Distant Light

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The Sun

What's it for?

The Distant light is used to imitate the Sun, it's a directional light, meaning that it will emit light in only one direction. You can easily tell witch way it's facing by looking at it's model, or by pressing "Y" (View from Entity) , witch is also an easy way of placing it, since it also allows you to move ,and rotate the entity. Just navigate as you normally would.

What's what

  • "color" this is the color of the sun,you can adjust color by clicking and holding on the rectangles. Each represents a color value. Like color , saturation (colorful-nes),and brightens.The last rectangle, will open the "Color Picker" window, upon clicking.

  • "color target for anim" When using an "Event Animator" with the light, this will determine the color of the sun.

-not sure if that be the case, it could be used to set the final light color, will check into that-

  • "shadow width/height/depth" This is used to define the area of the distant light's shadow map size.Light it technically has a huge range, but it's shadow doesn't.
    ...uh...What I'm failing to explain , is that that the distant light, will light every where, but objects will only cast a shadow, if their within this range.

Note:It's wise to keep this as close to your level boundaries as possible.The shadow's detail is some what connected to how big it's area is. If you have a small shadow range, you'll get more precise shadow calculation, but if your shadow range is huge, your shadow will get a bit inaccurate.Don't worry , it also depends on what graphic settings you play Serious Sam on.

  • "light influence" This defines the range of the light, usually you won't need to touch these, objects beyond this area, will not receive light from this distant light.Just remember this one thing , x0,y0,z0 should always, Always , have negative values, and x1,y1,z1 - positive.

  • "light type" This is used to tell the entity how to cast it's light.Instead of explaining each one , I'll just tell you what the terms you'll see in the selection box mean.
"dynamic" this is what casts dynamic shadows, this type of light, isn't pre-baked, it get's calculated on the spot.
"lightmap" this light will affect the GI (Global Illumination) baking, meaning, that the GI algorithm will include light coming from this entity,when doing it's magic. It isn't rendered real-time.

You should now be able to decipher the other 2 types.

  • "parent part" If the model you are parenting , has more than one moving part, like a ragdoll, you set the name of witch bone to attach to , from here.

  • "sun locator" the idea is that you can set real sun parameters in there, and the game will transform them into location/rotation for the distant light, but it doesn't seem to work yet.

  • "distance from target" sometimes, if your level is huge, you'll notice that your shadows disappear,if you look away from the distant light. This is because the render optimization algorithm removes it , because it thinks that it can't be seen. To fix then CroTeam put this in.As long as the player is within this range, the optimization algorithm will get a "no,no" when attempting to hide it.

  • "target" I have no idea why the distant light has one of these.

  • "initial sectors" this is a Visibility Mesh thing, leave blank in most cases.

  • "animator" this is the animator input, if you want to make the light change color,or brightens, you use this property.

Note: It isn't assessable from the Distant Light's properties. You add an "event animator" and paste it's settings there. See "event animator"

  • "spawn flags" don't touch that, unless you know what you're doing. "spawn flags" defines on what game modes will said entity spawn, or be active.

For example, if you set only 'easy' on "Spawn flags" , the Distant Light will only work , if the Game Difficulty is set to 'easy' , if any other difficulty is chosen, the light won't ...light. This is useless for the "Distant Light".

  • "name" this gives a name to the Light, doesn't matter what you name it.Could be anything.You could even name it Krystal if you like.

  • "parent" you can parent it to a model, and when you move that model, the light will move along side with it.

  • "platforms" like "spawn flags" , but this define on witch platforms the marker will appear, PC , Xenon , Cell (what ever that thing is).

Now, Let there Be Light.