The latest Inside Star Citizen takes a look at lighting and some of the problems it creates.
Chris Campbell, Lead Lighting Artist, explains in a rather hilarious way what good lighting is by showing himself in a totally dark environment. Then, one by one, he turns on lights in his room before cracking up.
“The role of lighting, artistically, is to create an interesting atmosphere that the player maybe hasn’t seen before and makes them excited to see this space,” he explains. He also explains the difficulty in lighting for Star Citizen specifically, citing the rotating planets, and dynamic time of day. This means the team has no control over where the sun is at any given point in time.
Chris explains some solutions, such as baking their ambient lighting probes which remain static. Additionally, some lights are on the entire day, which does not alter with the time of day. Improvements include run-time probes which constantly updates to capture the current ambient lighting. The second feature includes day-night light groups. This allows the team to choose a specific state for the light group to use during the day or night, allowing for greater complexity in city lights for example.
You can watch the whole video here: