View Full Version : How can 3dsmax use more than 8 lights?

07-05-2000, 05:16 AM
We know that 3dsmax support OpenGL, and we know that 3dsmax support more than 8 light
s. But openGL only support 8 lights, then, the question is: How can 3dsmax use more than 8 lights?

07-05-2000, 06:28 AM
I thought the 8 lights in opengl (default) was only based on that implementation of opengl which is being used. I thought it was usually 8 lights in hardware and any more you would have to drop back to software mode and hence take a perfromance hit.

This is my understanding of this subject (I could be very very wrong on this tho).


07-05-2000, 06:38 AM
No, I think the 8 light thing is a max. The light names GL_LIGHT0...GL_LIGHT7 are hardcoded in the header, after all.

AFAIK 3dsmax only uses OpenGL for the preview renderer - not for the actual production render. So maybe they don't support >8 lights in preview mode. Or maybe they do their vertex lighting in software and just use GL for rasterization, same as most games do.

07-05-2000, 07:56 AM
I am wondering... why did they RESTRICT us to eight lights? Was there a design problem? or what? This seems more like MS programming than good programming (they are two entirely different things) on the surface...

anyone know the reason?

07-05-2000, 01:30 PM
The OpenGl specs says eight lights is the minimum number of lights for an OpenGL implementation.
The GL_LIGHT defines allow to specify those simply by GL_LIGHT0+(your_light_index_here).
Read out the number of supported lights with glGetIntegerv(GL_MAX_LIGHTS).
There are actually implementations with more lights, like the 3Dlabs GAMMA based boards which have 16, and I think I have read the Wildcat 4210 has 24.
Any implementation without HW geometry could easily specify any desired number of lights. It's just a loop in the lighting calculation.

Nonetheless, the 3DS MAX production renderer is pure software and can handle as many lights as the software allows (I dunno the #).