Unity lighting

Perfect control for perfect lightmapping

Unity’s iterative lightmap baking gives you complete control of your lightmapping workflow. The integrated lightmapping tool, Beast, perfectly bakes lights into textures for amazing performance. You can opt to spend time baking only the parts of the scene you are actively working on. Coupled with the use of normal maps when lightmapping, and lower memory requirements for the bake process, it has never been faster or easier to add detail and nuance to your lightmapped scenes. Scenes with both normal maps and dual lightmapping (see next section) appear more polished, smoothing the visual transition between objects at far and near distances.

Dual lightmapping for vast scenes

Integrate your main characters naturally into your lightmaps with dual lightmapping. Dual lightmapping uses one lightmap for distant scenery, and a second lightmap for only bounce light. On objects in the foreground, Unity fades in realtime direct lighting on top of the bounce lightmapped geometry. This means you don't need huge lightmaps for online games and moving the fade distance is a perfect way to adjust to the end-user's hardware capabilities in realtime.

Make it glow just like life

Enhance lightmapped scenes with baked Global Illumination, sky lights and emissive materials. Create and then bake more diffuse, realistic, and attractive light effects into your scenes and textures that would otherwise be impossible in realtime.

Use light probes to bake lighting onto moving characters and other dynamic objects and save big on performance costs.

Awesome shadows on any platform

Add cool realism to your mobile games with real-time hard shadows from directional lights. For your Web, desktop and console games, create high-quality, real-time shadows for directional, spot and point lights. Objects can cast shadows onto each other and onto parts of themselves. Choose simple shadow options, such as Hard or Soft Shadows, or use Unity's tools to tweak your shadows for a more refined and subtle appearance.

Mobile Shadows

Bake Away

Once it's time to bake, simply pull up the lightmap pane and configure your settings, then hit "bake". Unity will kick off a background job, letting you continue your work while it's running. For full control you can specify a Beast configuration and tell Unity to use that – this way you can truly unlock the full range of esoteric options that Beast offers.

UV Unwrap

You don't need to unwrap your models manually unless you want to—Unity will do it just fine. We also handle packing; in your scene you can prioritize objects with full visualization of where your lightmap space is spent.

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