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  • Writer's pictureChris Buckingham

#17 - LSL Cards & Combat - Lighting the Scene / Environment

Updated: May 24, 2021

Mood, atmosphere and visual clarity can be enhanced by choosing the right lighting. And being a digital game, there's also a need to consider optimization - reducing the processing load of the game as a whole so it runs smoother and faster. Below are a few lighting tricks used when designing Cards & Combat.

- Baked in Lighting. The example below isn't true baked lighting or a lightmap, but the technique is based on the same principles. For performance optimization (in this case; reducing the processing power required to create real-time shadows and environmental shading) one approach is creating the illusion of light effects, like shadows, by baking them into object textures.

In the case of Tabletop Simulator the lighting system is solid but one thing missing is objects casting shadows. Below you can see the illusion of a shadow made by drawing it onto the fence and floor. The only downside to baking in lighting is it's static, and won't change based on any actions in the 3D space. But in this case that's fine, because players can't walk to the very edges of the play environment in Tabletop Simulator.

- Lighting Effects. The below example of the street light isn't all that great, but it illustrates the potential in creating localized lighting states (using multi-state objects) to create area effects for lighting. In this case the intensity of the street lamp can be adjusted, with the stages of intensity being cast onto all nearby objects.

- Environment Lighting States. Finally, Tabletop simulator comes with a huge range of default lighting states and a handful of options you can use to create that perfect ambiance.

Go to the top menu select ; Options --> Lighting then play with the settings until you get it just right.

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