How to use the Spot Light Properly

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Kill_the_Bug, May 17, 2012.

  1. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Hi, wanted to do a seperate post after doing a search and can't really find the answers I need - I'm confused with how to make the spot light setting adjustments.:confused:

    I'm playing with the spot lights in my map (using the global sliders- the globe things in the top/front/side views) and can't seem to figure it out most maps to date have just been regular round varietiy but me new map wiil ahve a LOT to spots in it. I have used some of the prefabs from the light gallery but still can't figure out how the setting work.

    These are the three main items I'm having a problem with:

    1 - 1 Platform 64 units off the ground with a spot light pointing down onto it.
    I'm setting the inner circle to the top of the platform and the outer circle to the ground and if I'm looking at the cone it's wide.

    When I compile the top of the platform is never lit up properly - and it doesn't really look like the ground it lit like I want it either - it's acceptable but not 100 % what I'd like to accomplish for the ground

    I don't know how to fix all this - do you have to set distance etc?

    2 - the angles of the cone - it the some way you can change the angle of the cone in hammer to that it reflect what you actually want to light - ie. a very pinpointed light cone at a small object?

    3 - How to get a heavy bright patch in the center that has a fade out to the edges.

    Spent 4.5 hours last night tring to modify my spots but couldn't get it right, I read YYler's thing and I see the cones everywhere but I don't really see anyhing that explains how the cones work.

    I couldn't seem to get , height, angle of cone, and the brilliant center and fade off to work all at the same time.

    Oh, maybe while remember it - what does that little camera icon do in the settings screen?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Setting the cone on a spotlight does nothing to actually produce light. Think of it as a guide, like a railroad track or something, that indicates where light would go if there were enough of it being emitted.

    To actually brighten anything, there's two settings. The fourth field on the color selector, which indicates brightness, is probably the easiest to use. The default setting is 200 if I remember correctly, which is actually quite dim. Some Valve lights go as high as 18000 for very specialized effects.

    The other setting is the fade distances.. the "50 percent falloff" and "0 percent fallofs". If you set the 50% to a number a ball will be drawn in hammer indicating how far the light will travel. At that point, the light will have fallen to 50% brightness. You can greatly increase the brightness by making this number bigger.

    The 0% falloff is much the same, it indicates at what point the light being cast drops to full darkness. Adjusting this creates more subtle effects.. there's no way to really describe it so you'll just have to tinker on your own.


    Spotlights are not very good at highlighting specific objects. There are a couple ways to "sharpen" the cone of light.. set the outer cone to a number very close to the inner cone and you'll find the edge of light gets much sharper. This looks really unrealistic however.

    If you want to highlight a specific object, you should be able to cheat it with an info_lighting entity. I haven't tried it myself but I think it would work okay.. put the info_lighting really close to a light bulb and associate a prop with it, it should light that prop up quite a lot.
     
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  3. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Dude - you're brilliant (lol no pun intended) - just got the effect I needed - thanks a lot!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  4. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    Xzzy is credit to team.
     
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  5. Kill_the_Bug

    Kill_the_Bug L14: Epic Member

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    Ok trying as hard as I can here but I can't seem to get the spotlights working right they alway seems either too dim or burn out the details.

    Can someone explain how the fall of works - I understand it in principle (how it works in terms of the lighting) but I can seem to get it working right.

    I'd like to use mor spots in my map instead of straigh regular lights but I'm wasting time going over and over and over again trying different settings on them.

    I thought I understood it - was a lucky shot getting it right on my other post up top but can't se to get what I want in other parts of the map.

    Any help? Thanks!
     
  6. tyler

    aa tyler snail prince, master of a ruined tower

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    Have you tried examining the ones found in official maps?
     
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  7. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    It literally took me months to become competent at setting up lights in hammer. Arguably I'm still not "good" at it as an art form but I at least understand them in the technical sense.

    So what I'm saying is the one week you've spent on it is not nearly enough. :O
     
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