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Priority of dynamic lights.

Brandi Lane
Registered User
Join date: 2 Apr 2007
Posts: 157
05-15-2008 10:26
OK.. I get it that there are only 6 rendered at a time. It's WHICH 6 that are making me nuts.. There doens't appear to be any rhyme or reason to it at all. It's not the closest 6 to the camera. It's not the closest 6 to my avi. Does anyone have a clue how SL determines which 6 lights to render?
Chosen Few
Alpha Channel Slave
Join date: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 7,496
05-15-2008 11:22
It's the six closest to your avatar.

EDIT: Wait a minute. You said dynamic lights, not static ones. Sorry, I missed that the first time around. The priority does change when the lights are in motion. Currently, moving lights get higher priority than static ones. The Lindens have stated they plan to reverse that in the future, so that lights worn by avatars do not interfere with the lighting schemes of builds.

Exactly where the lines are drawn right now, I don't know. A moving light a little further away should get priority over a non-moving one that is a little closer. But at some point, if the moving light gets too far away, it will lose its priority, and then a closer static light (if present) could "switch on" to replace it. But I have no idea how the weights are calculated to break down the exact relationship between any static/dynamic pair.
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Brandi Lane
Registered User
Join date: 2 Apr 2007
Posts: 157
05-15-2008 14:55
God, I wish it was that simple. The reason I posted is because my own avatar lighting is routinely being over-ridden by other people's. That doesn't make sense with the ruleset you just provided. In fact, it also gets overridden by the static lighting in the builds. Near as I can tell, the lighting on my own avatar is overrideen by anything else.

~~~~~ EDIT ~~~~~
Hmmm, now here's an interesting though. My avatar lights are very subtle... they cast a SOFT glow.. unlike pretty much every other one out there. I'm wondering if the reason mine are over-ridden by everything is that the light-spheres are so small.

FOLLOWUP: Yup, it's the radius... *sighs* so much for having nice subtle lighting.
Kitty Barnett
Registered User
Join date: 10 May 2006
Posts: 5,586
05-16-2008 11:48
Since it seems to come up a lot:

r = light radius
i = light intensity
d = distance between avie and light

static light = (d * (1 / i) ) - r
dynamic light = (d * (1 / i) ) - (1.25 * r)

Or in other words: a dynamic light acts as a static light of the same intensity, but with a 25% larger radius

---

Assume 4 lights (to make it easier they all have intensity 1.0):

light 1 - r = 2 ; d = 0 (OP's attached light - d is 0 for simplicity's sake)
light 2 - r = 5 ; d = 2 (static light)
light 3 - r = 10 ; d = 4 (another avie's face light)
light 4 - r = 10 ; d = 6 (static light)

Calculate the adjusted distance for each light:

light 1 = 0 - 1.25 * 2 = -2.5
light 2 = 2 - 5 = -3
light 3 = 4 - 1.25 * 10 = -8.5
light 4 = 6 - 10 = -4

The order the lights will end up sorted in is (from low to high): 3, 4, 2, 1

---

Which illustrates the op's problem of having only a subtle facelight attached. In the example it sorts last, and if there was a maximum of three lights, it would be the first to go despite being the closest by far.

---

Some trivia:
- if flycam is enabled, the lighting is calculated based on camera position, not avatar position
- selected lights have their adjusted distance reduced by 10,000 (or in other words, if you have less than 6 lights actively selected, they'll override anything closer which is useful if you want to take a picture and make sure that certain lights actually light regardless of what else is around)
- Advanced / Rendering / Info Dispays / Lights will show you all the light sources around you (the prim that has the light will be highlighted blue with a white bounding box around it and the light radius renders as an unintuitive yellow bounding box).
You can't tell which lights are active - although that looks like it should be relatively simple to add - but at least you can tell how many lights there are and how far they extend. If you want to see the actual spheres you can edit the prims and make sure Tools / Show Light Radius for Selection is selected, but that won't work for other people's attached lights.
Brandi Lane
Registered User
Join date: 2 Apr 2007
Posts: 157
05-17-2008 09:18
wow kitty! Thanks!
*scribbles down those notes for future reference.

