[B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

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niarfman
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by niarfman » 17 Jan 2013, 20:57

Good to know.

In this case, it's a shame that whe cannot compute a map with fast lightmap if it has already been computed with ultra :(

A constant download should not be the solution in case of a very slow connectivity.

I don't know how it's done now, but the map download should start at the end of the previous map, when scores are displayed. During the download the score table and the chat should be accessible as usual. Don't know if it's technically possible to do...
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by Akbalder » 18 Jan 2013, 11:21

The map file itself doesn't contain the high or ultra quality lightmap.
It isn't bigger than than a file with shadows computed in normal quality.
You don't need to re-compute the shadows to try to reduce the size of the map file.

I don't know if the beautiful lightmap files are supposed to be sent to the players but it doesn't seem to work.
- Are we supposed to find the beautiful lightmap files and put them on the server?
- Are the beautiful lightmap files supposed to be shared by p2p between players?

In my case, I'm the only one who have the beautiful lightmaps. :evil:
Other players use the normal lightmap included in the map file which is ugly when the shadows have been computed in ultra quality.

What does the "light index of lightmaps" setting do? I didn't check it when I did my test.

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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by LuckyBoy » 24 Jan 2013, 10:14

Hello,
Almost everything said here is right, I'll just try to make things a bit clearer.
What we call lightmap is the storage of ambient and local lighting.
This information is quite complex to compute (ambient requires many samples from the whole scene, several bounces, each local light requires shadow), and because game content can be very different in maniaplanet (can be quite complex in geometry and local lights number), we made the choice of precomputing this data.
(Some games dynamically compute this data, but quality is reduced, for instance 1 bounce and only for sun, and only few local close shadows)
Then lightmap are stored to disk to be re-used during multiplayer.
Yet they can be stored in 2 ways:

a) a "local" full res. (2k or 4k for ultra), full bump (3 maps), cache stored in "ProgramData\ManiaPlanet\Cache\"
size is around 5.5Mb (20Mb for ultra).
By "local" I mean the cache WILL NEVER be transfered by P2P.

b) a "embedded" small res. (1k), bump intes (1 average map, 1 bump_intens map), cache embedded in the map file
size is around 500Kb.

cache (b) is required to play the map in multiplayer, this is the default behaviour.
cache (a) may be used even in multiplayer, only if this cache has been computed locally before.

About quality difference, obviously due to it's smaller storage (smaller res. and heavier compression), embedded cache quality is lower.
But it's important to note that compute quality and storage quality are two different things, when lightmap are computed in a given quality (say high for instance), both local and embedded cache are updated (embedded is stored when map is saved) from the same compute quality, yet embedded cache looses quality due to its compression.

Again about quality, in the screens you give, one can see horizontal red lines on the dark wall, this is due to block margin in the lightmap space. The cause is the image compression (jpg or webp) which doesn't like sharp color variations, and because beside this block wall side may be allocated the opposite side (facing to more light), the 2 sides blurs on each other.

Akbalder: I don't know yet why ultra quality -> embedded is worse, this is a bug, thanks for the report.
What does the "light index of lightmaps" setting do? I didn't check it when I did my test.
This compute a lightmap local light list each time a map is loaded (never stored to disk), to render
dynamic local speculars.

LuckyBoy

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niarfman
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by niarfman » 24 Jan 2013, 13:01

Thank you a lot for these precisions. As I can see, it's a complex subject ^^

If I understand well, when we are using the ingame script to compute shadows, there will be full detailed lightmaps stored in local cache and also compressed ones in the Gbx file.

So, as the information into the maps is lossy... is there a very huge difference between High and Ultra qualities into the Gbx ?

My goal is to know if server admins need to compute shadows by themselves and if they need to do it on each new server release ... ?
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Fix
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by Fix » 24 Jan 2013, 13:19

Excepted for the bug that makes ultra look worse than others, Ultra is really better : more bounces, more sampling.
It's smoother, more accurate and can fix a lot of contrasted noisy effects (especially in tunnels).

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niarfman
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by niarfman » 24 Jan 2013, 13:30

Fix wrote:Excepted for the bug that makes ultra look worse than others, Ultra is really better : more bounces, more sampling.
It's smoother, more accurate and can fix a lot of contrasted noisy effects (especially in tunnels).
Ok Thanks !

So I will compute all with High firstly (thanks the /fullcheck option). And recompute all in Ultra when the bug will be fix ^^
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by TMarc » 24 Jan 2013, 23:13

Thanks a lot for the precise informations, LuckyBoy and Fix :thx:

I just have summarized your and other recent messages about shadows in a new thread visible for everyone:
Shadow calculation and lightmaps explained
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by LuckyBoy » 25 Jan 2013, 16:46

The ultra quality mapping bug is fixed for next version (that was the cause of worst embedded lightmap quality).
Lightmap computed with old version in ultra will be seen as invalid (and have to be recomputed) with next ManiaPlanet.
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niarfman
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by niarfman » 25 Jan 2013, 17:05

Oh thank you for this information. You should remeber this point for the next release ^^

I will wait this release before computing with Ultra :)
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Re: [B2.0] Ugly shadows when computed in Ultra quality

Post by TMarc » 31 Jan 2013, 00:35

om23 wrote:do u guys know any tricks to get more speed on rendering shadows by using cuda?
br
(source: RE: Optimisation for NVIDIA CARD FPS)

I fully understand the lightmaps / shadows have to look the same for everyone in ideal case, and in consequence they have to be calculated also in the same way for everyone, more or less regardless of the available hardware and of the quality setting.

Following om23's idea:
Did you ever think or even try to run the shadows calculation optionally on the video hardware, which is partially very powerfull nowadays? E.g. using OpenCL?
Or are you already even doing this?
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