Gep Malakai wrote:
APPEARS to cast light, because the light falls in the appropriate area. But it isn't luminous in the way a genuine light source is.
Then what's your metric for determining what is and isn't luminous in a "genuine" way? If it's not the luminosity and it's not the exposure and it's not whether it casts light on something, then what is it?
By the way, as someone who does work with CG objects, the illumination on the Abramsprise from the windows looks like Final Gather-style rays cast from the incandescent geometry. As far as is possible for a virtual environment, that would make it real, actual illumination.
Quality of light. (how's that for arbitrary and vague.) Whether that is done via radiosity or some practical fashion, if it doesn't look right, it doesn't look right. You can wreck a comp with real objects by messing with it (like DS9 T&T ship shots, which look like CG because they've taken the contrast out -- especially odd given DS9 had less fill in its space stuff than TNG, a deliberate choice by Legato up front), so it isn't exclusively a CG issue, but it comes up a lot more often.