Light Archetypes Documentation

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Light archetypes

Since we are recreating medieval world, we won't have a lot of different types of light sources. Actually we'll have probably just fires. So to keep things simple and consistent, let's use light archetypes. These are lights with properties defined in the database which can be changed all at once by changing parameters there (and that's great!) You can find them here:

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And while you're in the database view select Entity Library, pick Lights in the rollup and browse Standard section:

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Most of the lights present there are defaults from Crytec but those Light_Candle, Light_Fire etc. are ours and are to be used. You can of course add your own archetype, but there should be a good reason to do it. In general we're trying to avoid candles with luminous power of a film reflector.

Please use these lights preferably instead of the normal light entities. You can add them to the scene just by drag&drop.

Spot Shadow

Spot shadow is our inhouse optimization of shadow casting of omni lights in order to have possibility to use more shadowcasting lights in the scene. Light shines in all directions as regular omni light, but shadows are cast only in a cone along +X axis. The idea is following: for example candelabra standing by the wall doesn't need to cast shadow behind, because there is nothing but flat wall.

Check SpotShadow; ProjectorFov indicates the angle of the cone. Maximum angle 160 is recommended, higher angles drasticaly reduce shadows quality.

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You can recognize light prefab with Spot shadow enabled  by suffix _wall or _corner (see bellow).

StaticLights prefabs library

To make artist's life even easier, we have created library of complete light assets; combination of model, light and particle. You'll find it in prefabs library StaticLights. Should be pretty obvious what's what:

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_Corner lights are meant to be placed in the corner (local X axis pointing out of the corner), _Wall lights are meant to be placed by the wall (local X axis perpendicular to the wall).

Debug shadowcasting lights

Total number of shadow casting lights must not exceed limit 28 lights, otherwise player could experience shadows blinking etc. Remember reflex lights are also casting shadows (in higher specs).

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How to lit interior

Clip volumes

  • usualy per room
  • could be cgf or created right in editor 
  • check CustomLightBox
  • Between rooms, edges of clip volumes go through doors.

To insert clip volume, go to Area -> ClipVolume

  • CGF as ClipVolume - drag some volume, then click Browse CGF and load coresponding cgf prepared in 3ds Max, then align ClipVolume to the render mesh. For clipvolume cgf, use appendix _cv in the name.
  • Clipvolume made in Editor - drag volume and use included Edit Mode tools to make desired shape (works the same way as creating Designer object)

Clip volumes should protrude through the doors and windows outside a little:

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Clip volumes could be used even outdoor for example to cut torch light so it doesn't leak behind the corner. If you build clip volume around torch, the light will stay within the clip volume's volume. You can also do the opposite – build clip volume outside the torch; then the torch light will never leak into the clip volume's volume.

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Reflex lights

For more technical stuff regarding reflex lights, see Reflex Lights page.

Windows reflex lights:

  • recessed into the window frame so the frame is lit too (visually nice effect)
  • CastShadows – Ultra Spec
  • Almost every window should have it's reflex light with few exceptions:
    • two windows very close to each other could have one joint reflex light
    • very dark windows don't need to have reflex lights

In case of big house with plenty of rooms with lights and windows, one might easily exceed shadow casting limit. Then its advised to start turning of shadowcasting for less important window's reflex lights.

Doors reflex lights:

  • doors leading from the exterior to the interior should have reflex lights too:
  • positioned inside the door mesh so when the door are closed, the light is completle shadowed by them
  • ProjectorFov – 160
  • FadeInRadius – 1 m or bigger
  • CastShadows – Low Spec