Welcome to Keen Software House Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the KSH community.
  1. You are currently browsing our forum as a guest. Create your own forum account to access all forum functionality.

Why is space not dark?

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Kylar_Reed, Mar 31, 2014.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Kylar_Reed Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    78
    has anyone else noticed that space in SE is grey not black? And how somehow you can always see even if you are in the middle of an asteroid?

    Space engineers has an awesome lighting system in my opinion, the ability to put lights on almost anything facing in any direction is cool. But at the moment the only purpose lights serve is purely asthetic.

    The best lighting system in my opinion would be that the sun (Which is in every world) would light up anything that its rays would reach.

    E.G. an asteroid is floating is space, the side facing the sun is lit up like asteroids are now, the other side is black.

    E.G. Your ship is ofline, the side facing the sun is lit up, the side facing away is black.

    This kind of function would not only make the game more realistic and make lights serve a purpose, it would also add some really cool elements to the gameplay.
     
  2. Captain Snyder Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    125
    I'm not a big programer so I dunno what the hell i'm about to say.

    That MIGHT increase the already there lag for client issues on multiplayer servers.

    But like I said, i'm not a big programmer.
     
  3. John_Adams Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    171
    I suggest downloading the SESkybox tool and disabling "fog". It removes the grey haze and makes space look more black. Also, you can change the skybox to something cool, like earth, or a nebula! :thumb:
     
  4. ADM-Ntek Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    87
    if the skybox were realistic there would be no visible stars.
     
  5. Teravisor Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    398
    Personally, gray fog is asteroid fog you produce from mining.
    But why isn't ship interior dark? (there must be a need for power-consuming lights!)
     
  6. Scorpion00021 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,411
    I'll have to look at the game again, but I think the majority of light is AMBIENT, with very little of the light being DIFFUSE or DIRECTIONAL. Ambient light is kinda like fog, it just fills everything regardless of where it is. Diffuse is reflected light from surfaces, like when you use a spotlight on a ship, the whitewash effect on a surface in front of it. Directional would be like the spotlights or the sun (if it cast shadows). This usually requires what is called "ray-tracing" and is computationally heavy, more so for players with weak graphics cards (yes, I'm looking at you 6400 GT users). I would guess the reason for the amount of ambient light and lack of directional light would be as a performance saver.
     
  7. Oselotti Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    837
    We can see stars here on Earth so we can see them in space. Moon or ISS pictures are totally different story.
     
  8. Conradian Moderator

    Messages:
    2,596
    We can't see stars in the pictures taken on the moon or on the ISS because they are effectively being taken in bright daylight. The difference being that the sky is black not blue. The bright sun overwhelms the light of all the stars, and so you shouldn't really see anything but blackness.
     
  9. Garm Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    37
    You will see the stars alright, in fact more than seen on average from earth due to lack of light pollution and atmosphere interference.

    The overall space will be pitch black with very profound stars, only around the sun stars will be hard to see.
     
  10. ADM-Ntek Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    87
    you can at night when it is dark but it doesnt get dark in space.
     
  11. Garm Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    37
    Why not?

    Here's quote from NASA FAQ:

    "No, I hear that in space the stars look wonderful, bright (although not twinkling) and very clear. What has probably caused some of this confusion is that in the typical photo or video image from space, there aren't any stars. This is because the stars are much dimmer than the astronaut, Moon, space station, or whatever the image is been taken of. It is extremely hard to get the exposure correct to show the stars. Luckily, the human eye handles the different light levels much better than a camera does.Dr. Eric Christian
    (July 2001)"
     
  12. McHendrik Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    152
    I have noticed this too, and have often wished for a true black in the absence of any light.

    However, as was mentioned in an earlier comment here, to truly do this requires raytracing and that is extremely expensive. The current shadows are pretty good, but they're still hacks compared to what real light would be like. Intel has been working on raytracing as an alternative to modern graphical programming. Of course, this is partly because it would require complex CPUs (that Intel makes) instead of the simple floating-point pipelines in current graphics cards (which their competitors make).

    I also think there's a playability issue. Truly black space and the deep black unlit sides of asteroids would require a lot of artificial light to see anything at all. The light sides would be so bright you would be unable to make out many details of the surface, like ore. Any ridge would have jet black shadow and incredibly bright surfaces right next to it. As with photography in space in "real life", there is also an exposure problem where faintly-lit elements (like your spotlights aimed at the shadows and stars) can be completely washed out by brightly-lit surfaces (like sunlit asteroids).

    It's not exactly a simple problem, although I would love to try it for the realism.
     
  13. w0ps Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    319
    I think the OP just meant to ask: why is the ambient lighting there at all?
    Disabling/setting ambient light to black would not create a necessity for raytracing.
    However, it would be hard to see unlit stuff so maybe it's kind of a debug setting.

    As for the daylight drowning out the spotlights: not a problem because the spotlights are needed only in the dark.
    Some games have adaptive lighting, simulating the widening and narrowing of our irises.
     
