Referenced files: 


Tutorial-BldgMoreComplexModel.AGI (completed file)

Time Estimate: 2 - 2.5 hours

This tutorial, formerly called "Auditorium," will illustrate the process of creating a small auditorium space (with a stage), lighting it, and generating a color rendering of the environment. Several modeling skills will be covered, as well as ways to organize the project with the Project Manager tool.

Problem Statement

This exercise assumes basic AGi32 skills, which may be learned from the Online Learning and/or YouTube videos. In this exercise, we create a complex interior model using the Room and Object tools. The lighting scheme illustrates the use of three separate luminaire groups - house lighting, wall lighting, and stage lighting - and AGi32's ability to isolate them individually.  This example further illustrates the use of AGi32's automatic calculation point placement ability, as well as luminaire dimming and the visualization of texture and color changes.

Tutorial Summary

Step 1 – Create the Primary Room Shape from CAD background

Step 2 – Add Stepped Floor and Stage as an Extruded Object

Step 3 – Add Extruded Ceiling Elements

Step 4- Add Curved Surfaces at Sides of Stage

Step 5 – Use the Surface Edit Command to Modify Texture and Color on a Few Surfaces

Step 6 – Define Luminaires

Step 7 – Place the Luminaires

Step 8 – Add Calc Points on Seating and Stage

Step 9 – Use Project Manager to Organize the Model

Step 10 - Use Scene Manager to Switch and Dim Luminaires

Step 11 – Calculate House Lighting and Isolate

Step 12 – Calculate Stage and Wall Lighting


Step 1 - Create the Primary Room Shape

We will create the auditorium using a Polygon Room with a flat ceiling. This room type allows us to specify virtually any shape perimeter, including arcs and niches. For this tutorial, we will begin with a 2-dimensional CAD background which can be used to “extrude” the basic room shape.

First, we will import the file to use as the template. The CAD file that we need is available from the top of this article (link). 

Click on the File-Import button on the Common Toolbar near the upper-left corner of the screen, or click on File in the Main Menu bar (upper-left corner of screen) and select Import.

The File-Import button on the Common Toolbar (Menu: File - Import)

From the Import dialog, navigate to the CAD Sample Files folder and select the file called “Tutorial-Auditorium.dwg” . Click on the file name then the Ok button.

When the Import File dialog appears, click on the "CAD Viewer" button (black with white writing) to see the file being imported. Next, make sure that units of Feet are specified in both cells following “Units Specified In CAD File:” and “Units Will Be Converted To:”. Click the Ok button.

The secondary import window will appear, indicating that the import into AGi32 was successful. Click the Ok button to see the imported CAD drawing that will become the Auditorium Room.

Before we proceed, enable Snap and set the value to 2.5 (bottom of the screen). This setting can be changed any time without affecting whatever you are doing in the model.
Now move your mouse around the imported drawing, which moves the cross hairs, and look at the lower-left corner of the screen to see the coordinates of the cross hairs. The three coordinates in the corner represent the values of the X,Y,Z coordinates, in that order. Verify that the imported polygon is 100 feet wide (the X plane) and 132.5 feet long (the Y plane).

We are now ready to create the Auditorium’s main room from the imported CAD background. Select the Room - Polygon Flat command from the Rooms/Objects toolkit.

The Room-Polygon Flat button in the Rooms/Objects toolkit (Menu: Add - Room - Polygon Flat)

From within the Room - Polygon - Flat dialog:

1. Enter a Label of Auditorium.

2. Enter a Wall Height of 35 feet.

3. Change the Ceiling Reflectance to 0.10 (10%).

4. Change Wall Color to: Red – 113, Green – 103, Blue – 95. Notice that this sets the wall reflectance to 0.41.

5. Select the Create Polygon From Existing Drawing Entities radio button.

6. Uncheck the box for Specify Calculation Points for Room. We will place our calc points later.

7. Click OK.

The pick box now appears instead of the cross hairs. Look to the Command Line in the lower left to see what AGi32 is waiting for you to do next. AGi32 is waiting for you to select the polygon from which to create the Room we just specified. Click anywhere on the wireframe of the imported polygon. You will now see that the lines of the polygon are thicker and a dialog box has popped up indicating that AGi32 recognized the polygon and is prepared to apply the Room - Polygon - Flat settings to this polygon.
Click “Accept Polygon” (not “Accept Polygon And Repeat”).

From the imported polygon, AGi32 has now created the Auditorium Room with the properties entered in the Room - Polygon - Flatdialog.

Step 2 - Add Stepped Floor and Stage as an Extruded Object

Click on the Elevation Looking West button from the main toolbar and select the elevation plane to be at X=100 by clicking anywhere along the coordinate X=100. You should now recognize the room shape as viewed from the side.

