Live for Speed, Graphics Progress Report: Kyoto and lighting
As many of you know from the forum and Twitter, Eric has been working on Kyoto and Scawen has been working on a new lighting system. In this month's progress report we would like to show you some of the work in progress and talk a bit about the lighting.
The Kyoto track is not yet finished. There is still more detail to be completed and holes to fill, but we thought you would like to see how it is coming along.
The new lighting system
Because of the way the new shadow system works, there is no longer a need for a limited number of lighting setups per track. I tried an experiment to allow the user to set the time of day for the lighting. The sun direction is calculated from that and the geographical location of the track. It became very tempting to try to allow all times of day and night. If that was to happen we would need working headlights, so I had a go at that as you can see in these screenshots.
We now have a simple interface to control time. You can select live time, so the tracks are lit according to their geographical position at the current time. Another option allows the time in game to be offset relative to real time by a number of hours (and days). For example you can start your race in the daytime even if it is really evening. Finally there is still an option for fixed time, which is useful at least for development purposes.
Here is a video of a sunset at the Autocross area :
I've recently been experimenting with real time generated skies to provide a lot of variation for the different sun positions. It's an interesting subject but it brings up the issue of exposure that is encountered with cameras (and eyes) in real life. An iris control can adjust the exposure.
Here is a video showing the exposure being adjusted at Aston. At the start the sky is exposed correctly but the foreground is too dark. At the end the foreground looks brighter but the sky is overexposed.
Finally here is a video showing a 24 hour cycle at Blackwood, in the summer. The iris is automatically adjusted (by an experimental system) so the daytime doesn't look too bright and things don't look too dark in the night.
- LFS Developers
Further reading: Graphics Progress Report: Lighting research