Mission Control : Lighting with VRay RT

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Mission Control provides an easy way to adjust complex lighting in your scenes, especially when combined with a realtime renderer such as VRay RT. Make adjustments on multiple lights with the drag of a mouse. Apply absolute or relative adjustments (stepping up or down for example). Apply relative or absolute randomisations.

There are a number of ways to edit values.

1. Direct entry. You can click the cell and enter a new value.

2. Copy/Paste. You can copy and paste a value; both as a copy and as an instance. This is a very powerful feature as it allows you to very quickly make soft-instances of objects where only a small number of parameters are instanced, rather than the entire object.

3. Spinner. You can click single or multiple values and whilst holding the middle mouse button down, drag to raise or lower the value. Dragging left and right provides fine adjustment, whilst dragging up and down makes large adjustments.

4. Mass editing. Beyond these standard methods, there are a selection of more powerful tools in the util panel that allow mass editing of values in a number of ways.

Absolute :
You can apply a single value to all the selected cells.

Relative :
You can add, subtract, multiply or divide by the specified value all the selected values. This provides a nice way to adjust values by specific amounts or proportions.

Random relative :
You can set a minimum and maximum of a random value to add to the values of your current selection.

Random absolute :
You can apply a random value to the selected cells between the minimum and maximum values specified.

Stepped :
This allows you to apply a number sequence to the selected cells with the specified step size. Useful for quickly applying material IDs, or for placing objects a set distance apart for example.

Spaced :
This applies a number sequence to the selected cells equally spaced between the minimum and maximum values specified.

All of these operations can be applied to all the selected cells, or using a conditional operator allowing you to only affect values that are equal to, not equal to, greater than or less than a specified value.

Quick Script Controllers

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I came across a request by Shimakaze on the V-Ray forums for a way to quickly connect many objects on the modifier level without completely instancing them.  Given how long it would take to do this manually; either by wiring parameters, or copying controllers, another approach was required. This is precisely the kind of task that Mission Control aims to simplify.

Mission Control allows you to enter scripts directly in to any float value cell. You can use this to easily instance values between object, modifier, or material values; or you can enter complex scripts that will evaluate on every tick.

Here’s a short clip showing how easy it is to link the radius of a sphere to a slider manipulator.

  • Select the source controller (in this case the slider value cell), and click “copy” in the context menu. This causes MC to hold a reference pointer to this cell.
  • Navigate to the sphere’s class to list the spheres in the scene.
  • In the radius cell of a sphere, click to start editing the value, and then enter the script “=target”. Starting an edit with a “=” symbol tells MC that an expression is being entered. The “target” token is used to grab the controller from the previously copied cell (slider.value.controller). This is then placed within a variable in a script_float controller called “target” and ensures the script remains functional if the object gets renamed.
  • Once the expression has been added, you can edit it by double clicking on the cell which brings up the dialog for the controller.

Quick Script Controllers

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