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Thread: Lighting Tweaking (dev branch)

  1.   Click here to go to the next Developer post in this thread.   #1

    Cool Lighting Tweaking (dev branch)

    As promised in SITREP #00008, here is an overview of the lighting tweaks which are in progress and have been partly rolled out to Development branch

    Arma 3 Apollo Pavel Guglava elaborates:
    In the real world, we are used to seeing light sources not only at night but during the day as well – even in the daytime we recognize a car has its headlights on for example. Although we can not see the light from such a light source, since daily light from the sun over-lights it, during dawn and dusk we can. E.g. the light from headlights is seen in the morning about an hour after the first rays of the sun. Lit light sources (like car headlights) are evident even throughout a sunny day.

    The night was very dark in Arma, which many players appreciated. It was caused by almost zero value of ambient light. However, to avoid overexposing the image at night by artificial light sources (street lamps, car headlights, fireplaces, etc.), the Light Value (LV) of these resources and the intensity of the emissive materials were very low. Therefore, when the sun came up, they immediately ceased to be visible. Twilight in Arma could not have looked like in reality for these reasons.

    An example for better understanding:
    The sun as light source has a very high light value and it can not be measured by standard means (estimated at 25-30 LV). Meanwhile, its light on a clear day at noon is then 16-18 LV. Car headlights are 19 LV and therefore brighter than sunlight. When lit, they should be seen in the daytime. Their light at a distance of 1 meter has a value of 11 LV, and because it is weaker than sunlight, it wouldn't be apparent at noon.

    To approach the situation in the real world, we have increased the intensity of the ambient light at night. The night, however, is still dark, because at the same time we've increased the aperture. The human eye in the real world cannot adapt below a certain threshold and therefore sees darkness with some remnants of light. If we now were to play as a cat in Arma, we would reduce the aperture at night and the night would look brighter.

    This change has allowed us to set higher values of lights so that they are seen at dawn and dusk, and the light sources themselves even during the day. The brightness of the lights got closer to their real originals.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Change log
    • The intensity of night light increased
    • Light values of bad weather added to the underwater environment
    • Only nice weather lighting under water was configured so far
    • Light values at dawn were adjusted for nice and bad weather (based on the real photos)
    • The intesity of emissive materials was increased
    • Light sources of street lighting were amplified
    • Light sources of vehicles was amplified (work still in progress due to the amount of assets)
    • Light sources of the flashlight were modified
    • Lens flares were modified (size, texture, transparency)
    • Camera lens fares of the sun were adjusted
    • Eye lens fares of the sun were adjusted
    • Eye lens fares of other light sources were adjusted
    Bohemia Interactive
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Thanks for the update! However none of the dynamic lights work on my GeForce GTX 460 (bug #7372) so can't really test the night lighting. But I really like the changes to daytime lighting.

  4. #4
    So, these changes will fix the "ugliness" due lack of lighting in bad weather\dusk\dawn conditions, rendering strange behaviour with artificial lights in general and other things like muzzle flashes?

  5. #5
    I love the progress made with lighting, but the sun texture needs to be resized.

  6. #6
    thats not the sun texture, look the edges can be seen beyond the sun, left and right.

  7. #7
    is it possible to make streetlights and vehiclelights available at daytime now?
    e.g. to enhance the immersion during heavy fog..
    and will fog affect drop shadow?

    i am trying to create a decent dynamic sandstorm config that propperly applies to daytime, overcast and fog density and one of the problems is that there seems to be allmost no transition of the hardness of the dropshadow between clear sky and overcast.

    see here:

    btw i got this thread with questions about lighting and stuff, in case anyone has an idea.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the update and information, it puts my mind at ease a bit. Love the work with the new sunset on the horizon, looks much better.

    Just looking forward to night time looking right again. Hopefully that comes sooner than later. Good luck devs.
    CPU: i7 3770k 4.6Ghz 1.24v CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 Push/Pull GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Mobo: ASRock z77 Extreme4 RAM: G-Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz PSU: BFG Tech EX-1200W Case: Coolermaster HAF X O/S: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SSD: Samsung 830 256GB

  9. #9
    Thanks for ongoing work on lighting, as this was one of the most criticized parts of ArmA2 in the reviews when it was about the environment (besides blurred mid-range textures and grass-clutter disappearing after ~100m). :-)

    Anyway, there was something regarding to lighting i would like to ask.:
    Around the time ArmA3 was announced, there were discussions about some lighting "evolutions" that BI-Devs said they probably wont make it into the final game, but maybe later with patches or engine updates. I have forgotten what it was, or how it is called, but i think it was awesome and casting light only where it should be like in RL.
    So no more lights that are for instance inside a completely shut building could be seen from outside, etc. It also had something to do with shadows, etc etc.
    Can you enlighten me guys?
    Marek Spanel: [...] Every single element is well taught so that it fits together. So this is a significant change, because with ArmA 1 it was just random, really.
    We made some units because we had to. There wasn't much passion from our side with the first ArmA, to be honest. This time it's different. ( Interview

    Please BIS: Arma2 must become a TRUE MASTERPIECE - Not a middle-heavy catastrophe!

  10. #10
    Thanks for explaining in layman terms, sounds like great improvements, hope it improves lighting during overcast as well! Been away for awhile but gonna update to latest Dev version and have a peek...

    >> It's all about teamwork! <<

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