The Source engine is a 3D game engine developed by Valve Corporation. Its unique features include a large degree of modularity and flexibility, an artist-driven, shader-based renderer, accurate lip sync and facial expression technology, and a powerful, efficient and completely network-enabled physics system.

Learn how to use the light, light_spot, light_environment entities and the skybox texture to give your maps some light.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

Rundown
In this tutorial I go through the basics of the three most common light entities and the skybox texture.

light - Emits light in all directions, is not very flexible and works best for things like fires. You might think this is the most used light entity but that's actually not the case, the most used light entity is the light_spot.

light_spot - This is a pointed light that emits light in a cone from its origin. This is the most commonly used light entity and is used for almost all kinds of light sources.

light_environment - Used to simulate the sunlight and ambient light in a map. The entity itself does not give off any light, instead it's used to control the light that emits from the skybox texture.

Please give me a comment telling me what you think.
Also, don't forget to give me tutorial requests!

Comments
Khameli
Khameli

cool tut, even if i knew that i liked to watch, cool notes all over screen! explains everything ^^

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

That you enjoyed just watching it is awesome! Thanks a lot!

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Scav3nger
Scav3nger

Very helpful for new-comers looking for some basic lighting tips (like me :P)

You've got a follower :)

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

I'm glad you liked it and thanks for the follow! :D

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ammd
ammd

You did alot very worng! You can contorol a normal light much better then a light_spot. Never heard about "falloff distance"?

Sorry but lern a bit more before you make a tutorial!

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

Right, that is your opinion, mine is different. If you compare the final result of a light entity with the final result of a light_spot entity on a lamp for example you will see that the light_spot looks much better though.

Also, Valve uses light_spot for almost all their lights, but maybe they're doing it wrong.

Oh, and I've been mapping for the Source engine for over four years, so I know a bit about it.

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ZeFish
ZeFish

Even though an explanation of the more advanced parameters like fallout distance would be nice, it was just a basic light tutorial as the title implies. And light_spot results in a more realistic good looking light if you use it correctly. Sorry, but learn a bit more before you write a comment.

Oh and great tutorial :)

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

That is correct.

Thanks.

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Croco15
Croco15

Nice tutorial. Good for newbies.

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

Glad you like it!

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SysOp.
SysOp.

Awesome!

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

Thank you, stay tuned for more!

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dafatcat
dafatcat

Keep in mind that naming a light forces the compiler to compile 2 different lightmaps for the affected faces. If you had 3 named lights (with different names) all right next to each other, the compiler would have to generate 7 lightmaps for all the possible on/off combinations. If you name multiple light entities the same name, they are treated as the same light and only 2 (on and off) lightmaps must be generated for all of said lights combined.

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Silverfisk Author
Silverfisk

Not only that but having too many different lighting possibilities might bring horrible lighting bugs in the game, so you do indeed need to be careful when dealing with this stuff.

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Ganix565
Ganix565

... Dont mean to sound noobish, but I ran Hammer in Orange Box 2009, but how do you test the map? When I click "run map", it brings me to the menu.

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