How said that my lighting system which is capable of such subtle lighting is also useless in any public place. In the end, I added a new mode which will work and is still way more subtle than most, but not nearly as visually pleasing as the more subtle lighting... *sighs*
Kitty Barnett
Registered User
Join date: 10 May 2006
Posts: 5,586
05-17-2008 10:03
You could always create (if it doesn't exist already) a JIRA feature request where your own attached light(s) get priority over everything else (except maybe selected items) :).

Or just ignoring all dynamic lights but your own might be ideal (actually not so much ignore as put them behind everything else). Everyone would have their facelight light him/herself, but it wouldn't ever bother anyone else unless there were no static lights nearby .
Brandi Lane
Registered User
Join date: 2 Apr 2007
Posts: 157
05-17-2008 15:55
*nods* I've actually given some thought to that. I know the LL's are working on it. Body lights have gone from 1 prim to 8 light sources (*laughs* yes, don't ask me why someone thought 2 more light sources than could possibly be rendered was a good idea, but they did). There's a couple of choices that I see.

a) disable all attached lighting. I tend to prefer this. It levels the playing field and reduces load on the client. THe downside is that the VAST majority of builds I have seen are utterly and absolutely awful with the built in lighting. In fact, seldom do I go anywhere that I observe well constructed build lights. The beach I'm at right now.. a very very popular one, has got random light sources scattered EVERYWHERE. But, at least if other people's body lights were disabled, then I could try to find someplace good to dance on the dance floor and it wouldn't be messed with by other people's lighting.

b) prioritize my lighting over everything else. This seems pointless to me. Sure, I'll look great to myself on my screen, but not to anyone else. That's a bit narcissistic for me. It seems to me that if you're going to do this, you might as well do (a) above. If they do this, I hope there is still a way to do (a) above, because just like now, it encourages more and more aggressive lighting. If the implemented this, I would almost certainly make sure my lighting system had 6 lights in it even though 3 of them would be so dim as to not do anything. But I'd want to consume all 6 lights to prevent other people's 2 billion watt "face lamps" from washing me out.

c) prioritize all build lighting over all avatar lighting. This is also effectively like choice (a). Again, almost all builds appear to be utterly littered with pointless lights... usually because someone copied somethign with a lightsource in it 6 dozen times. Effectively, this turns my avatar lighting off in most public places but it would at least automatically turn on again when I was in a well constructed place... Of course, if I was in a well constructed place, I would probably want to turn it off myself as it would be unecessary.

I still like option a although who knows, maybe someone will come up with a better choice. If nothing else, at least now I know how I can disable everyone else's face lamps on my screen which, given how most are created, is a blessing all by itself.
Malachi Petunia
Gentle Miscreant
Join date: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 3,414
05-17-2008 16:20
Just as in real life, I walk around SL with 2 100W 5600K umbrella floods, a 500W pin spot sunlight emulator, an opposing 1m diffuse light box, and a 60W hair backlight attached to me.

Put another way - and I'm sure this has been asked before - why don't they make avatars look good without the tricks? Could it really be that hard?
2k Suisei
Registered User
Join date: 9 Nov 2006
Posts: 2,150
05-18-2008 00:56
From: Malachi Petunia
Just as in real life, I walk around SL with 2 100W 5600K umbrella floods, a 500W pin spot sunlight emulator, an opposing 1m diffuse light box, and a 60W hair backlight attached to me.

Put another way - and I'm sure this has been asked before - why don't they make avatars look good without the tricks? Could it really be that hard?


A glamour model would love invisible face lights in RL.

Vanity is the issue. Not lights. ;)
Chosen Few
Alpha Channel Slave
Join date: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 7,496
05-18-2008 07:20
Kitty, that's fantastic information. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Ania Stormcrow
Pure Necessity * All you
Join date: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 10
That is all too smart to me :)
10-04-2009 14:01
Can somebody send me a link where is some basick info about statick lights - in a smaler words please for some lamer like me;)
Im in Sl over 2 month and still cant find ansfers to my problem with lights :(
I builded bib mall and it not looking so bad to me (Pure Necessity * All you Need) but friend of mine say that he cant see anythink but vendors inside - becouse it is so dark there.
