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Thread: Really unusual lighting wanted!

  1. #1
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Really unusual lighting wanted!

    Here's an odd one. I'm doing things with a high resolution displacement mapped moon model. All nice and accurate.

    One of the bad things though is that, as with the real Moon, there are no craters visible except near the terminator, where the sun shines down at a very shallow angle.

    And I'd like them to show everywhere. I got a partial result by blending one view lit from the left and one from the right, but I'd really like something where every segment is lit at the same shallow angle, and I'd like to do it without heavy photoshop work, as that would be a pain to animate.

    So, any thoughts on how to illuminate every polygon from the same direction relative to the polygon?

    Nick
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  2. #2
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    My initial thought is crazy, and not sure if it'd work or not but:

    How about unwrapping the actual moon mesh, so it lays flat. Like UV unwrapped, but the actual mesh. You could do it as a morph target.

    Then light the unwrapped sphere, using a directional light. Then bake the shadows as a map. Then multiply that shadow buffer into the material of the spherical moon.

    Does that make any sense?
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  3. #3
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    A normal map is basically an emboss convolution, but in 3 color channels. Using a grayscale version of your normal map as a color map as well should do the job, I would think. Does that make sense?

  4. #4
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Thanks Lardbros, Yes! That sounds like a really good solution! Given the nature of the lighting I was expecting to end up baking it anyway.
    Thank You!

    I'd had some vague thoughts about building directional light baffles that would be visible to rays and not the camera, but could not think of a practical way of doing that.
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  5. #5
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Dan - it's a displacement map - I see what you are getting at I think, but I really like the unwrap idea.

    Thanks for the help though.
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  6. #6
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    Actually, Dan's suggestion might be easier.

    If I'm understanding what he means, you could take just the blue (or green, or red) channel of a normal map, and then as its greyscale, use it to multiply over the top of your colour.
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  7. #7
    Goes bump in the night RebelHill's Avatar
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    The ol spinning light trick?
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  8. #8
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Aha! Map building seems to have worked nicely.
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  9. #9
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    And a render of the resulting map wrapped.
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  10. #10
    Super Member XswampyX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starbase1 View Post
    And a render of the resulting map wrapped.
    I don't like it at all.
    It looks like a render from Lw 5 done by somebody who doesn't know what they are doing.

    Sorry for being so blunt!

    And I'm not saying you don't know what you are doing.

    Edit :-

    Just light it like any object.

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    Last edited by XswampyX; 05-05-2019 at 05:06 AM.

  11. #11
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    Glad it worked but...

    I kind of disregarded the reason behind why you wanted this in the first place.

    Why do you want it like that?
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  12. #12
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    Well, I'm looking for a way to show craters across the whole globe, rather than just along the terminator. This makes it possible to directly compare cratering on different parts of the Moon knowing that other factors are the same.

    I'm already getting results - for example, it has become clear to me that the Aitken basin is not just a depression, but also has MUCH lower relief on the crater walls.

    I can also see value in using it for maps, again showing all the craters.
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  13. #13
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    Ah, so more of a "visual research" type thing? That's cool
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by starbase1 View Post
    Well, I'm looking for a way to show craters across the whole globe, rather than just along the terminator. This makes it possible to directly compare cratering on different parts of the Moon knowing that other factors are the same.

    I'm already getting results - for example, it has become clear to me that the Aitken basin is not just a depression, but also has MUCH lower relief on the crater walls.

    I can also see value in using it for maps, again showing all the craters.
    Why not zoom in on certain areas and leave the lighting as realistic as possible? I created a displaced moon surface and had a ball going all over the place with it. If you want to emphasise a certain feature it is better to zoom in on those areas.
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    Don't forget to zoom in on the image :-)

  15. #15
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    I already have a very high res realistic Moon, what I want to do is see features on different parts of the Moon >>under the same lighting conditions<<.

    For another example take a look at the result I pasted earlier. By showing all the craters, you can really see the long chains of craters radiating away from Mare Orientale, (slightly below and right of the centre).
    Faith is the opposite of Intelligence.

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