why does the graphics rendering of night scenes more demanding than day scenes in games?

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This may not apply in all games but I’ve played some games with day/night cycles, but overall the experience I got was that most of the time, when during night time, the game had FPS drops lower than day time. For example, I played NFS Heat and I get around 30 fps at day. When I play at night, for some unknown reason for me, it drops about 5-10 fps at most. It’s a very shallow question I know, but I would love to get an answer from y’all since this has been one of those things you can’t really shake off your mind

In: Technology

It most likely has something to do with how the game handles reflections and shadows, but this will vary greatly on a game by game bases.

I would guess it has to do with the number of light sources in night vs day. Daylight is usually just a single sun source, whereas the night scenes have a ton of different color neon lights and stuff. They *should* bake a light map so that its less intensive but I think those games like to use a lot of dynamic sources that will change reflection bounces based on movement in the scene rather than being statically painted. You should be able to lower graphics settings to get less dynamic lighting (look for a setting like Global Illumination or something along that line)

As others have mentioned, it has to do with lighting, however it has to complexity of the scenes. At night artificial light is the main source of light most of the time, which means many different light sources and harsher shadows, and to make those shadows look better you need more rays to project to get a decent outline of a 3D model. Also there’s just more light sources to calculate and make shadows for.

Then you get into thinks like ambient occlusion, some games calculate this on the fly which also takes more processing power with more light sources.

Tl;Dr, lights take a lot to render well.

It’s not just the gaming system. Plasma, LCD, LED, Oled monitors all take a lot more processing power to create black.