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4.11.2 Pseudo-dynamic Lights

One little known feature in CS is the ability to have pseudo-dynamic lights. Pseudo-dynamic lights are somewhere between static lights and dynamic lights. Static lights cannot move but they generate high quality lightmaps. Dynamic lights can move but the quality of lighting is much less. Pseudo-dynamic lights are a variant of static lights. They cannot move either but they can change intensity and color dynamically. Since they also use lightmaps the quality is very good and they have correct shadows. Pseudo-dynamic lights are ideal for lights that can be switched on/off or possibly even for outside light that you want to turn off (at night). Note that the usage of pseudo-dynamic lights adds an additional shadow map to every polygon that is touched by that light. So memory usage can go up quickly.

Creating a Pseudo-Dynamic Light

To specify a pseudo-dynamic light in a map file you use the following syntax:

<light name="DynLight">
  <center x="23" y="1" z="5"/>
  <color red="1" green="0" blue="0"/>
  <dynamic />

In other words, the syntax is the same as for a normal light except for the ‘dynamic’ keyword. Note that lights usually don't have a name but for a pseudo-dynamic light it is convenient to have one since you can use that name to find the light later (which is essential if you want to change the color/intensity).

To create a pseudo-dynamic light from within an application you can use the following code:

csRef<iLight> light = engine->CreateLight ("DynLight",
  csVector3 (23, 1, 5), 10, csColor (1, 0, 0), true);
sector->GetLights ()->AddLight (light);

This will create exactly the same light as the one specified above.

At some point you may want to change the color of the light. You can do this with the following code:

light->SetColor (csColor (0, 0, 1));

This will change the color of the light from red to blue.

Include Files

The include files useful for this section are:

#include <iengine/light.h>
#include <iengine/sector.h>
#include <iengine/engine.h>

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