Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
MajorRawne

Poor lighting gradients?

Recommended Posts

Hi, when I'm working on maps I find that when increasing the light level incrementally (eg going up a staircase), you simply cannot tell the difference between the light level across sectors. This is pretty frustrating as my map is either too bright, too average or too dark. I am struggling to implement lighting effects from torches etc. I don't know if my monitor is set too bright, but I have reduced the brightness within ZDoom and it's only helped a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post

Are you using software rendering? If so, software only supports a small number of light levels, it might be every 16 or 24 brightness or so? I can't remember exactly but that might be why you can't notice any difference.

In addition to that the light is brighter when it is closer to you so if you're not looking at it from a distance then you might not notice anything.

Share this post


Link to post

In Vanilla, light levels were only visible in steps of 16 (which is odd, considering the colormap can provide double the "lighting resolution").

Other ports provide a finer control over lighting though, with increments of 8 probably being the most optimal. Increments smaller than that are generally only visible with the light diminishing effect, and depend a lot on the textures used. Grayscale textures, for instance, will look smoother when graduated lighting is involved, because of the high number of shades in the grayscale color ramp.

So, to be safe, stick to multiples of 16. Then, if you want to go back and "smooth" them out for ports that will actually handle smaller increments, divide those sectors into two parts each and adjust the gradient so each step in them is 8.

For light levels in general, these are the values I often use:
Dark areas: 112-144
Normal areas: 144-176
Outside areas: 176-208
I almost never make a sector have a brightness of 255/256.

Share this post


Link to post

I frequently gradient all the way up to something like 224 or 255 around light sources, to give lots of contrast from the darker surrounding room.

Share this post


Link to post
esselfortium said:

I frequently gradient all the way up to something like 224 or 255 around light sources, to give lots of contrast from the darker surrounding room.


Same here, especially for outdoor areas.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks chaps, some very useful info here. Can you explain what you mean by using "software" rendering? I'm simply playtesting in standard ZDoom. I think the increments Doom Builder auto-applied to my staircase are in either 8 or 16 units and you literally cannot tell.

I will use EarthQuake's brightness values as a general guide. I use 255 brightness for lava areas, bright lights and outdoor areas. However in 2 maps I'm working on, Hush and Hydrophobia, I am actually using lower brightness levels outdoors and it is creating a much moodier feel.

Share this post


Link to post

IMO, using 255 or anywhere near it for standard outside areas tends to look quite bad, because it strips away all the contrast from the scene. In a real outdoor area, there will be some shadows cast and certain things will be brighter than others, inevitably. Sticking with a light level around 176 or 192 for outdoors in Doom allows the area to be plenty bright while still keeping the contrast that prevents it from looking like a brightly colored blob of indistinguishable structures and moire.

Share this post


Link to post
MajorRawne said:

Thanks chaps, some very useful info here. Can you explain what you mean by using "software" rendering?

Ah sorry, when some people say they're using ZDoom they sometimes mean GZDoom (like how PRBoom+ and GLBoom+ tend to be interchangable). Non-OpenGL ports are known as software renderers because drawing the screen is done by the CPU rather than the graphics card and so they lack some features in order to make the drawing as fast as possible (limited colour palette, no scaling the HUD graphics etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
esselfortium said:

IMO, using 255 or anywhere near it for standard outside areas tends to look quite bad, because it strips away all the contrast from the scene. In a real outdoor area, there will be some shadows cast and certain things will be brighter than others, inevitably.

Agreed, I have run through my Hydrophobia map and darkened all of the outdoor areas. It was a mess of light variations across the map. Now I'm sticking to a standard 160 for gloomy outdoors, 255 for extremely bright lights (teleporters, torches, lava - note no lava in this map but there is in others I'm working on) and so forth. My map looks considerably better just for this.

Melon, so far I've just been testing in ZDoom. I'm gonna download PRBoom+ to do compatibility tests on my maps. Such a pain, all these different source ports to think about... :|

;)

EDIT: Don't ever get a bloody Razar keyboard, don't get anything by Razar in fact, not unless you want a million stupid, niggly problems.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
×