Demo:Animated Lighting

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screenshot from the demo

This is the demo I'm most proud of, developed for my college thesis to demonstrate how video can be used for non-standard purposes.

My idea behind this method is to transfer lighting in an engine-rendered animated cutscene to a video file. That way you free up the load from the display card and can display very complex and realistic lighting. Since the lighting video is precomputed, you can calculate lighting in a 3D rendering program which will make your animated cutscene look awesome! No more texture shadowing artefacts or similar nonsense, enter a word of full radiosity-lit cutscenes that look as if they're rendered in real time.

The main reasons why one would chose to combine a lightless render with a pre-rendered lighting video instead of using a fully rendered video are:

  • The output quality is better because the video artefacts are only partially noticeable.
  • The video file is smaller because there's less pixel variation which the motion prediction algorithm of the video codec can exploit to create a smaller file.
  • You get the appearance of a engine-rendered cutscene with kick-ass lighting!

Of course, this method only makes sense for fixed animated cutscenes, it cannot be used in an interactive game.



  • SPACE - toggle diffuse map
  • RETURN - toggle lighting


Forum discussion: link

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