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Graphics SpeedTree Billboard Improvements and ambient lighting

Discussion in '5.3 Beta' started by sqallpl, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. sqallpl

    sqallpl

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Posts:
    214
    I've checked the documents but there is no word about improvements for billboards and ambient lighting.

    I've already reported this issue some time ago. Is this included in this re-factor? This post is generally a copy of same thread from 5.2 beta forums but the billboard re-factor was moved to 5.3.

    At this moment, when the usage of light probes for SpeedTree billboards is turned off (it must be turned off to still use dynamic batching), all SpeedTree billboards use static lighting from the moment when the GI data was baked.

    When the ambient lighting is changed, billboards are not affected. They are always using same, static lighting. The result is that you can, for example, have tons of bright billboards on the screen, even if sky is dark, because they still use the input from the moment when the data was baked (in this case it was baked when the sky was bright/daytime).



    It would be nice to have a feature that would just simply add dynamic lighting to the billboards and still allow them to use dynamic batching. Maybe one global light probe for all trees would work? But what about scenes where trees are placed in different environments (lets say caves/underground). They would still be problematic with this approach (global light probe is placed above the ground (daytime) and billboards that are placed underground still use it so they are bright)?

    Maybe there is some way to have dynamically batched billboards that would still use the nearest light probes like other dynamic objects so the ambient input would be correct for them?

    Or maybe there is no workaround and we would need to use light probes without batching to get dynamic ambient lighting for billboards?
     
  2. Alex-Lian

    Alex-Lian

    Guest

    The dev to best answer is unfortunately away for a week or so. Will try to remind him to look at this thread later.
     
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  3. sqallpl

    sqallpl

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Posts:
    214
  4. sqallpl

    sqallpl

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Posts:
    214
    Bump.

    @Alex Lian ,
    Is the person who can reply to this thread back already?

    Thanks.
     
  5. zeroyao

    zeroyao

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Posts:
    166
    Hey sqallpl,

    I'm not sure how to solve this problem in the current version of Unity. For the moment billboards are just like other renderers in the scene, no special optimisations regarding to lighting.

    Once I thought about batching the lightprobe SHs for billboards so that light probes can be turned on for billboards without compromising the ability to be batched, but it turned out to be too big an effort for the render loop. Currently we are doing things the other way around - to refactor the render loop completely, offloading it to work threads, make better sorting and thus better batching, and implementing instancing generically. Hopefully when that gets done probes for billboards won't be a problem.

    Cheers
     
    hippocoder likes this.