Sign in to follow this  

Unity 2d Lighting

Recommended Posts

I am curious if anyone with more experience than I could explain in a general way how games like Ori and the blind forest and Rayman Legends light their scenes. There seems to be a lot of artistic light that is used just for blending purposes, like in this screen:

All the lighting in the game seems to pulsate, so I am wondering if maybe they just use shaders and a texture to blend the light/color with the diffuse textures behind them? I am not sure though.

I am using Unity and am new to game programming and am just curious if anyone knows or could guess what their workflow looks like for lighting their scenes.Thank you.

Edited by ShadowMan777

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That editor is absolutely amazing and they certainly put a lot of work into it! Great work.


I think, the lighting is done either with normal maps or depth maps on top of the diffuse textures. If you have normal or depth data, you can basically light a 2d surface like a 3d surface. See bump mapping for example. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there, I guess i can shed some light on this... hehe


One thing you should know, in comparison to Rayman, Ori had a pretty small team. And rather limited ressources, but more ressources in art than in code to generate art.

So many things have been done in a brute force manner, putting artists on solutions, rather than writing tools to do it automatically.

So a lot was just mostly handcrafted.


That said, the artists had a few ways to fake (or lets call it simulate, sounds more professional) lighting.

One way of simulating it was through additive "sprites", they didnt use a sprite system in a classical way, it has been 2d planes with enough geo to minimize overdraw, which could placed and oriented freely in 3d space. They could be manipulated by a master shader, brought to motion, masked and so on.

Which brings me to another option to simulate lighting, imho the most genius one, as I never saw anything similar in any production.

The artists had access to a master shader, they could not only animate sprites, but overlay effects, mask them, animate them, stack them etc.

To make a sprite look shaded essentially.


All this was done manually, which also helped, giving Ori this handmade feel. But I think many of those tasks could be automated, if only there was enough time to set this up. Maybe later :)


here is a quick video done by me to show how a screen gets constructed. but the shading is all already set up, idealyy a set dresser would record the whole process from start to finish to show it properly


hope this helps





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for such an awesome and detailed response! That was extremely helpful. It looks like they do a lot of blending with sprite edges so that they can build more modular 2d art that blends together without having to make rigid transitions between pieces.It would be amazing if the blending amount was easily tweakable for the artist. Then they could determine how much each asset should blend with another.




 But I think many of those tasks could be automated, if only there was enough time to set this up.

By this do you mean having preset overlays and effects that someone could quickly setup on a sprite? 

I am working on a custom tool for myself that allows more integration between photoshop and unity. The idea is to allow the artist to load a unity scene and have one PS document that has all his sprites at the right location. HE can take a screenshot of any scene and only see those objects loaded into photoshop. Then he can paint on them in context, and even add new layers, which will then automatically import back into unity and create a new object at that location.

Using this kind of tool the artist could have a layer that he would paint on to manually blend some of the modular pieces for one final iteration and he wouldn't have to manually place it as it appeared exactly where he drew it in photoshop.

I am curious how the artists on ori created their actual art and how they approached painting their modular assets. I am always interested in improving workflows.

Also, what kind of blending is done with the sprites underneath to blend the blurry edges?Thanks

Edited by ShadowMan777

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

By this do you mean having preset overlays and effects that someone could quickly setup on a sprite? 


ideally the setdressers would just set up light sources and the rest of the overlays generate automatically, just with enough control for the artist to influence the output if needed. But thats just me, I barely did any setdressing on Ori, i don#t even know if any of my setdressing is still part of the game 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see. Rayman Legends seemed to have a polygonal tool for creating an area where a light source would be applied. This kind of setup seems to be ideal for allowing an artist to select regions where they want their masks and lighting to be applied. Even if the overlays were generated automatically, do you think such a polygonal creation process is still ideal?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Similar Content

    • By ForgedInteractive

      Who We Are
      We are Forged Interactive, a small team of like-minded game developers with the sole purpose of making games we love! We're a team of artists, animators, programmers, level designers, writers, composers, producers, and other creative minds. We want to make games that you, the modern gamer want to play! We hope to build a community that enjoys our games as much as we love creating them. With your feedback and support we will be able to achieve that.

      About the Game
      GAME NAME is a fun, action-packed army builder with unique characters, challenges and engaging levels. Set forth on an adventure to protect friends, family and countrymen from new adversaries. Once defeated your enemies turn coat and join you in your adventures. Players can enjoy a range of troops and abilities based on their gameplay style which become more important as maps introduce more challenging terrain, enemies and bosses. Strong orc knights, dangerous shamans, and even a dragon are out on the prowl. Knowing when to fight and when to run, and how to manage your army is essential. Your actions alone decide the fate of this world.

