I’ve just finished writing another post for Nodraw.net about the Source engine, this one details the more advanced lighting options available since the Orange Box was released in 2007. I still see maps released that clearly don’t use them so I figured it was time to rewrite all the information about them from the original tutorial on TF2maps.net.
I spent a few hours whipping up a little map that had enough examples in for a full article, unfortunately I focused on the easiest to explain, -staticproplighting so I have a load of unused shots:
I changed the lightmap scale to 2 from 16 so that the more accurate shadows would be clearly visible so I spent more time compiling than I did actually making it. One thing I wanted to show but didn’t was the transition between adjacent props that are lit differently, if I’d remembered to put something to shadow half of the tracks I’d have been able to show this and make the advantages of -staticproplighting really clear. I also wanted to demonstrate the sunspread angle but couldn’t stomach the extra half hour waiting for it to compile twice more. I can assure you that this is just an example map and not a small section from any upcoming TF2 maps from me.
Topic of next article for Nodraw will most likely be on reflectivity values for textures, a great way to increase the amount of bounce lighting without adding any significant filesize to the bsp.