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Any way to create lights externally (withhout sketchup)

Is there a naming convention I need to follow to create lights in external applications?

For example, can I create a box in houdini and name it Shapespark_Light01, and then the importer will recognise the naming convention and change that object to an actual light? Same for reflection orbs.


Some standard 3D file formats have representation for lights, for example COLLADA and FBX. So, if Houdini can export to COLLADA or FBX and include information about lights in the export, then Shapespark will read these lights on import and create their Shapespark counterparts. Only the basic light properties like type, position and rotation are imported. Additional properties like strength have to be set in Shapespark.

Reflection orbs (light probes) cannot be imported. However, there is an algorithm in place that tries to automatically detect rooms and place light probes in their centers when the scene is opened in the Shapespark editor for the first time.

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That’s great, thanks. I’ll research further which light types are correctly added to the fbx file.

Thanks, that worked great thanks.

Is there a way to maintain instance behaviour of lights? For example if I have a bunch of lights which are instances of “large light”, can I change the brightness of all of them at once by changing the brightness of “large light”?

Currently it’s not possible for inputs other than SketchUp. However, I think we could recognize light instances based on some special information for Shapespark included in light names. For example, if your have 4 large lights in your 3D modelling tool named:

  1. {LargeLight}
  2. {LargeLight}.002
  3. {LargeLight}.003
  4. {LargeLight}.004

then during import we could recognize all of them as 4 instances of a single light named LargeLight.

What do you think?

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Sounds good to me.

By the way, I notice that the fbx file’s light strength is being ignored, and lights are instead defaulting to 25.

Is there a way to get the light strength to match the strength of the lights in the fbx file? There are a lot of lights in my test scene :slight_smile:

The FBX light strength is ignored because this property is incompatible among different rendering engines. However, the ability to recognize light instances on FBX import would allow to set the strength in the editor for all instances of a light at once, which would hopefully help in your case.

Definitely. will the below naming convention work now, or is that something you need to implement into the importer?


It is something we need to implement. It will be included in the next release.

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Starting from version 1.7.3 Shapespark allows to import multiple lights from a 3D file (eg. FBX, DAE) as instances of a single Shapespark light.

If an imported light name starts from __NAME__ (any NAME preceded and succeeded by double underscores) it is imported as an instance of a Shapespark light named NAME. So, if in your 3D modelling tool you name your lights as:

  • __DeskLamp__
  • __DeskLamp__.001
  • __DeskLamp__.002

they will be imported to Shapespark as 3 instances of a light named DeskLamp.

Lights imported as instances of a single Shapespark light must be of the same type, so that Shapespark could determine a common type for all the instances. For example, if the model comes from 3ds Max and the first one (__DeskLamp__) is an Omni Standard light, the two other lights must also be Omni Standard lights.

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This is brilliant wojtek. Great job.

Hi @Wojtek.

I expected that this is also working for instanced objects. But unfortunately it is not. Is there a way that we can have instanced objects too?

Do I understand correctly that you would like to give the same Shapespark name to multiple 3ds Max objects, and then to be able to configure settings like Custom lightmap resolution, Custom hide in views for all of them at once?

Yes, that is what I am hoping for.


It will be added in the next release.


@tim, The new version (1.7.6) with this feature is out.

@wojtek, I just saw the release note. Thank you!

I did not see lights mentioned in your bullet list. Did I miss something?

BTW: looks like a good list though.

@ntxdave, my reply to @tim referred to his last question in this thread, and the question was about object instancing.

OK - is there a more complete list somewhere? I looked at the bullet list on the Announcement thread and looked at the we site but did not find any additional info. Maybe I just misunderstood what you were responding to. :slightly_smiling_face: