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Advanced Additive Scenes: Multi-Scene Editing. Now With Free Demo!

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by Jodon, May 20, 2014.

  1. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Update!! It's been released: http://u3d.as/6Lm. There is also a DEMO version available. Original post below.

    Hey guys,

    I've been slaving away on a really useful plug-in which I'm tentatively calling "Advanced Additive Scenes". I plan to release it shortly, after it goes through some more extensive testing. In order to explain what this plug-in does, I'll have to explain Additive Scenes which Unity supports natively.

    Scenes as Layers

    You can think of a Scene as a layer in Photoshop. In Photoshop, you can combine multiple layers to compose an image. Likewise in Unity, you can combine multiple scenes to compose an image. Usually in your game, you will have many screens; at the very least a pause screen. You will want these screens to load without destroying your game state (they should layer over-top of your scene). Let's take a look at this in Fling Theory:

    $LevelPauseMenuCombined.jpg

    In the picture above, you can see how the two scenes (the level and the pause menu) combine to compose the final image. You can achieve this by simply calling Application.LoadLevelAdditive() as opposed to Application.LoadLevel(). What are the advantages of Additive Scenes over Prefabs? Glad you asked, since you're using a Scene instead of a Prefab, you are able to nest prefabs without your scene without running into the dreaded Nested Prefab issue.

    Additive Scene Tools

    Now that we've established this is a good thing, what are the limitations? Well for one, you cannot preview the combination of Level + Pause Menu without playing the game, and executing the LoadLevelAdditive() call. This is a slight work-flow issue because you would prefer to be able to use the WYSIWYG editor like usual. Enter: <strong>Advanced Additive Scenes</strong>. Using the plug-in, you are able to preview Additive Scenes in the editor:

    $PauseMenu SubScene.jpg

    This screenshot shows a SubScene configured to load the PauseMenu. By doing this, you are able to line-up your pause menu elements, see how the rendering order works, and tweak your shading/transparency. When you unlock the SubScene object, you are able to make changes to PauseMenu, and the best part is: All of the changes get saved back into the PauseMenu scene!

    Beyond Menus

    This alone is an amazing workflow improvement, but let's take another look at Fling Theory and see how our levels are structured. Here is a typical level layout:

    $Level_Wide.jpg

    Notice how there are multiple rooms which comprise the level? Well, we can break up these rooms into SubScenes. Doing this makes sure the data for each room is saved into its own scene file. This allows multiple designers to work on the same level, as long as they are modifying separate rooms! This is a huge productivity boost for teams with multiple members. It helps alleviate issues that arise when multiple members work on the same scene. Let's take a look at what this looks like:

    $AdditiveSubScene.jpg

    Improved Collaboration

    You can see that the level is broken up into multiple rooms, and each room has its own SubScene. This works extremely well for our two-man team since Doug and myself can both be working on the same level as long as we're tweaking separate rooms. On more advanced projects, you would break-up the background from the puzzles and allow artists to tweak the look of the level which would never cause merge issues with the designer. Breaking up scenes by discipline (art, audio, design, programming) is a great way to get productivity boost; Unreal has been doing it for years.

    I want to turn your attention over to the Inspector for a moment. You'll notice there's a few different options. With the Pause Menu, I set the Runtime Load Settings to "Don't Load" which indicates my code will load the menu manually. On the other hand, when breaking up the level into rooms I chose "Bake Into Scene" which ensures the data lives in the scene in the final build. This option optimizes the loading time by ensuring all of the data is loaded at once, and Unity sees it as a single scene at runtime. This ensures there is no overhead associated with using this plug-in!

    I plan to release this soon, after some more extensive testing. Let me know if you have questions/feedback/requests.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
    Gozdek, jpthek9 and Ony like this.
  2. SpookyCat

    SpookyCat

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    That does look like a mighty clever system. Looking forward to the release :)
     
  3. I am da bawss

    I am da bawss

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    I agree, this looks mighty interesting. I will keep an eye out for this too!
     
