Join Date: Mar 2008
[Tutorial] Basic Lighting in 4 easy steps.
Alot of new coming builders, also known as 'newbies', tend to throw themselves into the wonderful world of Level editing. I admire their curiousity to build levels however, just building rooms is not how a level is done.
Lately I have seen more and more unfinished levels being released with the excuse of: This is a beta/test/demo. Instead of using these excuses how about learn the 2nd most important element of level editing: Atmosphere and Mood.
Atmosphere and mood is next to gameplay the essential element to make your level not only play good but also look and feel good. Therefor this extremely easy tutorial will explain in four steps how to create the most basic lighting.
Meet Mr Sun. It is located at the bottom left ( lighting Panel ) and Mr Sun can really make your level look suddenly better. Mr sun can change it's RGB value, brightness and direction. All is done by clicking on the sun and then modifying the values that pop at the lighting panel. Don't forget to turn on "Show Light meshes" to see which direction the light is being cast. Though keep in mind you still need to adjust and experiment alot to get the desired look. Let's start shall we?
Step1: As an example: I created this simple indoor room and textured it with Tinnos textures (TR3). It combines temple and snowy/icy theme.
Step2:First you need to learn to use more often the Ambient lighting. Ambient lighting makes your life easier and makes lighting a piece of cake. Cause this is an indoor area, I used 16,16,16 as Ambient room light. This will create a nice dark area to start out with. If you are making an outside area you can still use a low ambient light value. I will explain this at the end.
Though it looks ugly and dark. Leaving it like this is a bad idea. So time to call Mr Sun.
Step3: Watch how a single sun can change the entire room look. Note how I adjusted the brightness and direction. Experiment with it untill you get the desired feeling or looks.
Step4: Now see how I change the colour of the sun, I gave it a blue-ish colour so it looks like you are in some kind of icy/cave area. And that with only 1 sun. I also added a shadowbulb in the corner where the "shadow is being cast" don't overdo or overuse shadow bulbs. Like I said: Play around and see for yourself.
Let us see what we got ingame shall we?
Ingame result ( with lighting )Well what you know?! We got a icy/snowy atmosphere here.
What would happen without lighting? Well it would look like this:
Ugly, non-atmospheric and horrible. Not to mention that if you like to receive reviews people will downrate your level for not lighting your level.
A few facts and tips/tricks
- Only one sun is allowed in each room! Having two will make it crash.
- A sun only illuminates the room it is in, meaning connected or stacked rooms won't get affected. There for you need to place the sun here aswell depending on your level layout.
- A sun can be perfectly combined with other lights such as the lightbulb, spotlight, fog, effect or shadow.
- Don't use shadowbulbs to create shadows but rather use the ambient light. Having 0,0,0 ambient will cause pitch dark shadows where the light does not hit.
- You can use 16,16,16 ambient light for outside areas as well. Let's say you have this forest. The trees will cast shadows when you place a sun, just make sure you adjust the brightness of the sun. This will make your area more realistic. If you would use shadowbulbs it would look fake and mess up the harmony. Therefor it is adviced to use ambient light combined with lightbulb/sun. Shadowbulbs should be only used in dark corners where you don't want any light to hit ( example: crawspaces )
Everyone can do it. All it takes it time and dedication. Mostly dedication is enough to create good results but if you really want to make your level feel better, then time is crucial. Take your time and have fun.
Edit: corrected the misspelled word: Lighting =P thanks Daniel for that. >.<
Last edited by Yasin; 28-05-08 at 18:12.