The Great Fleece: Light Probes in Unity

Today I’m going to discuss Light Probes and show the basics of how to create and use them.

Light Probes pick up light from emissions and display them onto dynamic objects. So, for example, if an NPC walks by the desk in our scene with the bank of monitors, they will pick up the emissions from the monitors even though there is no actual light source in there.

Below I show how moving the dynamic sphere object picks up emissions lighting along the monitors and cube, which has its own emissions.

Now to create a Light Probe Group, I can Create > Light > Light Probe Group. Then I want to position the group by the desk.

The Light Probe Group can be expanded by selecting the Collider icon by Edit Light Probes.

Then the group can be duplicated to provide good coverage.

This will allow any dynamic object that goes through the probes to get illumination from the emissions of nearby objects.

The advantage of using probes is that you can have a large scene that appears to be many light sources but using a large grid of Light Probes, you would need only one light source. The image below shows this grid type even though there is only a single light source in the scene.

It may take a long time to get this many light probes set up in a scene. But when performance is needed with limited resources, it can save a great deal of overhead.

I hope you found this interesting. In the next article, I’ll show how to set up a skybox in the scene. Until then, I wish you all the best of luck in your coding journey.



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