Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blinded by the light

Oh the joys of lighting. While continuing to detail out the town with lights, bushes, fences and other crap, i've run into some lighting problems. The first one was funny more than anything - if i leave 'collide' on in the properties for a light pole, the light poly will also have hit detection. The fix was to turn collide off on the polls and then place another pole right on top of them. The second pole doesn't render, but it does have collide on and acts as the hit box for the light polls. So that's no trouble - an easy fix.

The next issue has me baffled.

Some sections of the road will properly display the lights and everything's fine. Elsewhere, often not far from properly working areas, i've found sections of the road not taking the light at all and being completely dark. It's especially annoying since the sidewalks and buildings next to the dark roads light up just fine. If the car's headlights are on, they reflect off the road just fine, so you don't really notice that the light polls aren't doing their job. But if you turn your headlights off - the lame sets in.

I've posted a message on the support forums - hopefully someone knows what's up. It's not entirely critical that it get fixed since it's only a nighttime issue, but it's this sort of thing that bother me to no end. We'll see what happens.

Here's a crappy screenshot of the issue. The image on the left is fine, the image on the right is a bastard:


  1. After thinking about this through the morning, i've come up with something i want to try. In the areas where i've got problems, i'm going to try deleting all the polls and resetting them. Since they worked fine when i first placed them, i'm thinking that moving them a bit or messing with them over the past couple of days may have screwed stuff up behind the scenes. I'll give it a shot when i get home.

  2. Fixed it! Someone on the support forums pointed out that there's a limited amount of light that you can put on a single instance of track or terrain. So i created several more material surfaces on the sections of track running through town and then rebuilt some of the darkened terrain without merging its nodes with the existing terrain - and it worked! No more lighting problems. Now that i know what's up, i can build the next town with this in mind and is should be problem free.