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What Are Lightmaps?


blindside18

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Lightmaps are basically something that we could describe as "baked in lights and shadows". So a type of surface caching made especially for times when hardware was more limited and proper PBR wasnt possible yet at widespread basic user level.

 

So it was "lighting immitation for poor", in one sense. But its still very much viable today because of its significant improvement to the scene, for very small performance impact.

 

In our case of TK17, the rooms can have it, yes.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightmap

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For a more visual comparison, if someone needs, they can check this : 

ho75572lpw931.png

So, yes, it was a powerful and practical visual enhancement back then, beginning with Quake 1 in 1996. ... but even today, this can add drastically sometimes. Just remember that shadows are baked... so any objects you move (as objects that are part of the room) or make transparent, the shadows will still be present on textures around.

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2 hours ago, x17 said:

For a more visual comparison, if someone needs, they can check this : 

ho75572lpw931.png

So, yes, it was a powerful and practical visual enhancement back then, beginning with Quake 1 in 1996. ... but even today, this can add drastically sometimes. Just remember that shadows are baked... so any objects you move (as objects that are part of the room) or make transparent, the shadows will still be present on textures around.

So how are they made? Are they a type of layer mask?

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8 hours ago, blindside18 said:

So how are they made? Are they a type of layer mask?

You can check some of lightmapping tutorials (or just search for relevant info) like these : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmaDwlNBTU

This is older tutorial : https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/77264/how-can-i-bake-a-lightmap-and-use-it-in-blender-game-engine

 

Im fairly sure its also very possible to bake it even directly in DAZ3D. So not even needed to fiddle around in Blender. But havent experimented much in that there, however will, when I take more directly onto full rooms.

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12 hours ago, x17 said:

You can check some of lightmapping tutorials (or just search for relevant info) like these : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmaDwlNBTU

This is older tutorial : https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/77264/how-can-i-bake-a-lightmap-and-use-it-in-blender-game-engine

 

Im fairly sure its also very possible to bake it even directly in DAZ3D. So not even needed to fiddle around in Blender. But havent experimented much in that there, however will, when I take more directly onto full rooms.

Thank you for recommending those videos. Now I'm gonna install Blender but before I download it, it seems to me that I've read somewhere around here that older versions are better suited for modding our game. So I'm asking for advice as to which version should I download?

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4 minutes ago, blindside18 said:

Thank you for recommending those videos. Now I'm gonna install Blender but before I download it, it seems to me that I've read somewhere around here that older versions are better suited for modding our game. So I'm asking for advice as to which version should I download?

Its true that older 2.79 Blender version is most compatible for some tasks. However, this is relative. There are ups and downs - ups is that all is compatible directly through conversion, so no additional fixes are needed. In 2.8 and all newer Blender versions, few easy fixes are needed in case of clothing, for example. The fixes are very easy and I have put in tutorials how to make them - there are few easy script edits and thats it. I have noticed this only for clothing so far.

However, it more depends on what you aim for - some folks say they are well adapted to old Blender 2.79 and they wont switch to newer version, and thats fine. However, from my experience, I have been using both versions - pre-2.8 and post-2.8, and can say 2.8 is by good margin better, it has better UI overall. So, its your choice which version to use. My advice would be, if youre beginning with Blender, to go with newest version. Mainly because there are more and more capabilities opening up as it goes on... new tools and similar. Something that doesnt exist on older Blender versions.

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