In the past few weeks, Jason has been working hard to create a real time light baking system, taking advantage of Stage3D and fully GPU processing.
This new feature will allows in few seconds add baked shadows and enhance the ambient illumination in your scene. This is great to get beautiful scenes without the cost to use dynamics lights and because a picture is worth a thousand words, please check the screenshots below..
On the left you can see a 3D Scene composed by cubes over a plane. This scene only contains the default directional light.
On the right, you have the same scene, but now with baked illumination with multiple lights(point, directional), diffuse baking, soft shadow baking and fixed UV edge feature. To make it, the scene’s illumination was pre-calculated with more than 100 lights and this took only some seconds!
The result? You can obtain a complex illumination without expensive resources.
The advantages of this feature In Jason’s words:
The point of doing this is because:
1) the name of baking dose not mean it is fully static, to bake it into texture in the real-time makes it has the possibility to change if needed, for example there is a scene with sun light at beginning, but may change to a night view later on.
2) the cost of baking is very cheap, may faster than uploading regular bitmap data in some cases,
Just assume we upload 101 light maps for this demo, that would be much slower,wouldn’t it?
3) precision of texture is no longer need as large as it could be, instead 128×128 is enough for a object, that is because we generate the texture by shader, instead of unpacking any bitmap format.
4) it is easier than having a external light maps, since for artist they just need to create an extra UV coordinates, all the rest of work just leave it to the program:)
5) the file size would be reduced a lot, as you can see the whole file is only 135kb, it is a pretty much a light map size, isn’t it?
The light baking feature is in Labs and will be available in a future release. Meanwhile, you can test this demo downloading it from our forum here.
Keep in touch for more news!