Unity and light probes

Realistic light in games is resource heavy and often the light is baked (pre-rendered) into the scenes to make it more performant. Problem with this is that it only works with static objects. In Unity even dynamic objects can make use of baked light. This can be accomplished with something called Light Probes which samples the baked light and reflects it onto the dynamic objects. Below I will go over the process of adding Light Probes.

I have setup the scene below with different coloured materials to make it easier to see how light bounces. All objects in the scene except the sphere in the middle have been set to static. The light has been baked and you can see how the colour reflects onto everything but the sphere:

If we look closer at the blue cube we can also see that the colours are blending:

As nothing is reflecting onto the sphere it looks a bit out of place:

To start adding Light Probes, right-click on hierarchy and select Light->Light Probe Group:

Position the Light Probe Group in the middle of the scene:

Now move the individual probes to the edges of the area:

The way this works is that the light is sampled between the probes and to make it more detailed we just need to add more probes:

Once we are happy with the amount and position of the probes we just bake the light to finish up:

Final result:

Good Luck!



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