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Dynamic light opacity slider player view


Edited 1391117783
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Adding a slider for dynamic light opacity for players to the sheet, the way the GM has one. Quite a few times I wanted to simulate night conditions, but not a "black out cant see anything" type darkness. If I could have had a player view slider, like the GM one, I could have done a "its almost pitch black, you can see, but just BARELY make anything out, outside your torch range". Currently the way it is there is no options other than "full bright, or cant see your hand in front of your face dark". Also would be GREAT for giving the impression of time passing on outdoor maps. Changing the opacity of the darkness every so often so it appears the sun is going down, and nighttime as set in (or vice versa). There is tons of creative ways it could be used if the level could be set for players. For example, when I have the GM layer set to around 98%, it looks MUCH better than what they players see. sometimes in complex setups of buildings and pillars, walls, etc. they get confused what is what with the solid black polygons shifting around as they move. Even that 2% difference on my view makes it so its 'too dark to see anything meaningful, but enough to get your bearings of whats going on"..having that slider each GM could set to his and his players taste. This is at 95%ish percent for GM view. <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> . Would be great to be able to do this for the players I would think it would be an easy addon, since we have the option for GM's already. would just be adding a slider that affects players instead. (perhaps even tie the 2 together for the GM to simplify it for when GM opacity is at 100% they see what the players would.) Being able make the players see it like this, as easy as it was for me to see it as GM like this would be a HUGE help:

Edited 1388958022
Forum Champion
You can simulate this by placing light sources with the dim light starting at 0. Example: 1000 / 0

Edited 1388968344
Sheet Author
API Scripter
True, that could work for land maps to simulate time progression, didn't think of that. But it still doesn't evenly create a light that way, you always have a 'fading ring of light' based around your light token. unless you make the first huge, like 100000/0 but then its not adjustable for brightness without reintroducing the obvious fading circle when lowerng the first number to dim it, and to get the middle of the map 'night level'. the edges are now black. :\ And it doesn't work if you have objects drawn on the dynamic lighting layer. it blocks all light from that direction. Like in my example pic above, the inside of the building would still be 100% black and anything behind it if 'force line of sight' was on.. because the walls would block the objects light. it would make it even more confusing for the players to make out what is what. Not to mention id have huge shadows coming from the direction of my 1000/0 light that wouldn't make sense to people looking at it :P
Forum Champion
You can use multiple tokens to eliminate the shadows problem.

Edited 1388979809
Sheet Author
API Scripter
True, but in large busy city maps with lots of dynamic light shapes on buildings it would need 50+ lights to cover all the buildings from all the angles to stop random unexplained shadows, and achieve something roll20 already does perfectly, and has coding for directly on the page settings, just no slider for applying it to the players :) Why I made a suggestion, not saying its not possible now, was suggesting a lot easier way to do it. What could take 30 minutes to do on complex maps, would take a few seconds to change on a slider. And also a lot less taxing on lower end machines. As it is now my players dislike dynamic lighted maps unless they are simple dungeons. the hard solid black shadows of void blackness shifting around on anything other than corners of hallways confuses them more than gives the impression of light and shadow. I sent them a image of what it would look like with a slight bit of transparency on it going "if I could do it like this for you I would"..and they wanted to see if Id suggest that. It came up on this map, here they had NO idea what they was looking at..since it was either they had light on them..or the rest of the world was a hollow void of black nothingness: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> vs this view I sent them so they could get an idea of what they was actually standing near outside, and they went "ohh yea! now it feels like we are there in a really dark night, and wandering around with flashlights: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> But then again maybe im the only one that would use it a lot, and not worth the effort of adding to the page as a slider.
Nah, I would like to see something like this as well. I have a huge variety of ideas for employing Dynamic Lighting, and this one looks like a great way to manage line of sight in cities. +1

Edited 1388980133
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Heck if they took addition donations for suggestions, Id donate a year or so worth of a months for mentor sub on top of my subscription now towards it myself :P Its the only thing I can really say of the features added so far to roll20 my players groan about when its used on complex maps. They love the idea, but the practice of it sometimes is lost in the darkness.
Forum Champion
To clarify: I was not commenting on your suggestion. My purpose is to help use the tools we already have available.

