FAQ of Light Map Maker  



What is Light Map Maker? 

Light Map Maker is a power software tool that helps you to create compelling lighting effects. LMM is a independent program. It's not a plug-in. It's a tool for real-time 3D developers (not only game but also web3d, product display, etc.). LMM's main feature is the addition of realistic lighting to real-time 3D scenes. LMM now supports importing/exporting of some popular 3D formats; so it's compatible with most game development software and 3D designer (e.g. 3D Studio Max, Maya, lightwave,etc).

What can I do with it? 
You can build expectative real-time 3D landscapes, that can widely be used for:

How does it work? 
First, prepare the model. Model is lit object - a house for instance. Models can be modeled in 3dsmax(export plug-in provided), or other modeling programs. Secondly, import the model into Light Map Maker (which supports 3DS,OBJ,D3D X,AC3D,Morfit World...), then position lights in it (or you can write a plug-in to import lights). Now you can compute lighting effects with Light Map Maker, synchronously generating light map Texture Coordinates, and saving lighting data to bitmap. And presto! You are using pretty light maps in your own program (Export to 3DS,VRML,X,Morfit World...). For details, read the manual!

What are the system requirements? 
Light Map Maker runs on Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows ME.
You will need a 3-D accelerator card and be sure DirectX 8.1 is installed (or a later version).

Questions from dear users:

Q: Is there a way to improve the quality of the lightmap?
A: The quality of lightmap is determined by surface's Patch Size, smaller Patch Size leads to a better quality lightmap, every surface have it own PatchSize. There are several ways to change PatchSize: (1)Select surfaces, and in "Surface" of Properties Panel, change Patch Size edit box. ((2).In Light Map Option Dialog (Main Menu:Option->Light map), change Sample Spacing, this will change all surfaces's Patch Size. (3).In Light Map Option Dialog make Lightmap Number >0, so LMM automatically optimizes all Patch Size surfaces.

Q :I set Sample Spacing to 1 but my lightmap is still ugly.
A: One rule is that a single lightmap can't be bigger than lightmap resolution. For example, if  lightmap's resolution is 256 x 256 but the surface (e.g. a wall) size is 512 x 400, the actually Patch Size of wall is 2 (=512/256) . You can visually view the surface's Patch Size by turn on Light Map Information (View->Selected Object->Light Map Information).

Q: I tried rendering with radiosity and it froze my machine.
A: In most cases it's not really frozen. Radiosity is notorious slow but go to  the radiosity option in Light Map Option Dialog:
1) Set "Render resolution" to lowest
2) Turn on "Curtness Mode"
3) Select a small surface in your scene to radiosity to see whether your system is actually frozen.

Q: The radiosity calculation uses only 30 to 60% of my CPU, and only use 6Mb of RAM ?!!
A: The reason for this is that radiosity uses your 3D accelerator card to render, so there's little load on your CPU. But no much help for save radiosity calculation time in faster 3D Card, because the bottleneck is Get Render-Data From Video Memory, on the other hand, the bigger scene will not debase performance much. (but amazed fast work with PCI-Express 3D Card )

Q: Imported scenes redraw very slowly.
A: LMM selects all imported objects,  to make manipulating them possible. Simply press "N" to select none to solve this. Or turn off the display of  the Axis Markers (View- >Selected Object- >Reference Frame).

Q: When use very huge or small unit to express geometry in my scenes ,work is unwell in LMM, what can I do?
A: In Miscellaneous Option (Option->Miscellaneous), change measure  to fit your geometry size.

Q: Why lighting seems leak in radiosity compute sometime?

in a close box, lighting seems leak.

A: This problem always occurs when geometry is small and measure is set to big. In fact, this problem is caused by that  Near Clipping Plane is too far. To avoid this effect, change the value of Near Clipping Plane to smaller in Miscellaneous Option dialog.

   no brightness within the close box, lighting is well.

More questions? Don't hesitate to contact us at techsupport@awingsoft.com, we are glad to answer all your queries.