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Welcome to the Blog, where I'll be posting progress updates, work-in-progress screenshots, information about the progress I'm making with active projects, as well as anything else I feel is worth mentioning. Hopefully more frequent updates here will make the wait for upcoming releases more bearable! News from 2008, all the way back to 2001, can be found in the News Archive. YouTube ChannelMy openBVE videos and other comments from users and myself can also be found via my YouTube channel.

Blog and Progress Updates

Lighting, Shading and Contrast

Posted by Anthony Bowden on 20th November 2008 at 9:00 pm

In this first entry, I’m going to talk about shadows, contrast and realism. Recently, I’ve been playing around with improved shadows and lighting effects, which are now possible thanks to » openBVE’s « support for daytime/nightime texture transitions, as well as support for alpha-enabled PNG images which can be used as textures. Michelle and I briefly discussed time-of-day texture transitions and headlight glow effects recently, and it occured to me that not only could a glow effect be achieved with openBVE’s extended commands, but soft shadows could also be created. In these two screenshots of the Class 323 EMU on Cross-City South, you can see how these openBVE capabilities facilitate a rather nice effect in-game, which I feel adds to the visual quality and immersiveness considerably:

openBVE screenshotopenBVE screenshot

A while ago, » Daniel Beardsmore « and I were discussing my Watford Junction to Rugby screenshots, and that while they looked good, there was just something… not quite right about them. He hit the nail on the head when he mentioned contrast–which is simply too low in my textures–resulting in a somewhat washed out appearance to many of the scenes:

openBVE screenshot

While helping with some of the » now resolved « openBVE plugin compatibility issues recently, I spent some time enjoying… sorry, testing… the rather stunning Japanese » ATS-Sn/P Test Route «, and afterwards, the deficiency in my own textures became even more obvious, as the ATS-Sn/P Test route’s textures have greater contrast and more shading, creating a much richer and more realistic and compelling visual experience, despite both routes using photo-realistic textures:

openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot

The effect of shadows and contrast is also shown to good effect in the Joetsu Border and South routes (available here: » «):

openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot

Adding better shadows to Watford Junction to Rugby helps considerably, although I need to up the contrast further still, particularly in the vegetation textures, and add more shading to the track textures:

openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot openBVE screenshot

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