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Relay Replay: May 21st Written Monday 22nd of May 2017 at 09:13am by Erris

This week in Star Citizen News...

Relay weekly Star Citizen News Summary for The Base FNS

Shiver’s notes in brackets and italic

Around the Verse: Lighting the Universe

Studio Update

  • Great strides have been made in LA in regards to Item System 2.0

  • The Origin M50 interceptor was very carefully used as the test bed for its implementation.  This has resulted in improved tool creation and allowed for the balancing of ship performance with components.  This will drive players to upgrade components, allowing for more rewarding multiplayer gameplay.

  • QA aided by converting existing checklists to the new 2.0 framework

  • Engineering improved persistence and inventory that allows queries of modified data for entries not even spawned as well as addressing abandoned items and ships while out of game

  • Progress has been made for transporting ships within ships and in hauling the Ursa Rover without explosions

  • Quantum Drive was also converted allowing it to store nav points and use the pipe system for fuel and power checks, soon to look and sound as good as it performs

  • Los Angeles has also implemented an autopilot system into the Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS) and cinematic support for thruster animations

  • The Ship Team has completed the Aurora ES and LN seat geo and has begun on the engines for Item System 2.0 framework utilisation as well as nearing final grey box and animation for the Anvil Terrapin

  • Tech Animation developed a stand alone installer of samples to save both themselves and outsourced partners time while upholding CIG standards

  • Source (SRC) rigging codes have been created to allow for quick, easy and bug free rigging and animation updates

  • The Tech Art Team has now created a new data structure allowing for eye colour customisation

  • The Los Angeles Engineering Team has used item port tags to allow consistency between head and body coloration, created a process to simulate engine trails in atmosphere as well as new tools increasing efficiency past the first LOD and thus the ship pipeline delivery time and moved forward procedurally concerning outposts and their props

  • The Tech Art and Character Teams have added a fully rigged female medium marine and a male heavy outlaw suit to the armory. Work is moving forward on many other character accoutrements allowing the UI Team to establish necessary boundaries when helmet interior work is finished

Behind the Scenes: Lighting and Fog

  • Nathan Dearsley, Chris Campbell, Emre Switzer, Maria Yue and Ben Parry

  • CryEngine out of the box was really good at creating outdoor environments but was very cumbersome for good interior lighting

  • Ultimate challenge: make the lighting scale from room under the stairs to a whole galaxy

  • Power of lights are kept relative from decorative table lamp to the sun: creates challenges for auto-exposure

  • Lighting has to be dynamic: must support shooting out all the light sources in a room

  • Halfway there: anamorphic screen space flares are in, realtime cubemap generation in soon, the old sun is out (one sun to rule them all and in the darkness, light them)

  • Planetary lighting is completely driven by the atmosphere of the planet

  • Lighting also include colour grading and post effects, e.g. reducing the saturation when injured

  • All the lighting in the ships is 100% dynamic and 100% physically correct

  • Lighting work with Design to ensure light placement and callouts are correct, e.g. highlighting a useable panel

  • Previous lighting ‘layering’ system had issues:

    • file sizes were huge due to thousands of (largely unused) lights

    • lights were simply on or off: no transitions or colour cycling

  • New Light Groups System

    • each room has its own power state and can be enabled/disabled

    • controller create the transitions and can e.g. react to damage at a location

  • Lighting impacts VFX as particles aren't lit the same way: SC uses direct lighting and cubemaps but requires some tweaking

  • Each light has three elements: emission power, light feature and an actual light entity

  • Old fog tech had a number of issues:

    • didn't react to lights in any way so artists had to approximate it

    • over-brightened shadows making the scene look flat

    • used a very simplistic approach to transparent objects

  • New dynamic lit fog system has been integrated from Lumberyard

    • lights now affect it

    • uses voxels to determine colour and density

Aegis Eclipse stealth bomber on sale now:

Warbond: £240 (including VAT)

Standalone Non Warbond: £264 (including VAT)



Erris is Canadian. He does some random things for Relay, no-one really knows what, but still they're stuck with him. He’s also written one Young Adult novel that he can’t stand, which can be found here.

You can find him on Twitter too, if you want.