Elevation View Looking West button on the Common Toolbar (Menu: View -Elevation - Looking West)

Change the Snap value to 0.5. (On the bottom toolbar.)

Enable Ortho (next to Snap).

Select the Object-Polygon-Vertical Extrusion command from the Rooms/Objects Toolkit (or Menu: Add - Object - Polygon - Vertical Extrusion). The dialog shown below will appear.

The Object-Polygon-Vertical Extrusion button in the Rooms/Objects Toolkit (Menu: Add - Object - Polygon - Vertical Extrusion)

Enter a Label : Floor
Enter a Depth of 100 feet
Click on the "..." button to select a texture.

In the Textures dialog, select the Carpet category.
Next, scroll down and select the texture called carpt402.
Apply a Fixed Size = 8.
Click OK to exit the Textures dialog.
Click OK again to exit the Object dialog and return to Model Mode.

Create the floor from the lower left-hand corner in a counterclockwise direction using the following coordinates. 

1. (100, 0, 7)
2. (100, 0, 0)
3. (100, 104.5, 0)
4. (100, 104.5, -0.5)
5. (100, 132.5, -0.5)
6. (100, 132.5, 5)
7. (100, 112.5, 5)
8. (100, 112.5, 0)
9. (100, 105, 0)
10. (100, 105, 0.5)
11. (100, 100, 0.5)
12. (100, 100, 1)
13. (100, 92.5, 1)
14. (100, 92.5, 1.5)
15. (100, 85, 1.5)
16. (100, 85, 2)
17. (100, 77.5, 2)
18. (100, 77.5, 2.5)
19. (100, 70, 2.5)
20. (100, 70, 3)
21. (100, 62.5, 3)
22. (100, 62.5, 3.5)
23. (100, 55, 3.5)
24. (100, 55, 4)
25. (100, 47.5, 4)
26. (100, 47.5, 4.5)
27. (100, 40, 4.5)
28. (100, 40, 5)
29. (100, 32.5, 5)
30. (100, 32.5, 5.5)
31. (100, 25,5. 5)
32. (100, 25, 6)
33. (100, 17.5, 6)
34. (100, 17.5, 6.5)
35. (100, 10, 6.5)
36. (100, 10, 7)
37. Right click to close Object polygon.

(All coordinates given in X, Y, Z;  the X is always 100 in this elevation view.) You can type in the coordinates in you prefer; enter X,Y,Z followed by the Enter key for each point. (Commas between values, but no spaces.) You do not need to place the cursor in the text cell (lower-right corner of the screen; it will go there automatically. If you make a mistake using the mouse or the keyboard, use the Ctrl-Z keystroke to move back by one vertex. Right click your mouse or hit Enter on your keyboard to close the polygon after the last point entry.

We have just added an object that will serve as the floor in the auditorium seating and stage areas. It is contained within the Room shape created previously. The result is an interior space with the desired geometry.

Step 3 - Add Extruded Ceiling Elements

Continuing in the Elevation looking West view (from X=100, in case you need to return there), we will now create a few ceiling elements, beginning with the stage ceiling.

First turn Ortho OFF.

Select the Object - Polygon - Vertical Extrusion command again.

  1. Enter a Label : “ceiling structure”
  2. Enter a Depth of 100
  3. Change Wireframe Color to Orange (this will be valuable later when placing the luminaires)
  4. Delete the texture (click in the Texture field (where you see the name of the current texture) and press the Delete key on your keyboard).
  5. Click in the Color cell. In the dialog that opens, set the Reflectance to 0.50. Doing it this way will also set the color to gray (R = G = B). Click Ok to return to the Object Polygon dialog.

Use the following coordinates to create the first ceiling object: (If you are typing the values, you need only type the commas. Spaces aren't needed, but are shown here for clarity.)

1. (100, 132.5, 35)
2. (100, 107.5, 35)
3. (100, 107.5, 34)
4. (100, 132.5, 26.5)

Right click to end this command.

Click the right mouse button again to start another vertical-extrusion object for the ceiling. Notice that all the information is retained from the previous vertical extrusion, with the exception of automatically changing the Label to “Ceiling Structure_1”. Keep everything the same as the first ceiling extrusion and accept the Label as it is by clicking Ok.

Enter the following coordinates for the second ceiling object:
1. (100, 100, 33)
2. (100, 77.5, 34.5)
3. (100, 77.5, 33.5)
4. (100, 100, 32)

Right click to end the command.

Right click again to begin the next ceiling object. As before, you will not need to make any entries. The Label will default to Ceiling Structure_2, and the depth remains at 100. Simply click Ok to accept.

Enter the following coordinates:
1. (100, 72.5, 33)
2. (100, 50, 33)
3. (100, 50, 32)
4. (100, 72.5, 32)

Right click to end the command.

Create two more objects for the ceiling in the same manner. Right click to open the command again (the last command used).
Points for Ceiling Structure_3 (autolabel):

1. (100, 42.5, 33)
2. (100, 20, 32)
3. (100, 20, 31)
4. (100, 42.5, 32)

Right click.

Points for Ceiling Structure_4 (autolabel):

1. (100, 17.5, 29)
2. (100, 5, 26)
3. (100, 5, 25)
4. (100, 17.5, 28)

Right click to end the command

Step 4 – Add Curved Surfaces at Sides of Stage

Go to Plan View and Zoom on the upper-right 1/4th of the room (use the Zoom Window button or the mouse wheel). When rolling the mouse wheel to zoom, the function will zoom about the cursor location, placing it in the center of the screen.

Select the Add Object - Polygon - Flat command.

The Object - Polygon - Flat button in the Rooms/Objects Toolkit (Menu: Add - Object - Polygon - Flat)

Complete the dialog as follows:

  1. Enter a Label: Stage Wall Right.
  2. Change Wireframe color to red.
  3. Enter Height of Sides: 30 feet.
  4. Click in the Color cell for Wall. Enter these values: R=189, G=158, B=100. Click OK to return to the Object dialog.
  5. Click OK to close the Object dialog and create the object.

Use the PageUp key on the keyboard to move the Z-coordinate to 5’ before creating the object. Or, enter the Z-Coordinate in the field at the lower-right corner of the screen.

1. Click the first point at (92.5, 113, 5).

2. Press the F4 key to initiate the Arc function.

3. Move the cursor to (80, 125, 5) and click; this is the other end of the arc.

4. Press F5 to flip the arc so that the convex surface is pointing down into the room

5. Fit the Arc by clicking on the point (92.5, 125, 5).

6. Click the next point at (81, 125, 5).

7. Press F4 again to start the Arc function.

8. Select the second point of arc at (92.5, 114, 5).

9. Fit the arc by clicking (92.5, 125, 5).

10. Click the right mouse button to close the last small side and complete the object.

Next, we will use the Mirror Object command to create a similar wall on the other side of the room.

1. Click on the Mirror Object command.

2. Select the curved wall object that we just drew.

3. Click on any two points where X=50. For example: (50, 120) and the (50, 125). Just be sure that X=50 for both points. (This defines the mirror in the middle of the room.)

We have now created two curved walls, one on each side of the stage area.

Step 5 - Use the Surface Edit Command to Modify Texture and Color on a Few Surfaces

Initially, it is not always possible to modify each individual surface when creating rooms and objects in AGi32. We can, however, access them easily at any time (and may want to repeatedly) from the Surface Edit command in the Rooms/Objects Toolkit (Modify - Surface Edit command in the menus). By default, the Surface Edit command is set to “Single (Any Type),” although there are other options within the command.

The Surface Edit button in the Rooms/Objects Toolkit (Menu: Modify - Surface Edit)

Select the Surface Edit command by simply clicking on the button (the default setting is what we want here). The cursor will have changed to a pick box. Click on any edge of the stepped floor object we created previously.  This is a multiple-selection tool (meaning more than one object or room may be selected at a time). To advance to editing only the one object we have selected, simply right click. The dialog shown below will appear.

Notice one of the facets of the stage floor is automatically highlighted in the dialog graphic with a blue perimeter and small black lines radiating from the corners (these are surface normals). When one or a group of surfaces are highlighted, we can edit its/their properties in the tabular listing on the left of the dialog.

In order to move the focus/highlight to the stage floor, click on the “Move to Next Surface” button. It is near the Navigate label at the top of the window--2nd button to the right, with arrow pointing right.

Click it repeatedly until the stage floor is highlighted, as shown at left.

Click on the cell labeled Texture, followed by the small "..." button to bring up the texture selection dialog. We will change the texture of the stage from carpt402, specified previously, to a wood texture. 

Select the Classification “Wood”. Scroll down to the texture called “wood100.”

Next, we will specify how to apply the texture to the surface. Select a Fixed Size of 8 (feet) and a rotation of 90 degrees.

Now click OK.

With this modification made, we can now move to another surface. Click on the “Move to Next Surface” button on the toolbar at the top of the dialog. This is the second button in from the left edge and the same one used previously. Notice the highlight now moves to the front vertical surface of the stage, which is Surface number 7.

Delete the carpet texture by selecting the Texture property and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.

Now click in the Reflect cell, and then enter the value 0.03 to simulate a very dark gray or black color. Click OK to return to the Surface Edit dialog. Now click OK to exit the Surface Edit dialog with the changes made.