Edited 1389009950
Sheet Author
API Scripter
(opps delete and edit are next to each other...deleted above by accident) Ah I understand, wasn't dismissing them or brushing it off. Didn't mean to give that impression I'm using the large multiple hidden light idea you gave on a map for lighting now. Not perfect, but better than I was doing on having a day and night version (darkened in Photoshop) of the world map as 2 separate pages. Since it has no dynamic light walls. dont have to fight the shadows..and its lot better than 2 pages :)
Being able to reduce the dynamic lighting black color to say 80% would imitate a city. You would also be able to use the enforce line of sight to hide tokens on the map without creating the massive black shadows too.

Edited 1389074578
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Not sure if line of sight hides tokens Badger..think it just enforces blackness that covers them up, I suspect tokens and lighting layer dont interact..but that would be a cool future feature. Since then you COULD put the slider to 0% for players, so its full bright, but still enforce line of sight around drawn objects. So like in a city (or battle with a lot of things in the way) during the day they can only see whats in their LOS without having to constantly shift mobs to and from the GM layer on if they can see it around a building. (But that's probably a whole different can of worms for token visibility, and a new suggestion after/if they had a GM controlled player opacity slider, but we can dream cant we?)
William, I would like to second your request for a slider for dynamic light opacity for players. The gaping black voids currently used for shadows can be off-putting/visually distracting. It's a shame, as the dynamic lighting in Roll20 is so close to greatness. I've experimented with using multiple dim lights on the dynamic light layer:unfortunately this leaves a criss-cross of complex light and shade patterns on the screen as well as black voids where I've missed a spot. I guess all those lights will increase render times as well. If an opacity-control for player view is impossible for some reason then maybe the ability to put a huge dim light on the dynamic light layer that 'ignored' LOS obstructions on the dynamic lighting layer would do the trick. I'm not saying this is a good idea - in fact it sounds like a horrible bodge - I'm just trying to help out.
Dylan G.
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
+1. I agree with The Claw, the current blocky, deep-black shadows can be very distracting on maps where you want to enforce line of sight without giving the impression of deep night.
I can't agree with this more- this would hugely impact the quality of play imo. I've got a forest map meant for play at night right now, and it's simply infeasible to try to put enough dim lights around that there aren't weird shadows everywhere, and I've already been told by all of my players that the giant black voids are quite off-putting. This would be tremendously helpful, I really hope we can see this happen ASAP since, imo, it severely impacts play quality when using the dynamic lighting in complex environments.
+1 with me as well. I love the idea of a slider for an overall lighting effect to both help with navigation and better environment control.
+1 I dig this idea, players can make out the shapes of areas and barely see, while still being able to tell what is in "light", and its easy to swap tokens to the GM layer if those creatures are hiding or anything.
Gen Kitty
Forum Champion
+1 to this idea
+1, would love to see this.
instead of a slider for the darkness level, what about an ambient light level feature for just the map level? This might seem the same at first, but think about some things... 1 It would be nice to let them see more of the map, but you don't want to let them see where all the bad guys are.... and adding fog of war would defeat the point of letting them see the map... 2 if you want to have any kind of line of sight feature, you need to have some way to block certain things and not others....line of sight should block things only on the token level and the lighting level in a setup like this. 3... I had more points when I started, but I forgot because im too tired. good night.
+1 on either ambient light or "unlit area transparency" slider
+1 I would like this so that my players can see where they have been when used in conjunction with Fog of War - much like revealed map in a RTS. I agree, the black polygons that radiate out from behind objects, when in an outdoor setting in particular, can be confusing for players, to the point where they are more distracted than immersed..
jumping on the band wagon here, +1 to this as well =
Definitely tossing in my vote for this, as well.
+1 Had the same idea. It looks and feels like there`s nothing but abyss where you can`t see, until you move your character and whaddya know, you were actually in a house in the countryside and it`s the middle of the summer. :)
Treat your map like a movie scene. Think about lighting design, I put the sun on the corner of a map. Sometimes I will provide multiple lighting sources, and tuck them onto the GM layer and drop them in or out at need, Provide dime lights (N/0) and build shadows to darken areas where you want to hide something. I try to incorporate lighting design into the initial page design. Transform Dynamic into Dramatic when building. I put a moving moon, campfires and torches in this one for a large scale battle to welcome the players to the surface after being lost in the underdark for a while... .

Edited 1397953834
+1 Currently I use a semitransparent bubble, made tiny, as light sources. However, it'd be really nice if I could just adjust player opacity to allow some dimming of what the PCs can't currently see; on large maps the interaction of lightsources can be distracting. I can solve this by adding dynamic lighting obstructions, but that breaks the PC LoS. It also takes a long time to set everything up nicely on large or complex maps. It also leaves bright blotches where the source is. [edit] I just figured out that if you set the start of dim to -1 there's no blotch. It does make it hard to find your ambient source, though. Is there a way to make something invisible to players, but still shed light they can see?

