Friday, October 10, 2014

Dynamic Lighting for 2D games

A tool that automatically generates normal maps from sprites


While working on InDee Toons, I have discovered a way to create dynamic lighting information for 2D images.
After some pretty promising tests with Image Magick, the first prototype of Sprite DLight was born.
What initially started as a research on how to provide normal maps for my game characters, turned into an independent project that seems to be of interest to a lot of people.
2D games and pixel art combined with dynamic lighting appears to be an explosive mixture, because you can achieve wonderful atmospheric effects while maintaining the individual 2D art style.

I am developing the tool for Windows and Linux platforms and hope to show it on kickstarter soon.
The core feature of Sprite DLight is the generation of a normal map from one single sprite file as the input image.

While existing normal map generation tools need at least two additionally drawn lightmaps to produce a normal map (which can be painful when you want to use it with animated characters), Sprite DLight can be fed with already existing sprites and sprite sheets, reducing the effort needed to create the 3D information, to a few clicks.

An example of an input sprite from the game "Boot Hill Heroes" by Experimental Gamer, which is released on Steam today, and the resulting normal map, depth map, ambient occlusion map and specularity map generated by Sprite DLight:

Annotation: "Boot Hill Heroes" does not feature dynamic lighting (this should not prevent you from checking it out), but the artist kindly allowed me to use the sprites.

I am now looking for more nice art of different styles, depicting game characters, objects, trees and more, to demonstrate the effect of dynamic lighting and the quality of the automatically generated maps.
If you are interested in making a 2D game featuring normal mapped sprites, or if you would like to see your art with dynamic lighting - probably featured in my kickstarter video/page (of course with a reference to you and your copyright), please leave me a comment, use the contact form or email me.

Also be sure not to miss the updates here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

11 comments :

  1. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.
    Pendant Lights

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. responsive wordpress theme

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reach is a prequel to the hit series' Halo and was developed by Bungie. This anticipated game will be out in the fall of 2010 for the Xbox 360.http://trichefortnite.fr

    ReplyDelete
  4. We should probably reserve the term "game engine" for software that is extensible and can be used as the foundation for many different games without major modification.trichefortnite.fr

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cherish the way eminently every word is created with real change.
    Poker Indonesia

    ReplyDelete
  8. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. Jumpy Frog game

    ReplyDelete
  9. The game is as interesting as any other quiz games or online trivia games. Charades also improves IQ as it involves lot of mental exercise in form of guess works. Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wonderful illustrated information. I thank you about that. No doubt it will be very useful for my future projects. Would like to see some other posts on the same subject! Official Website

    ReplyDelete
  11. People often have trouble understanding the word "tradeoff", sure enough it's easy enough to understand as exchange but in today's corporate parlance it is meant as exchange of one commodity as a cost for another. I was playing Final Fantasy's Dissidia on the good old PSP yesterday when I marveled at the video games replay value, yes I have spent over 50 hours on it already, which is what this entire topic is all about. Normally if you look at the oldest games like Mario and Dave, they had one thing unanimously common, addiction to it.

    ReplyDelete

© 2015 2deegameart.com