Edit the room surfaces

Click the right mouse button to bring up the Surface Edit command again. This time, select the Room edge (not the floor object we were working with previously). The Room wireframe is green. You may need to zoom in a bit or pan about to see a free edge or vertex to select (use the mouse wheel).

With the room selected, the Surface Edit dialog opens with the floor automatically selected. We do not require this surface to be part of our model any longer, as it has been covered by the sloped floor object. Let’s remove it by changing its surface properties to a “Removed” classification.

Under the Surfaces heading in the tabular list, click on the “Removed” property and change No to Yes. (Double-clicking on No changes it to Yes.)

Click OK to exit the Surface Edit command. The original floor is no longer considered in our model. We could reinstate it anytime, if required, by simply changing its properties once again. As you might imagine, the Surface Edit command is very powerful, allowing you to alter the properties of any surface in your model.

Step 6 - Define Luminaires

With the model of the Auditorium created, we are ready to define the luminaires to be used in the lighting design. Click on the Define button under “Luminaire” in the Luminaire Toolkit, or Menu: Add - Luminaire - Define. 

For this tutorial, we will select the photometric files from the demonstration database that is included with AGi32. It’s titled “Z-Lux Sample Instabase” and can be found within AGi32’s Photometric Instabase.

Click on the Instabase button at the top of the dialog to access the area containing the databases that are maintained in the Cloud for AGi32. When the Instabase In The Cloud (IITC) dialog opens, the luminaire photometric data supplied with AGi32 is available for download.

Our first step will be to set up a User Profile. This is normally option, but it has the advantage that any Favorites or other settings that the user enables will be available from any computer by simply signing in. Click on the User Profile tab at the top of the dialog. It is also necessary for the purpose of this Tutorial.

Click on the link to Sign In or Create a User Profile.

In the lower half of the dialog, create a new User Profile: Enter your first and last name, your email address, a Username (anything you like), and a password that you can remember. Then click OK.

For this tutorial, we will be using luminaires from a "pretend" manufacturer called Z-Lux. The luminaires and their photometric data are not real and are only accessible by entering an Access Code. This is to prevent them from being used in real lighting designs!

On the right-hand side of the dialog, enter this Access Code: pretend. Then click on the "save" icon to the right.
Now you should see this:

Go to the View/Search tab.

At the top of the dialog, click on the Select Manufacturers link.

Scroll to the bottom of the dialog and select Z-Lux Sample Instabase (22) (private). Then click OK (bottom of dialog):

The Instabase User Guide will open. It has tips for those who are new to IITC. Close it by clicking on the X in the upper-right corner. (Be careful not to close the IITC dialog!)

Now we are in the main part of the IITC dialog, with the Z-Lux Sample Instabase displayed. We may now either perform a Search (using the fields on the left side of the dialog) for luminaires that meet specific criteria, or simply select the luminaire(s) that we wish to download for our project. We will do the latter.

NOTE: If you have been in IITC and downloaded luminaires already, they will be pre-selected. You will want to first click on the Unselect All button at the bottom of the dialog to avoid downloading them again.

  1. Click on the “-” next to the ZL-Fluorescent node to collapse it.
  2. Do the same for the ZL-Indirect and ZL-Industrial nodes. (Collapsing these nodes saves a bit of scrolling.)
  3. In the ZL-Recessed group, select the zl-rec3.ies luminaire. You will see its characteristics shown to the right.
  4. At the bottom of the dialog, click Download to bring the selected photometric file back to the Define Luminaire dialog

Now that the photometric file has been retrieved, we can assign a few other properties as appropriate for our project. Notice that the new definition is now listed in the top window of the Define Luminaire dialog and is ready to use, but we will make a couple of changes first.

AGi32 is set to automatically use the photometric filename as the Label (zl-rec3). We will change that: Click on the Relabel button (right side of dialog) and enter House. (These will be the auditorium's "house lights.") Making this change in the Label will assist us later.

Enter a Description of “House Downlights” in the Description cell.

We have the opportunity to assign light loss factors and alter lamp lumens, if necessary. For the purposes of this example, we will ignore these items.

For each luminaire we define in AGi32, we will need to assign both a Model Mode symbol and a Render Mode symbol. The Z-Lux sample data file that we selected already has a symbol assignment, and we need not change it for our work.  You could, of course, choose another symbol or even create a custom symbol using AGi32’s drawing and object tools.

To complete the luminaire definition with these changes, click on the “Add/Redefine”button.

Next, we will define two additional luminaires for our model. Click on the Instabase button again and from the Z-Lux sample data, first unselect the zl-rec3.ies file. We don't want to download it again!

Next, click on the zl-rec2.ies file, also found under the ZL-Recessed node.