Edited 1398135768
[edit] I just figured out that if you set the start of dim to -1 there's no blotch. It does make it hard to find your ambient source, though. Is there a way to make something invisible to players, but still shed light they can see? Well heck's bells. Nice work, Andrew. Thank you. Those "light bubbles" were making me even more crazy than usual. So +1 to your -1. You have successfully revolutionized my usage ov dynamic lighting, for the better. Now, as to the opacity dimmer? Yes please. Frankly, the pitch black is... well, too pitch black. It breaks immersion to have extremely harsh lines that go from lit--or dimly lit--to absolute zero. Additionally the suggestion to add more light sources... while I'm a huge fan of the person making the suggestion... is, truly not a realistic option for me--and believe me, I tried my best. One of my early dynamic lighting maps has around 40 light sources -- the shadows are still an absolute monstrosity. If I could just put up a dynamic lighting barrier to take the brightness from 100% to 50%, or (enter arbitrary non-zero-value here), my map would have needed around FOUR LIGHTS! (obligatory TNG reference) which would have both saved time and effort, all while providing a superior finished product. I will also save any and all comments about not being able to draw an arc over my curved walls for another post, but believe me, it was madness-inducing at times, as well. In short, combining Andrew L's trick with no dynamic layer barriers and limited lighting radii is as close as I can get to what I am looking for... but now I can't have "natural" lighting barriers, like walls -- so if I use this "mood lighting" my characters can all see through walls by default. I find this is a particularly "argh" point for my campaign development. In brief -- +1, or "please, oh plea-eeease add an opacity slider, controlled by the GM, for the players' dynamic lighting experience. " Thank you. [edit] al e. said: Sometimes I will provide multiple lighting sources, and tuck them onto the GM layer and drop them in or out at need, Great! Got a way to do this without copy/paste? Please share!, When I right-click/layer, I only get 3 options, Map, Token, and GM, layer. I cannot just drop tokens in and out of the dynamic lighting layer, further adding to my "Argh!" factor for creating and managing an immersive experience.
So, while I still think a slider is a good idea, Andrew's contribution was the catalyst that got me dimly lighting area's the way I wanted. That and my trick for turning lights on and off can now be found here: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>... Best of luck to everyone with their campaigns!
+1 I would like to throw in my support of there being a way to light (to different degrees) the map itself, rather than using tokens. Being able to define an area of the map in the dynamic lighting layer that is at a certain lighting level will reduce token clutter and improve performance. I have noticed that maps get to be very sluggish when you have 5-6 tokens emitting light per room (to get desired room lighting with pillars etc.) in a many room map.
+1. Would love the option to make entire rooms/sections of "well-lit" areas on a map illuminated. This way I wouldn't have to add 30 tokens on a map to simulate the same effect.
+1 This would be so nice to have.
What if you could just specify a light source to ignore "walls"? If i do a forest map during the day time, i still want my trees to cast a "void" behind them because the player can't actually see behind the tree. But i agree with having a "barely visible" area that is just too far away. Tho i would recommend you just jack up the players light source, through manipulation of the light radius and dim light (maybe automated with APIs) you can make some pretty good lighting transitions.
Hi I am a new mentor subscriber and I played the first game last night using dynamic lighting. As I was the ref I thought the lighting looked cool, but one of the players sent me a screen shot and it did not look quite as good. The issue was that the light is very 'hard' so you have very defined shadows which is very rare in the real world. Usually light bounces off many surfaces and creates a more diffuse light. I'm not suggesting a code change to have light bounce off things - this would be insane, but maybe along with the ambient light that has been discussed earlier (which is very good suggestion), having a slider for 'diffuseness' (is that even a word) would add to the realism of the lighting. We are playing a 1930's game and so the characters have hand torches (electric ones). To simulate this I can set the light to have an angle of 35 deg and it works, but again the light is very hard. A hand torch (especially in the 30's does not throw out a hard beam of light, but is diffuse at the edges. While we are on the subject a light shade slider would also be lovely. Currently a fire or flame torch produces the same colour of light as a lightbulb, and it would be great if the ref could change the tone of the light too. All that being said - the dynamic lighting is very cool and definitely adds to the game play by miles. Thanks! Iain