Art Time #10 – Lighting

Greetings!

This week I, Vincent, bring you some updates to the environment. The last couple weeks have been spent putting together the scene to compose light and color. Beware as I might use some technical terms, but I will try to refrain from using them as I’m not so technical in my language normally.

Working with the GI (Global Illumination) system that Unity provides has been an experience. At first I had no idea of what things meant, how they effected the lighting of the scene. I had to read a lot of different guides and just test things over and over. The choice was mainly between Baked GI and Precomputed Realtime GI. The first, integrating the lighting in the models UV maps to display a light that is not effected by moving object and dynamic shadows. Precomputed Realtime GI is dynamic and realtime, simply using a precomputed method that communicates to the engine how to render the light that bounces off of surfaces onto another surface. Seeing as we utilize many torches as well as candle light I thought that going with the precomputed GI to be the best choice. It was also something that was new to Unity 5 and seemed to be a fun thing to play around with.

After that decision had been made I placed the lights, baked the lightmap that determines the bounce light path, and played around with values to get the feeling we wanted. One thing to consider was the use of ambient light together with a moon light, as I had to keep a close eye on both the outside and the inside of the mausoleum to keep a nice balance between the two.

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Light probes are also used to project the light onto moving objects so they fit in better with the overall lighting as they are not calculated in the lightmap. One thing I noticed was that they like to project the bounce light in a very intense manner, so I had to keep a close eye on how the light bounced on Tamarrion’s model to not make her completely blue when standing in blue bounce light.

When all the lights where in place and their values correct, I had a go with the atmosphere. I started to toy with the use of particle effect to create a mood in the scene. The use of the grand windows was also a big factor to play with. While it had previously been done using Unity’s projectors I knew we could not use those this time around. The projectors do not use bounce light, and projects the image on both the front side of the object as well as the back side. In the end I settled with a spotlight using a light cookie to display the correct shape; restricting the light to match the shape of the window.

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Thanks for reading. Sorry for the lack of pictures to show our work, saving those for the big reveal incoming soon!

Have a good one!

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