Version: 2018.4
Flare
Trail Renderer

Line Renderer

Switch to Scripting

The Line Renderer component takes an array of two or more points in 3D space, and draws a straight line between each one. A single Line Renderer component can therefore be used to draw anything from a simple straight line to a complex spiral. The line is always continuous; if you need to draw two or more completely separate lines, you should use multiple GameObjects, each with its own Line Renderer.

The Line Renderer does not render one-pixel-wide lines. It renders billboardA textured 2D object that rotates as it, or the Camera, moves so that it always faces the Camera. See Billboard Renderer
See in Glossary
lines (polygons that always face the camera) that have a width in world units and can be textured. It uses the same algorithm for line 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
See in Glossary
as the Trail RendererA visual effect that lets you to make trails behind GameObjects in the Scene as they move. More info
See in Glossary
.

Line Renderer Scene Editing Mode

You can use the Line Renderer’s InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, Asset or Project Settings, alowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
See in Glossary
to change 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
See in Glossary
Editing Mode. Different Scene Editing Modes enable you to use the Scene viewAn interactive view into the world you are creating. You use the Scene View to select and position scenery, characters, cameras, lights, and all other types of Game Object. More info
See in Glossary
and the Inspector to edit the Line Renderer in different ways.

There are three Scene Editing Modes: None, Edit Points, and Create Points.

Setting the Scene Editing Mode

Line Renderer Edit Points and Create Points buttons
Line Renderer Edit Points and Create Points buttons

Use the Edit Points and Create Points buttons at the top of the Inspector to set the current Scene Editing Mode.

Click the Edit Points button to set the Scene Editing Mode to Edit Points. Click it again to set the Scene Editing Mode to None.

Click the Create Points button to set the Scene Editing Mode to Create Points. Click it again to set the Scene Editing Mode to None.

Scene Editing Mode: None

Line Renderer Simplify controls
Line Renderer Simplify controls

When no Scene Editing Mode is selected, you can configure and perform a simplification operation that removes unnecessary points from the Positions array.

The following controls are visible in the Inspector:

Control Description
Simplify Preview Enable Simplify Preview to see a preview of the results of the simplification operation.
Tolerance Set the amount by which the simplified line can deviate from the original line.

A value of 0 results in no deviation, and therefore little or no simplification. Higher positive values result in more deviation from the original line, and therefore more simplification.

The default value is 1.
Simplify Click Simplify to reduce the number of elements in the Line Renderer’s Positions array.

The simplification operation uses the Ramer-Douglas-Peucker algorithm to reduce the number of points, based on the Tolerance value.

Scene Editing Mode: Edit Points

Line Renderer in Edit Points Scene Editing Mode
Line Renderer in Edit Points Scene Editing Mode

When the Scene Editing Mode is set to Edit Points, Unity represents each point in the Line Renderer’s Positions array as a yellow sphere in the Scene view. You can move the individual points using the Move tool.

The following controls are visible in the Inspector:

Control Description
Show Wireframe When enabled, Unity draws a wireframe in the Scene view that visualizes the line.
Subdivide Selected This button is enabled when you select two or more adjacent points. Pressing this button inserts a new point between the selected adjacent points.

Scene Editing Mode: Create Points

Line Renderer in Create Points Scene Editing Mode
Line Renderer in Create Points Scene Editing Mode

When the Scene Editing Mode is set to Create Points, you can click inside the Scene view to add new points to the end of the Line Renderer’s Positions array.

The following controls are visible in the Inspector:

Control Description
Input Set the input method you want to use to create points.
Mouse position Create points based on the mouse position in the Scene view.
Physics Raycast Create points based on a raycast into the Scene. Unity creates the point at the position where the raycast hits.
Layer Mask The layer maskA value defining which layers to include or exclude from an operation, such as rendering, collision or your own code. More info
See in Glossary
to use when performing a raycast. This property is visible only when Input is set to Physics Raycast.
Min Vertex Distance When you drag the mouse to create points in the Scene view, the Line Renderer creates a new point when this distance from the last point is exceeded.
Offset The offset applied to created points. When Input is set to Mouse Position, Line Renderer applies the offset from the Scene cameraA component which creates an image of a particular viewpoint in your scene. The output is either drawn to the screen or captured as a texture. More info
See in Glossary
. When Input is set to Physics Raycast, Line Renderer applies the offset from the raycast normal.

Properties

Property Function
Cast Shadows Determines whether the line casts shadows, whether they should be cast from one or both sides of the line, or whether the line should only cast shadows and not otherwise be drawn. See Renderer.shadowCastingMode in the Scripting API reference documentation to learn more.
Receive Shadows If enabled, the line receives shadows.
Dynamic Occludee When Dynamic Occludee is enabled, Unity culls this Renderer when it is blocked from a Camera’s view by a Static Occluder. Dynamic Occlusion is enabled by default.

When Dynamic Occludee is disabled, Unity does not cull this Renderer when it is blocked from a Camera’s view by a Static Occluder. Disable Dynamic Occlusion to achieve effects such as drawing the outline of a character behind a wall.

