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New SB Video - "Into the night"


daskal
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Yes Virginia, night is possible in SB Pro PE, but...

In order to get the stars to be single points the Sky file is 4680 x 1024. (Yes, the moon is drawn to scale at 0.5 deg, or just 6.5 pixels.) Most of the terrain, and texture files need to be changed. Also, each scenario's view distance needs to be reduced to 50m. All-in-all this Mod is huge.

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The most time consuming part of developing this was getting the Sky file right, and finding the proper view distance to provide the local effect of night adapted eyesight. I used the enhanced skydome with the sky pure black, the stars pure white, and the mist color along the bottom set to just 2% brightness. With the view distance at 50m you can see just enough of your surroundings to be able to maneuver, but the night closes in pretty quickly to block your view without night vision. At 50m the Sky_Fog file is the one being used for woodland scenarios, and Sky_SandStorm for the desert ones. The 2% mist gives just enough contrast with the black sky to provide a sense of depth.

As far as changing the terrain, and textures, I just wrote a couple of PhotoShop Actions to automate the conversion process. One drops the saturation, and lightness, by 50, and the other (For the High Res Terrain files only) drops them by 15.

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I've tested this with the view range set from 50m out to 2km, and they all give a reasonable rendition of night operations with various leves of moonlight. It's too bad that this requires so many texture files to be changed, or I would post this for everyone's enjoyment.

Hopefuly I've provided enough information on the process to let anyone else that's interested to make theire own night conversion files.

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  • 1 year later...
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We'll handle things differently in the future. Ultra-high resolution textures can't be the answer, they are a waste of precious texture space. We will have a mere dark sky and then project the star patterns (or moon/sun) on top of it, followed eventually by a cloud layer or two.

I'm saying this so you don't waste too much energy on it.

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