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Adding shadows to an architectural build


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First, I can't use shadows through windlight. All I can add is basic shaders, and they don't change a thing when I enable them, so adjusting my preferences isn't going to do it for me. I'm not really concerned about that; what I see isn't as important as what others will see when they view my builds.

I've recently made a fairly elaborate sample ruin, and it looks OK, but without shadows the architectural details aren't really apparent, (picture included). I used full bright on almost all the textures, and I'm not sure how this is going to affect how others see the build.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At any rate, what I need to know is: Will others be able to view it with the proper lighting if their system can handle it? Is there something else I need to do to make this possible? How do I optimize it so that the cave interior is darker than the area outside? Will the use of full-bright textures light the interior spaces and nooks and crannies and prevent the full 3D effect?

Yes, I'm relatively new to building. This is a prim build with a sculpty cave. I also need to fix the physics but I'm pretty sure I know how to do that to my satisfaction, and it isn't as important as lighting, anyway.

 

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Fennet wrote: Will the use of full-bright textures light the interior spaces and nooks and crannies and prevent the full 3D effect?

Yeah, you really don't want to use full-bright textures for anything that isn't supposed to be backlit. Anything full-bright has no response at all to lighting effects, so even the dwindling number of folks who don't have shadows enabled will be denied the day/night cycle of lighting and any viewer-local windlight effects they may be using.

Although they can be dramatic depth cues for those without shadows enabled, baked-lighting shadows are very tricky to make acceptable for folks with shadows turned on. The problem is that the scene is consistently lit by various lighting sources that throw their own shadows, and then there's this baked-lighting thing with shadows determined by lighting not present in the in-world scene. (This isn't a problem if everything in the scene is generated with the same lighting and never moved -- but that's never the case for avatars, so if any enter the scene, everything else will look a little "off".)

I generally recommend that creators ponder when they might use Emissive Mask alpha, to get a deeper understanding of when to use full bright textures. Sometimes there's need for a gradient of "full brightness" over a surface, and once that's understood it's clear why a full bright texture is appropriate only in special situations.

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Really appreciate the answers to my extremely uninformed questions.

OK, great, thanks. This was just a sample anyway, to prove to myself I could do this. I used just one of the textures from the library with an added colot tint, not a custom made textureI had to set it to full bright to get the color light enough. So I'll obviously have to spend some time in photoshop.

Next question is: will I be able to get away with one or a few basic 512px textures and no alphas, or will I need to make complex textures with mapping designed for each piece? Personally, I'm pretty satisfied with the texture the way it looks, (other than the flat lighting and brightness problem). I'm teaching myself at least partially by looking at, and tearing apart Aley builds, (maybe I should be embarassed to say that). From what I've seen, she managed to do amazing things with simple textures such as a shamelss beginner like myself might be able to imitate.

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I was able to throw together a few textures to test that don't need to be full bright, and lo and behold, I have shadows! (Taking off the facelight helped, too. I didn't realize just how much they light up the area around my avatar.)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not there yet, but at least it looks 3 dimensional now. I had a feeling the problem was using full-bright, thanks for all the help.

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Something else you can do is use Planar instead of Default mapping, on the pieces made of cubes, so all the texturing is the same scale. Only works for tile able textures tho. I usually use something like .3 X .3.

Also you can tint the sides of cubes a little darker and the bottom darkest.

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Thank you, that should help. The existing lighting does most of the work for me, so I won't have to worry too much about adding shadows to my textures, fortunately.  

I'm having the most trouble with the big complicated cave sculpt, It has no faces and the texture gets too stretched and weird looking. I'll probably scrap the cave and use something else. It helped for the original mock-up, though. Maybe, just maybe, I can learn enough blender to make my own in a relatively short time frame.

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Fennet wrote:

Thank you, th
at should
help. The existing lighting does most of the work for me, so I won't have to worry too much about adding shadows to my textures, fortunately.  

I'm having the most trouble with the big complicated cave sculpt, It has no faces and the texture gets too str
e
tched and weird looking.
 I'll probably scrap
the cave
 and use something else. It helped for the original mock-up, though. Maybe, just maybe, I can learn enough blender to make my own in a relatively short time frame.

Well there are certainly quick Blender learners, tho I am not one of them. But quick or slow, learning mesh is pretty essential if you want to build with anything other than prims.

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