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How many lights?

Dagmar Kohime
Yep, I'm good with that!
Join date: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 110
04-03-2008 20:15
Can anyone tell me if it is still true, with the release of the 1.19.1.4, that you can only view 6 lights at a time within your viewer frame...and does this include lights that are worn by the avatar? tx...
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Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
04-03-2008 20:20
From: Dagmar Kohime
Can anyone tell me if it is still true, with the release of the 1.19.1.4, that you can only view 6 lights at a time within your viewer frame...and does this include lights that are worn by the avatar? tx...


There has been no change to the lighting restrictions: all lights count.

Mari
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Ceera Murakami
Texture Artist / Builder
Join date: 9 Sep 2005
Posts: 7,750
04-03-2008 20:22
Depends on your video card, but six to eight light sources is the normal maximum for a high-end card. Yes, that includes face lights. And EACH PRIM that has the "light" property and gives off local light is counted as one source! So a three-prim candle flame, if poorly made, could eat three of those light allocations. You only see the 6 to 8 closest light sources to your camera, assuming local lighting is active in your client. Several Facelights that I have seen people wear have three separate point sources for light floating around one avatar's head.
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Qie Niangao
Coin-operated
Join date: 24 May 2006
Posts: 7,138
04-03-2008 20:42
From: Ceera Murakami
You only see the 6 to 8 closest light sources to your camera, assuming local lighting is active in your client.
That's what I thought, till I tested the details in some earlier thread about facelights. Not disputing the "6 to 8" part (the cards I tested with were 6), but the relevant distance, unexpectedly enough, is from the *avatar*, not the camera. And even more surprising, it's not simply the closest ones that win--it's a function of distance and the radius of the light emitted. For example, standing within the light radius of 6 emitters, all of them will cease to be seen as light sources if 6 more-distant emitters are turned on with very much larger light radii.

But to the OP's question, it behaved the same in both Windlight and 1.18.mumble.

There's a comment on http://lslwiki.net/lslwiki/wakka.php?wakka=lighting , "8 lights is a common OpenGL/hardware limit, but it appears that the Lindens may have a system for dealing with more in the works." But it looks as if that comment is from 2006, so... :confused:
Dagmar Kohime
Yep, I'm good with that!
Join date: 14 Apr 2007
Posts: 110
04-03-2008 20:50
...and that is the reason I'm asking. I'm trying to tweak my facelight for minimum light usage and minimum interference with the ambience of a given area...ALL while still keeping it effective for those who want to wear one. Thanks guys.
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Ceera Murakami
Texture Artist / Builder
Join date: 9 Sep 2005
Posts: 7,750
04-03-2008 20:51
It is an open GL limit, because I deal with the same limit in 3D rendering apps like Poser and DAZ Studio. The only way to get more light sources would be to move away from OpenGL, I am afraid...
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Bree Giffen
♥♣♦♠ Furrtune Hunter ♠♦♣♥
Join date: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 2,715
04-03-2008 21:28
OK, I am seeing only two lights now with the new windlight client. I know that my card can handle six lights as I had just made a set of dance floor lights of different colors and my avatar was bathed in multicolored lights with the non-windlight client. Now I get just two of them at a time. Tested in a sandbox and see the same thing. I have the latest Radeon driver. I see no way to specify the amount of lights supported in preferences. I did try turning my graphic settings to 'ultra quality'.

Is there a debug setting I can modify? I looked in the catalyst software and there isn't anything I see to control lighting.
Chosen Few
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How many lights?
04-03-2008 21:59
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Sansarya Caligari
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Join date: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 1,206
04-03-2008 22:04
I've seen one avatar wearing no less than EIGHT!! face lights at once. I took a photo using "view transparent" just to show her, in case she didn't know she looked like an exploding planet, but she didn't speak English and she sent me a free face light for my trouble :D
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04-03-2008 22:06
AAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!! Cardassians!!!

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Winter Ventura
Eclectic Randomness
Join date: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 2,579
04-03-2008 22:11
please, use ONE light... and if you're making a face light, PLEASE MAKE IT A *FACE* LIGHT... not a "Face, crotch and 30m around me" light... I swear I have seen lights so bright that they leave a 10m circle of colourless rug below people in my store.

