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Lightmap Optimizations And Terrain Lightmaps


strikerfs87
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I was wondering for those of you who use 3dsmax to render lightmaps, what techniques you use to create high quality looking shadows, like changing settings in max or applying filters in photoshop. Plus I was curious to how you guys set up terrain lightmaps, I have to use rather high resolutions to get shadows on the ground and can only apply four images to make up the terrain at these higher resolutions. Is there any problem to using 4 larger files to make the lightmaps as opposed to multiple tiles at 512x512?

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Yes I have gone through both Hawk's and D-ran's tutorials. My terrain lightmaps leave a bit to be desired when compared to the static meshes and I was wondering what I could do to improve their quality efficiently instead of just cranking out extra large lightmap files. Right now I can only divide the lightmap tiles to 2x2 and the files are rather big and I'm rather concerned about performance when loading them. I would much rather divide it up into smaller tiles while still managing a high quality lightmap.

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I'm not using the editor for the terrain lightmaps, I import it with the static meshes into 3dsmax and turn the terrain model into a bf static so I can lightmap it in there. My problem is that the terrain shadows are rather poor compared to my statics since it's stretching a 2048x2048 or 4096x4096 texture over a much larger area.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, it is possible to do the terrain lightmaps in 3ds Max,...

All you need is a PC with 4-64 Gb RAM and of course 3ds Max.

The next step would be importing the whole map using the lightmapping tools.

Then you have to replace all transparent statics with the real ones, containing a 3ds max Standard material with alpha channel.

I use a script to replace all these objects.

If you haven't placed overgrowth as statics, you have to import them somehow.

Once all Objects are placed you need to set up the lights (Chose a technique which supports transparency).

Under the Render Tab, hit "Render to texture".

Add a lightmap with the size you wish to the list.

Wait a few days (depending on lighting technique).

Ta-da, a wonderful lightmap. (more or less... It may be true that it will appear very blocky - depending on lighting and other settings I forgot)

edit: You need to lightmap 3 times (sun, ambient, point). I still can't figure out, how to handle seawater and waterplanes

PS

I know, this thread is oooold.

Edited by mccae
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  • 4 months later...

I thought of another method that I could run by you guys. What if I take the number of tiles the BF2 editor makes for lightmaps and divide the terrain mesh in Max into those corresponding parts. Therefore instead of having one texture for the whole terrain, I'll have nine or sixteen (whatever the number is) higher resolution lightmaps to map the terrain. I already have to break the texture up anyways so it will not interrupt the process to much. Essentially I want to bump up the resolution of the lightmaps by rendering them into their smaller parts they get broken into already by the editor, while keeping the produced file sizes out of Max at a resonable level my computer can handle. I hope this makes sense, hard to describe without visual aids or in person.

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I know it's a lot of extra work but the final look will be totally worth it. It just looks wrong to have such high resolution shadows on buildings and objects, yet have such poor quality on the terrain. I would just light them one at a time and it would also save me splitting them into their separate parts later.

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I just have a few weeks of school then summer so I'll have plenty of time. Plus my computer isn't that beefy and would have issues with rendering one really large lightmap then compared to the smaller sections with resolutions that would equal the much higher one. I'd prefer to have a flexible and stable method then typing in some insane file size and hoping my computer can take it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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