Using Skylight Portals in Shaderlight

  • What are Skylight Portals?
  • How do they work?
  • Where do they need to go?

We often see these questions in support so we have put together this quick tutorial which should hopefully give you all the answers and help you make the best of your renders!

Skylight Portals

What are Skylight Portals and how do they work?

Found Under Lightbulb Icon

Skylight Portals can be found under the ‘lightbulb’ icon on the Shaderlight toolbar. They are basically ‘seals’ which act as a one way window to direct natural light into the Interior and stop it escaping again. Without Skylight Portals it’s likely you will get a ’noisy’ render as the light rays are bouncing back and forth in the scene. This will show on the render as white speckles or ‘noise’. This is the same render without Skylight Portals…

White speckles or ‘noise’

The render is very dark and grainy even though it has been rendered at high quality. The natural light does not fill the room and you get lots of harsh shadowing and noise where the light is present.

Where do Skylight Portals need to go?

Where to place?

Skylight Portals should be placed over any opening where the Interior is exposed to the outside space. It is best to cover all openings even if they are not directly in the room. The Portal needs to be placed on the outside of the window. If you start by selecting the Portal and clicking on the corner of your opening you should see an orange line in the centre of the portal as you drag it across. This line needs to face into the room, which indicates the direction the natural light will travel in.

Portal needs to be placed on outside of window

Once you have placed the Skylight Portal over your opening, you should see a yellow half circle in the centre of the Portal. This should also point into the room again to indicate the direction of the natural light. You then need to repeat this process for all other openings in the model so the Interior is completely ‘sealed’. You can then render your model! The render below shows the left side of the Interior rendered with Skylight Portals and the Right side without Portals.

Left side rendered with Skylight Portals and Right side without Portals

You should find the render is much brighter and sharper when you render with Skylight Portals!

Note: The Lighting used in this model is Physical Sky. Auto Exposure has been turned off and manual exposure was adjusted  to +2.2. Background brightness was increased to +2.4. The only artificial lights used are on the wall, which are set to 200 Candela.

Thanks for reading

Shaderlight Team

If you want to find out more about Shaderlight, you can visit their website here.


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