Something useful I figured out relatively recently in Office Complex- not very important in and of itself, but it’s somewhat necessary to understanding something that is quite new:
Now, in Black Mesa fluorescent lights are typically blue-green (the ones I am familiar with are yellowish with a faint purple cast to them, but whatever). In Questionable Ethics that wasn’t really a problem because pretty much everything in the maps is some shade of blue and so the player’s eyes adjust, but Office Complex has that tan-yellow color for the walls and if the lights are saturated enough to not just show up as white they make the walls look horrible. Here’s some unfinished areas from B map- the brightness of the lights is OK (could be a little brighter, and will be for reasons I’m going to get to soon), but note how the blue-green light on the tan walls just sucks all the life and happiness out of the room?
Now, at first I tried adding constant* lights “underneath” these, with their color set to pure white, but it turns out that green plus white is still green. What you actually want are constant* lights with a color complementary to the one you’re trying to neutralize- for instance, since the flourescents have a light color of 198 234 255, I made the fill lights 57 21 0, decreased the saturation, and increased the brightness (the resulting color was 247 217 213).
This produces an effect like so:
You can still see
the blue-greenness of the fluorescent lights, but the walls and doors still “pop” as their yellowish-tan selves.
Typically, a good place to start is with the constant* lights about equal in brightness to the colored ones- tune both until the “auras” of the colored lights around the sources show up clearly, but the corners of the room are not too dim.
Increasing the saturation of the constant lights makes them more dominant, bringing out the walls and suppressing some of the effect of the main lights:
Similarly, decreasing the saturation of the constants* makes the room take on more the color of the main lights, at the expense of the walls:
Tune to taste.
*Technically, these are not constant lights at all- they’re something different that I’ll get into later. But for a roughly cubical room, constant lights would work.