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Author Topic: The difficulties of moving to HD lighting in games.  (Read 2344 times)
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Turtle
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« on: September 30, 2007, 06:52:35 AM »

First off, anyone else here now have great difficulty seeing things in this latest batch of games?  Sure, all these games have fancy HD, dynamic exposure, and phong shading features, but when you come right down to it, has those extra lighting features really improved the way gamers perceive game elements?  I know in certain games as of late that have simply thrown in HD lighting, I have trouble seeing enemies near and far, along with objectives.  This problem has turned up so much so that developers are starting to put even more unrealistic glows and sparkles on items.

The problem is HD lighting, in a way, makes game lighting closer to the real world.  And the problem with real world lighting, as the movie industry knows, is that real world lighting goes all over the place.

The only game I know that tries to tackle this issue from a technical standpoint is Valve by implementing a special rim light.  Which much like a movie lighting setup, the rim light, helps characters pop out ever so slightly from the background by casting light around the edges of their form.  Half-Life 2 episode 1 uses this world light to cast a fake rim light on all entities that it's told to affect.  While not realistic, it's an important part of keeping what's important in view while not being distracting.

Other games use professional lighting knowledge to work around this issue.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 12:45:52 PM »

There have certainly been a few moments where the lighting was just a big pain in the ass.  What I find is that the more developers try to make the lighting realistic, the lower they set the default brightness.  Too many games lately, both on PC and console, have to have their brightness turned up to be playable.  I can't be the only one in that boat...
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 01:54:44 PM »

*raises hand*

In about 80% of 360 titles, I MUST turn up the default brightness a notch, as otherwise it's just too dark. Normally, the other 20% simply don't have that option to do so.
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Larraque
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 05:24:26 PM »

I thought it was my eyes... I've started recently having trouble distinguishing between red and orange, so I figured it was something similar.

I had to do it for Bioshock. What's the point of playing a game if everything's in superdarkovision?
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 05:26:26 PM »

Quote from: DragonFyre on October 01, 2007, 05:24:26 PM

What's the point of playing a game if everything's in superdarkovision?

That's Id's Doom3 engine hard at work.
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 05:33:01 PM »

Yeah, I've noticed even on games where it has a configuration tool that says "turn down the gamma/brightness until you can't see the dark grey thing" is usually way too dark if I turn it down that far.  I figured it was just me being goofy wanting it brighter. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2007, 02:52:22 AM »

Could it be, perhaps, that those testing the game are using out-of-the-box televisions which have their brightness settings set through the roof, leading to a general darkening of the source material in order to get the desired effect? This, in turn, would make the games too dark on properly calibrated sets...
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The Rocketman
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2007, 10:01:16 AM »

Yeah, GR:AW, Halo 3... Their maps can feature a sunny outdoors area, but if you step into the shade, it's suddenly too dark to properly see things... And it's true, only since a year or so have I been turning up the gamma.

But Half-Life 2 (not the episodes) also had this problem. I remember the level on the rooftops where you're fighting the striders, and I had my flashlight on the entire level, although the level was set during a clear day.
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hitbyambulance
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 01:22:02 AM »

graphics artists also like working in shuttered caves
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 09:36:02 PM »

I'm glad I'm not the only one.  Up until now, I thought I was just getting old and kept having to turn the brightness up.

Quote from: hitbyambulance on November 21, 2007, 01:22:02 AM

graphics artists also like working in shuttered caves

That, and I think that as the games get more and more advanced, the developers want to force dynamic lighting down your throat, so you see what a difference your handy-dandy flashlight makes.  mad
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