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User tip: Repositioning the Graphics Gallery Light

A few releases back, we added a “daylight preview” feature to the Gallery. Shortly after, we began getting user requests to allow manual re-positioning of the 3D View’s light source – the idea is that this would allow users to move the light source from behind the camera (making it sometimes tricky to inspect reflections and shadows).

Detaching camera motion and lighting is useful for previewing materials without having to import them into a scene with a full lighting setup, and is more flexible than the plain daylight option.

Repositioning the Graphics Gallery Light

In Vortex Studio, the Graphics Gallery document type is the container for imported 3D models from a variety of software and file formats. The advantage of having a graphics model in its own file is that it can be manipulated in the Vortex Editor, independently of the mechanisms or scenes in which it is inserted, making updates and modifications a breeze.

For example, it’s possible to provide a basic placeholder so the mechanical engineer can start building the simulation, while the artist continues to detail and texture the model. When the latter is done, it’s a simple matter of swapping the file to incorporate the finished version.

In the example Gallery document shown above, the dramatic lighting shows the user the gloss and specular properties of the material when the vehicle is moved. When you press the SHIFT key with the cursor in the 3D View, the light source moves directly behind the Perspective camera again. This allows you to better see the interaction between the material and the lighting.

You can either tap SHIFT once the Perspective camera is rotated into the desired position, or hold SHIFT while moving the camera, to force the light to remain directly behind the viewpoint. This way, you can look at the model and see the true effect of light on the surfaces, from any angle.

If you have any questions or comments about using the Graphics Gallery in Vortex Studio, feel free to post them in the Forum!