  14. crazyrobban Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    224
    +1 on more darkness.
    Entering a ship wreck without power should require you to use your suits lights to explore the inside of the wreck.
     
  15. Beanie Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    256
    This!
     
  16. darth_biomech Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,550
    It would be nice to have BOTH ambient light and diffuse light as an options in graphics settings menu. If you have poor computer, you can turn off reflected lighting. If game then gets too dark for your taste, you can turn on ambient lighting.

    but if game will get darker, it needs more options for lighting stuff in more broad way that current spotlights with somewhat narrow cone of light. you would need many of them to lit up dark side of large ship in construction, so we need something that is more omni-directional, or at least have cones of light in spotlights adjustable.
     
  17. Judgernaut Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    198
    +1 for more darkness. It would add immersion and ambience if we had more darkness. And by darkness I mean, going to the dark side of an asteroid, you cant see anything without your suits light. And even with the suits light, you can only see the halo infront of your, everything to the side, is just shadows and black shapes contrasted against the stars.

    But we also need more effect on the ships spotlights if we darken the world.
     
  18. McHendrik Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    152
    Great advice. I normally refuse to use external tools but I had to have black space.

    This tool REALLY works great. SO much more realistic. The shadowed side of ships and 'roids and stuff are still too well lit to be realistic but it is SO much better than before.
     
  19. Fus Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    247
    I too would like to see an ambient light option, I wonder if there is a shader file I can delete ? :)
     
  20. w0ps Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    319
    I don't reckon so, but you could try altering the existing shaders and set their ambient color to black
     
  21. Scorpion00021 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,411
    Setting it to black would mean you couldnt see the hand in front of your face without directional light being present :p

    I think the idea is this: Add ambient light and players will need to make less lights in ships. Less lights in ships = better performance.
    Each of those lights you add have a bleeding range and cast lighting effects on surfaces.

    They could probably dim the ambient light a bit, but without it, you wouldnt be able to see a battlecruiser 100m out without a light on your ship.
     
  22. w0ps Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    319
    Since our suits have lights built in I don't see the problem. Also not seeing an unlit battlecruiser seems realistic to me.
    More ambient light would just look horrible.
     
  23. Glargh Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    54
    personally a higher contrast between lit, and unlit places would add a more cinematic feel to the game, it doesn't need to be as harsh as real life, but i have found myself with my headlamp on for the past hour without realizing it.
     
  24. darth_biomech Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,550
    Ambient light costs processor power too, y'know? Maybe even more that just simply additional light source... There is a reason why ambient lighting showed up in games only very recently.
     
  25. w0ps Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    319
    Errr.. you must mean ambient occlusion. That's a relatively expensive calculation.
    Ambient light is just 1 rgb light color value multiplied by shader ambient color, which isn't expensive at all and has been used for ages in gaming.
    Such as quake, for instance.
     
  26. TheGrover Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    27
    TL;DR

    the problem mentioned by the OP is a high setting for ambient light, which essentially replaces shadowed objects and faces with a standard minimum lighting level. on many space sims this is set really low, around 0.05 (5% of "Full" illumination, simulating the small amount of light that comes from other places), and in reality, would be around 0.2 near an asteroid (similar to how moonlight illuminates the earth slightly) and practically 0 inside a tunnel that winds through an asteroid.

    a true lighting simulation also considers the sensor adjustment, since your eyes, and cameras adapt to the light level, so if you go from light to dark, you can't see as much, and from dark to light, you are blinded, as well as being harder to see darker objects when they are in the same field of view as bright objects

    personally, i think it should be much lower to necessitate the need for lights on the dark side of objects or inside asteroids. IE almost impossible to see something in a shadow, making some cool lighting effects from landing pad lights look cooler, and making shots of craft out in the wilderness of space even more dramatic
     
  27. Garm Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    37
    Actually from previous quote I posted it is safe to assume, that what happens to stars - happens to shadows too - our cameras can't distinguish between such high light levels so many shadows end up pitch black in photos in similar way stars are invisible.


    I would assume that full shadows are indeed pitch black - as long as no other source of light is present beyond sun.


    If you introduce any source of light - suit lights, ship beams, reflections from your suit, ship nearby wall illuminated by sun then you will get incomplete shadows, where human eye would be able to distinguish.
     
  28. Merinsan Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    209
    I'd like it to be darker too. I never use my suit lights, because there is simply no need.
     
  29. vmrob Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    135
    The first thing I said to myself when I played this game is that space is too bright in the game. I downloaded the suggested tool and played around with it and realized that darker shadows are really cool, but almost unplayable because there aren't a lot of great lighting options in place right now.
     
  30. Virakotxa Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    376
    The fake moon-landings have a lot of people confused with production issues that didn't allow Kubrick to insert those properly. It should be a decently bright background, and stars can be seen to the very edge of the sun, since there is no light-scattering in space. For the same reasons, it should be pitch black in shadow areas as the OP proposes... but reflections can travel immense distances, too.
     
Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.