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Lightmapping

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Without following the link, but seeing "flipcode" I guess it is quite old. Why would you use raycasting when you have hardware z-buffer at your disposal?

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Light-maps are no longer used.
Lighting is all real-time these days with rare minor exceptions.


L. Spiro

 

That's sort of a bold statement. It's true that AAA is trying to move towards fully dynamic lighting pipelines, but lightmaps are far from dead.

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Beyond traditional lightmaps there are many variations, and each have their own uses.

Valve created the Radiosity Normal Map approach, http://www.decew.net/OSS/References/D3DTutorial10_Half-Life2_Shading.pdf

Bungie took it a step further and baked Spherical Harmonic textures, http://halo.bungie.net/inside/publications.aspx

Light probes are effectively another form of lightmapping, albiet based on points in space rather than on the surface of the world.

Many AAA titles still make heavy use of baked lighting, through middle-ware such as Beast, http://gameware.autodesk.com/beast

Others go down the dynamic route, through middle-ware such as Enlighten, http://www.geomerics.com/enlighten/

 

Using baked lighting doesn't prevent usage of dynamic light and shadows, it can be more efficient to mix it up as needed.

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Light-maps are no longer used.
Lighting is all real-time these days with rare minor exceptions.


That is not even close to true.

 

 

"Perfectly true!" I thought to myself. And then I tried to think of all the games recently that do use it, or that are coming out that make use of it, and came up a bit short to be honest.

 

I even looked at (recently released) the top sellers on steam at the moment: Rocket League, not so far as I can tell? (Edit: Maybe yes? I haven't played it) ARK: Nope. Homeworld Remastered: Nope. GoT Telltale: Yes. GTAV: Nope. CS GO: Yes. Witcher 3 : Nope. Polybridge: Nope.

 

So while it's still used certainly and by all means, I would say it is surprisingly, or perhaps because of the fanaticism for "open world" games unsurprisingly being phased out somewhat. Regardless Digitalfragment has some good links if OP is interested.

Edited by Frenetic Pony

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Light-maps are no longer used.
Lighting is all real-time these days with rare minor exceptions.


That is not even close to true.

 

 

"Perfectly true!" I thought to myself. And then I tried to think of all the games recently that do use it, or that are coming out that make use of it, and came up a bit short to be honest.

 

I even looked at (recently released) the top sellers on steam at the moment: Rocket League, not so far as I can tell? ARK: Nope. Homeworld Remastered: Nope. GoT Telltale: Yes. GTAV: Nope. CS GO: Yes. Witcher 3 : Nope. Polybridge: Nope.

 

So while it's still used certainly and by all means, I would say it is surprisingly, or perhaps because of the fanaticism for "open world" games unsurprisingly being phased out somewhat. Regardless Digitalfragment has some good links if OP is interested.

 

Given that the quoted post was by MJP, i think its safe to assume The Order 1886 uses lightmaps, at least to some degree. Though you wont find that on Steam ;)

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An important thing to consider is that Unity and UE4 both support light mapping out of the box. I don't know what percentage of 3D Unity games use it, but I bet it's pretty high. Especially for games targeting mobile, or other low-spec hardware. I'm sure that plenty of UE4 games also use light mapping, unless they have a particularly strong reason not to (like dynamic TOD, and even in those cases you probably precompute plenty of things). UE4 actually has a really nice baking pipeline, that was also heavily used for UE3 games.

And yes, The Order used lightmaps that stored indirect and environment lighting using spherial radial basis functions. Edited by MJP

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to help out with a list
- last of us: http://miciwan.com/SIGGRAPH2013/Lighting%20Technology%20of%20The%20Last%20Of%20Us.pdf
- the witness http://the-witness.net/news/2010/03/graphics-tech-texture-parameterization/
- UE4 (not a game, but shows off nicely
)
- Square Enix engine: http://www.jp.square-enix.com/info/library/pdf/An%20Implementation%20of%20Adaptive%20Tile%20Subdivision%20on%20the%20GPU%20(slide).pdf
- idTech 4 (and probably all other mega texture implementations)
- Geomeric's Enlighten (e.g. used in the frost bite engine): http://www.geomerics.com/case-studies/

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