6.- LIGHT EFFECTS
Lets create an effect to the scene that will make the characters change brightness depending on where they stand and following the light sources of the scenes graphic.
So lets take a look at our scene, it is mildly dark with a couple of prominent bounced light areas. We are going to focus on these two zones as mayor light sources.
We are going to create a light map for the scene, since this scene isnt too dark I filled it with a mid-tone as the darkest area), then I created bright highlights in the spots where the lights bounced in the scene, and for variety I added a couple of purple tones near the exit and near the bright light zone.
NOTE: DONT use a 100% black colour for the dark area unless its really necessary, I would suggest going for a mid-tone or a bit lighter tone instead.
NOTE-2 (important): The light map can be scaled down to a 25% of the background size, that means, you can make the light map to be of a size much smaller than your game's resolution, this saves in-game memory, disk space and you dont loose the effect since visionaire adapts or stretches the image to the size of your game. The image im show here is really big, but its to show you in better detail what I did.
This is the size of the final light map used in the game.
Once satisfied with the light map we are going to apply it into our scene, for this we are going to the PROPERTIES tab of the scene and load our map into the LIGHTMAP tab.
Run your game and you will notice your character gets brighter when he gets to the light spot and gets darker in the zones with less light.
IMPORTANT NOTE: DONT make the light map with hard edges as the tone change wont look nice, it is much better to make the light map that is quite blurred or graded as the tone transitions will look much nicer.
Each scene will have a different light map but use them mostly on INDOOR areas or in NIGHT outdoor scenes, if its a day scene you wont need a light map unless the scene asks for it (like the entrance of a cave or under a tree). On Outdoor day scenes the brighter areas should be pure white.
And also remember your light maps only need to be about or 25% of your game's size.