Scroll down further, and under the ZL-Outdoor node, in the ZL-Flood node, select zlfl3.ies.

Scroll to the bottom and click Download to return these two photometric files to the Define Luminaire dialog.

These two luminaires also have their own symbols, and are therefore loaded automatically into the list of defined luminaires. However, we are going to make a couple of changes to them, as we did with the first luminaire's definition.

  1. Select the zl-rec2 file and then click the Relabel button and change the Label to Wall.
  2. Next, enter a Description of Floor-recessed uplight.
  3. Click in the Color cell next to Model Mode Symbol. Select a Red color. Exit the color selection dialog. The red color will help to distinguish these luminaires from the house downlights in Model Mode.
  4. Click on the Add/Redefine button to keep these changes to the zl-rec2 luminaire's definition.

  1. Finally, select the zlfl3.ies luminaire, click the Relabel button, and enter a new Label: Stage.
  2. Change the Description to: Stage Light.
  3. Click in the Render Mode Symbol area, and in the dialog that opens, enter Symbol Scaling Factors for the X & Y dimensions of 0.50. (The Model Mode Symbol will also be rescaled automatically.)
  4. Click OK to return to the Define dialog.

Click on Add/Redefine to accept these changes.

We now have three defined luminaire types, ready to use in our project. Click on the Close button to return to Model Mode.We are now ready to place the luminaires in our model.

Step 7 - Place the Luminaires

Let’s begin by placing the house lights in a series of arrays. We will put them between the ceiling elements at a height just above the bottom of the ceiling panel.

Before selecting the Array command, open the Luminaire Toolkit. Set the luminaire selection drop-down to “House: House Downlights” (see image below), and change “Locate & Aim” to simply “Locate,” which statically aims the selected luminaire in its default direction.

Now enter a mounting height (MH) of 32.5 (feet). The settings should appear as shown here.

Now click on the Array Luminaire button from the Luminaire Toolkit (or Menu: Modify - Luminaire - Array - Rectangular). The default setting is a Rectangular Array.

The Array Luminaire button in the Luminaire Toolkit (Menu: Modify - Luminaire - Array)

  1. Select the “Use current luminaire specification” radio button.
  2. In the Array Specification section, click the "Set Quantity" radio button.
  3. Enter quantities of 10 in the left-to-right direction and 1 in the top-to-bottom direction.
  4. Click OK to exit the dialog to place the array.
  5. Turn Ortho ON. This can be done by clicking the Ortho button in the lower-right area of the screen (if Ortho on does NOT have the red circle and line through it) or by pressing F8 on the keyboard (F8 toggles Ortho on and off). Either way you do this, the function is transparent and will not affect the Array Luminaires function you are currently working on.

Move the cursor to X=7.5, Y=102 (7.5,102) and click the first point (leftmost luminaire)

Drag the cursor to X=92.5, Y=102 (92.5,102) and click to set the rightmost luminaire. We have just placed our first array.

In the same manner, place the following four arrays:

MH (set in Toolkit)
Quantity (LR,TB)
Left point (X,Y)
Right point (X,Y)
10, 1
7.5, 75
92.5, 75
10, 1
7.5, 46
92.5, 46
10, 1
7.5, 19
92.5, 19
10, 1
7.5, 2.5
92.5, 2.5

Now we can array the floor-mounted uplights in a single operation. Once placed, we will have to move to elevation view and adjust the height of the luminaires as they move toward the back of the house to keep them the proper height above the sloped floor.

Again, let's set the Luminaire Toolkit parameters for the luminaires we want to place. In the drop-down menu, select “Wall:Floor Recessed Uplight.” Set the Mounting Height (MH) to 0 (zero) and the Tilt to 180 degrees (we need these luminaires to face straight up).

Now click on the Luminaire Array button from the Luminaire Toolkit.

Use the “Current Luminaire Specification” method and set the Spacing Left-Right at 96 and the Spacing Top-Bottom at 15.

This time, we will need three points to specify the array:

 (2, 85.5), (98, 85.5), and (98, 25.5).

Now move to Elevation View Looking West by selecting this button from the Common Toolbar. Take the Elevation View at X=100 (move the cursor to the right-side wall, or X=100, and click).

The Elevation View Looking West button on the Common Toolbar (Menu: View - Elevation - Looking West)

Center the cursor on the rightmost floor-recessed luminaire (Y=85.5, Z=0) and use the mouse wheel to zoom in until you can see the luminaire. (Note that it is very small and difficult to see until you zoom in.) There are actually two here, one that you can see, and one that is on the opposite side of the room, lined up with it.

Use the Move Luminaire command, Same Aiming Angles, Window option to get both luminaires, since one is directly behind the other but all the way across the room. Click on the small arrow to the right of the Move Luminaire button to access the “Same Aiming Angles” and then “Window” option.

