Dynamic objects lighting and rendering (exterior scene)

Hello everybody !

I have been struggling with a (noob?) issue in my exterior scene. I kinda came up with a temporary solution but I’m not entirely happy with the result. I guess you guys out there can help me with a more professional solution.

I have a lightmapped exterior scene with a character. Here is my problem :
I got only one light source, my sunlight (from which I have baked the lightmap). The scene looks great but when the character is not facing the lightsource, it is so dark that you can’t even see any detail. My solution so far is to put another low intensity directional light facing the other way, with a culling mask on the environment assets so it only affects the character. It does solve the problem a bit, but it is far from being perfect…

Without second directional light
alt text

Second directional light enabled
alt text

Any suggestions on lighting characters? General rules etc?

Thank you !


Outdoor scenes usually have a lot of Ambient light bouncing off everything. Look at a shadow outside: it is far from black.

See Render Settings.

Also, you’ll may want to add an SSAO filter to avoid the unrealism that ambient lighting can give to your dynamic objects otherwise.

Okay fair enough, I know that, that's why I baked a lightmap. In my scene, shadows aren't black. More like a transparent blue (made them blue through a ramp colour correction image effect by the way)

The problem with Ambient light in the render settings is that it colours things more than it actually lights stuff, right? I have tried that already :) (I have just retried it. Yeah, Ambient light is just a general (and ugly) colour correction ^^)

Thanks for the tip anyway. I'm gonna try adding a SSAO.

Anything else I can try ? ^^

I do have Ambient lighting in my scene (didn’t make it black to cancel it like most nextgen developers do)

What options do I have with this Ambient light setting? Not much, except for its colour. Tweaking it just changes the colour of the non-lightmapped objects in the scene. It doesn’t make the details show up. Here, take a look :

Here is the scene again with only one lightsource (and an SSAO effect added. Thanks for the tip, it does bring some of its details and volumes, not as flat as before ^^ )

alt text

And here is all I can do with the Ambient light setting. You can’t actually change its intensity or whatever. What do you suggest I actually do with it?

alt text

Thank you !