Product Chat / [SOLVED] Hitting the 38 light limit

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 29th Jan 2019 22:28
Ever since we had the update to dynamic lights, the maximum number of lights that can be rendered onto any object at once has been 38. There's even a line in the setup.ini to specify it; maxtotalmeshlights=38 . I never thought I'd hit this limit, I mean after all, what sort of object could possible be lit with 38 different light sources at once?

Well, today I found a flaw. Here's a screenshot from my new test level for my London Underground models. The test level uses a single mesh for the tunnel, which is the equivalent of 130 metres long. Every 2 metres, there's a new strip light, so I naturally tried to light this with 65 lights and hit the 38-lights-per-mesh limit.


(to clarify, this is 65 static lights...but in realtime lightmapping, so they are rendering like dynamic ones. Noticed how the tunnel suddenly goes dark after 38 lights, but the other entities continue to be lit all the way along)

Editing that line in the setup ini doesn't seem to do anything - is there any way I can increase the maxtotalmeshlights? Or is it hard-coded to 38?

Second question; why 38? Seems like an arbitrary number, why not 50? Or 100?

Lastly, kinda related - I tried lightmapping this map and of course it failed because the lightmapper is borked. Loading that lightmap into test game is now resulting in long loads times, so I want to delete it from Game Guru's cache so it defaults to realtime lighting again - how do I do this?

AE

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Anubis
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Posted: 29th Jan 2019 23:55 Edited at: 29th Jan 2019 23:56
The 'easy" way to remove lightmapping -> lightmap it again. At the start of the lightmap process it loads all objects.
Just before this process of loading objects is done, press Esc. And the lightmapping will abort and lose the previous LM.
Used to work.
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Jerry Tremble
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Posted: 29th Jan 2019 23:59
38 lights always seemed pretty arbitrary to me as well! I would have expected something like 32, 64, etc.
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3com
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 16:38
Quote: "Ever since we had the update to dynamic lights, the maximum number of lights that can be rendered onto any object at once has been 38."

38 lights per entity or per scene?, If I understood fine, if I've let's say 3 barrels, barrel1, 2 and 3, I can place 38 lights to barrel1, 38 lights to barrel2, and 38 lights to barrel3, and all them rendering fine? , if so, WOW!
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DVader
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 17:15
@3com. Lights have been improved to take advantage of DX11 now

38 lights does seem an odd amount, probably more to do with performance than anything, as Lee mentioned DX11 could do thousands at once if he wanted. Strange though that it is an option in the ini and can't be changed...
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Teabone
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 18:54
I stay away from using the lightmapper. Too much bad things happen to my map when i use that.
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 19:11
3com wrote: "38 lights per entity or per scene?"


Per entity. So there's 65 lights in that scene. The tunnel is one long entity, but roof panels are all separate entities. Because each roof panel only gets lit by at most 10 at once, they look fine. But the tunnel itself is one long entity, so needs to be lit by all 65 lights at once. Breaking the tunnel up into sections would cause a visible seam, so I don't want to do that (had to do it with the rails every 20 metres or so but they are dark so you don't notice as much).

AE
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 19:48
Definitely I have to catch up, many changes here lately.
I've even seen spot light, is this also dynamic ?, I mean, run a script?
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 20:42
The tunnel looks to be repeating chunks of the same thing merged into one model. Could you break the tunnel up? Make it into a more manageable chunk so that it wouldn't need 65 lights for one mesh? If you could just cut it in half and have two pieces to make up the one tunnel, then your light issue would be solved.
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reliquia
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 21:22
Yeah, as Argent Ants says.

Also I always keep my levels as real-time.
I have yet to get a level to light-map successfully without something being ruined by it, so when I want to light-map I save it out as mylevel_LM, so GG can't destroy the original.

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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 21:23
Yes you can control spot lights with a script.



But they don't cast shadows … yet. I believe Preben was working on that!
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 22:14
Quote: "The tunnel looks to be repeating chunks of the same thing merged into one model. Could you break the tunnel up? "


I don't want the seam between the two chunks, it will break the immersion. You're right though, it is made up of repeated 2-metre segments. Here's what it looks like when you don't merge it all into one mesh...



Nowhere near as nice.

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Posted: 30th Jan 2019 22:40
You could always try to hide the seams by creating a bit of geometry to place over them, like wall segments that stick out a bit.

What happened to the black/gray bricks that were between the white bricked areas? It might be good to split the model at one of those junctions (where the white meets the dark grey). This way the seams would not be so visible.
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Posted: 31st Jan 2019 12:02
Quote: "What happened to the black/gray bricks that were between the white bricked areas? "

I think when the brick sections where separated by those it looked much better. You could put smaller signs or gizmos on some ef them to break up the repetitive look a bit.