  4. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Thanks guys! I love MegaFiers, Spooky :). I've integrated this plug-in in our main project now so we'll be doing some extensive testing and hopefully release soon.
     
  5. Wenceslao

    Wenceslao

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    Just FYI for owners of other Coding Jar products, you may need to go into your library directory and remove the old Coding Jar folder before you can actually download the package. Not sure why but I couldn't get Unity to actually import this package until I did this (Meaning clicking "Import" didn't do anything *Shrug* )

    For Mac Users
    /Library/Unity/Asset Store/ in OS X

    I look forward to using it, thanks Jodon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  6. Jodon

    Jodon

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    The plug-in is officially released in beta! http://u3d.as/6Lm. There's videos here:

    Intro:

    Angry Bots 1:

    Angry Bots 2:
     
  7. Zionmoose

    Zionmoose

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    Do you have any options in place to adjust the padding of the info you have on the objects in the hierarchy? So many extensions offer info next to gameobjects and none of seem to take into account that other extensions do the same, so they end up having information overlapping.
     
  8. Jodon

    Jodon

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    You can change and/or disable the coloring. The icons are right-justified and only appear on the root of a SubScene. It comes with source code so you can always change it to your liking.
     
  9. drjest

    drjest

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    Jodon,

    How does the plugin deal with subscenes having their own Beast Lightmapping?

    I noticed in your AB2 video that the static sub scene didn't have the lightmapping with it when viewed alone but did when viewed with the Main Scene. Related, moving those 3 poly surface GameObjects out of the static subscene would probably prevent baking the same lightmap in the static subscene?
     
  10. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Hey Jeff,

    That's correct the lightmap lives in the main scene, not the sub-scenes. What goal are you trying to achieve? Perhaps I could support the functionality you need.

    Cheers.
     
  11. yezzer

    yezzer

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    This looks fantastic.

    I have a question about lightmaps. I frequently split my larger scenes into smaller scenes that are lightmapped separately, then load them into the main scene using EditorApplication.OpenSceneAdditive() - this brings in the lightmaps, and means I don't have to rebake the entire thing every time i make small changes in one area.

    Will your plugin support this workflow?

    Edit: this means i'd then bake occlusion culling, navmeshes etc in the main scene when everything is loaded in - would this also be supported?
     
  12. Meceka

    Meceka

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    Would it work together with sectr stream? I won't use this on sectr-generated scenes, but on other parts of my main scene.
     
  13. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Right now, this won't work because when you bake the main scene is loaded. I'm not sure I'd be able to support being able to rebake just a SubScene while you're editing the main scene. I have not seen this workflow in Unity yet, my guess is you have to open up the SubScene to bake it, correct?

    So far you could only use the plug-in to then view the scenes together, but would have to use your old workflow to actually do the baking. If this is an issue, I can fix it in the next version. Sounds like something people would like :).
     
  14. iamsam

    iamsam

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    Hi Jodon,

    I had a similar question as yezzer. If I understand correctly, the plugin currently supports baked sub-scenes to be merged with the main scene.

    However based on your response, am I correct in assuming that you are looking forward to adding the functionality of allowing one to bake only sub-scenes while working in the main scene? This would be an excellent addition and would be an immediate buy for me as this is something I have been looking to use in my pipeline for a while now.

    Regards,
    Sam
     
  15. Rico21745

    Rico21745

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    I have the same question. SECTR Stream compatibility would make this a buy from me.
     
  16. Jodon

    Jodon

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    In that case it will work. I have a feeling it would even work for the Sectr "Chunks" by placing the SubScene behaviour on their "chunk" since they are also using Unity Scenes as their format, but I can't guarantee it as I don't have their plug-in.

    I am going to look into it, but I can't promise anything. With this plug-in, I'm hitting a lot of limitations in how Unity handles things and trying to work around them. I fear that light mapping and occlusion culling may be one of those, but I'll give it a shot.
     
  17. Wenceslao

    Wenceslao

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    Hello Jodon. Congrats on being the Asset Store 24 hour sale today.

