Light AI

Magy Seif El-Nasr

Lighting design is an important topic of 3D scene design. There are many functions that lighting assumes in game environments, including directing attention, visibility, evoking emotions, setting atmosphere, and providing depth. Due to the unpredictability of interactive environments, current lighting design models do not adequately adapt the lighting to serve these aesthetic and communicative functions. In this paper, I will discuss the contributions of ELE (Expressive Lighting Engine) as an intelligent lighting control system that automatically adjusts the lighting to achieve aesthetic and communicative functions, including evoking emotions, directing visual focus, and providing visibility and depth in game environments. In particular, I present results from interfacing ELE to the Unreal 2.0 engine (used in Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004). These preliminary results show (1) enhanced control of lighting in an interactive environment to provide visual focus, set atmosphere, evoke emotions, and establish visibility, and (2) acceleration in the development process due to the introduction of an automated system for lighting that can be overridden by designers at a high-level, and thus eliminating the time consuming process of setting individual light parameters for each level and/or scene.

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