That's just an example of the idea behind it. And lighting can make the level look cool, as you say it:
Lighting can give the atmosphere to the level, like this:
If you watch closely, you can see that each stair is half dark, and the other half is more bright.
So, most of the time you'll use point lights, if it's a partially outdoor map, like de_dust.
But, if outdoor parts are only spawn points, and everything else is indoors, then you'll have to use texture lights.
So, light environment is normally used for outdoor lighting, and there is a parameter that beginner mappers probably rarely use: Shade
Parameter Shade defines the look of shadows, it controls the ambient lighting, let's say if we set it to 255 0 0 200 -
, we'll get this:
Now that looks more like DOOM than Counter-Strike already! Even I got surprised by the results. Well, let's set it to blue, with a tiny bit of green:
And there will be a lot of trial and error, compiling the map over and over again, so let's compile the map: Looks good to me. This technique can be used if the sky is very blue, without clouds, like skies in GTA V, or GTA: San Andreas with ENB shaders.
I already wrote a tutorial for that:
In short, just set the param. Pitch to 90, and Pitch Yaw Roll to 90 0 0. This is what happens:
Remember what I've said about the Shade parameter? Well, the whole map is in a shadow, as if the sun is below it. So yes, if you combine this: Pitch 90 with Shade something dark blue-ish (0 5 25 200), you'll get a night map:
Now that is a true night map! And for nighttime you also need to change the sky, but you already know that. Just make sure it's dark enough, otherwise it will be too bright:
Well, light_spot can also be used for outdoor lighting.
But it doesn't have the Shade parameter, which is a bit sad, so the Shade depends on the brightness, especially on night maps.
I will not talk much about light_spot, but you can set the Brightness to let's say 0 50 255 5 (the fourth number is the intensity, or the brightness itself) and you'll make a night map!
All those indoor pictures you've seen, well, it's all made out of Texture Lights. There are 2 ways of implementing them:
- lights.rad file. It just tells hlrad.exe what textures emit light. You can probably open it with Notepad++, I never really did that.
- info_texlights entity. So, it works the same as lights.rad, but it's packed into the .bsp file.
and now let's make the info-texlights entity (it's a point-based entity, or just modify lights.rad). And inside of its properties, disable "Smart Edit" mode, and click on Add.
In order to make the ~ symbol, hold Alt Gr, and press 1, or the button on the left to it, below Esc, if you aren't using an American keyboard like me. Or just hold Alt Gr and press everything until you find it.
So type this in.
And if you want to check what colour will pop out, just make a light entity, and paste the values, then choose Pick Color, but then don't forget to delete the light entity, it will keep RAD even more busy.
Also, I would recommend to use the Cutting tool wisely for carving these brushes into walls, and also you should put them a bit deeper into the walls and ceilings, to get interesting effects:
Yes, these green brushes are placed 4 units into the wall. Also, you can use Texture Lights for this:
Well, that's enough, but sometimes Texture Lights don't cover areas which we want them to cover, well, for that, we'll use a light entity.
I use light entities in my map dm/fy_stoned because there are a lot of dark areas, but now they're not so dark. Place a light entity somewhere on your map where light is supposed to be.
Select it, and hold and press Alt+Enter. Go to Brightness and modify the 4th value, just set it to something less than 20.
I can't add a picture, the properties window keeps minimizing when I open the Snipping Tool. But, I typed 255 255 255 15, and here's the result:
It's a small, but an important difference. Kind of looks like the player's flashlight, but more dim.
Well, these are one of the laggiest ones as much as I know. Place a light entity which you want (even a light_environment will work), and go to their properties, and find the parameter Appearance. A lot of the names speak for themselves. Select one, i selected Flicker A. Compile the map, and this is what you get:
My framerate dropped to around 20 frames/second, because I use Intel GMA 965 mobile graphics, thank god I'm not using a Voodoo II, it's (probably) too old for the task.
This technique is used for camp fires, candles, fires, broken lights, thunders & storms, flickering car lights when the alarm gets turned on, and many more...
That's the most of it as much as I can think of, so I think we're done here.
If you can't see the pictures, then tell me, I probably did something in Imgur.