Lighting of asteroids

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Lighting of asteroids

Postby Reddog » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:36 am

Hello,

since I'm new to the forums, let me say: this project is great and I'm absolutely eager to try it out. Unfortunately, I came too late to the Kickstarter campaign. So I guess, it means waiting. Especially the direction the AI seems to go (from reading the dev log) is absolutely interresting and I really hope it'll be manageable. I know from experience that truly reasoning AI tends to be stubborn as hell when it comes to actually doing something sensible :)

I was taking a look at some (well, actually lots of ^^) screenshots of LT and noticed something with asteroids. If you're looking into the light, you see asteroids as flat black blotches. Like here:
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I had this same problem when doing the asteroid shader for X Rebirth (btw. a lot of asteroids are procedural). The solution has been to drop 100% realistic rendering and have some light bleed onto the dark side at grazing view angles. Of course physically this would require some kind of atmosphere to transport the light over the edge. Even if physically incorrect, the effect just looks more pleasing as we found. E.g. here:
Image
Unfortunately, I don't have hardware able to run X Rebirth at hand, so I had to use a picture from the internet ;) It's most apparent with the big asteroid on the right side. It should be entirely dark, since the sun is behind it.

Of course it's a minor thing. Also, you could just decide to keep the more physically correct lighting. It's probably a matter of taste.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Slymodi » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:19 am

That screenshot of LT is pretty old, check out some of the videos, they seem to be more color correct

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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Reddog » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:48 am

Yes, I thought that these are old. However, what I mentioned is not about color correctness. It's about asteroids being completely black when viewing them from the dark side. Which is correct for bodies in space, but visually a bit displeasing.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby DWMagus » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:07 am

Even the newer videos/screenshots of LT does not have what you're describing.

Personally, the X:R screenshot looks like it's way overboard on the feature. I will agree that the pic of LT you have supplied is definitely drab because of the same reason you put forth, but I also have to say that in the X:R one, it feels like there is almost as much light coming from behind the camera (to shine onto the items). Lighting front-scatter is definitely needed, but I don't know if it should be to that extent.

And of course, we're all familiar with gameplay over realism. ;)
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Reddog » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:31 am

Hehe, yeah, whenever you give artists an effect to play with, they do go a bit overboard with it :D Apart from that, this is in a sector with a glaring blue sun, so it gets a bit exaggerated. I had some before-after footage for the effect, but that would probably bend my NDA a bit too much ;) I wish I had more than this old netbook at hand, then I would be able to edit the shaders by hand to turn the effect off...
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby CutterJohn » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:40 pm

I still question why space games never feature any sort of visual enhancement. One would think that light amplification, as well as visuals in other frequencies, would be quite standard.

Why do we always see space as if with the unaided eye?
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Commander McLane » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:54 pm

CutterJohn wrote:Why do we always see space as if with the unaided eye?

We don't. Ever. The unaided eye doesn't see lens flares, still they're in every bloody space game these days. It's driving me mad.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Gazz » Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:58 pm

By the time space travel becomes widespread and economic, lens flare will be available for the unaided eye!
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Commander McLane » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:14 pm

Gazz wrote:By the time space travel becomes widespread and economic, lens flare will be available for the unaided eye!

I have been gazzed. :wtf:

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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby rickisen » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:18 pm

Gazz wrote:By the time space travel becomes widespread and economic, lens flare will be available for the unaided eye!



LOL.

Actually we do see lensflares all the time with our natural human eyes.
Just take a look outside during night time in the city.

Although our lensflares doesn't look anything like the lensflares cameras get.
ours are much softer.

I've allways though it was weird in modern FPS-games that they do "camera-lensflares" instead of "eye-lensflares".
But in a game like ltheory it makes more sense, since it's not trying to fool you that you'd actually see the outside of your ship with you real eyes.
You'd only be able to see something like that through some sort of camera.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Reddog » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:51 pm

I guess the problem with doing an unaided eye lens-flare would be finding reference material. There is tons of footage of camera lens flares, but the ones we see with our eyes remain in our brains :)
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby DWMagus » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:42 pm

Remember, we go for visual appeal, not visual realism. Whatever looks good in a game regardless of reality.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby CutterJohn » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:21 pm

DWMagus wrote:Remember, we go for visual appeal, not visual realism. Whatever looks good in a game regardless of reality.


Thats not really a position that needs reiterating, considering its near universal adoption among makers of space games. At this point, I can't even consider it a strength. It seems to just be a forgone conclusion that is taken for granted as a design choice because.. well, just because.

Its quite strange. In most other genres you get offerings ranging from hyper reality to pure fantasy. Space games have settled into a very narrow band in between 'Half real, half fantasy' and 'mostly fantasy'( a band that seems to center around Star Wars. Not, I think, a coincidence.), and virtually no titles attempting to push beyond that narrow scope.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Commander McLane » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:55 pm

CutterJohn wrote:Its quite strange. In most other genres you get offerings ranging from hyper reality to pure fantasy. Space games have settled into a very narrow band in between 'Half real, half fantasy' and 'mostly fantasy'( a band that seems to center around Star Wars. Not, I think, a coincidence.), and virtually no titles attempting to push beyond that narrow scope.

This may also be because the main feature of space is its utter emptiness, which makes its reality boring beyond any imagination.
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Re: Lighting of asteroids

Postby Etsu » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:24 pm

In ArmA 2 and 3, you see lensflares in third person only, not in first person, witch it's a nice touch. I love lensflares, but I also appreciate when designers deside to be somehow "realistic". After all, we are talking about simulators here, not action or adventure games. (At least that now every game containing a spaceship is called a simulator, no matter not play like one.)

But if were up to me everything would be bloom, depth of field and film grain, so whatever.
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