Today I want to give you guys a quick update about our new stunt game.
Last week we made some decisions about the lighting. In all previous builds of the game we used Unity's lightmapper to bake our lighting. I did this because it was a quick solution to get some baked lighting in. However, we have specific reference images to hold on to. The unity lightmapper is very nice and yes, can give you very good looking results. But in this case, there are very specific colors we want the shadows and shading to be. Therefor we decided to go back to the old fashioned way, baking the lightmaps in 3dsmax.
This meant several things had to be done manually. Such as the unwrapping of the second UV channel. Unity does this for us, which is nice. However again, gives us less control on specific adjustments such as controlling the texel size per poly. This image shows what I mean:
If you look closely you can see that the center of the road ( what is on the screen all the time) has more UV space, and thus, more resolution which gives sharper shadows. The outersides of the track don't need as much resolution, because they never end up being on screen that big. This is not possible to control in Unity out of the box. You're only able to change the texel size per object, not by poly.
The specific colors of the lightmaps are done using gradient maps in photoshop. Gradient maps give accurate color control according to the greyscale value of the underlaying color. Using these gradientmap colored lightmaps in combination with a unlit lightmap shader in unity, we get the exact colors we want.