Creating Realistic Lighting Effects for your Fireplace

Reference Number: KB-01234
Last Modified: July 16, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


How can I make my fireplace appear to be glowing and casting light around my room?



In this article we will be adjusting material properties and adding a light to our fireplace to give off a realistic, glowing, fireplace effect for our ray traces.

To create the "Glowing Flame" effect

  1. Open a 3D view of your fireplace by clicking 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera  and and click and drag to draw a Full Camera that faces your fireplace.

  2. Click on the Adjust Material Definition  button and click on the flame material to bring up the Define Material dialog.

    Note: If the flame material is behind a glass panel or other obstacle you can click on the Delete Surfaces tool and then click on the glass panel to temporarily hide it while you modify the fire.

  3. Under the Properties panel of the Define Material dialog, increase the Emissive property. You can increase this to your preference and click OK.

The flame should now appear to be glowing.

To create the lighting for the rest of the room

  1. From the Floor Plan view, click 3D> Lighting> Add Lights .

  2. Click in front of the fireplace and drag to draw a Spot Light facing away from the fireplace.

  3. Use the Select Objects  tool to select the light source, then click Open Object  to bring up the Light Specification dialog.

  4. On the Location panel, specify the Height off the floor.

    For the purposes of this example, use the Specify the Floor Number of 1 and set the Absolute Elevation to 24".

  5. On the Light Data panel, change the Cut Off Angle to 180° and the Drop Off Rate to 12.0.

  6. Now change the color to better match the flame and change the intensity to 500 Lumens or 40W.

The room will now be lit by the spotlight in front of the fireplace, and appear as though the light is coming from the fire.