Creating the Lighting for Resistance: Fall of Man
The Process: So who decides what gets lit and how? It depends on the level. The overall look and feel will usually be based on the early sketches that the Concept Artists created. They develop a style that will go a long way towards visually describing the feel of different areas.
Then there's the Art Director, in our case the fearless Chad Dezern, who will make sure that there's continuity through the different levels while still having a variety of different times of day, and will approve the color palettes, lighting scenarios and general look of the whole game.
Sometimes it will be dependant on the Level Designer who will want to have some very specific areas lit in a certain way to enhance game play. For instance, an area with no lighting at all, where you've got to use your flashlight, or an area with low lighting that enables you to sneak around more. These areas will be conveyed in the docs and level maps.
So when a level is assigned to me for lighting, I'll look at the concept sketches for the level and do a preliminary lighting pass, just to set the brightness, contrast, and color for the level. The Art Director will take a look at the first lighting and make suggestions for any tweaks that need to be made. Then as I make my way through the level, I'll check the docs and maps to see if there are any game play-specific lighting requests from the designers.
View of the town from a bombed-out structure. Level Designer: Drew Murray
Environment Artists: Don Creger, Steve Ratter, Kory Hagney, Tom Breeden.
On the mix of the Chimeran architecture and the existing structures, Kory said "These levels were also difficult to pull off because there are so many views of the overhead Chimeran architecture from so many angles. It was hard to make this stuff feel like the Chimerans just placed it where they needed it regardless of the Human architecture, while maintaining the locations that Design wanted placed and keeping the number of new assets to a minimum. I also ran this stuff in a few other levels which actually called for it to be interactive."
Here's the lighting by itself.
I like the gloomy, oppressive feel from these old buildings, most of which are in the shadow of Chimeran structures.
Snow drifts line the streets here.
A scene from the game in this area.
A dilapidated train station lobby. Level Designer: Ken Strickland
Environment Artists: Kory Hagney, Don Creger, Tom Breeden.
Concept sketch of lobby by Rolf Mohr.
The lighting alone.
Massive Chimeran machinery in the snow. Level Designer: Jack Mayer
Environment Artists: Chris Capili, Marcus Lull, Don Creger, Kory Hagney.
Chimeran architecture concept sketch by Brian Yam.
Chimeran structures high overhead seen through the fog.
Another concept sketch by Brian Yam, showing a distant shot of the city and the encroachment of Chimeran architecture.