See documentation on occlusion cullingA Unity feature that disables rendering of objects when they are not currently seen by the camera because they are obscured (occluded) by other objects. More info
See in Glossary
for more information.
Motion Vectors Select the Motion Vector type to use for this Line Renderer. See Renderer.motionVectorGenerationMode in the Scripting API reference documentation to learn more.
MaterialsAn asset that defines how a surface should be rendered, by including references to the Textures it uses, tiling information, Color tints and more. The available options for a Material depend on which Shader the Material is using. More info
See in Glossary
These properties describe an array of Materials used for rendering the line. The line will be drawn once for each material in the array.
Lightmap Parameters Reference a Lightmap Parameters AssetAny media or data that can be used in your game or Project. An asset may come from a file created outside of Unity, such as a 3D model, an audio file or an image. You can also create some asset types in Unity, such as an Animator Controller, an Audio Mixer or a Render Texture. More info
See in Glossary
here to enable the line to interact with the global illumination system.
Positions These properties describe an array of Vector3 points to connect.
Use World Space If enabled, the points are considered as world space coordinates, instead of being subject to the transform of the GameObject to which this component is attached.
Loop Enable this to connect the first and last positions of the line. This forms a closed loop.
Width Define a width value and a curve to control the width of your line at various points between its start and end. The curve is only sampled at each vertex, so its accuracy is limited by the number of vertices present in your line. The overall width of the line is controlled by the width value.
Color Define a gradient to control the color of the line along its length.
Corner Vertices This property dictates how many extra vertices are used when drawing corners in a line. Increase this value to make the line corners appear rounder.
End Cap Vertices This property dictates how many extra vertices are used to create end caps on the line. Increase this value to make the line caps appear rounder.
Alignment Set to View to make the line face the Camera, or Transform Z to face the Z axis of its Transform componentA Transform component determines the Position, Rotation, and Scale of each object in the scene. Every GameObject has a Transform. More info
See in Glossary
.
Texture Mode Control how the Texture is applied to the line.

Use Stretch to map the texture once along the entire length of the line.Use Tile to repeat the texture along the line, based on its length in world units. Use DistributePerSegment to map the texture once along the entire length of the line, assuming all vertices are evenly spaced. Use RepeatPerSegment to repeat the texture along the line, repeating at a rate of once per line segment.
Shadow Bias Move shadows along the direction of the light to remove shadowing artifacts cused by approximating a volume with billboarded geometry.
Generate Lighting Data If enabled (the box is checked), the Line geometry is built with Normals and Tangents included. This allows it to use Materials that use the scene lighting, for example via the Standard ShaderA built-in shader for rendering real-world objects such as stone, wood, glass, plastic and metal. Supports a wide range of shader types and combinations. More info
See in Glossary
, or by using a custom shaderA small script that contains the mathematical calculations and algorithms for calculating the Color of each pixel rendered, based on the lighting input and the Material configuration. More info
See in Glossary
.
Sorting Layer Name of the Renderer’s sorting layer.
Order in Layer This Renderer’s order within a sorting layer.
Light ProbesLight probes store information about how light passes through space in your scene. A collection of light probes arranged within a given space can improve lighting on moving objects and static LOD scenery within that space. More info
See in Glossary
Probe-based lighting interpolationThe estimation of values that determine the shape of an animation curve between two keys. More info
See in Glossary
mode.
Reflection ProbesA rendering component that captures a spherical view of its surroundings in all directions, rather like a camera. The captured image is then stored as a Cubemap that can be used by objects with reflective materials. More info
See in Glossary
If enabled and reflection probes are present in the Scene, a reflection Texture is picked for this Line Renderer and set as a built-in Shader uniform variable.

Details

To create a Line Renderer:

  1. In the Unity menu bar, go to GameObjectThe 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
    See in Glossary
    > Create Empty
  2. In the Unity menu bar, go to ComponentA functional part of a GameObject. A GameObject can contain any number of components. Unity has many built-in components, and you can create your own by writing scripts that inherit from MonoBehaviour. More info
    See in Glossary
    > Effects > Line Renderer
  3. Drag a Texture or Material onto the Line Renderer. It looks best if you use a Particle Shader in the Material.

Hints

  • Line Renderers are useful for effects where you need to lay out all the vertices in one frame.
  • The lines might appear to rotate as you move the Camera. This is intentional when Alignment is set to View. Set Alignment to Local to disable this.
  • The Line Renderer should be the only Renderer on a GameObject.
  • Unity samples colors from the Color Gradient at each vertex. Between each vertex, Unity applies linear interpolation to colors. Adding more vertices to your Line Renderer might give a closer approximation of a detailed Color Gradient.

Line Renderer example setup



  • 2017–05–31 Page amended

  • Some properties added in Unity 2017.1 NewIn20171

  • Shadow Bias property added to Line Renderer in Unity 2018.3 NewIn20183

Flare
Trail Renderer