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Dynamic lights

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I'm starting to work on the "night" mode of the game, seeing as half of the game will be played at night. Here's what I got so far...

It's really nothing special, just standard vertex based lighting and blended geometry.

Here's a screenshot of gunshots at night...

A guy standing under a streetlight...

The light seems pretty intense in this screenshot, I toned it down some since then...I'm still tweaking it all to get it looking right.

View from high above.

How the lighting looks on a car model, I've still got to add the headlights onto the cars.

I've still got some tweaking to do with the colors, any opinions are welcome :-)
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I'd say a little bit more orange. The only criticizing after that is that it seems like the lights from street lamps is really sharp on the edges.. any way to fade that out a bit?

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Alrighty, I reduced the "total white" center of the street lights...it seems to make it look a lot dimmer :-/

I'll find a good median though. Also I'll tweak the light color and see if I can get it lookin' better, I'll try an oranger color.

Alright here is the same lightmap, just 2X brighter

I kind of like that look....

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Guest Anonymous Poster


Red colours seem somehow too bright in some of the pictures. I think there is a bit different color scheme at night, you can surely find some information about how the colors change during the day cycle.

It doesn't look bad, but not as realistic as the daytime pictures, and the difference is disturbing.

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"the difference is disturbing"...lol, I'm not sure what that means, but I'm gonna keep trying to make night time look cool.

I'm not happy with the way it looks now, there's "something" that just looks fishy about it all...

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You sir, are a genius person. I've been tracking your journal for a month or so, and I had just thought a day or so ago "Will there be night in this game?" And lo and behold, you put out an update with night screenshots! I can't wait until this game is released. I'm sure I'll spend several days straight doing nothing but playing it.

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I don't know exactly how you are doing your lighting but I have some comments. I bet you've played GTA-Vice City. I noticed that the main x-racter's lighting isn't complicated.It seems that they have put a stationary light at an angle and this seems to give the illusion that the x-racter is lit by the environment when he turns.
In my game I'm planning to actually make the street lights and other lights in the environment actually illuminate the x-racter i.e I won't use an illusion to show the effect. Are you doing the same?
However since my game is targeting the lowest end of graphics cards I'll have to do plenty of optimisations. I'm really interested in sharing with you about lighting. I did A LOT of thinking on it.

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In my opinion the main thing making your night look off ("fishy" as you put it) is the constant "ambient light" look of it in areas not affected by a street light. Wherever there is not a street light the lighting/shading looks the same everywhere without any variation (and without some hint of shadows, nothing will really distinguish itself from its surroundings when not lit). Which I think is giving it a flat/bland appearance in areas not being lit more directly from other light sources. It's more visible at night in the higher up overhead shots.

How are you doing lighting during the day? Maybe a low level light similar to how you are doing the sun during the day, to represent moonlight, or some other form of lightmaps. I think its lessened in the day shots due to the brighter lights causing more pronounced specular highlights, shading on faces not directly facing the sun light, and with the fogging in some shots adding variation as well, etc. maybe something like these during the night will help with the right tweaks.

Everything is looking great overall though! This is some excellent work.

Did fraps work out for you? *hint hint* :P

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