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Killzone: Shadow Fall dev demoes lighting technology

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Killzone: Shadow Fall is set to be a PlayStation 4 launch title, and developer Guerrilla Games recently demonstrated how it is taking advantage of the console's hardware capabilities for more realistic lighting, in a video captured by the Polish site GRY-Online.

Guerrilla is using a post-processing technique called image-based lighting, explained senior tech programmer Michal Drobot. Image-based lighting projects real-world illumination into a digital environment so it can be used to simulate lighting. But Drobot showed a scene lit with that technique and pointed out, "The whole scene is still lacking environmental reflections."

He then went through a number of rendering passes that the developers put together in order to create the proper reflections. Special care was taken to ensure that reflections showed up in a puddle of water, with real-time glossy reflections delivered with upsampling of a half-resolution ray trace pass. The final composite image takes all those elements into account — image-based lighting, reflections and sunlight bouncing off surfaces, the latter of which uses some "trickery" for double bounces.

Check out a story trailer for Killzone: Shadow Fall here.