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Light Map Maker - creates lighting effects

creates lighting effects Light Map Maker is a powerful tool for real-time 3D developers, it's main feature is adding realistic lighting to real-time 3D scenes. It's robust lighting utility support ray tracing lighting, realistic radiosity lighting, and caustics, mirror... Light Map Maker can creates compelling lighting effects quickly. Although easy and simple it is a fully professional application for game and simulation creation. By using it, you can easily achieve professional lighting in real-time 3D scenes. It also has geometry processing and light map tailoring (finding disorganized triangles to surfaces). This ability is especially useful for those scenes modeled with the standard 3D programs (3dsmax, maya, etc). The resultant lighting data can be directly saved to BMP or Radiance files, or outputted to custom format file through Export-Plugins. So read this following manual and get to the fun fastest.

Light Map Maker provides a SDK(c++) for importing/exporting various data; now supports some popular 3D formats; so it's compatible with most game development software.
Software Information System Requirements
  • Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
  • Pentium II CPU
  • 64 MB RAM
File Size:2.05 MB
Screenshot:View Screenshot
Download:Click to Download
Rating :

3D FormatImportExport
D3D XYesYes
Morfit WorldYesYes
Terragen TerrainYes/
Wavefront OBJYes /
    This section introduces some of the concepts that Light Map Maker uses to describe 3d components.
    A vertex is a single point in 3d space. It's specified by three coordinates x, y and z.
    A basic unit, composed of a mesh, determined by three vertices.
    A triangle list.
    A series of connected triangles; all triangles in one plane. You can consider it a special mesh.
    A Mesh, but unlike Surface, not requiring all triangles to be coplanar. Terrain is used to represent outdoor scenes because usually the area of triangles is much greater in outdoor scenes, so the lighting for "Terrain" is not base surface, but vertices. This reduces the file size of the lighting data.
    A Mesh for those movable objects in scenes. Mobile can has it's Material. You not need (couldn't) calculating mobile's lighting, because it's lighting is realtime. Mobile is a helper for casting shadow, radiosity bake and caustics.
    Materials describe how polygons reflect light or appear to emit light in a 3-D scene. Essentially, a material is a set of properties that explain the following things about the polygons it is rendering.
    1. How they reflect ambient and diffuse light
    2. What their specular highlights look like
    3. Whether the polygons appear to emit light
    Lights are used to illuminate objects in a scene. The current version of Light Map Maker employs three types of lights: point lights, spotlights, and directional lights.
    Point Lights:
    Point lights have color and position within a scene, but no single direction. They radiate light equally in all directions. Point Lights are also sometimes called omni lights. A light bulb is a good example of a point light. Point lights are affected by attenuation and range. Attenuation controls how a light's intensity decreases toward the maximum distance specified by the range property. Light Map Maker applies the following formula to calculate light attenuation over distance for point lights and spotlights (directional lights don't attenuate).

    In this attenuation formula, A is the calculated total attenuation and D is the distance from the light source to the sample point. Attenuation0, Attenuation1, and Attenuation2 values are the light's attenuation constants.
    Spotlights have color, position, and a direction in which they emit light. Light emitted from a spotlight is made up of a bright inner cone and a larger outer cone, with the light intensity diminishing between the two. A flashlight is a example of a spot light. Spotlights are affected by falloff, attenuation, and range. The light parameter Theta controls the inner cone, Phi controls outer cone, and Falloff controls the light intensity graduations from inner cone edge to outer cone.
    Directional Lights:
    Directional lights have only color and direction, not position, are not affected by attenuation or range. They emit parallel light. This means that all light generated by directional lights travels through a scene in the same direction. Imagine a directional light as a light source at near infinite distance, such as the sun. Light Map:
    A light map is a texture or group of textures that contains information about lighting in a 3D scene.
    Patch Size:
    Describes sample space of lighting calculation on surface. Smaller patch sizes carry more detailed lighting, but increase light map size.
    A surface that has Reflection property
Light Map Maker Operation
  • Load or Import Mesh (surface, light), automatically generate surfaces by program.
    There are two ways to input meshes:
    (1) Select Load Mesh... or Append Mesh... from the File menu and use the standard Windows file open dialog that appears, open a (.tri) file. (.tri) file can be produced through exporting from other 3D modeling software. The current version of Light Map Maker offers a export plug-in for 3dsmax4("max4triexp.dle") which can be found in Light Map Maker's "otherplugins" folder. You must copy it into 3dsmax's plugins folder if want to use it.
    (2) Select Import... from the File menu, and get mesh data (for any file format with a corresponding plug-in from LMM's plugins folder). The current version of Light Map Maker offers a import plug-in for Direct3D X files (More Plugins). Its source can be found in LMM's "source" folder. You can modify it implement other formats.
  • Position the lights, compute lighting, and adjust to taste, and just hit Start!
    Now there are some surfaces in your scene, the next step is to add lights. To create a light, click on the "Create" button at the toolbar, then left-click in view window. You can now modify any light's properties in control panel (default on the left), and can also move/rotate/scale lights by clicking the corresponding button on the toolbar and dragging in the view window. Finally choose Calculate Light Maps... from the Edit menu (or press F9). Then wait a moment for the lighting effect to appear in your viewport.
  • Export your finished file.
    Select Save Light Maps... from the File menu. You can save the light map images to bitmap format. Select Export... from the File menu. You can export scene data that way. The current version of Light Map Maker offers a plug-in to convert exported scene data to ASCII format (.txt, .tse). If you want to export to own format, you could write a custom plug-in; a sample of which can be found in Light Map Maker's "source" folder. Export your new LMM generated surfaces, lights and light map images for easy use in your realistic real-time 3D scenes.

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