I realized I have slightly better test shots of global illumination than the ones that got out a week ago. These are from only a day or two after the last shots.

This is the Cirrus again, with landing lights and strobes; you can see that all of the airplane’s lights contribute dynamically to the lighting on the fuselage and doors as they move. (Yes, that is heat blur on the engine; the heat blur still needs a lot of tuning.)

This shows airplane-mounted lights interacting with custom scenery. In this case the standard Cirrus (with global lights attached) casts both strobe and multiple landing light spill on LOWI. One of the powerful results of global illumination is that we get correct lighting interaction between diverse content, including third party content.

Finally, this shows an airport beacon lighting a plane and vice versa. The global lights on the airport beacon are inside an animation group, making them “sweep” the airplane, which can in turn animate the airport beacon. With global illumination, there are no rules about who lights who.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

17 comments on “More Global Illumination Video

  1. I think you just beat graphics. Time to find another field.

    Will this new illumination stuff have much effect during daytime, or is it really just a night thing?

  2. Very impressive! Thanks Ben for uploading a bunch of nice vids for us. They really tell the story at least a thosand times better than images or words do. Feel free to continue uploading vids to demonstrate results etc. Cheers and thanks for the great work! Chris

  3. Astonishing! Incredible! Finally what I've been looking for, for years! Although I have read all about Global Illumination here, on your Blog, my only and real fear is about the System Requirements needed for running at least the lighting system, without having to buy a new iMac!!!

    Andro Humeda (Cekko™)

  4. They are pretty amazing indeed, and the heat blur — once tuned — will be a magnificent addition. As would (cough) Alex's vortices no matter what the frame hit. With all the other scenery tweaks — okay, twacks! — XP10 is looking pretty sick! (I'm holding back on the superlatives.)

    Congratulations in advance. (I'll take two.)

  5. Looking great!

    Please the heat blur must be in XP10! Think how "cool" the effect will be with big jets (eg 747).

    Hopefully it will be customisable per aircraft and the amount blur variable depending on engine thrust.

    The XP10 previews are great, please keep them coming!


  6. Ves….vortices….. 🙂

    Impressive, most impressive.

    How are shadows handled, Ben? It looked like the right wingtip strobe was casting the shadow of the winglet on the wing. Is this my imagination at work, or does Global Ilumination impact shadow generation as well?

  7. Very impressive!

    Just two things:
    1) I don't see a a weak shadow from the nose steering wheels, which should be there in reality.
    2) The ground is not weakly lit up from the aircraft's navigation lights in it's wing.

  8. Right. That is because:

    1. These lights do not cast shadows and
    2. This is programmer art – I attached a few lights and took some movies…it will be up to our artists to decide what lights cast how much illumination.

  9. "1. These lights do not cast shadows and"

    will these lights cast shadows in the future version of XP10?

    "2. This is programmer art – I attached a few lights and took some movies…it will be up to our artists to decide what lights cast how much illumination."

    Will it be as simple as specifying the lamp's light intensity by giving it the value 5W (5 Watt) and the computer calculates the illumination?

  10. Well… ok, this is fun to look at.

    I have to ask, though – and I apologize if I've missed it somewhere – what effect does this have during the daytime?

    The way I'm looking at this is that lighting up buildings at night is great and all, but aside from the landing light on the runway, I'm not sure how crazy I am about the toll on system overhead it will take for a yellow runway marker to cast a yellow glow on the ground, or a streetlight to spill onto some grass.

    (Point lights, however, are something I've been hoping for since they went away.)

    Without a doubt, it helps with immersion – but is this carried over to daylight, occlusion, shadows in the cockpit, etc. ?

  11. Congratulations on the advancements thus far!

    Is this a form of ambient occulsion, or some sort of super fast interpolated GI? It seems like you have light transference happening…

    Will the engine have "soft-shadow" capability?

    Id wager however that reflection mapping -of any kind, is much more desperately needed that heat blur.
    Painted-on reflection textures are dating the engine tremendously.

    I ask that real-time reflections – if at all feasible, are not lost in the discussion.

    Thank you for all of your hard work. Looking forward to XP10!

  12. Hi Y'all,

    – This is not ambient occlusion…and there is no radiosity. Any case where it looks like that is just nicely made textures.
    – This is global illumination.
    – Shadows will be in the sim – but they're not very soft.
    – Reflection mapping – we'll get there eventually and it's something people want; the order of effects we've done is based not only on what people want but also their cost of implementation and interdependency (e.g you can't code B until you code A). Heat blur is in because it's really cheap once you already have some other code we put in for GI.

  13. "…the order of effects we've done is based not only on what people want but also their cost of implementation and interdependency…"

    Understood. Thank you Ben, for listening to the community, and providing feedback. It's encouraging to know that our suggestions are taken into consideration, and are not lost in the shuffle.
    Keep the blogs coming 🙂
    *mumbles in his sleep…mmm tesselation…

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