The Principal of Radiocity (Light-Based Physics) in Animation and 3D Rendering and Design | What are Bump Maps

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Using radiocity in 3D animation can be incredibly difficult, however, learning can make all of your render incredibly real appearing; esspecially when a bump map is applied. Find out more about bump maps and radiocity here. Thanks guys.

[For you visual learners out there, note that there is a video based tutorial for Radiocity rendering at the end of this written article]

Radiocity in short is a light-based principal of physics that deals with the idea of light transfering from one object to another.  This complex system of light is very commonly used in 3D animation and design today; and Blender 3D (a program that many of my readers are very familiar with), is no exceptions. 

Basically, in 3D design, radiocity is a way to create light based effects with out actually creating light.  Materials from one object or even multiple objects reflect light onto other objects in a scene when rendering.  Now, honestly, using radiocity is no basic feet.  As many 3D designers will tell you, it's probably one of the most difficult features to use in any 3D animation and design program.  Essentially it can be the defining feature that can mean the difference between great render quality and just good render quality.  This much is certain. 

[This image was found on google images and is a perfect example of great radiocity rendering]

Notice how "real" the render quality output is when a simple radiocity texturing is applied.  Now, in no way would this be a simple feat for a 3D artist that is just starting to use the radiocity functions in their 3D program (mine specifically is Blender 3D). 

The above image is also a great example of how realistic a radiocity render can be.  Note the intense visual difference between how the render is before material textures are introduced into the scene.  Even an individual that is not a 3D designer can appreciate the stunning visual difference.  In any case, be sure to note that there are several "bump maps" within this scene that play a big part in how well the lighting and textures look when the scene is rendered.

For those of you who are wondering what exactly a Bump Map is, a bump map is a texture that is applied to a 3D surfase that can be modified to have bumps or rather negative and positive portions that are divided randomly or systematically across that 3D surface.  They come in incredibly handy to graphics designers when they're creating because they allow the designer to more realistically create mountains, patterns, and "bumps" when modifying within the 3D or 2D interface. 

On a final note, the final render (above) is a great example also of how divers a radiocity render can truly be.  Using radiocity can ultimately improve every render that you preform.  Weather that render is using light or if that render does not use a designated lighting system.  The above render is divers because it demonstrates the ability for radiocity to create even 3D toon (as in cartoon) graphics (visuals). 

Thanks guys, studio out. 


James Hogan
Posted on Aug 13, 2010
Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay) Simplyoj (Joy L. Carnay)
Posted on Aug 13, 2010