Use Radius and Falloff to make your light have a nice effect and a narrow area of effect. (I suggest no more than 0.5m!). Don't just "Turn On The Light" and call it good.
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Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
04-03-2008 22:17
From: Chosen Few


There! Are! Four! Lights!

From: Winter Ventura
please, use ONE light... and if you're making a face light, PLEASE MAKE IT A *FACE* LIGHT... not a "Face, crotch and 30m around me" light... I swear I have seen lights so bright that they leave a 10m circle of colourless rug below people in my store.

Use Radius and Falloff to make your light have a nice effect and a narrow area of effect. (I suggest no more than 0.5m!). Don't just "Turn On The Light" and call it good.


What she said. I tend to 0.5 as well, when I use it.

Mari
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Crystal Falcon
Registered Silly User
Join date: 9 Aug 2006
Posts: 631
04-03-2008 22:56
From: Winter Ventura
please, use ONE light... and if you're making a face light, PLEASE MAKE IT A *FACE* LIGHT... not a "Face, crotch and 30m around me" light... I swear I have seen lights so bright that they leave a 10m circle of colourless rug below people in my store.

Use Radius and Falloff to make your light have a nice effect and a narrow area of effect. (I suggest no more than 0.5m!). Don't just "Turn On The Light" and call it good.


/me agrees, seeing flickering as people dance with those too bright face lights and the light moves around flashing, and they look all washed out like there's a magical spotlight beaming in their face so bright they should be wearing sunglasses? :cool:

Yeesh! When I made my face light, I just made it bright enough to soften the shadows and it's totally unnoticeable unless it's dark.

There was one event I was at I actually turned of local lighting to stop the flashing as someone's "face" light went around as they danced--was practically giving me a headache! I know some people have darker monitors, but did no friend mention they look all sickly pale and the details of that expensive skin are all washed out?
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Anya Ristow
Vengeance Studio
Join date: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 1,243
04-03-2008 23:12
Eight. One is sun/moon and one is ambient, so you'll see a maximum of six others. If you have six face lights that are all brighter than the lights provided by the venue then you've effectively killed the venue lighting. This is why so many people hate face lights.

If I owned a venue for which I'd carefully prepared the lighting I'd first warn and then eject an avatar with a bright face light.
Talon Brown
Slacker Punk
Join date: 17 May 2006
Posts: 352
04-03-2008 23:59
I came into this thread hoping someone had made the "There! Are! 4! Lights!" reference. Good work. :)
Briana Dawson
Attach to Mouth
Join date: 23 Sep 2003
Posts: 5,855
04-04-2008 02:27
From: Sansarya Caligari
I've seen one avatar wearing no less than EIGHT!! face lights at once. I took a photo using "view transparent" just to show her, in case she didn't know she looked like an exploding planet, but she didn't speak English and she sent me a free face light for my trouble :D


I recall seeing my first person with multiple lights around them as well.

Then I bought a FaceFX designer full scripted with a window menu and realized that although I now have 4 points where light can be emitted around my face - I only need to keep one of them on, but I am sure when I TP to places, someone like yourself will see 4 and perhaps think I am collapsing their local light viewing experience which is far from the truth.

I am at least hoping that those people (like myself) with multiple light point Vanity Lamps do not keep them all on at once unless at home or something.
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Jenara Thursday
Off Topic Posts - Guilty!
Join date: 7 Feb 2008
Posts: 72
04-04-2008 03:02
I had a facelight I thought looked fab until I logged in one day and saw myself fron a distance in the dark. Looked like I had a street light on top of my head!! Needless to say, I am now face-light-less!
Dylan Rickenbacker
Animator
Join date: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 365
04-04-2008 03:15
One facelight is plenty, provided it's well-positioned and set up. The most important thing is the radius setting ... I generally use something between 0.8 and 1.2 m, with the object about 0.4 maway from the face. Someone here suggested setting the radius to 0.5, which seems a little low to me as it does weaken the effect of the light, even if you set falloff to 0.

