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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb A little lighting experiment I did in UE3.

    DISCLAIMER: I do not know how different the lighting works in UT2007 compared to RoboBlitz and how EPIC implemtns and uses lighting in UT2007, so I might be wrong with my assumptions. But seing the screenshots from the UT2007 Trailer with some pitch black parts on characters I think I might be going in the right direction.

    I had the idea when I sat in my room with only one lightsource in one corner but no parts not even under the table are pitchblack. This is due to radiosity.
    There is no automatic radiosity in UE3, so it must be simulated (which is quite easy).

    So I made a little room in UED and did the follwowing:

    -Added a light in one corner
    -Added 2 StaticMeshes in the center
    -Set the PointLight properties properly

    Here is the result:
    http://www.fuegerstef.de/temp/light1.jpg

    As you can see the cylinder in the center is unnaturally black. Not even the shadow it casts is that black.


    So the next step I did:
    -I reduced the PointLight's brightness in the corner a tad.
    -Added one simple skylight (yes, inside a room) for the most simple form of simulating radiosity

    Here is the result:
    http://www.fuegerstef.de/temp/light2.jpg

    NO, I did NOT paint the orange square in Photoshop. This is a bright orange cube that was in the room from the very beginning. YOu just couldn'T see it, because it was as black as the Static Mesh it was in front of

    Here is the view from a different angle.
    http://www.fuegerstef.de/temp/light3.jpg

    So you see, even if EPIC paints the skins in neon-yellow they wouldn't been seen if they are unlit from one side.

    And as you can see when you compare shot 1 and 2 I took, the impact on the mood on the walls is very minor. Shot 2 does not only look more realistic. It also adds a lot to the playability as we wouldn't need UTComp glowskins to see them.

    You want this game to be a success, we the players, no matter if competitive or casuals want this game to be a success.
    So I really beg you EPIC, to make lighting similar to shot 2. It will help realism and playability.
    Last edited by fuegerstef; 12-14-2006 at 04:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    You need a single point light source to cast a realistic shadow.

    This isn't the case in UT2004, were you can simulate an artificial form of radiosity by using lights with a radius and brightness that doesn't reach any surface. That's not going to be possible in UT2007. There really should be a way to increase the ambient lighting so surfaces receive some illumination, without casting a shadow, because the way those meshes are illuminated doesn't impress me at all and looks neither good nor realistic.

  3. #3
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    Well First shot looks nice and clean, like not in real life! Second looks more lifelike, which is the problem in game graphics! Graphics are looking better, but not realistic!

  4. #4
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    What about making the orange an emissive texture, dont those cast lights or does it just add that blurry edge like bloom? Because I was pretty sure that's what they have around players.

    One thing to consider is that infact the ambient light you added is wrong for the sake of saying it, ambient light in a room which has no openings to the outside. I will forgive you though because it is a test

    You must also consider that a major problem I found in 2k4 was the over use of ambient lighting, this IMO helped to be able to see players and I really think that people take player visibility too seriously in the comp world. In UTcomp its very very easy to see a player even in a dark shadow such as your saying here. Now camping can be an issue, yes, but to me removing the tactical use of shadows can be just as big a crime. Now Im not saying make everything over dark like the first of these pics or overbright like UTcomp but some happy
    medium should be reached.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

    I can see what you are getting at though, its like Doom3 or something where the shadows are really hard. They are really hard shadows even outside but it seems the reflected light on the player brightens them up alot more. Even on the interiors you can see there is area's where the player is lit alot better then others.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

    See to me there is nothing wrong with this lower picture. The character is fairly visible without making it really bright but in some of the other shots it does seem like the character is in a massive shadow and self shadowing probably makes it alot more apparent.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

    You can really see what the shadowing does here on the back of the player, its outdoor so it tends to be brighter then indoors. You can see there are area's of the player which are meant to glow when under more direct light an others which are team coloured but are more matte.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version

    This is one of the shots where some bounced ambient light off the floor would help to brighten the character. It kinda makes sense that it is in shadow because of the light on that node above, that is a guess though as I havent played the game. Either way I think its easy to tell which team the character is on even without brightening things up alittle.

    Just thought Id give you alittle run down on my thoughts, hope you dont mind

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsOlympus View Post
    One thing to consider is that infact the ambient light you added is wrong for the sake of saying it, ambient light in a room which has no openings to the outside. I will forgive you though because it is a test
    Ambient light can simulate what happens in a closed room, because UE3 does not support bouncing light (radiosity). And this is the problem with the maps and dark players.
    If you want to simulate it with additional lightsources = good bye to framerates.
    In UT2004 there was another thing they did to the players: They had a little ambient glow. You can test it when you put them in closed room without any lightsource.