    I'm writing the loader for my game and I'm running into issues loading a level that contains SubScenes. I have two the primary scenes that get loaded first. The Game Manager scene and then the title screen. Once the Title screen is loaded, I load the parent scene that contains my terrain and misc. The Parent scene (Called "Island_1" in my log info attached below), contains 4 subscenes. Upon loading "Island_1" using LoadLevel (Via script or Playmaker), unity crashes with the log below. Is using Additive Scenes supported in this manner or once I have Advance Additive Scenes in my game, I must always use Scene Objects to load my game?

    http://hastebin.com/raw/natabotajo
     
  18. Jodon

    Jodon

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    It should be supported in this manner. I'm kind of confused about this callstack, is this an editor crash or a runtime crash? Can you try the same scene loaded via a simple script that calls Application.LoadLevel() and see if it has the same issues? The crash appears to be in an internal Unity function in which I've already checked if the object is valid which scares me :).

    Cheers.
     
  19. Wenceslao

    Wenceslao

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    Ok, I just tried a build and it seems to be working Runtime. But in editor is the problem. I just reproduced it in a test case. I PM'ed you a link to the example. The bug manifests when you do the following:

    1. In Scene A
      1. Call LoadAdditive Scene B
    2. In Scene B
      1. Call LoadAdditive Scene C
    3. In Scene C
      1. Scene C contains several Subscene objects

    If Scene A were to load Scene C, there would be no problem. Because it is chained one more deep, this is where the problem manifests. So it may no be something you can control, but I would appreciate any help in working around it. Otherwise I'm going to have to rethink how I approach loading my game.

    I'm on Mac OS X Mavericks, Unity 4.5.4 with Additive Scenes 1.5f

    Example project PM'ed to you in a few minutes
     
  20. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Think I found it, I'll send you a build in a couple of hours after I do some more extensive testing on it.
     
  21. Dbone

    Dbone

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    I have a question about the actual workflow with this plugin. I went through all the information and videos I could find but I'm still confused as to how it works with multiple people (all the videos are just one person working with the main scene file and connected sub scenes). I understand splitting the scene up into multiple connected sub scenes referenced by the main scene, but the editing workflow is still a little fuzzy.

    Can only one person at a time have the main scene open and see all the connected sub scenes in context, and then the team editing happens by opening a sub scene directly and editing it in isolation? Or can EVERYBODY have the main scene open all the time, see everything in context, edit in context, and when they save it saves to the unopened sub scenes?

    Or some other workflow that i've completely misunderstood....

    Thanks for your help!
     
  22. Jodon

    Jodon

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    This is what happens. Everyone has the main scene open. You unlock the sub scenes that you want to work on (that's the only way changes can be made to them). Then when you 'save' it automatically saves the changes you made into the sub scenes that are unlocked.
     
  23. Dbone

    Dbone

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    Amazing, this is exactly what I've been looking for for almost a year. You sir, have made me a happy man.

    Thanks!
     
    Wenceslao and Jodon like this.
  24. llde_chris

    llde_chris

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    Hi,

    We're using Unity 4.5.5 and it seems like SubScene LoadLevelAdditive / LoadLevelAdditiveAsync are broken.
    When we select BakeIntoScene the scene loads fine, however it's not option for us as our scenes are large and Unity can't support having the entire thing in memory (which is why we're using SubScenes).

    We're using the source version of Advanced Additive Scenes.

    We're getting the following error:

    SubScene 'New SubScene' set to load additively but no scene filename was found. Double-check the SubScene settings.

    When debugging, it looks like _loadLevelAdditiveSceneName is blank, even though in the inspector a scene is selected, and the normal inspector operations like Load/Unload SubScene work fine.

    Another strange but less critical bug is when creating a new SubScene, it is not automatically saved. The SubScene file has a length of 0. We work around this by Locking/Unlocking the new SubScene to force a save.

    Is there a fix for this?