I thried to put fev lights but it didnt helped, tried to make walls glow a litte - not much effect
Most of mall is one big room ~80,50,30 and walls are quite dark violet and not much of windows
Do i have to hange coulor of walls or make mor windows or learn haw to put lights - i olready made wals inside brighter and dont realy want to change my mall much more - i know im silly but i made it over 2 weeks and like it haw it is
Can soebodyhelp my please and tell where to look for answers
Imnotgoing Sideways
Can't outlaw cute! =^-^=
Join date: 17 Nov 2007
Posts: 4,694
10-04-2009 15:35
From: Malachi Petunia
...Put another way - and I'm sure this has been asked before - why don't they make avatars look good without the tricks? Could it really be that hard?
No facelight on me. (^_^)y

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Rolig Loon
Not as dumb as I look
Join date: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2,482
10-04-2009 15:42
Even though this thread is now almost a year and a half old, it's still the best source of information about dynamic prioritization of lighting in SL that I am aware of. You're not going to get a much better answer -- at least as far as the part of your question that deals with light sources.

From what you say, it sounds as if you really don't have a lighting problem at all, however. If your friend says that it's all dark except for the vendors, I suspect it's because he has his environment set to midnight. You shouldn't need to set the walls to fullbright, or add extra light fixtures -- and you CERTAINLY shouldn't use any glow. (Glow will penetrate 32-bit textures, so you may create enemies among your neighbors if you use it carelessly.) Under normal daytime light conditions, your mall should be quite bright enough for people to see easily. SL's global daylight penetrates walls, so it doesn't make any difference whether you have windows or not.

The dark violet color on your walls may make everything look like the inside of a cavern, so that's something you may want to take a second look at. If it were my mall, I would choose a lighter color for walls unless I were trying deliberately for a spooky atmospheric effect, but that's a matter of personal choice.
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Kyrah Abattoir
cruelty delight
Join date: 4 Jun 2004
Posts: 2,786
10-04-2009 15:44
the only "lights" i tend to wear are facelight killers: 6 max radius, max intensity, "black" lights.

It will usually counter that tanning machine some peoples tend to wear.
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Ania Stormcrow
Pure Necessity * All you
Join date: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 10
10-05-2009 11:44
From: Rolig Loon
Even though this thread is now almost a year and a half old, it's still the best source of information about dynamic prioritization of lighting in SL that I am aware of. You're not going to get a much better answer -- at least as far as the part of your question that deals with light sources.


that a shame:) but have to learn to live vith it:)

From: Rolig Loon
From what you say, it sounds as if you really don't have a lighting problem at all, however. If your friend says that it's all dark except for the vendors, I suspect it's because he has his environment set to midnight.


Maby but i cant ask customers to change to midday when they want to came to my shop - can i? :(

From: Rolig Loon
You shouldn't need to set the walls to fullbright, or add extra light fixtures -- and you CERTAINLY shouldn't use any glow. (Glow will penetrate 32-bit textures, so you may create enemies among your neighbors if you use it carelessly.)


im using textures - but have no idea about the bits in them or what it mean. i was wonderink about rezolutin and if i liked colours it was cool with me :) where i can find more about this 16, 32-bits tex and where to check with one i using. As to the glow as far as i so most people using it mor or less - is it realy so devilish?


From: Rolig Loon
The dark violet color on your walls may make everything look like the inside of a cavern, so that's something you may want to take a second look at. If it were my mall, I would choose a lighter color for walls unless I were trying deliberately for a spooky atmospheric effect, but that's a matter of personal choice.


Yes but im not toking about looking like in cavern or that he coulndt see walls - He couldnt see his avatar inside - total void. he made snapshoot - but when he send it to me - on my comp it looked quite ok?

anyway txh for answer :)
Ania Stormcrow
Pure Necessity * All you
Join date: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 10
10-05-2009 11:48
From: Kyrah Abattoir
the only "lights" i tend to wear are facelight killers: 6 max radius, max intensity, "black" lights.

It will usually counter that tanning machine some peoples tend to wear.

why would u like to 2kill2 sobebodys face light - what it done to u? :)
When u wear them - does it mean that u cant see other people face lights or other avatars see them swiched off as well?