External baked lighting test

I was playing with the idea to see if external baked light coud make udk look more ‘‘modern’’. Exported the citadel house with the texture and normal map and rendered everything to texture using hdr in simlab composer.
Here is a pick of the model with baked light, material and shadow in maya.(click to large)

And here is in udk.On the left is the baked light one and on the right is lightmass.The lightning is a little different as the hdr that was used to render in simlab is not the exact sky environment in the udk scene but it gives an idea.The shader on the baked model is in unlit mode.

And here we have the shader of the baked light model in phong mode so that we can get the realtime shadows on top of it.And im controlling the shadow intensity(simple multiply) in the shader so that its not so rough and closer to the baked one.You can see it under the awning on the front window.

I might add this to my workflow. Who said that backed light is only for mobile :rolleyes:

By the way, doing this in a game shoud not hide any risks right? I mean, we can get shadows on it so its not statick environment.
The only thing in my mind is that it coud cause problems if we have dynamic lightning, but that depends on the design choice of the game that one takes i suppose.

Hello dude.

Yeah, it looks good, indeed, Amazing!!!


Before working on UDK, I began my game development adventures on a very neat piece of software, called FPS Creator. Now this software is dead, was replaced by this one

On that time which i used FPS Creator, the lighting system was very poor, and as I came from 3D for visualizations and advertising, I had good experience in 3dsmax and Vray, so I decided to use Vray to light my maps, which I modelled inside 3dsmax, then exported to FPS Creator, with all lighting and shadows baked on the model.

It kind worked, and compared to the default FPS Creator lighting system, it looked good on that time:

As you can see, it looked good, however, in the end, the ammount of time to render this in Vray it was too long, I remember of almost burning my old gpu, so because this I dropped this idea of using external baked lighting.

And for that reason I changed to UDK, I abandoned FPS Creator because of the memory leak, it could not handle big maps with too much actors inside it, and because of the lighting. Whenever I first downloaded UDK and have seen it’s amazing lighting system, i decided to stick with the default UDK Lighting System.

I even dropped Lightmass because it has some bugs and light seams in modular pieces and also because it takes toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long to render lightmaps on my PC. Also by using post process volume adjusting gamma, brightness, contrast, I was able to achieve a UT3 look for my game using only standard lightmap (not lightmass).

This technique of external lightmap baking was extensively used on old gen games, because of limited hardware power, however now modern game engines have enough power to give impressive results without using external apps.

Anyway, good luck.

That is interesting to know.I started with the old 3d game studio a4 for a few months but as it was too complex for me at the time I too moved to FPScreator and stayed there for probably 1.5 years.Still have a copy of the cd in the box xd.Later on came fpsc x10 lol for 1-2 months and i ended with udk after that till this day.

As you say, the only drawback of offline rendering is the time, but it coud be worth it for small projects or even those point and click adventure games that are in a 360 mapped sphere world.Will keep the use of the baked light in my arsenal as with my cpu I can afford the render time.But still, i have to admit that even with 16 cores, that type of a bake to texture of the house was slower than what we get with lightmass, so there are trade offs.

WOW, we have another old FPSC user here, that’s cool. I too have the original DVD of FPS Creator and FPS Creator X10 which I purchased from their website and received here in Brazil.

Maybe you got to know me there, I used the nickname of 007 :smiley: on the old thegamecreatorforums, I had a lot of involvement on that cool comunity, I used to participate regularly writing forum posts, tutorials, I even have created a complete tutorial on how to map for FPSC using 3dsmax and light baking (I think that was my last post on that forum):

Like you said, this can be very cool for a small project, maybe a mobile game, casual game, however, be sure that doing this baking for a huge map will not work that smoothly, and may even hang your cpu.

Anyway, is by experimenting that we learn new things.

Good luck!

Wow! Soft shadows are very good. It is a beautiful experiment. -_-

Honestly, I do not like dynamic lights. This is because I mess up the light map I created so hard. T_T
So when I design my game I try to express everything as a static light source. ^^
( By the way I feel like I’m advertising that I’m not a competent person. Hmm… -_-;;;;; )

Im not that competent either.I have 8 years modeling practice in maya but i never learned to make even a decent render inside the program xd. Simlab composer was just majic.You select a sky light or a hdr image and hit render and it comes production ready.Similar to keyshot, but that one sadly cant render to texture.

Not thread related, but has someone used the shader from this page?(first post)
Seems to work better in dx11 as it blurs the cubemap(something i cant get to work in dx9)

Yeah, proficiency in 3D is something which takes time, a lot of time. I have been working with 3D for motion graphics in the audiovisual industry for almost 9 years (untill I changed for Web Design for earning a living). So I have been working with 3dsmax for more than 10 years (including the last 4 years studying 3dsmax specifically for game development with UDK).

I am far away from being an expert in modelling, texturing, rigging, animation, and so son. As I work alone i learned the basic of each one of these disciplines and I learned to work with ready to use assets.

Over all these years I built a huge library of 3d models which include characters, objects, mocap files, and so on (from various marketplaces and assets stores), because it is almost impossible you develop a game from scratch doing everything from model, animation, texturing, rigging and so on. So I especialized my self more in getting assets ready for game like reduce polycount, bake normal maps, change models, editting animations and so on to be able to use on my game development adventures :smiley: instead of creating them from scratch.

I think my last work on creating something from scratch was on my time of working with audio visual (I used to create 3D characters for TV Shows and Commercials).

And a proof that proficiency in 3D takes a lot of time, I even tried to change for Blender recently just for using something up to date, because my 3dsmax and motion builder software are from 2009 and 2013 whenever I last purchased a permanent license from Autodesk, however, I have seen that the learning curve in Blender takes too long, and I was not able to do in phyton for blender the same automating tools I created in maxscript especially for level design for UDK, as I do model my map completely in 3dsmax then export to UDK (like automatically created collision models, unwrap models for lightmap, break/attach models), so in the end I will stick with my pipeline with 3dsmax and Motion Builder.