Light Baking - Using lightmaps for better performance and quality [WIP]

Light Baking

I’ve written up this guide covering all I can think of about the curious and deep subject of light baking, where the lighting for a world is calculated and stored into a texture instead of being calculated dynamically. It’s a super cheap way of adding beautiful lighting to worlds - and one of the most important parts of world making.

While this guide is focused on the tool Bakery, which makes super high quality lightmaps and adds extra features, it can also be used as a reference when using the new Progressive Lightmapper in Unity 2019.

It’s currently a work in progress, but it spans a wide breadth of knowledge, including

  • What lightmaps are, and how to use them
  • The costs associated with realtime lighting, and how Unity handles many realtime lights in a scene
  • How to create UVs used for lightmapping
  • The different types of lightmaps and how to use them
  • A primer on light probes and how to set them up
  • A basic guide to the settings of the Unity lightmappers
  • A detailed guide to the settings and parameters of the Bakery lightmapper
  • Some notes on how to pick good light parameters

The guide is available here.

This guide isn’t quite done yet, so it’s a bit messy. If you’d like to see something covered or want some extra clarification, add a comment!

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