Testing... 1, 2, 3

Its been awhile since my last post. Alot has been done, both in real life and in the toolset. Burying my head in circuits, Fourier Series/Transforms, logic gates and more recently, some new visual effects!

A few months ago during Spring Break, I picked up Fable 2. The graphics on it were pretty nice although the era and choice of clothing for the PC were absolutely dreadful. Regardless, I would spend most of my time running while staring at the sun. Why you ask? Well, the sky shader and visual effects were simply beautiful compared to NWN2's. So I don't have to explain what I say, I'll post an image instead:





The last image here is of Mass Effect, which better demonstrates the look I was looking for and couldn't find in the Fable 2 screenshots. No one seemed to want to take pictures of it.





See what I mean? Each image has its own Lens Flare effect. The last ME image being the most prominent of them all (and even the second Fable shot if you look close).

So I began to wonder whether such a thing was possible in NWN2. The answer is yes to a degree and possibly no. You can add such a effect to NWN2 and have it show up just like in the screenshot below.



But there are some issues as well:

  1. Since this is a VFX, it can only be seen as far as where the Area Fog ends. There's a technique to make it see through the fog but you'll also see the effect through buildings and walls as well.

  2. In cities, this isn't very practical. In order to see the effect, it needs to be placed within viewing distance of the PC. It also needs to be placed outside the walkmesh so the player doesnt pass by it in some odd way or even through it. Therefore, the VFX needs to move with the PC, which is very difficult to do, especially when there's the issue below.

  3. The VFX is static. Making it move radially about the sky is a challenge, and the timing would be even more difficult.

With these issues in mind, the only possible usage for these in NWN2 would be in relatively placeableless areas that only uses the Default Day/Night setting. I have another idea I would like to try out. Three actually:

  1. Editing the sun directly. It'll still be a static image, so this shouldn't be an issue.
  2. Editing the sun directly with an animated 2D picture. If this is successful, I can animate the sun to have various VFXs. Unfortunately, Ideas 1 and 2 won't have a Flare effect that moves with the PC's camera.
  3. Scripting the VFXs to move with the time of day.

I'll return with my findings when I get to them :) Expect a post sometime this week!

5 comments:

  Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa)

June 2, 2009 at 3:29 AM

Hi Josh,

What you are trying to do does sound involved. :)

I will b einterested in your results and how easy (or not) it would be to implement in other modules.

Lance.

  E.C.Patterson

June 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM

That's cool stuff. I hope you eventually land on a practical solution.

  Frank Perez

June 3, 2009 at 10:22 AM

That was a really cool effect that you achieved in the last screenshot. Best of luck with your experiments. :)

  boxingalcibiades

July 3, 2009 at 11:09 AM

NICE trick. Thanks. You've got toolset-noob fans you've probably never heard of. I know I"m one of them.

  Josh

July 3, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Haha, thanks boxingalciades. Unfortunately, Obsidian didn't make this very easy to do. The only way to accomplish this is through a static DayNightSetting such as the Fugue Plane area.