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The Last of Us 2 environments

polycounter lvl 10
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melviso polycounter lvl 10
I have been wondering about the environments in the Last of Us 2 and the amount of detail in them is astonishing. I am not sure what game engine Naughty Dog is  using but I wonder if dynamic light is being used at all in the game apart from the torches used to light dark areas in the game. The shadows on the very large terrain from the buildings, are they static light baked or dynamic light, cascaded shadows? I think they are probably lighting interior lit areas with stationery lights because of character movements or is there another tech at play here.

Would really appreciate any input from devs as well as artists here. In games, are dynamic lighting used for casting shadows for terrains or static lighting is preferred. Also I noticed there weren't load times from the videos on youtube ( don't have time to play, busy with work).


  • ZacD
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    ZacD sublime tool
    For the flash lights in Uncharted 4 and the first Last of Us, they used a point light that sampled the color of whatever it hit to add some fake GI. 
  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 10
    Interesting points guys, Still trying to find more info of their tech but can't find much. Saw this though:

    Why are they so hush hush about the engine they are using. The lighting on the characters looks very good. I would say their environments are among the best I have seen. Everything looks cohesive, like they have been lived in and every object, asset seems to tell their own story. 
    Looking forward to what they do with next generation tech.

  • zachagreg
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    zachagreg ngon master
    Its hush hush because these major companies spend a lot of time and money on developing tools, software and unique workflows that give them an edge on competitors. It's proprietary knowledge that devs couldn't break even if they wanted to without being under NDA. A lot of higher ups I would imagine can't talk about it until legal clears everything through regardless. Expect to see some insight into the tech at the next GDC or Siggraph though.

    It's really only the smaller studios and indie studios that do those massive tech breakdowns of their work so close to their game release. I would assume that is very much in line with their audience as well. The indie dev community feeds into itself quite well and pushing out tech presentations and videos of breakdowns can give you a lot of free marketing. You of course do see smaller portioned breakdowns at GDC or Siggraph but they're not as all encompassing as you might think. Even some of the larger breakdowns that Guerilla likes to do and publish are a fraction of whats going on and doesn't allow someone or some company to copy their systems/software.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe veteran polycounter
    ^^ that. 
    Also there's often very little of interest you can say with proprietary engines - if you were to implement a system in unreal or unity you could break down the process and usage in a way that's meaningful to people bit if it's your own engine, only the very broadest strokes of the design  will be transferable somewhere else.
  • another caveman
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    another caveman greentooth
    Loving the 'simplicity' and yet crazy beauty of this game.. Running on a standard ps4 and it's a crazy experience so far.

    I find lighting to be really different from anything I've seen.. Sometimes wondering if some scenes could have a lighting first pass captured with photogrammetry (or similar / photo projections ?) and then re-composed over it ? Feels so smooth overall

    edit: seems like getting back to normal after the game introduction and first level(s)
  • Broadcast
    we just got served
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