The Move Luminaire button in the Luminaire Toolkit (Menu: Modify - Luminaire - Move - Same Aiming Angles-Window)

Click below and left of the luminaire to start the selection window then click up and to the right of the luminaire to finish the selection window. (It looks like we only selected one, but remember, there is another one lined up with it, further into the room; using the Window option selects both of them.) Now click on a reference point for the move (use bottom edge of the luminaire itself) then move them up to Z=1.5. Remember to keep an eye on the Command Line, the bold text at the bottom left of the screen, as it tells you what input AGi32 is expecting next. If necessary, you may zoom in or out a bit with the mouse wheel, to make it easier.

Pan over to the next set of luminaires (Y=70.5) to the left by pressing and holding the mouse wheel down while you move the mouse. (If you have a mouse without a wheel, use the scrollbars to pan to the next luminaire location, or the Pan-Point command instead).
Use the Move Luminaire - Same Aiming Angles - Window command again to move them up to Z=2.5.

Do the same for the three adjacent sets of luminaires to the left. New Z-coordinates should be 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5. Once you have done this, all of the Wall luminaires should now be in line with the floor section at their respective elevations.

Finally, we can place the stage spots to complete the lighting. In this operation, we will locate a series of luminaires on the left side of the room, aiming them at the stage. When complete, we can mirror them about the stage's center line to create the opposite- (right-) side locations.

Set the Luminaire Toolkit to “Stage: Stage Lights” and the Aim Type to “Locate and Aim.” Enter the Mounting Height as 34 feet and, finally, set the AimZ cell to 5 (stage height). Before placing any luminaires, make sure Ortho is ON (use F8 to toggle Ortho on/off)

Select Plan View.

Click the “Locate & Aim” Luminaire button. Place three groups of three luminaires each along the Y=105 coordinate. The first click will place the luminaire, and the second will aim its center-beam intensity at the point you select on the stage. Perform the locate-and-aim click combination nine times.

Exactly where you place and aim your luminaires is not important for the purpose of this example. The screen captures show three groups of three luminaires each, located on the left side of the room.

Right-click to end the command.

When you are satisfied with the left-side luminaire placement, select the down-arrow next to the Mirror Luminaire command, and select the Window option (Luminaire Toolkit).

The Mirror Luminaire button in the Luminaire Toolkit (Menu: Modify - Luminaire - Mirror - Window)

  1. Draw a window around the left-side spotlights you have just added. Be careful not to select any others.
  2. To create the mirror line (watch the lower-left corner of the screen for instructions), click on any point on the X=50 coordinate line.
  3. Select a second point along X=50 (establishing the room centerline) to define the mirror and see the duplicated luminaires appear on the right side of the auditorium.

It's a good idea to go to a different view from time to time, to see if things look correct. This is our model so far, in Default Isometric View:

Step 8 - Add Calculation Points Above Seating and on Stage

We will use two different methods to place calculation points in our model: a 3-point grid placed on a slope above the seating floor, and automatic placement for horizontal illuminance on the stage.

The sloped plane of points will display horizontal illuminance (light meter facing up) at a height of 2.5 feet above the floor.

To ready the drawing for this operation, go to Plan View, if not already there.

In the Calculations Toolkit, click the arrow to the right of the Grid Points button and select “3 Pt. Input” (or Menu: Add - Calculations - Grid - 3 Pt. Input).

The 3 Pt. Grid selection in the Calculations Toolkit (Menu: Add - Calculation Points - Grid - 3Pt. Input)

In the dialog box, enter a Label: House Illumination 100%.

Enter values for Point Spacing: 2 feet for both Left-To-Right and Top-To-Bottom.

Change the Light Meter aiming to “Fixed” and enter 0 for both Orient and Tilt.

Enter a Z-Coordinate for the baseline of 9.5 feet; this is 2.5’ above the 7-foot elevation of the floor in the rear of the auditorium.

Enter a Z-Coordinate of 3 for the 3rd point elevation, as this will be 2.5' above the first-step elevation of 0.5 feet.

Click Ok and watch the Command Line in the lower left corner of the screen:

1. “Select or enter 1st point of grid baseline”: Click on the point X=4, Y=2.5.

2. “Select or enter the 2nd point of grid baseline”: Click on the point X=96, Y=2.5.

3. “Select or enter the 3rd point of grid (top of grid)”: At the front of the "house" (the seating area), click on X=96, Y=105.

Let’s look in elevation view from the side of the model to verify the slope of our plane of points. Click on the Elevation View Looking East button

and select a point anywhere along the line of X=0.

Now let’s add calculation points to the stage using the Calculation Points – Automatic Placement command. This technique is different and in many ways easier than the manual point location used previously.

