We have some new screenshots meant to illustrate what the new deferred lighting system will do for IL-2: Great Battles and the skin artists that create all kinds of custom schemes for the aircraft in the sim. Let’s have a look!
Subtle but noticeable
ICDP, one of the more prolific skin artists in the community and also a member of the IL-2 testing team has posted a few screenshots meant primarily for skin artists to see what the differences are between skins from pre-deferred lighting and post-shading implementation. It may be more useful to skin artists but this is a great chance for us to see the same scenes side by side.
First up we have the P-51D Mustang. The old lighting system offers a very glossy look to them and while I think it already looks really good, the new deferred lighting system blends some of the hard contrast giving the bare metal a little more even lighting.
In another example, we have the MiG-3 (with its new 4K skins) and here we can also see the deferred lighting offering up less hard edges on the reflections and instead offering a more diffuse look. Note the reflection on the engine cowling from the black propeller.
We also get a sense of what it’s like in motion as ICDP reports the following as it pertains to skin artists:
So there’s a bit of a conundrum for skinners. We spend a long time fussing over getting the alpha layers just right. I won’t lie to you, this new reflection and lighting system WILL most likely change how all the work you painstakingly done looks. It’s unlikely to break it as the difference is “mostly” subtle but for me, when I saw it in action I genuinely didn’t care that I have a lot of tweaking to do. It really does look worth it in sim. So when i said it will make your work look different, it may do so in a good way. Camouflaged skins are much improved with the wet look removed. Bare metal skins no longer have the chrome mirrored look. Obviously this will upset some people but to me they look much more realistic for wartime aircraft.ICDP on the IL-2 forums
Sounds good to me!
This is just the start
Deferred shading offers many more possibilities including the effects above but also better diffuse lighting in lit and unlit areas of aircraft, the already talked about cockpit and canopy reflections, gauge reflections, and lots of environmental effects too.
The above images are just a small look at what will probably be a much bigger change to the series over time.