3D Level Design: 4 Light Types

Intro

In this article, we are going to discuss the 4 different lights, their properties and their use in the Universal Render Pipeline (URP).

Above is a quick explanation of each light type from Unity’s documentation.

Directional Light

When positioning the directional light think of the rotational values as the time of day.

0/360° = Evening

90° = Noon

180° = Morning

270° = Night

These values are based on rotation around the X-axis and the values will change depending on the orientation of your scene and the axis you are rotating around. The values above are used in the example below.

Point Light

Below is the description of a point light from Unity.

This light is like a light bulb that can be given a position and will omit light in all directions.

You may have to change a few of the properties to see the effects of a point light. My lighting setting is not in real-time, my graphics card is not fast enough, so my mode will have to be Mixed (of real-time and baked) and we cannot generate shadows.

Below you will see the range of the point increase, the intensity increase and the color change.

Spot Lights

Below is the description of a spot light from Unity.

The spot light doesn’t omit light in all directions like the point light, but only omits light in a range from 0° — 180°. The spot light is able to produce shadows when in Mixed mode unlike the point light.

In the example below, we start the spot light with a high intensity. We adjust the range of the light and the angle of the light, along with the color. Lastly, we lower the intensity. These are the lighting properties, but there are also shadow properties we could adjust if we wanted to. I will post the properties for all the lights at the end of the article.

Area Lights

Below is the description of an area light from Unity.

Light Settings

Listed below are the different settings for the 4 lights. Some may not be available depending on the type of light.

Shadow Settings

Listed below are the different shadow settings for the 4 lights. Some may not be available depending on the type of mode you are using for the lights (real-time, baked or mixed).

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