{TUTORIAL} Crowd and Arena Lightings Tutorial/GUIDE/TIPS

NOTE! This arena tutorial was made by rtomb_03. This will guide you how you can edit arena lightings like sportshub and buzz do.. 

This guide is compatible for 2K23, 2K22, 2K21 and 2K20


rtomb: Its long overdue, since 2k19/2k20 a lot of people asking how to make the crowd brighter or darker or the whole arena itself.. We don't have a New-Gen gameplay and graphics on PC, but at least we can replicate or imitate the looks of New-Gen graphic wise or a Realistic approach. as PC is capable enough to handle what the New-Gen consoles can. I made a small tips/pointers on how to edit the arena, especially the crowds for lighting modders and this part are always overlooked.

Here are 3 samples/scenarios of edited crowds (and arena).

crowd_lighting.FxTweakables only

American Airlines Center - Dallas Mavericks

use Hex editor can edit the crowdfx
big thanks to Santicruyff for the pointers.

000001ec - overall brightness multiplier
00000180 - lower section (near court) brightness/darkness
0000027c - overall color balance (hue)
000001a4 - color balance
000001c8 - shadow

(this method will work on a lot of arenas including retros)

crowd_lighting.FxTweakables and crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds

Crypto.Com Arena - LA Lakers

Lakers "Lights Out" is known since 2006, were lights were out at seating areas.

this "lights out "effects cant be achieve thru crowdfx. only, even you set the hex value to the lowest or darkest, the crowds on 3-level suites are still well lit . You need to edit the crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds to solve the issue. here is the sample of edited crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds I made last year which still work on 2k20-23.

same as crowdfx you can use Hex editor to edit the crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds.

As you notice, to compare with 2k default seatpixel the difference between modded on 00000000 until 00063260, as this area controls the upper sections until the lower suite sections of the arena. (note: all crowd_seats_pixels are unique in every arena, they have different configurations/arrangements)

➤  Scenario 3
crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds only
(you can edit the crowd_lighting.FxTweakables to balance the color etc.)

Chase Center - Golden State Warriors

As we notice on default 2k Chase Center has dark crowd starts on mid of lower section (100 level in general).. Again, the crowd_lighting.FxTweakables is not enough to edit this.
I edit the crowd_seats_pixel.***.dds of s019.iff for the entire crowds to look more realistic.

all Arena lighting (walls, steps etc.) can be done through lightmaps. the darker the lightmap, it creates the lighter effects, vice-versa.

fog effects can be added thru PostEffect.FxTweakables.
you can see the tutorial here LINK by Santicruyff

No Reshade on all screenshots

Original Post form rtomb_03 - NLSC