Legacy Documentation: Version 2018.2 (Go to current version)
Global Illumination
Using precomputed lighting
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Unity provides two distinct techniques for precomputing global illumination (GI) and bounced lighting. These are Baked Global Illumination and Precomputed Realtime Global Illumination. The Enlighten lighting system provides solutions for both.

To find the following settings, navigate to Unity’s top menu and go to Window > RenderingThe process of drawing graphics to the screen (or to a render texture). By default, the main camera in Unity renders its view to the screen. More info
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> Lighting.

Property: Function:
Realtime Global Illumination Makes Unity calculate and update lighting in real time. For more information, see documentation on Realtime Global Illumination, and the Unity tutorial on Precomputed Realtime GI.
Lighting Mode Specifies which lighting mode to use for all mixed lights in the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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. Options are Baked Indirect, Distance ShadowmaskA version of the Shadowmask lighting mode that includes high quality shadows cast from static GameObjects onto dynamic GameObjects. More info
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, ShadowmaskA Texture that shares the same UV layout and resolution with its corresponding lightmap. More info
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, and Subtractive.
LightmapperA tool in Unity that bakes lightmaps according to the arrangement of lights and geometry in your scene. More info
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Specifies which internal lighting calculation software to use to calculate lightmapsA pre-rendered texture that contains the effects of light sources on static objects in the scene. Lightmaps are overlaid on top of scene geometry to create the effect of lighting. More info
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in the Scene. The options are Progressive and EnlightenThe lighting system by Geomerics used in Unity for computing global illumination (GI). More info
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. The default value is Progressive; set it to Enlighten to use the system described in this page. If you want to use the Progressive system, see documentation on the Progressive Lightmapper.
Indirect Resolution This property is only available when Realtime Global Illumination is enabled. Use this value to specify the number of texels per unit to use for indirect lighting calculations. Increasing this value improves the visual quality of indirect light, but also increases the time it takes to bake lightmaps. The default value is 2. See the Unity tutorial on Realtime Resolution for details about Indirect Resolution.
Lightmap Resolution Specifies the number of texels per unit to use for lightmaps. Increasing this value improves lightmap quality, but also increases bake times. The default value in a new Scene is 40.
Lightmap Padding Specifies the separation (in texel units) between separate shapes in the baked lightmap. The default value is 2.
Lightmap Size The size (in pixels) of the full lightmap texture, which incorporates separate regions for the individual object textures. The default value is 1024.
Compress Lightmaps Compresses lightmaps so that they require less storage space. However, the compressionA method of storing data that reduces the amount of storage space it requires. See Texture Compression3D Graphics hardware requires Textures to be compressed in specialised formats which are optimised for fast Texture sampling. More info
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, Animation CompressionThe method of compressing animation data to significantly reduce file sizes without causing a noticable reduction in motion quality. Animation compression is a trade off between saving on memory and image quality. More info
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, Audio Compression, Build Compression.
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process can introduce unwanted visual effects into the texture. This property is checked by default.
Ambient OcclusionA method to approximate how much ambient lighting (lighting not coming from a specific direction) can hit a point on a surface. More info
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Opens a group of settings which allow you to control the relative brightness of surfaces in ambient occlusion. Higher values indicate a greater contrast between the occluded and fully lit areas. This only applies to the indirect lighting calculated by the GI system. This property is enabled by default.
Max Distance Sets a value to control how far the lighting system casts rays in order to determine whether or not to apply occlusion to an object. A larger value produces longer rays and contributes more shadows to the lightmap, while a smaller value produces shorter rays that contribute shadows only when objects are very close to one another. A value of 0 casts an infinitely long ray that has no maximum distance. The default value is 1.
Indirect Contribution Use the slider to scale the brightness of indirect light (that is, ambient light, or light bounced and emitted from objects) in the final lightmap, from a value between 0 and 10. The default value is 1. Values less than 1 reduce the intensity, and values greater than 1 increase it.
Direct Contribution Use the slider to scale the brightness of direct light from a value between 0 and 10. The default value is 0. The higher this value is, the greater the contrast applied to the direct lighting.
Final Gather Enable this if you want Unity to calculate the final light bounce in the GI calculation at the same resolution as the baked lightmap. This improves the visual quality of the lightmap, but at the cost of additional baking time in the Editor.
Ray Count Defines the number of rays emitted for each final gather point. The default value is 256.
Denoising Applies a de-noising filter to the Final Gather output. This property is checked by default.
Directional Mode You can set up the lightmap to store information about the dominant incoming light at each point on the surfaces of your GameObjectsThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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. See documentation on Directional Lightmapping for further details. The default mode is Directional.
Directional In Directional mode, Unity generates a second lightmap to store the dominant direction of incoming light. This allows diffuse normal-mapped materials to work with the GI. Directional mode requires about twice as much storage space for the additional lightmap data. Unity cannot decode directional lightmaps on SM2.0 hardware or when using GLES2.0. They fall back to non-directional lightmaps.
Non-directional In Non-directional mode, Unity does not generate a second lightmap for the dominant direction of incoming light, and instead stores all lighting information in the same place.
Indirect Intensity Controls the brightness of the indirect light that Unity stores in real-time and baked lightmaps, from a value between 0 and 5. A value above 1 increases the intensity of indirect light, and a value of less than 1 reduces indirect light intensity. The default value is 1.
Albedo Boost Controls the amount of light Unity bounces between surfaces by intensifying the albedo of Materials in the Scene, from a value between 1 and 10. Increasing this draws the albedo value towards white for indirect light computation. The default value is 1, which is physically accurate.
Lightmap Parameters Unity uses a set of general parameters for the lightmapping in addition to Lighting window properties of the. A few defaults are available from the menu for this property, but you can also use the Create New option to create your own lightmap parameter file. See the Lightmap Parameters page for further details. The default value is Default-Medium.

See the Precomputed Realtime GI tutorial to learn more about Enlighten optimizations.

Progressive Lightmapper added in 2018.1 NewIn20181

2017–05–18 Page published with limited editorial review

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Global Illumination
Using precomputed lighting