Need help with road reflectors.

Discussion in 'Content Creation' started by bob.blunderton, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Hey, I have 3d road reflectors on a highway set I am making, any way to get them to stick out more? I've used bright white for the reflective part (specular) of the texture, angled the UV's towards the driver's viewpoint on the object, and made sure to have a proper normal texture, anything else besides making them emit light (which i'd rather not have).



    I am aware the road surface texture normal itself it a touch over-done, so don't mind that. It's on the list. Just want to get the reflectors sorted for best effect before I get in too deep and have to go back and re-do a bunch of stuff.
     
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  2. burilkovdeni

    burilkovdeni
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    The reflectors stick out pretty good.

    Hove you tried using bright chrome??
     
  3. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    I used what's below, just something I drew up real quick in a minute or two.
    I will attach the textures (will send PNG variety that I use within Maya LT, so they're preview-able, Maya hates DDS with a passion even though that's what Beam uses for texture). They're just place-holders, as I have some sources buried in some 1000's of files of source pics for real ones (they're the kind I used for Roane County too). I literally have about 500 GB's worth of free source textures here plugging up half of one of the SSD RAID arrays. NOT fun to dig through. It's just like a catch-all at the moment.
    I've considered making them bigger.
    The sloped faces' UV texture angles on the reflectors are pointed directly where a vehicle would be. It's like the vehicle's lights just don't reach far enough, plus 1080p doesn't help much either.
    The grey portion is just for the sides of it.
    I am guessing I will have to dig through some Burn-side sources to find some chrome? I haven't tried chrome yet.
    Reflect S and N are shared between the two - that's specular and normal. Use GIMP or some non-paint-dot-net program for the normal as it's ATI2/3DC encoded and paint dot net doesn't like it.
     

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  4. Occam's Razer

    Occam's Razer
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    My advice would be to check 'glow' but not 'emit' on the material's first layer, then add a new version of the diffuse map (with some slight transparency so you can control the effect) on the second layer. It might be too bright in daylight either way, though.
     
  5. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Thanks, yes I was thinking this, but I didn't want them to be too strong in day/distracting etc. I will give it a bit and see if anything else comes up if the Chrome doesn't work. Maybe it's not even me and I need to check out the re-shade thing, that did a LOT for driving at night - even if it's other games like GTAV.

    I appreciate the help, if anyone has any ideas here give me a shout. Trying to make this map awesome with no documentation (or might as well be none) on much of it, is an exercise in patience among other things. Most of the words I use to describe this I can't put on the forums (well, I could, but Sgt. Ban-Hammer would come by), Nadeox says the word we should use here is 'complicated'. :)

    Thanks for the pointers, will try some other things. Don't want to resort to glow light due to the fact that they should only show up within a certain distance - with glow they'd be seen to the horizon (lessened with the fact they're only on the highest detail level). That still might be better than not seeing them at all though.
    @Occam's Razer you might be able to use this road kit I am working on in your Garfield Heights to save some time (as I know you're strapped for it), let me know if you need it and I will zip and ship that over - same to you @burilkovdeni if you'd like it let me know.
    If anyone comes up with a sure-fire way to do this give me a shout.
    --- Post updated ---
    OK, search is called off, @fufsgfen found out a headlight mod cures it. Thanks a million. Sure reshade will make this even better. Now to fix the night darkness levels.



    1st shot is high beams, 2nd shot is regular, road reflectors are doing exactly when they're intended to do, without emitting or 'glowing' light. Thanks!
     
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  6. Nadeox1

    Nadeox1
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    What you are seeing here is one of the low-point in the lighting system.
    There's something quite off with lights and surfaces that are almost parallel to their direction.
    One can solve this by making all lights x times brighter (they are already brighter than the sun in many cases!), although causing all objects that are near-perpendicular to be much brighter than normal.

    I'd try making a 4-layer material, with each layer having speculars at the maximum levels.
    That should make them very bright when headlights hits them.
    If you do as suggested above, and enable the 'Glow' effects too, it may make them even brighter.

    Another thing you could try is to manually insert the specular color value, so that you can go over the cap of 1, hence getting even brighter colors.
    Exaggerating with this will cause artifacts such as colored-squares.
     
  7. fufsgfen

    fufsgfen
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    In reality surfaces have more shape in them, so while light computing might be actually quite correct, it might be too correct, situation can be similar to reality where water smooths out the surface of road and 'eats' headlights and instead of light reflecting back to you, it shines to horizon and space instead.

    In game surfaces are perfectly flat, quite large pieces compared to reality where within 1cm there are lot of vertical bits, while textures improve this somewhat, it might not do much to illumination calculation.

    I don't of course know much about how light is calculated, but maybe some kind of multiplier that artificially increases illumination strength based on angle and how 'rough' surface is meant to be could help to overcome the limitations of computer world.

    In reality with extra xenon spots it was wonderful to drive at night, 300 meters were perfectly lit in front of the car, reflectors did show up well over 500 meters away, now imagine how your computer would melt from computing all that :D
     
  8. bob.blunderton

    bob.blunderton
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    Okay, I will give this a shot tomorrow! Thanks @Nadeox1 , that's almost what Buril and Occam were mentioning. I do have some specular entries in my materials that are as high as 16 and they do work (though the reflectors aren't those entries, I dunno why they got there, it was ~2 years ago I wrote the old materials files).

    Thank-you guys for the help. I will give it my best tomorrow and see where it gets me.
     
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