Hi. I know this might sound a simple question, but I was wondering about this since some developers use only dynamic lighting in some games. My question is would I be able to achieve the exact visual results of light mapped lighting with dynamic? is lightmapping being faster to render in-game the main advantage that makes many developers use it, or is it because many visual effects are only possible with light mapping?
Typically, nope. Precomputed lightmaps will be always superior in quality of lighting.
Both statements are somewhat close to truth.
- Is your world size too large to realistically fit all lightmaps into memory?
- Does your game design require dynamic lighting by its nature?
If answer to any of questions above is yes, consider use of fully dynamic lighting. Else, favor static and combination of static and dynamic lighting.
Using baked lightmaps means you have the time to render realistic lighting (mostly for light bounce which is the thing that takes the most time). There’s some technology for doing that with dynamic lights but there’s still some issues to overcome and these days you still need a high end graphics card to do that and the quality still isn’t as good as baked lighting.
There’s some cases where you can’t bake the lighting, if it’s too complex or if you need the lights to move then you don’t have the option and you try to make do with dynamic options.
Thanks all for the replies. So, I think I should keep on the track of baked lighting because the game is so calm and relies heavily on the idea of providing a soothing atmosphere and relaxing experience and I think more quality lighting is required for that idea to work. This is why I don’t think I would need dynamic lighting by the nature of my game, since it’s similar to games like Myst, Quern and URU with minimal numbers of moving objects.
The only thing I am afraid of when I intend to use baked lighting is the lighting map resolution and the issue of increasing baking times. This is because I was testing a small portion of the game world and I discovered I need the highest map size (4096) for buildings and walls (which are abundant in the game, think of a small village), and it greatly increases baking time. This is true since maps of smaller sizes gave less than acceptable results even with much higher quality settings. Textures are very minimalist and I don’t think would increase the memory requirements that much.
Should I divide the world to many smaller levels or “portions” of the world or not that necessary?
Any ideas that would benefit my workflow?
Thanks in advance.