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[2.10] Volumetric Lights


duzenko
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On 2/6/2022 at 11:18 AM, peter_spy said:

Been using 2.10 beta 5 along with Hazard Pay for a bit, and I think I would be awesome if volumetric lights were decoupled from shadow maps for all other lights as a requirement. They still seem unoptimized and eat up GPU resources really fast, while stencil + soft shadows seem to have much less severe impact on a CPU.

We did some refactoring related to shadow modes, and as the result we can now easily switch between stencil and shadow maps on per-light basis.

Starting from dev16599-10071, volumetric lights display properly with stencil shadows mode selected in settings menu.
It works by forcing the particular lights with volumetrics into using shadow maps instead of stencil shadows.

The special "volumetric_noshadows -1" setting is useless now, as well as the whole volumetric_noshadows spawnarg.

 

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On 8/13/2022 at 1:29 PM, stgatilov said:

We did some refactoring related to shadow modes, and as the result we can now easily switch between stencil and shadow maps on per-light basis.

Starting from dev16599-10071, volumetric lights display properly with stencil shadows mode selected in settings menu.
It works by forcing the particular lights with volumetrics into using shadow maps instead of stencil shadows.

The special "volumetric_noshadows -1" setting is useless now, as well as the whole volumetric_noshadows spawnarg.

 

Is it possible for future releases to have shadow maps with the same impact on computer resources as stencil shadows?

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On 8/13/2022 at 5:29 AM, stgatilov said:

Starting from dev16599-10071, volumetric lights display properly with stencil shadows mode selected in settings menu.
It works by forcing the particular lights with volumetrics into using shadow maps instead of stencil shadows.

Sounds like a neat feature. I prefer the look of stencil shadows and wondered about missing out on volumetric lighting, so this sounds quite promising.

I do have some concerns, though. In Iris when I have shadow maps turned on, I see graphical artifacts. Have shadow maps been improved to where those artifacts no longer show? Please see comparison screenshots.

Edit: It seems the uploaded images get processed somehow, so the artifacts look different than the original file. Welp. But the 3rd screenshot (stencil vs maps) looks almost the same.

Screenshots:

  1. stencil
  2. maps
  3. stencil vs maps

 

stencil.webp

maps.webp

stencil-vs-maps-artifacts.webp

Edited by Daft Mugi
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2 hours ago, Daft Mugi said:

Sounds like a neat feature. I prefer the look of stencil shadows and wondered about missing out on volumetric lighting, so this sounds quite promising.

I do have some concerns, though. In Iris when I have shadow maps turned on, I see graphical artifacts. Have shadow maps been improved to where those artifacts no longer show? Please see comparison screenshots.

Edit: It seems the uploaded images get processed somehow, so the artifacts look different than the original file. Welp. But the 3rd screenshot (stencil vs maps) looks almost the same.

The implementation of volumetric lights in 2.10 uses dithering to reduce performance impact.
What you show here is exactly the dithering effect: the image looks good in large scale, but on small scale it is a mess of pixels. Moreover, the more high-frequency details you have, the more apparent the dithering artefacts become.

So there are only 2 explanations why scene looks better with stencil shadows:

  1. Because when you use stencil, volumetric light is disabled --- that's default behavior of volumetric lights in 2.10.
  2. Because when you use stencil, volumetric light is used without shadows. This makes dithering artefacts hardly noticeable, since the light itself is very low-frequency, while shadows are high-frequency.

With new dev builds, you'll have dithering artefacts as you see in 2.10 with shadows maps, but now you'll see them regardless of your choice. And the reason for that is that now volumetric lights always take shadows into account if mapper wanted them to exist.

We plan to add blur and thus remove dithering artefacts: 5850

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