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Creating an Office Den in Unity Part 2: Lights, Cookies and Emissions

In my last article, I designed the scene with a generic high intensity directional light. This article covers setting up some room lighting, dealing with the directional light, adding emissions to objects and cookies to some light sources.

I get started by turning off everything but a single directional light. For the purposes of this article, all light sources will be real-time.

A directional light is a powerful sun or moon light, so it can illuminate the room on it’s own.

I have a Global Volume that has everything turned off.

The directional light intensity is reduced to fill the room with shadows.

Now I enable the Visual Environment and add a Physically Based Sky.

The scene once again has a basic background environment.

Having a sky will also bring some ambient light into the interior of the scene.

One thing I noticed is that a powerful light can push it’s way through the edges of walls on to the floor.

It is more apparent in this shot where the wall should by all means be blocking that light. Why is that?

Well, the walls are paper thin, so being the lights in Unity are physics based, it assumes that some light bleed is expected with such a thin wall!

The inside wall is suffering from the same bleed when the directional light is coming from this side of the room.

The way I fixed this up was to add external structural pieces with some thickness to block out the light bleed. This could be much prettier, but this project only involves the interior, so I will leave this basic structure outside as is.

The light no longer bleeds through the walls! Notice there is no obvious light coming through the window and casting on the furniture. Bringing up the light intensity alone won’t fix this.

On the Directional Light, Shadows are enabled and the Intensity is at a relatively low value of 60.

What will really get the look I am going for, is to go into the Sky and bring the exposure down into the negative from it’s default of zero.

Now the room is dark with no light bleed, and just the directional light coming in through the windows.

The first light I add is a Spot Light to the overhead fan. I also make an Emission Map for the fan from it’s Albedo map, so the glass light cover can illuminate.

This light will be the main room light, as it is centered and high up in the environment.

The Spot Light has a Cookie assignment box, where I drag in an interior light cookie.

The Emissive Color box can be used to increase or decrease the intensity of the emission, as well as change the color. I use a dull yellow because I want a vintage feel.

Here is the scene with a few more lights and emissions added to it.

The window pane is casting shadows while the glass is not. I had to break up the game object in Blender from one piece to two, to achieve this look. The shadow quality here has also been increased to get harder edges and more precise cast shadows.

There is a laptop on the table that is now giving off a soft cool emission.

While most of the light comes out of the bottom of a lamp shade, a lesser amount does come out of the top. I use two spot lights, one facing down and a lower powered one facing up.

The lamp shade as well as the monitor screen get a bump in their emission channel intensity. This lamp shade has some structures underneath it casting shadows on the table. Lowering the light a little will get rid of those.

There is a side table and lamp in the smoking lounge area that gets an upgrade as well. Double spot lights, emissions and light cookies all go into lighting this area.

The lamp on the left has a similar two spot light treatment, while the lantern on the right gets a warm point light.

This display area has an area light working from inside a fluorescent light object on the ceiling. The candles below use a flame particle system and a single point light per candle.

Each tall display case has an area light at the top working from a fluorescent bulb object, and two spot lights at the bottom front, one on each side.

Here is the display case with the Gizmos turned off.

Both of these display cases get the same treatment, with the addition of a warm and low powered area light on the top to illuminate the statues above.

Here are a few more shots from around the scene.

I thought the directional light could use a little more contrast.

Pressing play will get the fan on the ceiling rotating.

The next step will be to start baking some light sources and using light probes to bring up the indirect lighting in the room. Thanks for following along with my progress on this office scene!

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