Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't forget the basics...

After my earlier post, I put what I think are the final touches on the basic layout of the level. So I decided to render lightmaps for the first time and get a basic idea of what the lighting looks like. I then use this to inform my lighting decisions to figure out how many lights I need to place and their intensity. I've started using this approach to Dragon Age because the light-mapper is so finicky. When I'm using the Unreal Engine editor, I'll go crazy with lights and put lots of them in because I know it can and will do the job effectively and efficiently. (Plus that's what the professionals do, so I take my lead from them)

However, since this is only really the third level I've done from scratch in the Dragon Age toolset, and it's been a while since I did the other two, I forgot something basic...

Did somebody turn out the lights?

When you're making a level in Dragon Age, before you render your lightmaps, always put in an Ambient baked light to avoid pitch black shadows.

You don't want to know how long it took for the lighting calculation. Or rather, I don't want to think about it.

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