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  25. llde_chris

    llde_chris

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    Hi,

    Just tried on a new project in 4.5.5. Empty scene except for a cube. Repro steps as follows:

    1. Turn cube into a SubScene. SubScene file is created but empty. If I unload the SubScene now it will result in the SubScene GameObjects being lost.
    2. Lock/Unlock SubScene to force a save. SubScene can now be loaded/unloaded in-editor
    3. Set SubScene to LoadLevelAdditiveAsync, add main scene and subscene to build settings.
    4. Press Play, "no scene filename" error appears.

    Edit: EndChangeCheck is not returning true on initial create. Easy enough to work around/fix, but would like an official fix.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  26. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Hey Chris,

    I think I fixed it with some other bugs I found along your repro case. I can send you a preview build if you'd like to test it for me (the plug-in is quite complex, so I have trouble testing all cases). Either PM me on here, or e-mail the address in the Readme.

    Cheers.
     
  27. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Okay so I've taken a look at Lightmapping. I've added some new code to be included in v1.6a which will import the lightmaps from SubScenes. Note, it looks like you can select certain renderers in your Scene to lightmap. If you simply select all of the renderers in a SubScene, I believe you can achieve the "Lightmapping a SubScene" effect properly. Having said that, there's still some significant issues to work through (read on):

    Here is what I've written in the Readme. Please respond if this doesn't make any sense, or if you're looking for something else. The issue becomes quite complicated due to different lighting scenarios:

    How Does Additive Scenes Work With Lightmaps?

    Lightmaps are a more complex issue with Additive Scenes. Lightmapping changes the geometry of a level to 'bake' lighting. The issue with additive scenes is that the light sources do not neccessarily come from the same level. Consider this scenario:

    1. Geometry in SceneGeo
    2. SceneMain contains the sub scene "SceneGeo" and some light sources.

    If you were to load up SceneGeo and Lightmap it, it would be completely dark.
    If you were to load up SceneMain and Lightmap it, it would correctly light SceneGeo.

    Here are the rules we follow for light maps:
    • We import all lightmaps that are loaded from a SubScene.
    • Anytime we import a lightmap from a SubScene (e.g. SceneGeo), that SubScene loads as unlocked (so that any lightmapping changes would apply to that SubScene).
    • You can mess up this system by locking SceneGeo and lightmapping SceneMain
      • In this scenario, loading up SceneMain would show the correct lighting but loading up SceneGeo will not
    • You can correctly re-lightmap SceneGeo and it will show-up properly in SceneMain

    Advice:

    Before releasing, always bake your scenes with the following settings:
    • Any SubScenes that are 'BakedIntoScene' should be loaded and visible in the Editor during a Lightmap bake.
    • Otherwise the SubScene should be unloaded during a Lightmap bake.
    This will ensure that the correct lightmap data will be available.
     
    metroidsnes and Arkade like this.
  28. llde_chris

    llde_chris

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    Thanks Jodon. Sent you email, plus added another curious workaround we did to get it to working with our large scenes.
     
  29. tmcsweeney

    tmcsweeney

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    I'm seeing some weird issues with Lightmapping. If I unlock all the additive levels and bake lightmaps then everything looks OK. However if I save the levels, then quit Unity and reload the Main level some of the objects in the sub-scenes will have lost their lightmapping settings. i.e. their Lightmap Index will have reset to 255 and the tiling/offset will be 1,1,0,0 It always seems to be the same objects that reset, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious pattern to which ones within which subscene.

    Also I get different looking lightmaps out depending on whether the static lights are part of the root scene or one of the subscenes. When the lights are in a subscene everything seems to be over lit.
     
  30. tmcsweeney

    tmcsweeney

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    Wait... I think I worked out the pattern. It is prefabs. If a prefab was created BEFORE lightmapping then when lightmapping modifies the lightmapping settings for an instance of that prefab the settings are lost (presumably because they revert to the prefab's values which were undefined) when you quit and reload. Or, working the other way if you bake lightmaps, then define a prefab, then modify the scene and rebake lightmaps then the lightmap settings on the prefab instance will revert to what they were after the FIRST lightmap bake (i.e. what they were when the prefab was defined)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  31. Jodon

    Jodon

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    I think my approach to lightmaps is flawed. I'm going to release v1.6b with some must-fixes and leave lightmaps for the next version.
     
