Lighting Fundamentals

Lighting Basics #

There are some differences in how Lighting is configured in Unity depending on which rendering system we have the project set to. This page assumes the “default” setup, as opposed to the Universal Render Pipeline (URP) or High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP).

This video touches on how lightmaps work, but does not fully explain how to set up your scene with them. I imply it’s as simple as hitting the “static” checkbox, but that’s more being glib than aiming for precision. The below video on Lightmaps goes into detail on lightmapping and “Global Illumination”, and is a necessary follow-up.

Look over the Unity Manual page on Lighting for clarification of terms.

Realtime Lighting is also called “Dynamic” lighting.

Light Components #

Lightmaps #

This video does a good job explaining many vocabulary terms of more advanced topics. Even if we won’t get into many of these advanced lighting topics until later, having an understanding of the vocabulary will be extremely helpful while continuing to learn Unity development as your explore other resources.

I recommend the “GPU” lightmapper over the “CPU” lightmapper for computers that have dedicated graphics cards.