Lighting advice for a newbie?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by WalWer, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    I dunno if this even acceptable question, but after watching tutorials and stuff i decided to ask.

    So this is my first experience with mapping for TF2 and i'm really struggling with this lighting. I feel, like this area is too dark, thought it's outdoors.

    [​IMG]

    For an enviroment lighting i use badlands options and, maybe, i should somehow tweak them, so it fits better into my map? I don't really like all of these spotlights i've placed, feels really unnatural and map looks like it's almost night. I think the problem is this rock at the right and wall on the left, but deleting rock, for example, will make sightline to the mid.
    So, any advices on how i should deal with it?
    Cheers and sry for my english.
     
  2. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    hmmm.... i think if you made the env_enviorement's pitch something close to -60 or -70? that would make the lighting less horisontal and more vertical, wich i think would light up the map a bit more! i also think you could increase the strength of the ambient and brightness, so you are more independent on the ambient lighting instead! then remove some of the lamps, so they are more spread between each other...

    But i don't know, you can also make the angle of the lights a bit wider and increases the strenght of the lamps. Maybe a combination?
     
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  3. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    I also want to add, that you should change the color of the light_environment(called iy env_environment last time, my mistake) to something that fits the map a bit more. i think if you give the brightness a bit of a yellow color and the ambient more of an unsaturated dark blue or green it would fit the theme better!
     
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  4. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    Thank you! Actually increasing pitch and strenght of brightness/ambients seems to work. It's not perfect, but i guess i just have to work with it a little bit more. Also i've tried more of a yellow color, but in my opinion it didn't fit much. Or i just have to experiment with it.
     
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  5. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    I think if you add a very small amount of yellow or orange color it helps, but not a lot? Your choice... Can you tell what exactly you dont like? I can maybe find a solution for that...
     
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  6. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    Actually, after you said about what should fit theme, i thought - maybe badlands skybox and settings just isn't what i need? I decided to experiment with different skyboxes and valve settings and i loved gorge one:
    [​IMG]
    Now it's kinda too bright, but i guess, i'll deal with it. I even deleted all the light spots and it still looks cool. It's amazing, how lighting can affect map, cause now it feels so much different.
     
  7. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    the easy solution is to make the brightness strenght a little bit lower...
    Also maybe you should make the cliff with the grass on top fit more with the skybox? just an idear!
    It's a really cool map, btw! Very good layout, and the placement of the control point is perfect! i would recommend doing something with the top of the building to the side of the truck though. It seems to be a bit too open and i think it would improve gameplay if snipers can't as easily shoot from that side over to the left side. But generally very good placements! especially the tall one at the back with the window! not only is it interesting to look at, but it balances the snipers, since they dont have a crazy sightline! i do think that you should still place something at the entrance at the left. its a bit easy to spawn camp it! there is some cover at the left, so if you place a another entrace there, the team can go out of that door, if that entrance gets camped. As you can hear, snipers are basicly the hardest thing to balance as a mapper, so always think of them when creating cover.

    Genrally it's a good idear to make more than one entrance, especially for spawns. A good example what NOT to do, can be found in pl_frontier! Frontier has a lot of spawns, where there is only one door, and its know for having a lot of spawncamping. Even though, the mapper has been smart enough to give blue a lot of different options, when getting out of spawn the map is still know for being a bit unbalanced. I experianced a round in frontier where red was spawncamping through the whole match! They just sat there, 8 players, telepoting into spawn, just killing us all!

    Just a little story, giving you an example.

    another thing you have to remember is giving Spy some way to get to the backlines! A lot of mappers forget about them. I think if you make a path that leads to under the bridge, and you give the stairs or crates(I don't crates are very enjoyable for players. From my experience, they prefer something that seems more intended, like stairs or something. ) a bit more cover plus place an ammo pack for the spies it will make the spies have a higher advantage. generally i think the map layout just needs more cover, in form of structures that fits the map's asthetics.

    Thanks for reading this long response, i just have too much spare time...
     
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  8. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    Thank you for such a response. Since i haven't even showed this map to anyone yet, it will help me alot.
    Actually this map is 5cp and this is 2nd point. The building on the left leading to the last, and behind the right cirlcled-corner there is a tunnel, leading to the middle.
    It's a very good idea, however, i'm still not so good with displacements, but i'm working towards it, this cliff looks really weird for me either, but i didn't bothered with it much, since it's just an alpha.
    Yeah, i tried to keep in mind, that there must be no very long sightlines. This building you talking about is really too open, guess i'll try to deal with it, maybe some props or brushes. And yeah, that little building at the top left was added exactly to balance snipers and give defenders more cover, since they don't have much height advantage.
    There's 3 entrances to this building at the left, they just got covered at screenshot. One is in the sewer section and one at the left. I'm still thinking about adding one behind those metal plates.
    This sewer section is my headache tbh, i really like how it looks, but still trying to decide, where do i better place some stairs.

