Lighting-Settings in Interiors

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Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Worsas » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:35 pm

I recently played around with various lighting- and fog-settings in interiors and I realised that some of the lighting-settings used in our interior-cells could be changed for the better.

For one there are extreme lighting-differences between similar interiors (caves and orc tents). Some are too well-lit, others maybe too dark. It is weird if you enter various orc tents whose lighting does not match at all.


General observations:
Having the sunlight-color lighter than the the Ambient-Color makes for stronger highlights and contrasts. It works well if you intend to display the details in an interior-cell, but it is less suitable for scenarios where you mainly aim for a certain atmosphere.

Having the Ambient-Color lighter than the sunlight-color opposedly will give less shading and contrasts. In most cases it will look less good but might still be useful in a few cases.

Apparently a light fog-color combined with a certain fog-density will create a foggy, damp look. It usually gives more atmosphere.



A few examples to show the impact:

Ambient Color: 10,10,10
Sunlight Color: 45,60,45
Fog Color: 10,10,10
Fog Density: 0.75
Image

Ambient Color: 30,50,50
Sunlight Color: 10,10,10
Fog Color: 20,30,30
Fog Density: 0.75
Image

Ambient Color: 3,2,1
Sunlight Color: 0,0,0
Fog Color: 45,41,56
Fog Density: 1.00
(these are the actual settings this cave is using)
Image

Ambient Color: 5,5,5
Sunlight Color: 50,50,50
Fog Color: 50,50,50
Fog Density: 2.00
Image

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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Scamp » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:35 pm

When you post these screenshots, it would be nice to know what exactly you think is best or whether you think the original settings are bad.

If that cave is one of mine, bear with me. Setting sunlight to 0,0,0 is something I would never do, and the ambient settings should be dark, but not 3,2,1. Just a few remarks.

When it comes to buildings, I think that 80% of all interiors have waaaay too bright light settings. I always use really low numbers even for houses to avoid making lights completely redundant. And I just don't like bright interiors at all, so you should take that into account here. Note though that I only rarely change an interior's light settings during review because I hate to interfere with a modder's creativity and inspiration.
Of course, depends on the purpose of the house. We had this necromancer's house in Karthwasten and I thought it was wonderfully crafted and had well-chosen light settings.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Worsas » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:05 pm

YETI: Woras, I seem to have accidently clicked "edit" instead of "quote" when I was replying to your post. Is there anyway to restore edited posts? This is pretty embarressing :oops:

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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Lestat DeLioncourt » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:21 pm

Maybe we should make a list of the basic lighting values for different types of interior as a guideline.

This doesn't mean that a modder should not choose other values if it is necessary to support his environment, but something like a general light setting for caves would be useful esspecially for people who are new to the project.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Luxray » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:21 pm

I must admit the light settings in my cave claim are waaayyy off what they will be when finished, the light settings are high so I can place rocks more easily in some cases. [But it seems to have inspired this discussion, which is not a bad thing.]

I think a set of guidelines would be a good idea, then Scamp doesn't have to worry as much about changing them and we get a uniform(ish) sort of look. In the Karthwasten houses I have made I have used fairly dark ambient lighting so that the light from the windows contrasts nicely and the lights actually have a purpose. In a city as big as Karthwasten, though, I fear there is a danger of the town looking 'patchwork' if we are not all reading from the same page as regards the light settings.

I have also realised that in my Karthwasten interiors I have used the windows to put a white light-source into the shell, Worsas has done as well, but as he said in his current model thread:

"What I'm worried about is the effect the windows will have at night. The best would be to have the window-material animated and scripted to play varying lightness-animations at daytime and darkness at night, possibly with transitions between."

It will not look realistic at night, the solution is either to create a new invisible light-emitter that is scripted to disable on cell-change -- so the player never sees a sharp lighting jump -- after a certain time of evening and enable again in the early morning, or get rid of them entirely. I would prefer the first option, though you guys' thoughts are welcomed.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Yeti » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:54 am

Woras wrote:I will admit, I have mostly set my lighting settings by guessing what might look good in the past without actually testing various setups.


to be honest, I'm guilty of this to and would greatly appreciate guidelines for lighting settings, perferably accompanied by screenshots, like woras has provided.

@Woras: As I stated above in your post, I accidently used my moderator powers to edit your post while trying to reply to it. Really sorry about that :oops:
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Lestat DeLioncourt » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:10 am

The lighting at nighttime shouldn't be a problem if we create a light in Skyrim Data and attach a script to it which disables the light at night.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Luxray » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:34 pm

A set of guidelines would be welcomed by everyone it seems :)

As for the lights, something like this would work(?)

begin sky_lightscript ; place on light

if ( GameHour >= 18 ) ; after 6pm
if ( GameHour < 24 ) ; but before midnight (GameHour is on 24-hour clock)
if ( CellChanged == 1 )
Disable ; disable it
endif
endif

if ( GameHour >= 0 ) ; after midnight
if ( GameHour < 6 )
if ( CellChanged == 1 ) ; but before 6am - disable
Disable
endif
elseif ( GameHour >= 6 ) ; if it's after 6 - enable light
if ( CellChanged == 1 )
Enable
endif
endif
endif

end


This is completely untested, so there are probably issues; obviously you'd change the thresholds for whatever time it actually gets dark in MW.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Scamp » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:46 pm

I'm not sure if a complete "guideline" on setting your light is necessary as there is, as I said, very little to get 'wrong'. I would suggest making a general concept post whenever we are dealing with a new set of interiors (like for a certain town or city) containing example values of what looks good.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Worsas » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:54 am

Would someone be prepared to look at the lighting of "The Reach, Aejoir Cavern" and compare it to the lighting of the other caves we have?

Sunlight Color: 242,217,217
Ambient Color: 71,71,71

Even the other ones could do with a slight inter-adjusting of lighting. I'm not saying you should change anything about the color, only the overall lightness.

Example Values:

Sunlight Color: 10,10,10
Ambient color: 10,10,15

Sunlight Color: 0,0,0
Ambient color: 3,2,1

Sunlight Color: 40,40,30
Ambient color: 30,20,30


In order to not let our varying lighting be dictated by the monitors of individual people, I'd like to suggest something like valid ranges that we could apply to future caves:

Ambient Color: 10 - 20
Sunlight Color in an uninhabited cave: 5 - 20
Sunlight Color in an inhabited cave (with fireplaces): 20 - 35

I'm not certain about such caves as the "The Reach, Bvojou Cavern" that compensate the low sunlight/ambient color by a light fog color. Lifting the values to the minimum of the suggested ranges still looked good but it would kinda take away what the original maker wanted to achieve.

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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Scamp » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Your example values sound about right.

Sunlight 200 something is definitely completely wrong, so are the ambient colors in that cave.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Rattfink333 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:24 pm

luxray. maybe you know this. But if you have problems seeing because of light in an interior. There is a button on the CS toolbar that looks like a lightbulb. When you click it you get daylight bright in there. That way you don't have to worry about changing settings. Plus you can click it off whenever you want to check ambience when adding lights.

edit and i like the setting in the first screenshot.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Scamp » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:30 pm

You can also just press 'a' to achieve the same effect.
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Re: Lighting-Settings in Interiors

Postby Luxray » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:22 pm

I know how to use the 'A' key, lol. I just meant that sometimes it is nice to see where the shadows fall in your interior without having to squint to make out any of the details.
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