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Brightness vs. Ambient Light - A Picture Comparison

Discussion in 'Release 28 Feedback Forum' started by Crazy Phil, Apr 9, 2016.

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  1. Crazy Phil

    Crazy Phil Avatar

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    I was in Desolis, and I decided to pop into The Epitaph. Haven't been there in a few releases, and...

    Good gravy it's bright in here!! All the textures are getting washed out! Gross...
    [​IMG]
    Oh wait! I remember... I turned my Brightness slider all the way up when it was introduced so I could see a little better during the almost pitch black night...

    Let's fix that... *turns brightness down to half*
    [​IMG]
    There! That's better. This is probably pretty close to what it's supposed to look like. Looks good! Maybe I have been missing out on some really nice lighting in other scenes...

    Time to leave! Oh wait... everything is super dark again...
    [​IMG]

    Even when moving the Brightness slider all the way back up, there are still areas of pitch black...
    [​IMG]
    Side Note: The crystal on the left here has no animation.

    Why is there so much pitch black in SotA? I swear this is listed as a no-no in some "good art" guide somewhere. Could it be that this back and forth we've been doing with Brightness as the enemy has simply been a waste of time and effort when all we really needed was a small bump in Ambient Light?
     
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  2. Black Tortoise

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    Lighting seems to vary heavily between systems, hardware, driver versions, etc. On mine I miss the old darkness, everything is crazy bright at night. I have to be in a deep dungeon for things to appear dark now, night vision is not as useless as it was before.

    Im starting to like it this way better tho. Scenes look way more beautiful so lit up at night.

    YMMV
     
  3. SmokerKGB

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    I guess there's no pleasing you, is there? Your clock says "Evening, Waxing Crescent Moon, light precipitation", I think it looks great... But, I cast light myself...
     
  4. Crazy Phil

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    I use Night Vision, myself. Brightness has to be less than max or everything is blindingly bright, but it is a necessity at night sometimes. I just think being able to slightly see the sides of objects in the "Evening" is probably good for the overall look of the game.

    Here's an excerpt from an article on this topic posted on this buildnewgames.com website:

    [​IMG]
    This is Shroud of the Avatar.

    "Ambient light is different from the other three because it doesn’t have a real source. Instead, ambient lighting is applied equally to every part of a scene regardless of position or orientation. In the renderings of the sphere above the side facing away from the light is completely black. This is almost always undesired, as even in the darkest shadows there is usually some detail to be seen. If we add some ambient light to the sphere we get a more natural looking rendering."

    [​IMG]
    Waaaaaaay too much, but you get the idea.

    So basically. If Brightness was left at 50%, but Ambient got a tiny bump, in theory, we should have a much better looking product overall.

    Unless we're expecting un-stealthed PvP Avatars to be able to hide in these pitch black shadows when their character becomes pitch-black as well I guess? But I figure that's what we have Stealth glyphs for...
     
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  5. agra

    agra Avatar

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    I've run into this exactly myself. Turning the brightness up to make it reasonable at night washes everything out during the day.
    Having to adjust the brightness slider at all on an IPS/White LED/85%+ gamut monitor is atypical of other products in the genre. As in, I've never had to at all, not even once, on any other product, except for Shroud. Not a good distinction!
    UNLESS
    The intent is, players use either Light or Night Vision while underground or at night, constantly. Ok, so, that's fine, if that's the design goal. Key word, constantly.
    Then here's the feedback, if that's the intent:

    Make all the Night Vision and Light durations between 5 and 10 times longer. (5 times for Light, 10 times for Night Vision)
    OR
    Allow us to imbue or enchant Light and Night Vision into equipment and/or jewelry that we can swap out. And, no, I don't want to give up a massive combat advantage (like +20 attunement) just to get Night Vision. But I'm happy to give up +2 STR from a neck/back/ring slot for it. Or, hey, here's a crazy idea, how about instruments as enchanted light sources or enchanted night vision providers?

    My personal view? I don't want to be casting something 30+ times an hour, which is what Night Vision is, right now. It's a colossal tedious annoying bother.
    If you (Portalarium) want me (and likely others) to use Night Vision and Light, then make them as convenient as cranking up the brightness slider. Until then, I know what I'll be doing, aesthetics be damned. ;)
     
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  6. Gix

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    This is a side effect of the "It's supposed to be dark / we'll put a brightness slider for people" way of thinking. Now, I can understand if some scenes have yet to be adjusted with their "new" sky but, aside from that, nothing beats actual art direction...

    ... that got me wondering...

    ... who's Art Director in the team? Richard Garriott is the Creative Director, Chris is the Technical Directer, Starr Long is Producer...

    ... We know of a few Level Artists and Programmers...

    ...

    Michael Hutchison, the Art Lead. Is HE the Art Director? If that's the case, he should speak up on the issue. If not, get yourselves an Art Director!

    Make sure that your monitor is calibrated properly and then push the devs to address the issue.

    It's on their end.

    P.S.- there's a bug with torches that make scenes WAY too bright; so the bug might be wider spread.

    @CrazyPhil Unity5's skybox can actually do a better job at bouncing colors and light into particular materials in real-time (no baking involved). What we have now seems downright voluntary.
     
  7. smack

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    The lighting is all over the place and really uneven between scenes. They need to do a complete lighting overhaul of every asset and scene.

    Also, I think the point of the OP was lost such that: an indoor scene is 50000000% brighter than an outdoor scene despite having same number of light sources. The indoor scene has 4 purple crystals and 3 candles. The outdoor scene has 7 orange crystals. I'm not suggesting that the entire castle in the outdoor scene be lit like daytime. Just look at the ground and objects near the light sources in both scenes when the brightness was normalized between them.
     
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