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Posted: 31st Jan 2019 18:43 Edited at: 31st Jan 2019 18:43
Thank you for your suggestions. However, I will find them difficult to implement because of the way this model is constructed. The tunnel is one mesh, the platform is also one long mesh, and the frieze above the platform (with the red line and station name) is another 130m long continuous mesh. I would be difficult to hide breaks in all these meshes, although the plan is add a lot more posters, signs and 'gizmos' to break it up a bit. But I'd ideally like to start with the best possible scenario. I didn't get to where I am today by making compromises

Seriously though, I'd like to avoid breaking the meshes up at all costs. When these extended dynamic lighting systems were announced, the new commands were listed in a post here. But I've been messing around with maxtotalmeshlights and recompiling shaders and it doesn't seem to make a difference.

AE
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Posted: 1st Feb 2019 08:23
Quote: "Yes you can control spot lights with a script."

Ty for the feedback, nice vid there.
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DVader
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 01:46
Well, if I were trying to get this to work, I would break the model up into sections as suggested. I'd replace the black texture on the walls with objects, seamed 50% in-between the tunnels seam. That way you would hide most the seam issues and hopefully have all your scene covered with light properly
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 06:17
Scene looks most likely as modern scene, anyway a flickering lights would be nice too.
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Preben
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 07:52
I made the maxtotalmeshlights=38 , as the max number of lights per mesh, mainly so your able to set it lower for more speed but 38 is the highest value you can use.

"Second question; why 38?"

Good question , original i set all the shader arrays to 40 and had it at 40, but then i remembered that we need to reserve 2 lights for Gun Flash and one for a rocket light, so i decreased it to 38 and reserved 2 for this, thats why its a strange number.

The hole system is pretty flexible so if anyone wants to increase this number, its a matter of changing the shader array from 40 to any number, and lifting the limit of 38 setting validation in the code. The shader array size and in code limit just need to match, everything else will work with any number you set it to.

You could also use the Illumination map as a lightmap , give it a try , where you want light you increase the RGB value , if you want shadow you can use the AO map. not sure how this would look but i seen illumination used as lightmaps before, so it should work
You can always add a few dynamic lights on top of the illumination map if you like flashing ...

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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 10:05 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2019 10:10
Quote: "I'd replace the black texture on the walls with objects, seamed 50% in-between the tunnels seam."

That might work. Those black tiles were a late addition to the model anyway, I had long finished UV mapping and texturing the tunnel when I realised I needed some black tiles, so I borrowed some unused space on the texture and modelled a few extra polys What I'm saying is, the black tiles could be made to be their own separate model.

The bigger issue is that I didn't just place those black tiles wherever I wanted, I'm trying to religiously follow the in-depth design documents issued by Transport For London on how real underground stations should be laid out. It's dictating everything from how many roundels there should be and where they should go, to what kind of signage goes where. The only reason the platform is as long as it is is because I found out this line runs 8-car trains which are 132,628mm long. Those black tiles, which help denote 'help points', are exactly where they would be in a real London Underground station. Silly attention to detail I know, but I'm nothing if not a perfectionist!

Quote: "The hole system is pretty flexible so if anyone wants to increase this number, its a matter of changing the shader array from 40 to any number, and lifting the limit of 38 setting validation in the code. The shader array size and in code limit just need to match, everything else will work with any number you set it to."


Is that something I can do from my side? I dipped into apbr_core.fx and changed these lines



...to 70. Then I changed maxtotalmeshlights= to 68 in the setup ini and recompiled the shaders. It did nothing, even when I tried replacing all the lights as dynamic.

What do I do to up this limit?

AE
Preben
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 10:21
You also need to recompile GG, in Common.cpp search for this line:



And changed it there.

Also [40] is used in more shaders not just apbr_core.fx , so you also need to changed it in the other shaders

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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 11:44
Thanks for your help Preben, I don't want to sound ungrateful but recompiling GG is a bit beyond me. Literally no idea where to start, I'm not even a member of GitHub. And I shouldn't have to be. I'm so fed up of features being locked behind hard code; that's not "pretty flexible", it's pretty inaccessible for 99% of users like me. I have enough issue with Public Preview, let alone compiling my own custom build of GG.

AE
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 13:00
Sorry to hear, but its not meant to be accessible to anyone, the limits are put in there for a reason not just to bug GG users, there is a thought behind everything , i could have set it to 80 , but then again those arrays need to be filled out on each mesh you sent to the GPU so you use more bandwidth between the CPU->GPU, this would make everything more slow.

