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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
02-10-2012, 08:40 PM
My apologies Skeeter, I'm human (or taco, it's hard to tell sometimes), and as such, just like many of you can misinterpret what we (devs) mean when we post, I misinterpreted your posts as well.

For future reference, I will always appreciate constructive feedback posed in a form such as this:

Originally Posted by HypotheticalPoster
Hey Tumerboy, I was looking at DS9 tonight, and I think there are some things that could be improved. The window lights look dim, and I think the color of DS9 is off a bit. It should be more grey than brown, and the lights should be brighter.
I may disagree with your statements, but I fully appreciate the comments.

The problem comes with what I heard in my taco while reading your posts:

Originally Posted by StupidTacoHead
Hey Tumerboy, WTF? You guys don't know what you're doing! DS9 looks like crap, and you clearly don't understand how glow maps work. Let me explain how to do your job.
Clearly, that's not what you said, but how it came across on my end. That's my fault, and I'm sorry for it.

My initial confusion was not because I didn't grasp the concept of glow maps, as I stated, DS9 is definitely using glow maps for all of the windows, but because your initial statement was that the windows didn't glow. I knew that they did (obviously not brightly enough for your tates), and was confused at why you might think they weren't.

Anyway, at this point, I think we need to clarify some things.

1) Glow is a term I (and I would guess most Env Artists) interpret as synonymous with Light, Luminosity, or Emissive. This is what a glow/luminosity/emissive map is for. This is exactly what DS9 does. There is a texture for each material that masks out certain areas (windows) where a brightness should be applied. In this case, it may not be bright enough.

2) Bloom is a post processing technique used to make light areas appear brighter than a monitor can display. Without bloom, the brightest anything can get is pure white. Bloom is used to 'blow out' those areas, causing fuzzy light to bleed out over the edge of the bright spot, making it appear brighter than it really is.

I believe you were using the word glow, when you really meant bloom. The windows of DS9 do glow. That is, they emit their own light. If we were to take away all lighting in the scene, the windows would still be visible because they provide their own luminance. However, they do not bloom, because they are not terribly bright. While they do glow, per the above definition, they are not bright enough to blow out.

Now, as for the reflective material. Yes, I believe DS9's materials are set to be reflective. That is likely causing what you are seeing, where the color of the window (or perhaps it's brightness) is dependent on the angle from which it's viewed. It's possible that this reflectivity is not properly masked off.

So, with all of that said, could the lights be brighter? Yes. Can I do this? Yes. Will I? I have no idea.

There is a lot of stuff I would love to do to DS9 (inside and out), including many of the issues Frojo mentioned above (and yes, I had noticed all of them already). But my work is scheduled, and I haven't heard of any upcoming time in which to address any of these issues. Could I work on these on my own, spare time? Sure. . . but I really don't think it's fair to ask that of me. I work a lot already, and I do like to have some time to myself, doing non work things. I may still work on this outside of my normal job requirements, but that will be my own decision.