Optimal lighting on Night Maps?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Ctrl Alt Defeat, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Ctrl Alt Defeat

    Ctrl Alt Defeat L1: Registered

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    So, on my upcoming map, it takes place at night, However, one big issue with the appearance is the lighting.


    What color/brightness should I use on the light_env?

    What color should the env_sun be, if I'm supposed to have one at all? Also, is there a different override model for a moon?

    My shadow's look a bit glitchy. Do I need a shadow_control? Or is that pretty much just for the color of shadows?
  2. shadowslasher11

    aa shadowslasher11

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    Look into Doublecross's entities and see what you come up with, that seems to be the best solution I normally see out of people on here.
  3. Fantasma

    aa Fantasma

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    I'll give the words of wisdom I received on Sandstone from the chat (Mostly Aly)

    ~Make use of phantom lights, (basically light entities that act like it was from the moon or something) This image uses them but it appears it's from the moon
    ~Use A LOT of lights around your map, NO play-area should be dark not even corners
    ~When picking colors create a contrast, like this blue (moonlgiht) and orange (torch) one: [​IMG]
    ~Make non-play areas dark, this helps with visual noise [​IMG]
    ~Light up certain areas differently, don't make your whole map just 2 colors (Sandstone uses 3 main ones, blue, orange and white)
    ~Teams should always be distinguishable
    ~When testing lights, go fullscreen and put the brightness to it's lowest.

    In truth I didn't actually use bright settings on my light_env, everything was done through phantom lights.
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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  4. DonutVikingChap

    DonutVikingChap L5: Dapper Member

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    Phantom lights ahoy!




    (Perhaps you don't need to go just as crazy with it as I did)
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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  5. Berry

    aa Berry spooky scary skeletons

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    I gotta admit for all that light spam it does look good.
  6. UKCS-Alias

    aa UKCS-Alias Mann vs Machine... or... Mapper vs Meta?

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    May i note though that those phantom lights arent realy needed in all maps. In skullcove i mainly used visible light sources (candles, normal lights, the skull, environtment), the only place in that map with phantom lights is the cave below spawn and the upgrade station, and even that one uses actualy visible light sources. However, the skull is a main light source there which did add alot of light.
  7. Dain

    Dain L3: Member

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  8. xzzy

    aa xzzy

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    Stoneyridge has only three phantom lights in it, but we went kind of nuts with light fixtures so it was pretty easy to put light entities in believable spots.

    My main tip is to abuse the hell out of spot lights.. you want all your light pointed downward to the play area because if it's too gloomy in those spots, I guarantee players will complain. Spotlights also make interesting shadows on walls which you can get pretty creative with.. point lights are hard to tweak.

    Directing all your light down allows you to leave the top ares of the map in shadow so when players look upwards, it still feels like night time. Using dark textures for non-playable areas can help with this too.

    Best example I can think of for that is the spawn rooms on koth_sawmill. The ceiling is almost pitch black and it looks really damn good.
  9. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Since nobody answered this part...

    You don't need one at all; the moon should be part of the skybox. It definitely is in the case of Double Cross. The sun usually is, too, although I think some maps use an env_sun to simulate the way the sun glows around objects when it's partially behind them. (Never been quite clear on how that works, but it's an optional setting apparently.) The moon, of course, isn't bright enough to do that.
  10. MegapiemanPHD

    aa MegapiemanPHD Doctorate in Deliciousness

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    There are only 2 night Skyboxes for TF2 that aren't Halloween themed so you can check em out here to see what their best settings are: https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Team_Fortress_2_Sky_List

    I suggest starting with the base settings given there that are closest to what you want and then tweaking things until you are satisfied with the result. If you are using a custom skybos, you can still used the settings to get a good idea of what works well at night.
  11. wareya

    wareya L7: Fancy Member

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    the "best settings" on the wikis are just what the official maps use, not what actually line up with the skybox itself or which might be best for your map's geometry and lamp lighting.

    it's usually better to come up with settings by looking at the skybox itself and by testing different angles and overall brightnesses until it works
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014