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Old 15-09-12, 14:41   #1
Level NextGen
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Default Advanced lighting to create atmospheric level

Advanced Lighting to create atmospheric level

I think everybody is able to create a Basic Lighting (here's a good tutorial for beginners) but lighting is more complex than only one sun bulb in your room.
Next Generation games of nowadays has studied a lot lighting for there advanced Game Engine (I can remember the Engine of Battlefield use the most achieved Lighting setting, there is a video on YouTube but I can't find it)

You might know lighting is somehow a matter of rays and reflections. Our main source of light is the sun, called Mr Sun in the Basic Tutorial , but when you light on your rooms there's also a secondary source of light, and so all things that can produce light: that's to say your screen laptop, your tv, a fire in the fire-house, a glowing bug in the night, eyes of cats ... so on, so on!

But there's also a "third source" of light, well it should be more called the reflection of light. You might think the moon is a light source but it is only the reflection of the sunlight on the moon. In fact, the moon doesn't produced light but only reflect the light of the sun. This is where I want to go!

In advanced Game Engine like UDK or Cry Engine (and so on) when you set a light, the editor knows it has to create reflection for it. Enlight a red wall with a white light, you got a reddish global lighting, change this red wall with a blue one and you've switched to a blueish ambiance. It's being called radiosity... I think it's better to show you a video

Create this kind of lighting in TRLE/NGLE
NOTE: To see the light ray click on Show Light Meshes next to Crack Mode, Toogle Opacity...

I can tell you recreate this lighting in TRLE/NGLE is impossible, but this video aimed you to realise lighting is more than a matter of sunbulb!
My advice would be, to set a darker Ambience as you wanted. You know this parameters:
Then you light the whole room with a sunbulb. It doesn't matter if it is an outside room or an inside room, the sunbulb illuminate Lara and create on her skin a nice effect. And it would create shadows effects!
The setting of your sunbulb will depend of the environment of the level and the room. You just have to play with the ray direction, the intensity and the color. There's something I really love to do, it's to create an orangish ambience with a blue sun
As you can see in this shot, there is different radiance of colors on the floor and the walls, it was only create with an orangish ambience and a blue sun without being shocking!

Then the finest thing to do is to add more lights around the room to provide a better atmosphere. First lights have to be set, on all source of lights or all place where the light would come.

In small rooms you can use simple light with a large "out". You should play with the "in" option, it can help you to create smoother lighting when you set it at 0 or 0.25... The way you will set the light is your own way.

In larger rooms I advise you to use both light and spot. Spots are like sun but you can set more than one spot and can light an accurate place.

Don't be shy on colors and give to lights sources vibrant colors it would set a greater atmosphere for your level. Even for dark area or ambience.
I would advice you green'ish ambiance with some blue and few flames lights over there. The Ghost of Croft Manor is a great example!

"Random" your light setting:
A game isn't realism! So you can set up few lights here and there (without any reason) to amplify your atmosphere.

It could help when you create caves or very dark ambience. (Ghost Manor example )

You can also create more dark ambience with an ambience setting nearly at 0,0,0. But don't hesitate to place many bulbs and one sun bulb with a small in to create smooth transitions.

Well some old examples:

Lighting Objects:
And don't forget to light your objects, even with strpix with the light editor
There is a tut made by Titak and teme9 to create plants but it shows this features!

You should know statics can't be affects by the ambiance colors so you have to change its lighting in the editor for each static place in your level (it could be a very long work)

For animatings objects if you want to them nice reflect, you should use spot directed on them!

The power of color on your mind:
Let's talk about psych'

The colors have on the mind a certain power. I can remember some of them:
Red: can be used for seduction, blood, hot places...
Orange: has something to do with the warm atmosphere
Blue: is for water, calm and peaceful gameplay
Green: could be used for caves or fearsome ambience
Purple: for psychedelic or tech levels

But this is only some advices and it isn't necessary to follow these tips

Maybe you can see how different setting can be felt

EDIT: Do not post in this thread! If you have question go on my thread
"You nailed it!"

Last edited by Level NextGen; 26-05-16 at 15:23.
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