    And I don't want to have players visible in ALL areas. In areas where it is dark they should be dark too. But in areas where light is bouncing off walls, the ceiling and the floor they should be lit from all sides.
    And some RoboBlitz dev said, IIRC, that you shouldn't have too many lights on the characters. When you have a square room, you already have 6 lights that simulate bouncing plus the 7th if you only use one single lightsource.

    EDIT:
    Look, I took an ingame screenshot of a substracted cube with NO lightsource, and the LevelInfo lighting had an ambient brightness of 0. And the Pawn is clearly visible.

    http://www.fuegerstef.de/temp/unlit.jpg
    Last edited by fuegerstef; 12-15-2006 at 05:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I knew that, I usually turn ambient glows off but turn up the amount of lights that can effect a given actor.

    I think the issue is with the self shadowing being fairly dark myself. I can understand fully what you are saying, Im not trying to prove anything here

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsOlympus View Post
    Yeah I knew that, I usually turn ambient glows off but turn up the amount of lights that can effect a given actor.

    I think the issue is with the self shadowing being fairly dark myself. I can understand fully what you are saying, Im not trying to prove anything here
    Yep, the self shadowing is probably an issue. And I think the darkeness of these shadows is affected by a skylight too.

  8. #8
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    Just did these quickly as well for comparison since you did the other one, you can see how dramatic the difference is

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
    UTcomp style with a custom glow colour.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
    Brighter Epic Style.

    This Image Was Automatically Resized by using the Screenshot Tag.  Click to view the full version
    Epic Style like the one you posted. You can still see the ambient glow here in the other two it has been bumped to fullbright.

  9. #9
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    The thing with glowing playermodels is that when you play TDM, you usually have friendly fire on. Nothing is more annoying to kill someone in the darkness which turns out to be your own teammate.

    A perfect balance with glowing teammates and where enemies can hide in dark would be awesome.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MindRiot View Post
    You need a single point light source to cast a realistic shadow.

    This isn't the case in UT2004, were you can simulate an artificial form of radiosity by using lights with a radius and brightness that doesn't reach any surface. That's not going to be possible in UT2007. There really should be a way to increase the ambient lighting so surfaces receive some illumination, without casting a shadow, because the way those meshes are illuminated doesn't impress me at all and looks neither good nor realistic.

    Thats not true at all. UE3 has static lights and lightmaps just like UE2, the only thing the will be calculated in real time from those lights is specular. You can use lights in UE3 just as you used them in UE2.

    also about ambient light. it didnt look good in UE1, it didnt look good in UE2, it still doesnt look good in UE3.
    Last edited by commander_keen; 12-15-2006 at 11:21 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olav View Post
    The thing with glowing playermodels is that when you play TDM, you usually have friendly fire on. Nothing is more annoying to kill someone in the darkness which turns out to be your own teammate.
    ...
    That is a simple failure to communicate your position.
    If your friend had told you he was hiding in that corner then you would not have taken the shot (with an area-effect weapon) unless you were so focussed on targeting the enemy that you forgot you had a friendly unit in there.

    You simply can not fix this by using bright skins as 'the solution', because even in the real world we do not see that which we are not looking for to begin with.

  12. #12
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    iirc, UE3 supports light-emitting materials.
    "Yeah. _Lynx can fire the lightning gun, have the lightning bolt turn a 90 degree corner, stop and ask the closest teammate for directions, confuse the directions and get lost, realize it went the wrong way, make a U-Turn, and get a headshot on the intended target."
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Lynx View Post
    iirc, UE3 supports light-emitting materials.
    This is all nice... ...but this is NOT the point I am discussing here.

  14. #14
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    Trouble of getting real realistic is to mathematically correctly model the way light behaves in air, as opposed to in vacuum, which gives much crisper shadows among some other artifacts. Can't tell what the engine does now, but I think Sweeney discussed it once in an interview on Gamespy a couple of years ago.

  15. #15
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    Hey Mons, I don't mind you using my pics but I'd like to ask you to save them to your own server if you're gonna post them on forums and stuff.. My bandwidth usage is already high enough for the month since creating that article :P
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  16. #16
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    Yeah cool man, I'll move them over if you like or just remove them. Sorry I just get used to direct links

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaFO View Post
    That is a simple failure to communicate your position.
    If your friend had told you he was hiding in that corner then you would not have taken the shot (with an area-effect weapon) unless you were so focussed on targeting the enemy that you forgot you had a friendly unit in there.