And whatever you do, NEVER use a facelight that sits in a necklace! :-)

I've written more about facelights on my blog: http://drickenbacker.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/face-the-light/
Kitty Barnett
Registered User
Join date: 10 May 2006
Posts: 5,586
04-04-2008 06:46
From: Qie Niangao
There's a comment on http://lslwiki.net/lslwiki/wakka.php?wakka=lighting , "8 lights is a common OpenGL/hardware limit, but it appears that the Lindens may have a system for dealing with more in the works." But it looks as if that comment is from 2006, so... :confused:
This was just around the time I joined, so I wasn't actually around for the first part, hopefully someone who was can fill in/correct things :).

Apparantly LL's first implementation of lighting was far, far better than what we have now, but when they had too much trouble with the shaders they dropped the "advanced" lighting features and we've been stuck with it ever since (it was going to be restored in a later viewer, but as always their timing is a bit off).

Original lighting announcement:
From: April 13 2006
Hardware lighting
Any primitive in Second Life may be turned into a light
Light properties are radius, color, intensity, and falloff

New options in the Preference panel indicate the type of lighting you want to use

"Sun or Moon only" is best for low-performance hardware
Everything in-world is lit in real time by the sun or moon only

"Nearby Lights" is available for any hardware configuration
Everything in-world is lit by sun or moon and up to six nearby light sources

"All Lights" is available on systems with GPUs supporting Vertex Shaders
Objects in-world, and terrain, are by sun or moon and all lights
Avatars and attachments, trees and grass are lit by sun or moon and up to six nearby light sources

"All Lights + Shadows" is available only to high-performance systems
Includes features in "All Lights" above plus the ability for the sun and moon to cast shadows in-world and on terrain
The KB is still a mess of how things should have worked and the crippled lighting they ended up going with:
From: someone
Why six realtime lights, as mentioned above? Because the OpenGL specification which SL uses allows for eight lights in a scene. Specifically in this case: six lights, one for the sun/moon, and one for the backlight representing reflected light. Static (non-moving) lights will be "baked" so you can still see the effect they have on the area. For this and more behind-the-curtain details, please see the related OpenGL technical document.
And the way the lights are chosen makes more sense if there was supposed to be a way to have all lights light everything except avies (dynamic lights are moving lights and any lights attached to an avie):
From: someone
Six lights are chosen from the list. Priority is based on the effective intensity of each light at the viewer's Avatar. Dynamic lights are given slightly higher priority.
It's a shame that they never bothered to put things back to the way they were supposed to be after a whole 2 years. "All Lights" would have been far more of a real update than all the worthless effort that went into giving us fluffy clouds :(.
Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
04-04-2008 06:51
I suspect the popularity of facelights will eventually fade over time, both because of concerns about them sucking the light out of areas, and as people get used to/get tired of having the extra attachment/adjust settings to suit in windlight, an as new people join who do not have a bias to the lighting as is.

I know I too am biased, but I don't see the value on looking like a desk lamp at all times. I see the point when taking photos of yourself, but I would assume that people are not *always* (24/7) taking vanity shots.

Mari
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"If you find children offensive, you're gonna have trouble in this world :)" - Prospero Linden
Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
04-04-2008 06:54
From: Kitty Barnett
This was just around the time I joined, so I wasn't actually around for the first part, hopefully someone who was can fill in/correct things :).

Apparantly LL's first implementation of lighting was far, far better than what we have now, but when they had too much trouble with the shaders they dropped the "advanced" lighting features and we've been stuck with it ever since (it was going to be restored in a later viewer, but as always their timing is a bit off).


Better is relative. From what I have read, the "hardware lighting" system was a bit of a disaster -- which was why it was scrapped.

From: someone
It's a shame that they never bothered to put things back to the way they were supposed to be after a whole 2 years. "All Lights" would have been far more of a real update than all the worthless effort that went into giving us fluffy clouds


I would hardly call it worthless, to be honest -- but I'll agree to disagree. I'd rather have that than have my computer rendering a bajillion face lights.

