Terrain: Advanced Lighting

Level 36
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Jul 1, 2007
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Advanced Lighting
By ~Void~

1: Introduction
For those who don't know, the UTM stands for The Ultimate Terraining Map and can be found here
Now, this tutorial is fairly advanced and you should probably have some basic knowledge of how to make your terrain look good already. If you are only just starting, you might want to read some other terrain tutorials first.​
The basic concepts of this tutorial is to teach you how to use various lighting techniques (mainly the Light from Above doodad) to produce really high-quality cinematic screenshots. So let's begin.

~-*~*-~

2: Sunlight
This section will teach you, step-by step, how to create sunlight, which can really help your terrain.

TIP: Light yellow and light blue/teal are good fog colors. And since lighting affects fog, don't set the end value too close or it will be too bright, and I recommend setting the start value at 0 so as to not have strange effects with the lighting.

Ok. So take your basic terrain, and put the editor in game-view mode (V) so you can see better what it will look like with the fog.

tut-example1.jpg

Go into object editor and find the Light from Above (angled) doodad. Set the maximum size to 100. Now before we place it in the editor, it would be wise to turn off random scaling and rotation so as to not get really extremely huge doodads. I only suggest 100 so you can change it to anything you want.

Now, place one or two (maybe 3 if it's still not bright enough) lights right in front of the camera, and size them up to 200%-400% (maybe make one 300 and one 400, to have variation). And there you have it, your terrain already looks a bit better.

tut-example2.jpg

TIP: If your light is too bright try tinting it down to 150/150/150 or even as low as 50/50/50, it won't make things darker it will just make the light more transparent.
TIP: If you see an ugly glow at the bottom of your light, try lowering it a bit and it should go away. The brighter you want the light to be, just lower it, because the brightest part is at the top. Or you could just make it short and fat for a gradient effect. There's a lot of things you can play around with to make great and original terrains.

~-*~*-~

3: The Sun Itself

Now this is a somewhat tricky one, and it may take a while to get it to look right, but be patient, it will pay off in the end!

Ok, so first go into the object editor again and find Light from Above doodad (not the angled one this time) and go under Art - Maximum Pitch Angle, and shift-double click that (to allow negatives) and put in -1.57. This will tilt your Light from Above doodads so that they aren't from above anymore, more from the side :)
You should end up with something like this when you put it in the editor.

tut-example3.jpg

Now how does that look like the sun? Well, it doesn't. You have do do some stuff first. First, select the light doodad you just placed and rotate it so the thin part is pointing away from you (and the fat one pointing towards you, should be 90 degrees if you are at the default camera rotation). Then, move it towards the way back of your terrain, on the horizon, and lift it up a bit. You might want to be careful where the height is where you put it, though (preferably a flat part behind the horizon) because it will rotate a bit from the pitch angle you did in the first step.

tut-example4.jpg

Congratulations, you've got this far... now for the "fun" part :\
Size the doodad to about 1000%. I don't recommend going larger than 1500% or smaller than 750%.

tut-example5.jpg

OMG, what about that big hole in the middle of the sun? Don't fret, you can just cover it up with fog doodads! Go into object editor, and find the doodad Fog (edit in object editor). Make the max size of this 100, although I doubt you will need to resize it. Maybe set the tint to that of your fog plus or minus a bit. Then, just spam about 10 of them over the hole in your sun. Hooray, it's fixed, thank you Fog Doodad!
You now have an awesome looking sun!

tut-example6.jpg

TIP:
The sun used in my terrain, Dawn was made with two light doodads, one slightly more transparent and bigger than the other (to get extra-long rays)

~-*~*-~

And, that's all for now. I hope you all enjoyed my tutorial and learned a lot from it, and I will be back with more tips on lighting as my own knowledge on the subject progresses.

Happy Terraining,
~Void~
 
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Level 34
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Sep 6, 2006
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Very well made tutorial. It should be approved.

Question: How much of the terrain is covered by the light doodad? The whole thing, or just in front of the screen? Last time I tried this it left a large yellow circle on the ground. The doodad was only large enough to cover the screen.
 
Level 36
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Oh, and using a sun has big disadvantages. You can't do other lighting, unless you manage to dodge that sun. Otherwise, it'll just be a big fat blob. BTW, you should tint them yellow.

Eh, yellow's not a good color for Warcraft 3. In my opinion. I prefer clear or blue light so it doesn't distort my terrain too much.

Also-- The light from the sun covers the entire terrain if you place it right. Why do you need additional light? Sometimes maybe a few sun-flare doodads and a row of "white light" doodads makes it look great, or "blue light" for moonlight.
 
Level 4
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Where do you find the Fog doodad? I can't find it, shouldn't it be in the Cinematics doodads section? I have the UTM.
 
Last edited:
Level 2
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Jun 18, 2010
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Very nice ~Void~ and Don't label me a noob for saying this but, THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE UTM!! Its totally awesome!! I feel like exporting a few things to the project im working on ^.^

Oh, and as for your Tutorial, IT Rocks!! Thanks for explaining that :)

"Another mystery of the universe has been solved" :pal:
 
Level 11
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Oct 31, 2010
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the light from above doodad is only in the UTM which means Ultimate Terraining Map
you can find that thread to download at the Terrain Board which is the Terraining Forum for Wc3
it's a sticky named The Ultimate Terraining Map 3.0
anyways here's the map http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/terrain-board-267/ultimate-terraining-map-3-0-a-45316/
it's a terraining map
don't use that to make a map because you will waste 4MB or GB i forgotten >.<
if you want to use any stuffs inside it,just import the stuff to your map >.<
 
Level 7
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
133
the light from above doodad is only in the UTM which means Ultimate Terraining Map
you can find that thread to download at the Terrain Board which is the Terraining Forum for Wc3
it's a sticky named The Ultimate Terraining Map 3.0
anyways here's the map http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/terrain-board-267/ultimate-terraining-map-3-0-a-45316/
it's a terraining map
don't use that to make a map because you will waste 4MB or GB i forgotten >.<
if you want to use any stuffs inside it,just import the stuff to your map >.<

Okay, thx you, but what you mean by "don't use to make a map" ? If I can't use it in a map it doesn't has any use then :-/
You mean i can use in a cinematic but not in a playable map or something ?
 
Okay, thx you, but what you mean by "don't use to make a map" ? If I can't use it in a map it doesn't has any use then :-/
You mean i can use in a cinematic but not in a playable map or something ?

Of course you can use it for playable maps! You can use it for anything if you don't have a problem with it's size. If you do, you can just export the useless doodads.
 
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