I thought of this after my radiosity vs ray tracing question.

A radiosity algorithm seems to require increased calculations because it's viewpoint independent and therefore, false radiosity was born (at least it's the way it was explained). It is mentioned that in order to simulate radiosity, changes were done directly in texture maps (in PS for example) or omni-type lights are placed where radiosity effects occur.

I wonder if false radiosity is still used nowadays (I'm assuming this may happen more often in games development). If so, are these techniques currently used or are there others methods to achieve the same purpose? Any examples would be a plus.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't have a citation, but if I recall correctly Monster's University was the first Pixar movie to move towards a near-full radiosity solution instead of doing lots of artist controlled "False Radiosity," so it would certainly seem like it's still used. $\endgroup$ – porglezomp Aug 25 '15 at 18:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Games use fake fill lights all the time. One good example I know of is Tomb Raider (2013). There was an awesome presentation about it at GDC 2013. gdcvault.com/play/1017934/Casting-a-New-Light-on $\endgroup$ – RichieSams Aug 26 '15 at 15:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @porglezomp Mostly marketing speak, but theverge.com/2013/6/21/4446606/… $\endgroup$ – Rotem Sep 13 '15 at 7:13

Gobal illumination, radiosity, etc is not a mutually exclusive set with using a fill light to adjust the feeling. Sometimes the artist can do wonders with a few well placed lights.

So yes they are used, each game and situation is different. Perhaps they are just going for a unrealistic mood or the artist wants to tweak the result a bit.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.