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Dave Cook avatar image
Dave Cook asked ·

To what extent are hidden lights calculated?

Hi

Just wondering what is the best approach to optimising a scene with many lights and different layers which don't use all the lights in the scene.

Currently in Maya (2018.4, seems I will be able to turn this off in 2019). render layers default behaviour seems to include all scene lights in a layer, so I am simply overriding the visibility of the lights I don't want in a layer. Is there a better way? Always seems that there is a performance hit when there are a lot of lights in the scene even so...obviously any render will be faster with fewer lights but just wondering how significant having unused lights in a scene is....

Thanks for any insight!

Dave

lightoptimisation
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Stephen Blair avatar image
Stephen Blair answered ·

Right, those 999 lights won't be in the scene that Arnold renders.

You can check the Arnold log and see how many lights:

00:00:00   470MB         | there are 1 light and 2 objects:
00:00:00   470MB         |       1 persp_camera
00:00:00   470MB         |       1 skydome_light
00:00:00   470MB         |       1 utility
00:00:00   470MB         |       1 standard_surface
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 driver_exr
00:00:00   471MB         |       2 gaussian_filter
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 closest_filter
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 list_aggregate
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 set_parameter
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 alembic
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 color_manager_syncolor
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 renderview_display
00:00:00   471MB         |       1 driver_arv
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Dave Cook avatar image
Dave Cook answered ·

Hi Stephen

I was just referring to plain old Maya visibility in the Display tab...nothing Arnold specific. So, the implication is that a scene with 1000 lights 999 of which are hidden will not be a great deal longer to render than a scene with just one light - it seems self evident when written down, but it's good to know that it actually is the case.

Thanks

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Stephen Blair avatar image
Stephen Blair answered ·

If you hide a light in Maya, that light is not exported to Maya.

Or do you mean you are setting the Arnold visibility parameter, so the light contributes to the scene lighting but is not visible to the camera?

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