      Previous Work by Team
      Although we are working towards our first game as a team, our team members themselves have past experience in the industry.
      This includes members who have worked on titles including:
      Final Fantasy Kingsglaive, FIFA, Xcom 2 and Civilization.

      Who are we looking for? 3D Modellers Concept Artists Marketing Specialists Level Designer

      What do we expect? Reference work or portfolio. Examples what have you already done and what projects you have worked on academic or otherwise. The ability to commit to the project on a regular basis. If you are going on a two-week trip, we don't mind, but it would be good if you could commit 10+ hours to the project each week. Willingness to work with a royalty based compensation model, you will be paid when the game launches. Openness to learning new tools and techniques
      What can we offer? Continuous support and availability from our side. You have the ability to give design input, and creative say in the development of the game. Shown in credits on websites, in-game and more. Insight and contacts from within the Industry.
      If you are interested in knowing more or joining. Please email or PM us on Skype. Myself or Colin will reply to you within 48 hours.

      Skype: ForgedInteractive

      David and Colin

      Follow us on:

      Twitter: @ForgedInteract
    • By Eck
      I just saw their courses were knocked down to $10 each and figured I'd share the info here. They have stuff for Unity, Unreal, drawing, business, etc. I haven't used their stuff before, but the previews I looked at seemed pretty good and there is a user review system as well.
      - Eck
    • By zizulot
      first and only logo , for now
    • By sidbhati32
      I am working on a game in which we control a rectangular box at the bottom of the screen. Three sphere which has alphabets in it fall down. When the game starts, a word is generated from the predefined list of words(which I'll give) and we are supposed to touch the correct sphere having the alphabet based on that word. The question is how to detect if I have touched the correct sphere. 
      secondly, if I have touched a correct sphere before and there is no recurrence of that alphabet in that word then during the second wave the game should not proceed if I touch the same alphabet again.
      Looking forward to your answers, i have to submit this project in a couple of days. please help! (Working on Unity 3D)
    • By NDraskovic
      Hey guys,   As the title says, I'm trying to control a desktop game by using my mobile phone as a controller.  I created two scenes, one that acts as a server, other as a client.    Server has this code: void Start () {         Test = "Nothing yet happened";         NetworkServer.Listen(25000);         NetworkServer.RegisterHandler(888, ServerReceiveMessage);     }         private void ServerReceiveMessage(NetworkMessage message)     {                 StringMessage msg = new StringMessage();         msg.value = message.ReadMessage<StringMessage>().value;         if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(msg.value))         {             Test = "Message received";             string[] deltas = msg.value.Split('|');             Horizontal = Convert.ToSingle(deltas[0]);             Vertical = Convert.ToSingle(deltas[1]);             TestScript.MoveForward(Vertical);             TestScript.RotateAroundY(Horizontal);         }         else         {             Test = "Nothing received";         }     }  
        And client this:  private void Connect()     {              client.Connect(IPAddress, 25000);           }     void Start () {         client = new NetworkClient();         Connect();            }         void Update () {    #if UNITY_ANDROID         MobileTouches = Input.touches;         if (MobileTouches.Length > 0)         {             for (int i = 0; i < MobileTouches.Length; i++)             {                 if (MobileTouches[i].phase == TouchPhase.Moved)                 {                     Horizontal = MobileTouches[i].deltaPosition.x;                     Vertical = MobileTouches[i].deltaPosition.y;                 }else if(MobileTouches[i].phase == TouchPhase.Stationary)                 {                     Connect();                                  }             }         } #elif UNITY_EDITOR               Horizontal = Input.GetAxis("Horizontal");         Vertical = Input.GetAxis("Vertical"); #endif         thumb.Translate(Vector3.up * Vertical * Time.deltaTime);         thumb.Translate(Vector3.right * Horizontal * Time.deltaTime);         SendControllerInfo();     }     static public void SendControllerInfo()     {         if (client.isConnected)         {             StringMessage msg = new StringMessage();             msg.value = Horizontal + "|" + Vertical;             client.Send(888, msg);         }     }  
        Ip address is hard coded, I just replaced it with the "IpAddress" variable. The code itself builds fine, and when I try to run in on a desktop computer, it works as expected (just a simple movement of an object on the server screen). However when I try to publish the client scene to a mobile device (Android), it doesn't connect to the server. They are both connected to the same network. Can anyone tell me what the problem might be?   Thanks
  • Popular Now