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Lighting feature request

Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:20 pm
by nohspamjose
I'm just going to come out with it...
It is perverse that I have access to create my CAD model in FreeCAD, but cannot use it to place lights. Manually text editing a template file to specify the lights seems just the most bizarre twist of poor usability I could think of, and exporting to Blender to set up lights seems excessive and a major cognitive diversion. There may be a power user somewhere who may think it's a more productive style, and the developers of FreeCAD may prefer it, but as I say to my mainframe developers 'you are not your users!'.

Surely, even a basic light placement that uses the model view to position and direct a light and specify its type would be a simple minimum, which would allow
a) creation/modification of a template and
early b) manual naming and more detailed light specification via editing the template. It's the positioning and aiming that's the killer in a text file!
Later b) more sophisticated property editing of lights in FreeCAD, (colour, brightness, etc)

Cheers,

Greg (UXer for 25 years)

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:06 am
by chrisb
FreeCAD doesn't do the rendering itself. Did you have a look at the Raytracing Workbench?

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:53 am
by Kunda1
chrisb wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:06 am
FreeCAD doesn't do the rendering itself. Did you have a look at the Raytracing Workbench?
Also https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-render

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:07 pm
by openBrain
nohspamjose wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:20 pm
It is perverse that I have access to create my CAD model in FreeCAD, but cannot use it to place lights. Manually text editing a template file to specify the lights seems just the most bizarre twist of poor usability I could think of, and exporting to Blender to set up lights seems excessive and a major cognitive diversion. There may be a power user somewhere who may think it's a more productive style, and the developers of FreeCAD may prefer it, but as I say to my mainframe developers 'you are not your users!'.
Hi Greg.
IMO, the render/raytracing part of FC should be considered as unfinished ATM. But there is something, and that's a good point.

Now let's try another approach to the problem. How much time would it take for you & your mainframe developers to code a user-friendly solution to place lights ? Maybe not so much. Perhaps you could afford to offer to FreeCAD community a nice pull request about that :?:

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:09 pm
by Kunda1
openBrain wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:07 pm
How much time would it take for you & your mainframe developers to code a user-friendly solution to place lights ?
:+1:

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:03 pm
by microelly2

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:42 pm
by nohspamjose
Thank you all for your responses. Taking them in no particular order:
  • I am aware that the rendering is done externally, I use POVray (without much success because of difficulty setting up the lighting) _ I used to use Kpovmodeler (a KDE modeller), which was tied to POV but which allowed cameras and lights of various types to be easily placed in the model view. (Also did basic materials, as I recall)
  • My Mainframe developer team don't use CAD software and are stretched doing what they do, so I can't rally them to the cause but I would be willing to work with any FreeCAD development volunteers to design better experiences, perhaps starting with the lighting. I'd be happy to also run user validation on any designs, work out a hill (https://www.ibm.com/cloud/garage/practi ... ice_hills/) and delivery priorities (https://www.ibm.com/design/thinking/pag ... ritization)
  • Thanks for the links; I'll take a look.

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:13 pm
by furti
As I needed some lights myself (not for rendering right now, but directly in FreeCAD) I added a few commands to the ArchTexturing Workbench.

See here for more details: https://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=39031
yorik wrote: ping
@yorik what do you think? It shouldn't be that hard to add the light information to your render workbench.
I might give it a try when I have some time. But at the moment I have a lot of other stuff to do.

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:22 pm
by DeepSOIC
furti wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:13 pm
As I needed some lights myself (not for rendering right now, but directly in FreeCAD) I added a few commands to the ArchTexturing Workbench.
Nice, I've been wanting to do it for a long time.

Re: Lighting feature request

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:32 am
by yorik
Excellent! Yes those could be supported easily by the render WB I think. It's mostly a matter of figuring out how lights must be written for each render engine...