How to enhance the atmosphere of 3d models with light baking?

June 20, 2016

When building any type of 3D model representing a space, light is an element that can make or break the viewer's experience.
At Archilogic, we are using a common technique in computer graphics called light baking to simulate the 3D model's lighting.

The light simulation can be set up based on the location of the model, its orientation and a specified time and day of the year.
This process is an essential element of any interactive model as it enables visitors to see an apartment or an office with the proper lighting and from every angle.
This is an experience few 2D renderings achieve.

What is light baking?

At Archilogic, creating realistic lighting effects on all of the static objects such as walls or kitchen drawers is an integral part of our process.
It is called light baking because we literally bake the light information into the surfaces of the objects, by using lightmaps, like putting frosting on top of a cake.

Lightmaps are 2D image textures that enrich the appearance of the model with shadow and light information.
Lightmaps are independent of the texture and material information of the objects present in the model, such as wallpapers and floors.
This separation enables adjusting materials while keeping the pre-calculated light atmosphere.

How does Archilogic implement lightmaps to 3D models?

We have developed an automated process to prepare and bake lightmaps for our native 3D models.
Archilogic also supports light baking for 3D objects that are uploaded by the users directly.

Click here for a few examples

If you want to read more on how Archilogic implements light baking for its 3D models, please check the Archilogic Knowledge Base.

The benefits of light baking

First and foremost, light baking enhances the atmosphere of the entire model and the overall appearance of architectural parts such as walls or windows.

With this technique we can also show how different textures such as changing wall and flooring materials can affect the light levels in each room. It's this type of simulation that really helps interior designers, construction professionals and potential homeowners to make decisions about a particular property.

>*"Using 3D models can help architects, designers and potential buyers truly evaluate the impact light can have on an apartment, an office or a house."*

Moreover lightmaps provide real-time, realistic lighting effects at a low computational cost. They enrich our models without impacting the performance on all the supported devices.

Finally light baking strengthens the understanding of light, time and space correlation in a real estate properties by allowing the simulation of lighting based on location, time and day of the year.

Try light baking in your model with Archilogic

You can get started with a free Archilogic trial and play around with our lighting editor, using either any of our public 3D models or with your own 3D model.

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