Select Plan view

Select the Automatic Placement button from the Calculations Toolkit (or Menu: Add - Calculations - Automatic Placement).

CalcPts-Automatic Placement button in the Calculations Toolkit (Menu: Add - Calculation Points - Automatic Placement)

Click on the front edge of the stage.

When the Automatic Placement dialog opens, use the “Navigate" (Move to next surface) icon or the F10 key on your keyboard to move the highlight to the top of the stage floor.

With the stage floor highlighted, locate the Calculation Points section in the Properties list. Turn ON the calculation points. (Double-click on Off to change it to On.)

From within the General Properties section, change the PointSpacingLR and PointSpacingTB settings to 2 feet.

Change the name in the FamilyLabel field to Stage.

Click OK, and the points will automatically be placed on the stage.

At this point, we have some calculation points under and behind the curved stage walls that we do not want to participate in our statistics. We can remove them using a polygon shape as follows.

Click on the small arrow to the right of the “Remove Selected Calculation Points” button in the Calculations Toolkit. Select “Polygon” from the list given (Polygon is the default setting too). This can also be done via the Menu: Modify - Calculations - Remove Points - Polygon.

The CalcPts-Remove Points button in the Calculations Toolkit (Menu: Modify - Calculation Points - Remove Points - Polygon)

Draw the polygon as follows (zoom in on the stage if need be):

  1. Select the first point at X=0, Y=112.5 (0,112.5).
  2. Position the cursor at the second point, X=7.5, Y=112.5 (7.5, 112.5) and press the F4 key to set the first point of an Arc.
  3. Then move the mouse to (20, 124.5) and click the second point of the Arc.
  4. Fit the arc by clicking on the point (7.5, 124.5).
  5. Continue to the next point in the polygon, (20, 132.5), followed by (0, 132.5).
  6. Now click the right mouse button to close the final side of the polygon and remove the points within.

Pan across the stage and use the same method to remove points on the opposite side of the stage. Note: You will need to use the F5 keyboard command to flip the Arc if you proceed in a clockwise manner.

Step 9 - Use Project Manager to Organize the Model

AGi32 allows you to isolate parts of your model into different “projects” to facilitate the analysis of various lighting scenarios. In the case of this example, we are interested in the results of the House Lighting alone, as well as the Stage Lighting in combination with the Wall Lighting in a dimmed mode. In your projects, you will have different scenarios, and the way that you isolate pieces of your project will greatly depend on your goals.

Select the Project Manager button from the Common Toolbar.

The Project Manager button on the Control Bar (Menu: Modify - Project - Project Manager)

When the dialog opens,place a checkmark in the Load cell for Project_1 (upper part of dialog).

Click the right mouse button anywhere in the upper project list and select “New…”. Create a New project titled “House Lighting.” Repeat this process and create two more new projects titled “Stage Lighting” and “Wall Lighting.”

Next, we will move entities into these newly created projects.

With Project_1 loaded, in the drop-down list labeled “Entity type,” select Luminaire.

Select all of the luminaires with Label “House” by clicking on the topmost line in the column to the left of Luminaire Number (with arrow indicator), followed by a Shift-click on the last line that has a luminaire labeled “House.” With all of the House luminaires selected, right click on the highlighted list and select “Transfer…”. When the project list opens, select the project titled “House Lighting” and click OK. We have just isolated all of the House Luminaires into a project called House Lighting.

Follow this procedure and transfer all luminaires labeled Stage to the project named Stage Lighting, then all luminaires labeled Wall to the project called Wall Lighting.

In the same manner, use the Entity Type menu to show CalcPoints instead of Luminaires.

Now transfer the calc points label “House Illumination 100%” to the House Lighting project.

Transfer the calculation points label “Stage_Side_6” to the project called Stage Lighting.

In the next step, we want to compute only the House lighting results.

Place a checkmark in the Freeze cell for the Wall Lighting and Stage Lighting projects.

Click OK to accept these changes and exit Project Manager.

Step 10 - Calculate House Lighting

Now you will see the fruits of your labor! Click on the Render tab above the Model workspace. 

A wireframe view of the auditorium will appear in Render Mode.

Click on the Calculate button to calculate the House Lighting only (recall that we left the Stage and Wall lighting luminaires "Frozen" in Project Manager.

The default view is the Front View, which for our project is looking into the auditorium toward the stage. You may click on any of the navigation buttons on the Render toolbar to select a different view. You can do this while it's calculating.

Now switch the view to the Back View.

