O Lightmap, Why I Eyes You

This is some of the most quality game-design related knowledge I’ve found on the web recently, at the On-Mirror’s-Edge forums:

Custom Lightmaps using V-Ray

It’s a tutorial about how to get stuff made in a 3D modeling suite (Max in this case) into a game (Mirror’s Edge in this case), including lightmaps created with V-Ray, a much advanced renderer. Be sure to look further down in that thread for some especially pretty pics.

The lightmap part is especially interesting, because V-Ray does stuff like colour bounce (say, a green wall texture creates a greenish tint on neighbouring walls) that can’t be done by default in most games / editors (Mirror’s Edge used Beast to create these effects).

It’s not really feasible to use V-Ray for lighting all of Scout’s Journey, but I guess there are a number of methods to fake certain effects. Colour bounce could be approximated with hand-placed point lights, I guess, especially since SJ doesn’t really have a lot of bright colours. It’s perfectly feasible to put a couple orange lights next to an orange barrel, if you get my drift. Alternatively I could always hand-edit the lightmaps, possibly marking the spots with point lights.

Does anyone have experience with this kind of stuff?

All this talk about lighting got me to do a test run of q3map2’s radiosity feature – I wanted to see if I could at least get some coloured backsplash from certain objects. To make it more interesting, I racked up the lightmap definition as well. The options used were -fast -samplesize 4 -samples 4 -bounce 4 -bouncescale 3 -dirty.

In this last shot, you can see the blue tint being bounced from the blue brush. This is nice, but I’d like to increase this effect. I might be able to tweak individual shaders to bounce more light than usual (q3map_bounceScale).

This seems about the extent of how far you can take lightmap definition and smoothness with q3map2, unless maybe I export the lightmaps and post-process them.  I’m not fully using things like q3map2’s penumbra feature yet, either.

Is this the end of the flagpole?


2 responses to “O Lightmap, Why I Eyes You

  • Spiney

    pretty impressive results! Instantly looks a lot more modern!
    There’s been a little internal talk at Schism about doing some tests with rad, the lighting on liquids is kind of messy with pointlights and being able to recieve light from glowing textures and sky would be nice. I’m not sure how well it would work for a full radiosity solution, quake is pretty dark and grimy and the very harsh shadows kind of suit it. Nonetheless I think doing one or 2 passes of radiosity for ambient light could prove to be interesting.

  • kneedeepinthedoomed

    Yeah, it’s probably worth a try if you can get support into the compiler.

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