    You simply can not fix this by using bright skins as 'the solution', because even in the real world we do not see that which we are not looking for to begin with.
    Erm....How would you communicate with your friend to tell him the exact position? What if the enemy is in the same position?
    The only way to precisely tell you friends where you are is to give him the XYZ coordinates which he has memorized.
    And in a fast paced game like UT you simply cant tell the exact posistion before you get killed by the enemy or your own team mate.
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  18. #18

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    No precomputed indirect lightning?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by idiot_stupid View Post
    No precomputed indirect lightning?
    For lighting that appears static, I really hope the engine caches the information (aka surface caching that was introduced by Carmack back in Doom 1).

  20. #20
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    Crysis is going to have this lighting method called Ambient-Mapped Lighting (not sure how it works) but it is simply drop-dead gorgeous, and does global illumination in real-time.

    It doesn't look like UE3 has implemented it yet - I didn't see it anywhere in Gears of War - but it looks great, and sounds computationally lightweight from what I've read about it. I really, really hope Epic implements this (I don't see why not - Im not a programmer, so I dont know how long it'd take, but there's simply no better way to light a room using a single light-source).

    At the very least, I'd like to see some Half-Life 2 style static radiosity in UE3 (which looks almost as good as this Ambient Mapped Lighting, and makes for natural area lighting that just blows traditional lighting away)

    http://www.deefrag.com/files/Temp/im...amlighting.gif (400k animated gif)

    Notice in the last shot, how it lights up the bottom part of the room, which isn't even in view of the light.

    Quote from IGN article:
    Real-time Ambient Maps
    A first in lighting technology is a real-time implementation of indirect lighting that approximates ambient light intensity. This technology provides realistic ambient lighting. Using this technology Crysis will feature the most realistic lighting without compromising the real-time performance.
    Last edited by Dario D.; 12-27-2006 at 03:41 PM.

  21. #21

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    What I hate in UT2 tech is how it renders lightmaps. A light inside a cubic room doesn't light the corners, which remain dark, but in real life you'll never see that.

    http://sts.bwk.tue.nl/artificial_lig...1_nacht_v3.jpg

    See? The light expands uniformly throught the room, no dark corners.

    You have a room and a window, the sun shines outside, the light comes throught the window and hits the wall and/or the floor, but the rest of the room remains totally black. Placing a light to simulate indirect lightning looks unnatural because you clearly see that there is some point emitting light, it doesn't look as if the light was being reflected off the surfaces.

  22. #22
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    Ah, yes. I've noticed that a ton as well, and have no idea why it's like that... however, I HAVE noticed that in engines like Quake3, you'll often see lighting from a bordering room coming in under a wall, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it, just to prevent that from happening (though I wouldn't expect BSP to do that at all - not to mention the way UT levels are designed, there are rarely rooms side-by-side like that with paper-thin walls). In UT99 though, you had the option to force "Bright Corners", which is now mysteriously gone. Strange things indeed.

  23. #23
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    The lighting algorithms aren't aware of diffuse illuminating reflection (at least those before UE3). Surfaces reflect light not only into our eyes, but also light up nearby surfaces. Even though the re-emitted light is only a small percentage, it's enough to see (sun shades/screens for windows in my house absorb around 95% (in energy quantity) of light transmitted through my windows, yet it feels and appears just as if it's around half).

  24. #24
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    The level can be set to have a volumetric lighting without any lights at all.
    Your not going to have reflective realtime lighting, thats for raytracing.
    so a single lightsource may cast light beyound an object even if it creates a shadow.
    there may be a bit of trickery to make shadows work right. Its about saving fps.
    the shadow thing goes all they way back to unreal 1 and creative had it working in their own patch but its an fps killer.
    UE3 may handle lighting better and not allow bleedthru lighting like you have
    in NOT seeing the orange cube, if that was Unreal 1, you would see it.
    Lighting a level is a creative task how you want it to look. You may have a large area but find you will use many small lights close to the lit area to achieve the lighting you want.
    U1 has the selection of whether a light will produce a shadow and the object
    selectable if it allows to produce a shadow. This allows 1 light to shadow create even tho you might have multi-lights in a level, they would produce shadows you don't want, you just want THIS light to shadowcreate.
    I hope UE3 makes this work.
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    Kinda ridiculous that this post gets replied after 5 years, but, oh well...
    Anyway, wasn't that a bit of an extremely long wait until Lightmass was inroduced? and it's still precomputed! And it took even longer to implement Geonetrics' "Enlighten", finally a realtime radiosity. And does it even have specular interreflection, and not just diffuse?
    By the way, about the Unreal 1 dynamic shadowing, then almost ironically, nearly 4 years later, id Software licensed the same dynamic shadow technology (by Creative Labs) for id Tech 4 (Doom 3 Engine). In return for allowing support for the tech, Creative requested to implement EAX, and they did.
    Why doesn't Epic develop a remake of the original Unreal? It'll be cool to see what the first Unreal game looks like with 8Th gen graphics.


 

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