Graphical Feature Improvements


Here are a few graphical features I find lacking in Sansar.

1. Volumetric Lighting: currently the only way this effect is produced is from directional lights. Spot lights, however, are seemingly unaffected by environmental fog parameters. Allowing spot lights to illuminate fog the same way as directional lights would be an alluring improvement to the way we perceive and setup our lighting within our experiences, creating more believable depth and even theatrical lighting.

2. Screen-space/cubemap reflections: Screen Space Reflections are much cheaper to render, and don't look too bad as well. Cubemaps would require an environmental entity placed in the experience editor but however are more accurate with how materials behave when reflecting their environments, yet can be a little more expensive than SSR. Adding these features would improve texture quality immensely, and can be enabled/. Sansar features implementation of PBR shaders/materials, however the effect of these materials is lackluster --  roughness maps help define how smooth/rough our materials may be, and yet the reflections currently in Sansar are specular in nature. These "reflections"  perceive mainly lights and nothing else in their environment - not even the sky! (However the water shader appears to reflect some of its environment). Having a PBR workflow is somewhat pointless if these produced materials are not affected by their surrounding environments. For example, an asphalt road where rain has collected into puddles:

Not really attractive, is it? Just "white lights".

Here is the same material but rendered in an environment utilizing an HDRI image for lighting. Note that Sansar experiences seem to utilize HDRI in .exr formats (unless I'm mistaken for what the function of the skybox is), but do not affect materials! A significant difference can be seen.

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