sheer lazieness - finding the correct time of day in the correct month with the orientation of the building at the correct angle so that the sunlight coming in from the window hits the wall in just the right spot to look pretty... a lot of work if I could just set the window glass to be an emitter and point where I want the light to fall.*

    Another reason for this is that lights can illuminate with a colour: it would make really cool church interior scenes or fake light passing through coloured glass.


    *(That sounds like another feature request - set the sun's position by defining the path you want the sunbeams to follow.)


    Our lights are not equal to our emissive materials, as in, the general lighting calculations used differ between the two, so there are different use case scenarios for both. Further, could you elaborate what you by "all the surfaces are inside out"?

    "Inside out" - each face of the component is reversed so that you are looking at the back face... unless that is intentional and the light shines from the inside of the tube, through the central vertices?

    I know Enscape is cool enough that it doesn't matter what is labelled "inside" and "outside", but it's good practice and is highlighted when I flip to "monochrome" mode.


    Another couple of issues I have with it:

    - You need to get rid of the ends of the tube; they throw out too much light and have a resulting "barbell" of illumination.

    - You also need to find a way to re-set them to horizontal/vertical or eliminate the ability for them to rotate out-with SU's native tools. (I've not found any way to edit them accurately using the Enscape handles so that they line up with existing geometry.)

    - I know it uses the same 2 click placement (which is 4 clicks) but it would be so much more intuitive if a line light was actually entered like a line in every drawing package ever invented: just click on one end point and then click on the other.

  • Hey Gadget ,


    I've further added your wish to set the target of the Rect Light independently, so that it's not exclusively parallel to the source itself.

    *(That sounds like another feature request - set the sun's position by defining the path you want the sunbeams to follow.)

    Pardon, could you briefly re-elaborate this feature request? I'm not entirely sure if I understand it correctly.

    "Inside out" - each face of the component is reversed so that you are looking at the back face... unless that is intentional and the light shines from the inside of the tube, through the central vertices?

    We're now aware of this behaviour and we have a filed a topic accordingly to rework the SketchUp appearance of the Line light.

    Another couple of issues I have with it:

    - You need to get rid of the ends of the tube; they throw out too much light and have a resulting "barbell" of illumination.

    - You also need to find a way to re-set them to horizontal/vertical or eliminate the ability for them to rotate out-with SU's native tools. (I've not found any way to edit them accurately using the Enscape handles so that they line up with existing geometry.)

    - I know it uses the same 2 click placement (which is 4 clicks) but it would be so much more intuitive if a line light was actually entered like a line in every drawing package ever invented: just click on one end point and then click on the other.

    I've further added this into the existing feature request "Rework Enscape Lights in SketchUp" as well! Thank you for the feedback. :)

  • Quote

    (...set the sun's position by defining the path you want the sunbeams to follow.)

    Pardon, could you briefly re-elaborate this feature request? I'm not entirely sure if I understand it correctly.

    A simple line that follows the path the sunlight takes through the window: click on the window it's coming through and click on the patch of sunlight it produces. If you followed that line back, it would touch the sun.


    Probably better explained to define the corner shadow of a table; click on the corner geometry of a table, then click on the floor/wall where the point of that corner should throw a shadow. This vector determines where the sun is in the sky. (If reversed, then where the moon is.)

  • click on the patch of sunlight it produces.

    So, for example, if you have a rather big window and sunlight passes through, you want to be able to make the "area of illumination" where the sun hits the ground (or any surface for that matter) clickable? Further, if you were to have like 3 windows in your project, should all the 3 patches of sun be moved independently, or should they all synchronize so that it stays more "realistic"?

  • In this scenario all you are doing is setting the sun's position; moving the existing sun rather than creating a new light source; so if you changed one out of the three, they would all change.

    In the scenario of "set the target of the Rect Light independently" that this started out with, then you are creating a light source and each patch of light would be moved independently.


    I was thinking on doing this within the native application rather than within Enscape; similar to adding in a spotlight (or other light source) you would create a temporary component that Enscape uses to calculate the position of the sun, then it writes this position back into the native application and removes the component again. I would think that is more intuitive and has got to be easier than working out what's clicked on within the Enscape window? (A plugin within a plugin ;) )

  • Hi!


    I find it incredibility frustrating placing Enscape light objects. IMHO there is a lot of unnecessary clicking that needs to be done to place a single light.

    For example when placing spot light this is what seems to be happening (there is no help text in Sketchup window so this is my best guess):

    • first click is start point
    • second click is offset of light source from start point (I can understand how this can be useful so that light source does not penetrate source object)
    • third click is target point
    • fourth click seems to be offset of target point (why?)

    I'm used to placing lights with just 2 clicks - start and target point. But the things that are the most frustrating are:

    • one cannot use numeric input during placement
    • it's not possible to snap to axis

    So trying to place a simple spotlight that starts at ceiling and shoots directly down is almost impossible unless I create some kind of guided before hand.


    For area lights I miss support for regular scale tool. Why do we have to use Enscape light handles to scale the light source? If sketchup scale tools would be supported we could place light object inside the component of a light fixture, and scaling the light fixture would also scale Enscape light object. This can be particularly useful for linear light fixtures that can vary in length. Now we need to manually adjust length for each light fixture.


    So pretty please at least add snapping to axis, numeric input support and native scaling for light placement.