Lighting in video games (Unity)

This is partially linked in with the project that I’m working on in college, and its to do with the lighting.

Now other than, animations, textures, sfx etc. It’s nice to take into consideration lighting because it can drive the mood equivalently to other branches of aesthetics. I have some examples of what I mean and some technical how to’s, so let’s get started.

Lighting in my opinion can be done at the beginning of development during the blocking process to get a feel of how the game will look with lighting and as a positional placeholder in case you may want to edit lighting further or later into development.

Or leave lighting till later in the midst of development therefore you may get a sense of how it may affect textures or the idea of getting other assets out-of-the-way first such as environmental assets, scripting A.k.a ‘making the game work first’.

You choose…

I started my lighting at the starting point, positioned lights as placeholders throughout the rooms to get a sense of how it looked and felt. I needed that sense of ‘ancient tomb mixed with an Erie feeling’.

Then I took it a step further and mixed in the Post Processing & Realtime Global Lighting or ‘RGL’ for short.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above you can see the lights for the torches which have been shown before and after Post Processing, now besides the lights looking brighter alongside the room. Post processing also effects the cameras depth of field, add some vignette, colour tone etc.

RGL on the other hand has a slightly less controllable effect depending on what you’re trying to achieve for example. I have made a room with platforms and placed spotlights below mimicking atmospherics for environmental aesthetics. One photo has RGL, the other… not so much.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Although I do prefer the one without the effect as it does add that danger and gloominess in comparison to the other one looking like the ‘Be prepared’ song out of the Lion King, its nice to show the difference within the environment when it comes to lighting.

Going back to the shot of the starting room, you can see that the sphere shape is a different tone! Maybe a different material? Nope… the reason for the colouring is that Real time Global Lighting does not affect animated assets and I highly suggest using it only on static assets and to do this. click on any static object like a wall and in the inspector, click on the static option to classify that the object will be constantly Idle.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s