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Terrain: Advanced Lighting

Discussion in 'General Mapping Tutorials' started by ~Void~, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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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~
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  2. Gilles

    Gilles

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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.
     
  3. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    It will do that. Try lowering it a bit. (the circle is what makes the fog mess up on the sun... someone should remove it from the model or fix it so it's further back...)
     
  4. PurgeandFire

    PurgeandFire

    Code Moderator

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    Very nice. I didn't think of making a sun like that and it teaches it nicely.
     
  5. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    [off topic]

    Bump for approval! :D

    [/off topic]
     
  6. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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    You should say that you have to lower the doodad into the ground.
     
  7. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    Don't you think people can figure that out for themselves?
    If you are an advanced terrainer like it says you should be in the guide, you probably know how to lower doodads :p
     
  8. Oziris

    Oziris

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    I really like the tutorial and it helped me i am gona try some light terrain! +rep
     
  9. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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    I wouldn't make a tutorial JUST for advanced terrainers. It directly cancels out any new people to terraining learning anything. Maybe put in an advanced part.
     
  10. Deathcom3s

    Deathcom3s

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    That glow at the bottom of the lighting doodad is very annoying.

    Anywho, very nice tutorial, helped me a lot.
     
  11. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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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.
     
  12. frostwhisper

    frostwhisper

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    So that's your sun technique? Interesting, I like it.
     
  13. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    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.
     
  14. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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    Because then you can't make your water uberly awesomely shiny and blot out the sky with bees (arrows).
     
  15. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    "Our arrows will blot out the sun"
    "Then we will camp in a bubble shield"
    --Master Chief

    On topic:
    Meh. Screw white water, looks like rivers of milk.
     
  16. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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    Lol, what if you're trying to make Israel?!
     
  17. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    Huh? I didn't get that :\
     
  18. Belgarath

    Belgarath

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    Israel has rivers of milk, I think. Well, I'm pretty sure. Or maybe it was honey!
     
  19. Wolf.

    Wolf.

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    Thanks, I used this for my first terrain! +rep
     
  20. ~Void~

    ~Void~

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    Hurry up and approve/deny this pl0x... It's bothering me :(