Mari
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Kalderi Tomsen
Nomad Extraordinaire!
Join date: 10 May 2007
Posts: 888
04-04-2008 08:54
From: Marianne McCann
I know I too am biased, but I don't see the value on looking like a desk lamp at all times. I see the point when taking photos of yourself, but I would assume that people are not *always* (24/7) taking vanity shots.
Mari, totally agree with you - I think I put a facelight on once and immediately took it off.

It seems kind of vain to me "look at my face! look at meeeeeeeeee!"
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Marianne McCann
Feted Inner Child
Join date: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 7,145
04-04-2008 09:21
From: Kalderi Tomsen
Mari, totally agree with you - I think I put a facelight on once and immediately took it off.

It seems kind of vain to me "look at my face! look at meeeeeeeeee!"


...which hey, let's face it -- we put time, effort, an L$ into our avvie, and want to put our best face forward. I understand some of that. Heck, how many self-portraits have I taken? Still, ya. one should consider both their vanity as well as the effect same has on others around them, ya know?

Mari
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Crystal Falcon
Registered Silly User
Join date: 9 Aug 2006
Posts: 631
04-04-2008 09:25
From: Dylan Rickenbacker
One facelight is plenty, provided it's well-positioned and set up. The most important thing is the radius setting ... I generally use something between 0.8 and 1.2 m, with the object about 0.4 maway from the face. Someone here suggested setting the radius to 0.5, which seems a little low to me as it does weaken the effect of the light, even if you set falloff to 0.
Eeeps, isn't that like twice as bright as you would want? You can probably see it even during the day and flattening you out instead of just softening the shadows!

/me just ran inworld and checked, a warm color tone set to 0.5 intensity, 0.6 radius with 0.1 falloff (softly blends down my curves rather than making my face look like a white mask à la poor application of foundation)

Think of it like makeup? :) You want to enhance the shape and add dimension to your face, not detract or draw attention to the effect right?

Think more like candlelight over a romantic dinner than stage spotlight! ;)
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Chosen Few
Alpha Channel Slave
Join date: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 7,496
04-04-2008 09:38
From: Kitty Barnett
This was just around the time I joined, so I wasn't actually around for the first part, hopefully someone who was can fill in/correct things :).

Apparantly LL's first implementation of lighting was far, far better than what we have now, but when they had too much trouble with the shaders they dropped the "advanced" lighting features and we've been stuck with it ever since (it was going to be restored in a later viewer, but as always their timing is a bit off).

I'm not sure where you got that impression, Kitty. The (non-Windlight) lighting system we have now has not changed significantly in the last few years. It's basically the same system that was introduced in 2006, as per your quote from the release notes. Let me offer a bit of a history lesson. Hopefully we can clear up any confusion here.

In the early days of SL, the lighting system was pretty bizarre. For starters, it was software based instead of hardware based, since at that time it still had to be usable by computers left over from the 90's, which a lot of people (including me) were still using. Needles to say, that was ridiculously slow, as the calculations had to be done on the CPU instead of the GPU. Most people could not enable "local light" if they wanted anything above 5 FPS or so.

Also, it was extremely unrealistic, especially where "local light" was concerned. It was basically all or nothing with each locally lit prim. If light touched a surface, the whole thing was lit (evenly across), in accordance with the strength of the light at the prim's center point. So where a wall made of several prims would ordinarily look like a single object, if local light were present, each prim in the wall would have a radically different luminosity from each of its neighbors, completely destroying any appearance of unity. It would no longer be one solid wall, but an obvious collection of individual blocks. Even sunlight would cause this effect from time to time, but local light would do it always. It was horrendous.

Also, "light" back then was then considered to be a material, selectable via the dropdown menu in the editor that we still use today to set a prim to be made of wood, stone, rubber, etc. Back then, if something was a light emitter, it was considered to be "made of light", which made absolutely no sense. And there were no configurable settings for the strength or falloff of the emitted light. Light coming from objects was either full on or full off. That was it.