If i was to look at this again i would properly lower it to 30 , as 40 is a pretty high number already, and 99.99% of the objects artist create would never have this problem.
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 13:33
Break the long model in half, then you will only have one seem and it should work as intended. Where you have that one seem you can place some simple clutter. That seems to be the simplest solution.



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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 15:06
using large models is generally a bad idea no matter which engine, it will make things like LOD and occlusion also work way less effectively too because the larger model is going to be treated differently compared to the smaller objects around it - i think breaking it down is the right choice though to be fair it shouldn't create seams and if it does then that is an engine fault and should be reported as a bug.
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 15:45
The seams is not a engine fault , if you look closely you notice that the light on the right side is different then on the left side of the model , so the problem is that the direction of the normals on the left side of the object do not match 100% the normals on the right side, so you get this effect.

Think the problems is that this is not a straight plane, but it have many vertex,normals , but not sure how to make the normals seamless, perhaps you can ask "wizard of id" he has been making some rounded object seamless, also as i remember he was swearing about it
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 16:10
I understand why it is this way, Preben, and you're right, it shouldn't effect 99% of users or models. Then again, if the static lightmapper worked properly, maybe I'd have no limit on lights.

With regards to using smaller models, I'd certainly prefer to use segments rather than big models, they are a nightmare to assemble at the size they are. Could the seams I'm experiencing be caused by the triangulation of the mesh? I have to triangulate the mesh to UV map it accurately in the software I use.



I will attempt to break the model up a bit. I just tried breaking it in half but that didn't totally fix the issue. This tunnel is so long it'll need to be done in 3 or 4 sections.

AE
Preben
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 17:23
Your textures seams to align perfectly , so its easy to check just try to look at it with and without light , if you only see the seams when using light then the problems is with the normals. You dont even have to do this in GG use any software to validate it. triangulation should not be a problem but, if the model is 0.00001% rotated to one side (the center of the the model) and you triangulate, the normals is by default placed in the center of the triangle and you get a slight rotation of the normals, that will give you a difference in the light from the left to the right side of the model.

I thinks this is the problem, if you looks at the right side of the tunnel you see dark at one edge and if you look at the same place in the other side you see its more light at the same location, so somehow the normals is rotated in the model ?

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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 19:27 Edited at: 2nd Feb 2019 19:39
Quote: "Think the problems is that this is not a straight plane, but it have many vertex,normals , but not sure how to make the normals seamless, perhaps you can ask "wizard of id" he has been making some rounded object seamless, also as i remember he was swearing about it "

Lol swearing me, huh uh never ever, I rage quite........

Was tricky at first because, softimage would give each model a unique normal which meant nothing lined up they way it should.So I used fragmotion and changed over 200 meshes to have all the exact same vertex normal direction and angle. Evident with the cold war dlc curved corridors.

If you press F11 twice and then you can see the various PBR maps(Pressing 2 on the keyboard gives you the object normals as well as the map normals), during test game

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 2nd Feb 2019 20:42
Huston, we have a problem...



Looks like I'm spending my Sunday fixing vertex normals then...

AE
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2019 19:21
I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. No matter what I try, I still get the shading issues.

I've tried...
- Manually amending each individual vertex position in Anim8or (they were slightly off)
- Creating a bigger section all merged together but then cutting out one 2m section of it.
- Update vertex normals in Fragmotion.
- Smoothing groups in Fragmotion.
- .X export
- .FBX export
- Doing the scale down and mirror I have to do to get an X export from Fragmotion the right way round BEFORE I take it into Fragmotion.
- Doing the scale down and mirror IN Fragmotion.
- Modelling an entire outer wall to the segment. This gave the best results so far but triples the poly count.

Nothing works. Attached what I think is my best attempts, and a test texture. Please can someone take a look at them to see what I'm missing?

AE

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Posted: 3rd Feb 2019 21:45 Edited at: 3rd Feb 2019 21:46
Hi AE

seams are not easy in GG but with a bit of fiddling you can hide them, also make sure if you are tiling a texture that the start and end edges are as neutral as possible or identical, this is not perfect but shows it can be done to a certain extent.


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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2019 21:55 Edited at: 3rd Feb 2019 21:56
MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH! It was the tris all along. They were producing weird face normals even though the vertex normals were spot on. Using Blender to convert all the tris back to quads (a simple case of Select All -> Alt+J -> export) may have fixed it - will report back once I've tested the other segments of the tunnel.

Sidenote: LithUnwrap can suck a fat one for making me triangulate my models in other to preview them.

