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Old 08-07-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
Default Ambient Light 12?

Hi all,

I note that the default setting for "Ambient Light" in Orbiter is 12 but that makes things really dark for me. Unless the sun is shining on a space ship such as one of the Shuttle Fleet they look almost black against a black sky and therefore pretty hard to see.

Now I do understand the whole idea of ambient light, and the fact that the Sun is the source of most of our light compared to, say, the stars or reflected light off Earth or the Moon. However, is 12 realistic?

As I'm all for realism I'm tempted to leave it at 12 but if this is regarded as too low by anyone even from a realism point of view, I'd be interested to know what you think the most realistic value should be.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:18 PM   #2

When only in space I think 0 looks the most realistic and prefer that. During atmospheric operations I sometimes choose 32 or perhaps higher to simulate major light pollution. It can really vary for certain moniters.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
Not funny anymore
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Currently, it is a good compromise. If we would have Earthshine rendering, ambient light level 0 would be more realistic.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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In reality there's no averaged, omnipresent and omnidirectional light that's called 'ambient' in computer graphics.

In reality there is a phenomenon called indirect lighting that is obviously location-dependent. 'Global Illumination' is a class of very demanding algorithms that approximate indirect lighting, but are still expensive to be computed in real-time. (That situation is improving slowly, though.) There is also a number of 'fakes', like SSAO. They may do wonders but have nothing in common with the actual physics.

In reality there's a huge dynamic range of light intensity values (esp. in space!) that cannot be properly represented without a specialized (experimental) display.

So forget about realism in real-time computer graphics until after, say, 5 years.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:37 AM   #5

Whatever value looks best for you is what it is, and, since there's no setting in real life, no value could be called 'realistic'.
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