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Lighting in map and tile artwork

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Roots
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Lighting in map and tile artwork

Post by Roots » Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:19 pm

I just thought of something when thinking about BPN's cave tileset thread. The cave we want to look dark, but the character sprites will look like they are exposed in the same amount of light as if they were outside in the sun. So I'm wondering how effective the lighting masks in the video engine are going to be. If they're good enough, then perhaps we can create *all* tiles, sprites, etc. as if they were in the same amount of light (say, a sunny day outdoors) and then apply the lighting mask to the whole scene to create darknesses, lighting sources, etc.


Obviously this is both an art and a programming issue. A programming issue because we need to see how effective this is before we bet our money on it. An art issue because it will change the way that our artists develop their works. So what do you guys *(especially artists) think about relying on the code to provide lighting? Are you strongly opposed, in favor, or what?


I think the most pressing issue right now is to bust out the slavedriver whip and get CamelJockey to implement it, then we can see what it looks like (we can try emulating darkness on the Harrvah town map produced in the screenshots). :devil:
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Post by Balthazar » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:26 pm

I think that a versatile lighting engine would give us some powerful options to use in map design.
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Post by Roots » Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:50 pm

We might also be able to implement simulated preogressive real-time (SPRT, I love making my own acronyms). In other words, night and day. But honestly I think this would be a bit much. Because if it's night time and sprites are still out working like it's the day, the player will be :eyebrow:. However we can still use it to a more limited (but still enjoyable) extent. I'm really excited about this now, I hope it looks as good as I think it will be. :D
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Re: Lighting in map and tile artwork

Post by gorzuate » Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:25 pm

Roots wrote:I think the most pressing issue right now is to bust out the slavedriver whip and get CamelJockey to implement it, then we can see what it looks like (we can try emulating darkness on the Harrvah town map produced in the screenshots). :devil:


Umm, no we can't. The code that produced those is long gone :uhoh:
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Post by snipe714 » Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:31 pm

I vote for the whip-the-programmers method. :D
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Post by gloomcover » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:45 pm

I don't have any objections personally to using some code to do some lighting for me. But I think you need to be as specific as possible as to what you would do with this power. A lot of tiles are kind of segway tiles, that transition between two things and thats where a lot of shading comes in. That kind of shading (in my opinion) has to be done by the artist because the transition is a single tile by itself, and the shading code probably won't be able to do a half-tile well. But if you are talking about lighting an entire scene one way (and it sounds like you are), then I think its a good idea.
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Post by Roots » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:54 pm

Of course shading would still be done by the tile artist. I'm just proposing the amount of light/darkness would be done in-game by the video engine. But this is still a proposition. We need to actually see that it looks good before we can go ahead with this one.


(*stalks CamelJockey for a demo* :axe: )
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Post by Sylon » Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:54 pm

I don't fully understand video game programming but I want to ask about shading!  And this doesn't have to do with map shading (day/night) but, character and NPC shading (when they step under things).

I looked up in my DarkBasic Professional reference guide about color blending with RGB levels.  I'm sure you guys know about that thingy.

Why don't we make "shade" tiles (don't necessarily have to be visible on screen), that when stepped on by a character or NPC, the character/NPC automatically gets blended into a darker luminosity?  We could place these tiles in the shaded areas of trees (even if the trees and their shades are animated) but only in areas of the tree's shade that cover an entire 32 x 32 tile.  It would make the character/NPC look like they are stepping into shade!

To me the whole thing sounds so simple that I believe I must not be understanding something.  But I couldn't resist!  Am I missing something in my newbie programming knowledge?!  :huh:  Perhaps did you already know how to do this, plan to include it, and I once again didn't read it somewhere on the site?   :heh:
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Post by Roots » Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:15 am

I think I mentioned this in another thread a week or two ago, but for shadows in the map basically I think it would be easiest just to create translucent "shade" tiles and place them in the upper layer. I forget how familiar you are with the concept, Sylon, but basically in the map code there are three layers. First the lower layer is drawn (which is basically the ground, buildings, etc. and consists of tiles). Second, the object layer is drawn from top to bottom (this consists of things like sprites and other dynamic objects which are *not* tiles). Thirdly, the upper layer is drawn (represents things like smoke, rooftops, shadows, etc. and this layer is composed of tiles).