    Thanks for the response again, i sure will use some of your tips while mapping.
     
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  9. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    Thanks, ill follow you so i can test your map when you have published it.
     
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  10. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    I don't want to start new thread, since my new issue is somehow related to one i posted in this one - maybe someone could help me out.

    So i was adjusting lights on my last point. I used cordon tool, so i can compile quicker and see the difference. But when i were finally happy with the result and toggled cordon tool off, i saw, that my ceiling are dark and ugly now.

    [​IMG]
    Adjusting brightness doesn't help alot. What can i do to solve this? Except adding additional light on ground, with 90-up pitch, cause i feel like this is not the option i should use.
     
  11. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    hmmm... i recommend using some normal light entities instead of spot lights. They are hard to make look good, but they are the best solution in this instant.
     
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  12. ics

    aa ics http://ics-base.net

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    I never have used cordon compile, but if you do not compile your map with full or -final settings, ceiling will look dark as the final light face is not calculated. What you see in the map now might be OK in the game, not dark ceiling but normal with just dark shade. Do you use light_spot and point_spotlight with those lights or what?

    If you feel some spots of your map are a tad too dark and it's outside and not inside, you can always out a light_spot at the sky, making more ambient light. Nobody rarely even notices the difference. Indoors, if some corner is very black, you can put a light there, without any visible model and that corner suddenly is not lit so dark anymore. Just make sure you don't make it too bright, simply having it as 6 or 8 will do the trick instead of default 100.

    I use the first trick on one of my maps, which is night themed and dark outside. Without the extra light_spots in the sky, it would be *very* dark, even with actual lights and such within the map.
     
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  13. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    Well, i guess i'll have to use "light" to deal with it. I were thinking about it, but watching decompiled Valve maps, never seen them doing it., so i thought i may be other way.
    I'm compiling with just normal VRAD, should i try compile with -final?
    I'm using light_spot.
     
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  14. worMatty

    aa worMatty Repacking Evangelist

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    Greetings, WalWer.

    The problem in your pic is probably being caused by a leak. The cordon tool seals the whole of the map as a matter of course because it is effectively a giant hollow brush box textured with tools/toolsskybox. When a map leaks, bounce lighting is not calculated as many times as normal. Check your compile log.

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this already but when you are lighting a map, it's best to keep the properties of your light and light_spot entities at their defaults, excluding colour and brightness. Edited properties are coloured blue in the entity's properties window. You can reset them to defaults by deleting the edited values from the fields and pressing Enter/Return.
     
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  15. TheAppleJhon

    TheAppleJhon L2: Junior Member

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    I use a recou
    btw! I always use this http://tf2maps.net/resources/lighting-library.666/
    It's a lighting library, with all sorts of different effects! its a great template to work from! Just remember to decrease the brightness since its 800 to start with, wich is a lot for a default setting! it also give you the chance to see how you can make interesting ligthing with different enteties!

    Btw, if you haven't fixed any leaks before i recommend using the load pointfile option under 'map'. It show you how it got into the map from a the void. If it goes through a wall it is because that wall is not a worldbrush, but some kind of func_ brush. I accidently made one of my worldbrushes a func_detail, wich gave me leaks. It was really bad.

    Also remember to check for leaks more than once, since it only shows you 1 at a time.

    To check leaks fast set vis and rad to 'no' and check 'don't run game after compile'.
    Keep loading the pointfile and checking the compile log to see if there is leaks. It will save you a lot of time that way. When all leaks are fixed, your compile should look much cleaner (You will maybe also experience slow compile times after that. Just make things that is for details only and that isn't a wall a func_detail brush. Be careful though).
     
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  16. ics

    aa ics http://ics-base.net

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    Try it. See if the shadows go away.
     
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  17. WalWer

    WalWer L1: Registered

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    Yeah, i'm feeling stupid now. It was leak. I mean, leaks, tons of them. Thank you.

    Yeah, thank you, i know about those and fixing my leaks, they seem to be endless though. Actually sometimes pointfile directs me to brush, thats not displacement or func_detail, just world geometry and it seems sealed, without any leaks. What it can be? I'm trying to remove brush and build it again, sometimes it helps, sometimes not.

    K, finally i sealed all the leaks and lighting is fine now, thanks everyone, who answered.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  18. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    I recommend that every time you compile, if you've done any significant edits to the layout, you run VBSP by itself first, because that's what does the checks for leaks and it finishes in seconds even for the most complex maps. And then if you find a leak, keep running it by itself until there are none.