Then, in 2006, they moved on from the software based system to the hardware based solution we've been using ever since. Things got soooo much better at that point (even though it was still quite unrealistic). There have been tweaks, minor additions, and minor removals here and there since then, but basically the 2006 system is the same one we've all been using right up until this day. Why anyone would think the 2006 system was "better" than what we have now is beyond me. It's the same thing. Windlight is the very first departure from that.

Wherever this notion that there was some mysterious intermediary system that was out for a little while and then was scrapped came from, I can't imagine. It went straight from the old 2003 software solution to the 2006 hardware solution to Windlight. There was never

Now, here we are in 2008. Enter, Windlight. The system is new, so people are complaining that that it looks "unrealistic", and that it's just "a lot of effort for fluffy clouds" and such. If you take a step back from your preconceptions and just look at it objectively for a minute, it's obvious that Windlight actually looks orders of magnitude more like the real world than the old lighting model did. I don't know about you, but when I talk about what looks "realistic", I don't mean what looks closest to how a computer simulation has looked for the past few years; I mean what looks closest to RL. What people are actually complaining about is not that Windlight looks "unrealistic", just that it looks different from what they're used to.

Now, should content creators be concerned? Sure. Lots of textures over the past 2 years were designed specifically to counter the flaws in the old system. Now that those flaws are being corrected (by Windlight), those textures no longer appear as intended. They simply don't match the newer (better) lighting model. There's a whole new learning curve that will need to be applied to everything from skins to barn doors in order to make them look good in Windlight.

What people should be doing, rather than complaining, is getting excited about the new possibilities. I don't care what my technique was yesterday to make my old stuff look as good as was possible in a hopelessly outdated, totally flat, completely unrealistic system. I care about what I can do today and tomorrow to make my new stuff look a hundred times better since there's so much more to work with now.

People really need to get off their fat & happy complacency. The world moves on, always. You either move with it or you perish. That's all there is to it.



From: Kitty Barnett
The KB is still a mess of how things should have worked and the crippled lighting they ended up going with

I'm not sure where you're getting that either, Kitty. The paragraph you quoted simply describes how light works in ALL OpenGL applications, along with a specific breakdown of which lights are which in SL. It's not a "mess" of anything, and it's got nothing to do with "should haves" or "cripplings" or anything of the sort. It simply explains how it works.

Let me rephrase it for you. Maybe it will make it easier for you to understand what LL is saying in that paragraph.

OpenGL, the graphics language that SL is written in, allows for up to eight lights to be in use at any given time in any real-time environment. SL, as an OpenGL application, has to follow this rule. There is absolutely no way around it.

So what are the eight lights? Well, the first one is the sun/moon. The second one is what's called the "backlight", which simulates ambient light. Those two always have to be present, or you wouldn't be able to see the world. That leaves six other lights available for users to play with.

It's not a hard concept. The maximum is eight. Two are always in use. The remaining six, you can do whatever you want with.


From: Kitty Barnett
And the way the lights are chosen makes more sense if there was supposed to be a way to have all lights light everything except avies (dynamic lights are moving lights and any lights attached to an avie):

You're totally misinterpreting that paragraph. I have no idea where you're getting the idea that lighting avatars was ever in any way supposed to be any different from lighting other objects. All that paragraph says is that if a light is moving, it gets a slightly higher selection priority than if it's not.

Again, it's not about any hypothetical "supposed to's". It just explains how it is.



From: Kitty Barnett
It's a shame that they never bothered to put things back to the way they were supposed to be after a whole 2 years. "All Lights" would have been far more of a real update than all the worthless effort that went into giving us fluffy clouds :(.

Once again, there's nothing to "put back". The lighting engine has been the same for the past 2 years (not counting minor tweaks for performance). Before that, it was a dredfully slow, and totally unrealistic, software-based solution, which no one in their right mind would ever want to go back to.

You seem to be under the impression that the word "all" in "all lights" means, or at least used to mean, "unlimited amount". I can promise you that was never the case. "All" simply means "all kinds", as in the sun/moon/ambient are one kind, and user-created lights are another kind. Enabling "all lights" simply means you can see both types. That's all it's ever meant.
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