Hi fellow Spacers!
In this part of the Visual Improvement News we talk about the freshly integrated Dynamic Lighting.
Lighting is somehow important for a good look and feel and it also was a big challenge to integrate it into the mostly self-coded engine in respect of performance. The engine already covered dynamic real time shadows .. the main reason for that is the simple fact, that the asteroid is not planar and there are a lot of valleys and small hills on a more or less circular object.
The Real Time Shadows are doing a great job to give the asteroid the right look. I actually watched a lot of real world images of real asteroids from nasa to make them look real and the shadows were a great way of creating this look.
Whatever. The asteroid - especially during a space fight - just didn't look connected to all the actions because there was no feedback on the surface. The most annoying fact for me was, that if there is an explosion on the dark side of the asteroid, someone would expect that there should be some area lit.
That's where the Dynamic Lighing comes in. I tried my best to do some magic and make them happen without struggling performance to death. Problem is, that there can be a huge amount of lights in a large scale orbital attack, so with that in my head I started coding and the result did satisfy me for now:
What you currently see in this video, is that every explosion will light up the surrounding area - that includes buildings, which get lit. Also when a ship fires there is a bit of blaster light emitting to the surface - need to tweak that a little bit but hopefully you get the point.
There will be a lot of ight sources and also the buildings themselfes can now have light dynamic light spots if that is of any use for the building :-)
I am looking forward to implement a lot of gizmos actually making use of the dynamic lights - it's a bit of playground I have to admit.
Please do not forget to tell me your opinions if you like, I would love to read them!