I was wondering how other people analyze the effectiveness of lightpipe designs?
I have designed a one piece instrument front out of clear polycarbonate, which has lightpipes moulded into it to transfer SMT LED light to the front to illuminate symbols on a front adhered decal. We made a prototype machined out of polycarbonate which showed problems of light transfer into adjacent symbols, so I've changed the design based on some 2d "raytrace" sketches using equations to calculate refraction and internal reflection, and want to virttually test the result before I commit to new prototypes.
I tried to test it by placing point lights into LED models, and doing a final render, The problem is that Photo view doesn't seem to be very accurate about internal reflections and I get a general glow rahter than any sort of accurate representation.
Is photo view the right tool?
if not what would others suggest?
if it is , what am I doing wrong?
here's a view of the result.
There is one lit LED for each group of indicators, ie of the left three, only one should be lit, and of the right four, only one etc As you can see there is just a general glow illuminating every thing around.