So basically anything in the object layer is always drawn over the lower layer (makes sense) and anything in the upper layer is always drawn over the object layer and lower layer. So if we just put the shadows in the upper layer (think of them as various shaped tiles with different regions of partial black translucency), then any object that walks onto a tile with a shadow upper layer tile will appear to be in the shadows. Make sense?
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Post by Sylon » Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:34 am

Yes!  Makes sense.
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Post by eleazar » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:34 pm

I like the idea of the game engine controlling the time of day rather than making dark and lighted tiles. From the story you kinda need to have day and night since a relatively big deal is made of how much more dangerous the desert is at night. Which makes it hard to cross more than a days worth of desert at once.

Hopefully the engine will be able not only to darken/lighten but to also change the tint. Night is much easier to do if all the colors are shifted to blue, rather than simply darkened. I don't know how many time periods you might want to do, but dawn would be yellowish, and sunset redish.
This kind of capability would also let you do fun stuff, like tint everything red in a lava-cave, or green under a thick canopy of leave, or cyan under water.

It would also help the effectiveness if the opacity of the shadow layer were linked to the time of day. Thicker shadows by day and fainter ones at night.

Also i don't how your lighting masks work, but you'll the graphics look better if only one color transformation is applied to a particular spot at a tile. For instance if you darken the entire screen of a cave, and then add on top illumination for torches, campfires etc, the resulting lightened images will loose some detail compared to if you only darkened the cave where the torchlight isn't. Though I don't know how feasable this is to program.
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Post by Rain » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:31 am

They are releasing Final Fantasy I for PSP, but thats not the point.

Check out the light rays coming down on the town.

[img:480:272]https://www.gameinformer.com/NR/rdonlyr ... antasy.jpg[/img]

Could we ultimately utilize this function to create a sense of light source and light depth? It creates a nice sense of warmth and coloural contrast.

Just thought I'd throw the idea in there!
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Post by Linds » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:21 am

Yes! This is both simple and beautiful!

We can also do things like cloud images (and colour the maps if wanted), dust, ocean spray, wind, falling leaves... all as an overlay layer. Should also be able to set the height of the layer such that it moves differently faster/slower relative to map movement to simulate its distance.
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Post by Rain » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:18 pm

Linds wrote:We can also do things like cloud images (and colour the maps if wanted), dust, ocean spray, wind, falling leaves... all as an overlay layer. Should also be able to set the height of the layer such that it moves differently faster/slower relative to map movement to simulate its distance.
All of that sounds absolutely brilliant! :approve:
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Post by fydo » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:33 pm

Sounds like a cool idea.

I like that screenshot, the rays of light do add a lot of depth to the image. (In addition to making it look pretty)

A foreground/overlay layer or something similar would be beneficial if you want to add any other foreground effects like big snowflakes or rain, etc.
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Post by Drakkoon » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:53 pm

I've been playing that game for a couple of hours now (good memories) and they also have very nice clouds effect, very subtle darker areas moving across the maps slowly.

It gives the game depth a lot, and we could do it very easily if we wanted to.
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Post by Roots » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:57 pm

Yup, it will be very nice once we get some visual effects in the game. Map mode is ready to support any graphical effects as soon as the video engine makes them available to use. ;)


Off-topic but, how many f#$@ing times is Square-Enix going to remake their original Final Fantasy games? Its getting real old, real fast. :bash:
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Post by Rain » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:35 pm

Yea! Those fools be cuttin' in on our share of the pie. :devil:
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Post by Roots » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:01 pm

Anyone else notice that this thread is well over 2 years old? :heh:
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Post by Rain » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:27 pm

That almost makes me feel old. :cry:
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