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New to BSE; new to Blender.

I've imported a fairly complicated .stp model into Blender and successfully produced some renders using Cycles.

Now I want to produce a cross section of the model to show the detail inside. In the viewport I'm achieving what I want using the Camera Clipping Distance.

Viewport:

viewport

When I render the scene, using Cycles, the interior parts which are exposed by the clipping distance are extremely dark, i.e. black.

Render: render

I have a sun and couple of hemi lights outside the model. I tried moving a light inside the model but it didn't seem to change anything.

Can anyone help me how to avoid this or how to light the scene correctly.

Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ There is no light inside your objects so they are naturally dark, clipping doesn't change that. Sunlight is always calculated as if at an infinite distance, putting it inside an object is indifferent. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jan 11 '18 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ What Duarte said, you'll need to cut that pipe in half so light can reach the inside, clipping doesn't affect light rays. I guess you could put a spotlight or an emitter of sorts inside the pipe but that will get messy fast. $\endgroup$ – TomTr Jan 11 '18 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ If you need to render an effect like this, it is recommended to use a boolean as that will actually affect the final rendered mesh, not just visibility to the camera. $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 11 '18 at 14:19
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Make sure light can reach the interior. Use boolean modifier(s) to effectively cut away portions of your model, thus giving a true cross-section.

Example:

  1. Create a new mesh (e.g. cube).
  2. Add a boolean modifier to object which you want to cut away. Set mode "Difference". Don't hit apply.
  3. Make the new mesh (1.) the target for the modifier.
  4. Move the mesh into desired position. Where the mesh overlaps the object will be cut away.
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