AE
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Posted: 3rd Feb 2019 23:09
Looks like your nearly there ,hope you solve it

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Posted: 4th Feb 2019 23:52
Quote: "Sidenote: LithUnwrap can suck a fat one for making me triangulate my models in other to preview them. "


It's been an age since I used that program. Never really need it now as I can do the same directly in Blender. My UVW mapping skills are still average though
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Posted: 5th Feb 2019 16:10
maybe a bit of shell might help.
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 5th Feb 2019 23:38
This post has been marked by the post author as the answer.
Well, I've fixed the issues I was having regarding the shading of each segment. In the end, it was caused by the triangulation process applied during the UV mapping phase; all those triangular faces were all slightly skewed from one another, so the normals didn't match from one segment to the next. Fortunately, I was able to import each model in Blender, select the mesh, and press Alt+J to detriangulate the models, returning them to their original quad polygonal state. I also manually went in and corrected the position of each vertex by hand to make the joins even less noticeable. This also gave me the opportunity to reposition each segment better in 3D space so they will snap together in Game Guru much more easily. A lot of work, but overall a net positive.

This is an image of a station constructed from lots of 2m segments, rather than a series of big meshes. Doing it this way is both easier and negates the 38 light limit I was facing.



Thanks for all your help. It was a real head-scratcher, this one, but once again this forum has come to my rescue!

AE
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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 09:07
Hi Avenging Eagle, you couldn't do me a huge favour could you?

Could you boot up blender, put one of your wall pieces in, and in edit mode switch on the vertex normal indicator (the thing that shows the blue lines for vertex normals, it's a button in the N panel) and take a screen shot showing which direction your vertex normals are pointing, and post it here.

I'm having a similar issue with identical panels being shaded differently when next to each other, but i'm not sure which direction i should adjust my vertex normals, so a visual guide would really help.

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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 10:57
@Avenging Eagle
Just for a second there I thought you were showing a photo..
That looks pretty awesome.
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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 15:14
@Belidos
I can barely do anything in Blender at the moment as I've never taken the time to learn it, but I had a go at getting some screenshots for you. The first is a before shot showing the original mesh I was using; you can see how the triangulation gives some messed up normals. The second image is after I repositioned each point to be mathematically correct (I did this in Anim8or because it's the only 3D package basic enough for me to understand, and I've been using it 14 years), and then de-triangulated in Blender. You can see the face normals now sit perfectly between the vertex normals, and the angles all neatly correspond. Hope this helps!

AE

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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 17:53
That's great AE, just what i needed, thanks.

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 19:48 Edited at: 6th Feb 2019 19:52
Quote: "Just for a second there I thought you were showing a photo..That looks pretty awesome."


Thanks Synchromesh! I've really put a lot of love into these assets so far. They look great in Sketchfab, and I'm sure once Game Guru's lightmapper is fixed and we get proper shadows back and hopefully reflection probes, they will look even better!

I had a play uploading a small scene to Sketchfab


I'll stop plugging my work now. Those who are interested can follow my progress here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219576

AE
granada
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Posted: 6th Feb 2019 22:30
That’s a great looking model ,nice work Avenging Eagle

Dave
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PM
Bugsy
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Location: Savannah
Posted: 9th Feb 2019 18:03 Edited at: 9th Feb 2019 18:06
you really dont need 65 lights. if you move the lights down a bit from the top and used one for every other light it would be an almost unnoticable difference.

in fact it may look better as you dont have the appearance of a single point light emitting from the center of those fluorescant bulbs, but rather the lights diffuse a bit as they reach the top leaving a more even light level around the light bar. I suggest using ranges larger than the room on at least one axis
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 11th Feb 2019 07:33
I had considered doing it that way, there are definitely pros and cons to both approaches. One of the cons is the lack of accurate specular highlights on all the models with shiny and reflective surfaces. It looks vaguely more realistic to have lots of little round highlights reflecting off of the shiny objects than it does to have only a few. If we had proper environmental reflections and not just sky and dynamic lights, I might be able to disguise the lights and have less of them. But as it is, neither option is ideal really, until we get proper reflections in Game Guru.

AE
synchromesh
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Posted: 11th Feb 2019 09:46
This pic is amazing !!
Worth all the extra effort and lights you put in IMHO

The only person ever to get all his work done by "Friday" was Robinson Crusoe..
PM
Bolt Action Gaming
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Posted: 12th Feb 2019 01:22
I just noticed it's bamber street lol
Nice work regardless and good info on the lighting as well as how to fix it.
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 13th Feb 2019 07:16
Quote: "This pic is amazing !! Worth all the extra effort and lights you put in IMHO"

Thanks synchromesh, it's coming along nicely!

Quote: "I just noticed it's bamber street lol"

Always gotta have our little Easter eggs haven't we?

AE

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