Version: 2019.4
Realtime Global Illumination using Enlighten (deprecated)
Light Probes

LOD and Realtime GI

EnlightenA lighting system by Geomerics used in Unity for lightmapping and for Realtime Global Illumination. More info
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is deprecated, and will soon be removed. As an alternative lightmapperA tool in Unity that bakes lightmaps according to the arrangement of lights and geometry in your scene. More info
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, use the Progressive GPU Lightmapper (Preview) or Progressive CPU Lightmapper. Unity is developing a new solution for real-time global illuminationA group of techniques that model both direct and indirect lighting to provide realistic lighting results. Unity has two global illumination systems that combine direct and indirect lighting.: Baked Global Illumination, and Realtime Global Illumination (deprecated).
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. For more information, see the Unity blog.

Read this page before you use Realtime Global Illumination (GI) on models which use the LOD (level of detail) feature.

When you use Unity’s LODThe Level Of Detail (LOD) technique is an optimization that reduces the number of triangles that Unity has to render for a GameObject when its distance from the Camera increases. Each LOD level has either a Mesh with a Mesh Renderer component (Mesh LOD level) or a Billboard asset with a Billboard Renderer component (Billboard LOD level). Typically a single GameObject has three or four Mesh LOD levels and one optional Billboard LOD level to represent the same GameObject with decreasing detail in the geometry. More info
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system in a 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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with baked lighting and Realtime GI, the system lights the most detailed model out of the LOD GroupA component to manage level of detail (LOD) for GameObjects. More info
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as if it is a regular static model. It uses 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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for direct and indirect lighting, and separate lightmaps for Realtime GI.

To allow the baking system to produce real-time or baked lightmaps, select the 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
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you want to affect, view its Renderer component in the 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
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window, and check that Contribute Global Illumination is enabled.

For lower LODs in an LOD Group, you can only combine baked lightmaps with Realtime GI from Light Probes or Light Probe Proxy VolumesA component that allows you to use more lighting information for large dynamic GameObjects that cannot use baked lightmaps (for example, large Particle Systems or skinned Meshes). More info
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, which you must place around the LOD Group.

Whenever you use Realtime GI, the Renderer enables the 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
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option for the lower LODs, even if you enable Contribute Global Illumination.

An animation showing how real-time ambient color affects the Realtime GI used by lower LODs
An animation showing how real-time ambient color affects the Realtime GI used by lower LODs

  • 2019–08–01 Page amended

  • Added Realtime Global Illumination in 2017.3 NewIn20173

Realtime Global Illumination using Enlighten (deprecated)
Light Probes