The Back View button on the Render Toolbar (Menu: View - Default Views - Back)

Notice the rough scallops on the back wall of the auditorium. This is due to the wall discretization being inadequate to handle the close proximity of the downlights to the wall surface. We need to instruct AGi32 to discretize the adjacent surfaces into smaller pieces to accurately handle the close proximity of the luminaires to the wall surface. This can be done in two ways: by manually adjusting the surface Mesh using the Surface Edit command, or automatically by setting the Adaptive Subdivision switch and its properties (for an explanation, please see the Adaptive Subdivision - Concepts topic in AGi32 Help).

For this project, we will use Adaptive Subdivision. Click on the arrow to the right of the Calculate button, and then click on “Adaptive Subdivision.”

Click on the box, putting a check mark in it, to Enable Adaptive Subdivision.

Leave all the default settings as they are, but notice the “Element Luminance Threshold” setting. With it set to 1.5, we are instructing AGi32 to automatically subdivide each surface when one Element is 50% more luminous than the adjacent Element.

Click Ok to continue. A window will now appear stating, “This change will reset calculated values and rendered image. Do you really want to continue?” Click “Yes”. 

The image will now reset to a wireframe appearance.

Click on the Calculate button again to recalculate the house lighting.

Notice the increased accuracy of the back wall scallops. The accuracy of the calculated illuminance on the floor has not appreciably changed. However, the luminance ratios on the back wall are dramatically different. This should tell us that whenever we are interested in more than simple horizontal illuminance on a work plane or floor surface, we should enable the Adaptive Subdivision routine. Enabling Adaptive Subdivision causes the calculations to take slightly longer, so it is not enabled by default.

When complete, return to Model Mode by clicking on the Model tab.

Enter Project Manager again and remove the Freeze checkmark on the Stage Lighting and Wall Lighting projects.

Now Freeze the House Lighting Project. This will preserve the House Lighting calculation while we compute the Stage and Wall Lighting schemes.

Click OK.

Next, we will use Scene Manager to dim some of the lights.

Click on the Scene Manager button, to the right of the Project Manager button.

Scene Manager can be used for setting up Channels, groups of luminaires that will be controlled together, and Scenes, which are essentially switching and dimming scenarios for the luminaires in a project. But Scene Manager may also be used for simply dimming luminaires.

The middle (Luminaire Status) section of the dialog lists the luminaires by number and shows their switch (on/off) and dim status. (Dimming = 1.00 means 100% output, i.e. not dimmed.) The right-hand section (Luminaires) of the dialog lists the luminaires by number and also shows their Labels.

We want to dim the Wall luminaires. Scrolling down in the Luminaires section to the Wall luminaires shows us that they are luminaire numbers 51 through 60.

In the middle section (Luminaire Status section), you could change the Dimming value for each of the Wall luminaires, one at a time. Instead, we will use a more convenient method to change the Dimming value for all of them at once. Use the Shift-click method to select luminaires 51 through 60.

Right click in the blue highlighted area and select Dimming from the menu. When the Dimming cell pops up, enter 0.20 for 20%, and then click OK. We have just dimmed the output of the Wall luminaires to 20%.

Click OK to close the Scene Manager dialog.

We are now set to compute the scheme of Stage lighting at 100% output and Wall Lighting at 20% output.

Step 11 - Calculate Stage and Wall lighting

Before computing the Stage and Wall lighting scheme, select the Render tab again. This will allow us to watch the radiosity process calculate interreflected light and display it in our drawing.

In Render Mode, click the Calculate button. Typical rendered views of the auditorium are shown below. Given that your placement and aiming points of the stage lights might be different, your rendered views might differ as well.

Back View

Front View

Let's switch on the textures to see the carpet and wood materials applied to the floor surfaces. We can then interactively maneuver around the model, searching for the most stimulating viewpoints. Click on the Textures button on the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. Clicking this button will toggle the textures on and off.

The Toggle Textures switch on the Status Bar, shown for textures enabled.

Explore the rendered model using the Interactive viewing commands.

Left View

Stage view

View of house seating from stage


In this tutorial, we created an interior space with curved walls. The Mirror Object command was used. Luminaires were placed using rectangular arrays, which allowed us to create elaborate configurations with just a few clicks. The entire environment was rendered in a matter of minutes, and we are able to move through the illuminated environment at will. Adaptive Subdivision was used to improve the accuracy of the calculation on the back wall. We used Project Manager and Scene Manager to organize the project and calculate different scenarios. Check out the Scene Manager - Concepts and Using Scene Manager Help topics for more information on this powerful tool.

Many additional elements could have been easily added to the space, including more textures on the walls and a variety of objects (people, chairs, tables and more).

Multiple viewpoints may be easily created in Render Mode, so that you can see the environment from several viewpoints at once. Rendered viewpoints are available in Page Builder for customized presentations.

Ray tracing Direct Illumination is another calculation procedure that may be implemented for more photo-realistic appearing imagery.