When you render a scene using the mental ray renderer, an area omni light emits light from a spherical or cylindrical volume, rather than from a point source. With the default scanline renderer, the area omni light behaves like any other standard omni light.
Note: In 3ds Max, area omni lights are created and supported by a MAXScript script. Only the mental ray renderer uses the parameters on the Area Light Parameters rollout. See Enhancements to Standard Features for more details.
Tip: Area lights take longer to render than point lights. To create a quick test (or draft) rendering, you can use the Area/Linear Lights as Point Lights toggle in the Common Parameters rollout of the Render Scene dialog to speed up your rendering.
To create an area omni light:
To convert a standard 3ds Max light to an area light:
On the “Convert To mr Area Lights” rollout, click Convert Selected Lights. A MAXScript alert is displayed, that says "Delete Old Lights?" Click Yes to delete the original light and replace it with the area light. Click No to leave the original light in place. If you click No there are now two lights in the scene: the original light, and the area light based on it.
U and V—Adjust the quality of shadows cast by the area light. These values specify how many samples to take within the light’s area. Higher values can improve rendering quality at a cost of rendering time. For a spherical light, U specifies the number of subdivisions along the radius, and V specifies the number of angular subdivisions. For a cylindrical light, U specifies the number of sampled subdivisions along the height, and V specifies the number of angular subdivisions. Default=5 for both U and V.
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