View Full Version : What's wrong with the lighting in FEAR/D3?

05-12-06, 01:18 AM
I don't know if its the lighting or the shadows, but the problem seems to be that much of the game is overly dark and shadowy. Its as though the relfected light from walls and such does not do enough, so anything behind a shadow is very dark, and not illumined by all the light coming from other diretions.

With a set of flourecent lights in an office there is a black and white contrast, with the shadows being neary pure black in the game. In a real office there is enough reflected light to prevent lots of heavy shadows.

I'm guessing this is from the shadows not being able to soften depending on upon proximity to the light source and casting surface. But maybe its just light reflection is not detailed enough.

In many places if the shadows were only 50% and not 100% dark it would have a much more natural appearance.

HL2 may not have as advanced of a lighting system but I know in that game all the shadows and lighting looks superbly natural.

05-12-06, 01:27 AM
I never saw anything wrong with the lighting... I found it dark but no where the amount of DOOM3.

05-12-06, 02:17 AM
Real-time Global Illumination/Radiosity is a ways off, at least when it comes to game use. I don't know about F.E.A.R., but Doom 3 doesn't use ambient lights, so that's why shadows are pitch black unless there's more than one light source in the same area to lighten it, and that's also why the game is dark in general. I forgot where I saw it, but some guy found a way to get ambient lighting working in Doom 3 and the results were nice looking (from what I remember, it's been a while since I saw it).

Somebody please correct me if anything I've said is wrong.

05-12-06, 05:56 AM
Didn't Raven implement some ambient lighting in Quake 4? Anyway radiosity is just too much work for gpus as ray says, it's extra passes calculating reflectances and falloff distances on top of the shadows. So the lighting is not realistic in either of those games, Source has realistic lighting because it compiles the radiosity into the map.

05-12-06, 06:01 AM
Moving to fully realtime ligthing and shadowing, you no longer do radiocity at map Compile, which bakes light and shadow into the levels textures, that process isnt really possible in realtime as it is, and it handles the light bounce calculations and stuff like that and then just bakes it into the map, a process that can take hours to calculate.

So HL2 and that type of static lighting combined with realtime shadowmaps on movable things, are limited in a way, but has some advantages.
You need to do alot of specific solutions for different "events" here to make it look good it seems, how it blends with the baked static shadows and make sure they fall at the right place etc.

While a fully dynamic unfied solution like D3 has its advantages that all lights will will cast shadows from everything in the map, on a equal basis, but it also rules out the advanced lighting solutions like radiocity since it cant be done in realtime. And if you did a radiocity pass on compiling the levels, those shadows wouldnt move when the light does, while the dynamic objects would cast realtime shadows based on the lights movement
I think you can use ambient lightlevels in D3 engine, like outdoors Q4 or QW seems to do, combined with a spot light for extra light and shadowcasting.
But that doesnt work very well to simulate light bounces.

05-12-06, 04:01 PM
OK that answers all my questions. Thanks guys.