Haunted House 3D elements, Mastering Falloff and Decay Lighting in iClone3

Master the art of Falloff Lighting and become a horror master in minutes

Master the art of Falloff Lighting and become a horror master in minutes

Don’t move, don’t even breath, because today’s tip is one that just might jump out of the dark and take you by surprise. Dark detailed lighting has played a key role in some of the best horror movies out there ever put to film, that’s a fact. Masters of the art such as Carpenter, Barker, Zombie, Romero have used this ability to create an aesthetic completely with simple and deep lighting or in some cases the lack there of. An entire Slasher style Stab’em up industry has been built on these most basic and holy of film-making techniques. Today’s tip reveals how to master Falloff and Decay Lighting by creating another 3D element that you will find in 90% of all horror films in the world, a Flashlight, but here’s the awesome aspect to this one iCloners, this 3D Flashlight will actually work. Using custom lighting settings, a custom flashlight model, a glow object and a 3D cone light prop to accomplish this is simple and highly effective. I was greatly impressed by the level of realistic lighting that this combination of objects was able to produce the first time I tried to create it, so much so that I wanted to share it with all the users out there instantly. I wanted to merge a functional 3D Flashlight to accompany the many insanely cool props and accessories included in the Classic Horror Movies content pack, I mentioned this new addition to the Reallusion library in my last post and since then have put together a couple of scary movie clips using basically only a few of the many prop and set choices from the new pack, and one or two elements I felt needed to be a little bit more reactive to up the fear factor a notch or two such as a Falloff Flashlight. To make a 3D Flashlight of your own follow the steps below or watch the re-formated high-speed video build where now you will see the render example at the beginning of the video so that you get a perfect idea of the kind of effects you can accomplish with this iClone Tip of the Day.

  • Open 3DXchange
  • Click the G icon to launch Google 3D Warehouse
  • Type in keyword Flashlight
  • Search until you find one you like
  • Click Download Model
  • Click the Align to Center button
  • Use HotKey: Ctrl + E to Export
  • Name the new flashlight
  • Select the Props bullet
  • Choose a folder destination
  • Click OK to successfully Export
  • Enter iClone
  • Go to the Set tab
  • Click the Props button
  • Select the Custom folder and retrieve the 3D Flashlight
  • Click the Template tab
  • Select the 3D Blocks folder
  • Choose the Capsule sub folder
  • Place a Capsule_009 model into the scene
  • Use the Move and Scale tools to size and position the 3 Block inside your Flashlight
  • Click the Glow Map in the Modify Panel
  • Apply the desired Colored image map to the object
  • Make sure Pixel Shader is turned on to view the effect
  • Right Click the new Glow Object and select Attach
  • Click the Flashlight, notice the bounding box flash to indicate a successful link
  • Again load a new 3D Block into the scene, this time choose a pointed Cone object
  • Use the Move and Scale tools to size and position the 3 Block in front of your Flashlight
  • Click the Diffuse Map in the Modify Panel
  • Click the Launch button to open the map template into an external image editor
  • Create an Opacity map by painting in Black and Grey accordingly
  • Name and Save the new Opacity map
  • Return to iClone
  • Click the Open button and apply the new Opacity file to the light cone object
  • Right Click the new Cone Object and select Attach
  • Click the Flashlight, notice the bounding box flash to indicate a successful link
  • Go to the Stage tab
  • Select the Light button
  • Click the Spotlight bullet
  • Use the Transform abilities to point the Spotlight out and align it with the Flashlight
  • Select the Pick Parent button
  • Click the Flashlight, notice the bounding box flash to indicate a successful link once again
  • Select the Link to Sub Node icon
  • Check on the Align Position to Parent button
  • Turn on the Decay light by clicking on the box
  • Then set the Fallof setting to a value of 1 or 2 to create a hard edged light beam
  • To hide the linked Spotlight, click the Show check mark in the Scene Manager
  • Move and Rotate the 3D Flashlight and notice the light will move a react with the new set up

Imagine this, you have an entire scene set up for animation, all your actors blocked and animated, then you turn out the lights and apply your functional 3D Flashlight to the hand of an actor or actors in the project and with a couple of lighting situation changes, all the sudden, the only things you can see in your scene are illuminated by the beam of the flashlight. Allowing your serial killer to hide just out of site of the camera, or your victim to crouch and wait in the shadows. Setting up a simple but functional prop like this that literally controls your lighting scenario creates a whole new feel and dynamic to the scene immediately! Linking a Custom Spotlight to a specific object such as a 3D Flashlight combined with some of the other techniques such as developing Glow Objects, showcased in previous Haunted House 3D elements posts here at the blog, will cover all the bases an iCloner would need to ensure a high level of realism in the lighting prop and how it effects the scene. Below is a video short that I produced with the Classic Horror movies pack and this new 3D Flashlight technique, throw in a little Halloween audio and you have the ingredients to make something scary. Check it out and enjoy!


2 Responses to “Haunted House 3D elements, Mastering Falloff and Decay Lighting in iClone3”

  1. October 19, 2008 at 12:10 am

    This is a good one, james. I’ve been wanting a tut on falloff lighting and this is just what the doctor ordered. I’m excited about trying this out in several scenes I’m working on.

    Quick Request: can you do a tutorial on bringing in a more complicated model to iclone 3? I’ve purchased an .obj set and am having troubles trying to figure out how to get the materials and textures to import with the models as well.

    thanks a bunch!

  2. October 20, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Hey Ricky, the other brother here… I saw your issue about OBJs. Try this. When you import an OBJ the .MTL file that comes with it for the materials needs to be in the same folder as the OBJ. If this is the case, then 3DXchange should load both OBJ and MTL. See if that works. – Later, John

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