  32. Rod-Galvao

    Rod-Galvao

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    After running my game the subscene's subobjects disapper. Is it expected? I have do 'unload' and 'reload' to fix it.
    Unsing unity 4.6.0b20
     
  33. Rod-Galvao

    Rod-Galvao

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    Also, it seems there is a problem when creating subscenes.
    When I select a bunch of prefabs and try to create a subscene it asks me 3 times to save the new subscene, resulting in this:
     

    Attached Files:

  34. Jodon

    Jodon

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    I'll try to solve that. Can you send me a prefab in a private message? In the meantime just don't hit save. Hit undo.

    As to your first problem, no that's not supposed to happen. What settings are you using on your SubScene? Is there anything special about it? Can you repro in an empty project or send me the relevant parts causing the issue? It sounds like the HideFlags of the object are set to DontSave but they shouldn't be.

    Cheers.
     
  35. Rod-Galvao

    Rod-Galvao

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    Hi Jodon,

    The newer version is working. Thanks. There's still other issues when I did this:

    1. Created main scene with objects
    2. Created subscenes from main scene's objects
    3. Added a prefab to the main scene
    4. Moved the prefab to one of the subscenes

    Now the prefab won't save in the subscene and it keeps returning to the main scene. Then I did:

    1. Deleted the prefab from the main scene
    2. Opened the subscene
    3. Added the prefab to subscene
    4. Saved it
    5. Opened the main scene

    And the prefab appears again in the main scene. So I tried to unload the subscene and repeat the steps above. Same result. :(
     
  36. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Can you put the prefab in the scene, then hit "Apply" on it to update your Prefab? I believe I had this issue with an outdated Prefab that somehow had internal issues. Is it possible to repro in an empty project with just my plug-in? Does it work with any prefab? I've got some time today to fix it.
     
  37. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Update for Rod: I've submitted a fix to the asset store. I believe I have your e-mail, it should be in your inbox.
     
  38. neff11

    neff11

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    The collaboration is real time? i cant see the collaboration anyway :c
     
  39. Jodon

    Jodon

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    I'm not sure you understand the collaboration portion. It's to share a scene's development. It still needs the data sent to a depot and for the other developers to sync it. It's not real-time collaborative editing of a scene.

    Cheers.
     
  40. recon0303

    recon0303

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    Any idea if this is going on Sale ever. being a small company, we try and save money, but try to only buy things on sale so we can buy all of the tools we need.

    Thanks
     
  41. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Last time it was on sale, Unity told me it was going on sale and they gave me a month's notice. I haven't received any more notifications since then so I doubt it's going on sale any time soon. In January I'm going to look at updating it yet again, adding a new feature and bumping up its price accordingly.

    Cheers.
     
  42. Recon03

    Recon03

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    Good luck with your asset. Sound like we will have to pass. We already spent about 600 dollars in assets and another 5k in software, so we need to be wise with our spending. Thanks anyways. Atleast until we make more money.

    Best of luck.
     
  43. Codemonger

    Codemonger

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    I would not pass on this asset, it is well worth it. I have purchased a number of assets and this one ranks easily in my top 5 for productivity. The description of layers in photoshop is extremely accurate and makes adding game elements together a breeze. I am a programmer and was looking for a way to bring different game elements together. This solved that problem . The only issue I have encountered was with marmoset skyshop, and the skymanager which is a gameobject that skyshop requires to be autocreated and creates a crash on play when it is in an additive scene and loaded up - this appears to be an editor error not directly related to this product but related to marmosets forcing of the editor to ask for a sky manager to be created before runtime ... I haven't bothered looking too deep into it because I simply keep the scene unloaded and locked, it gets loaded at runtime.
     
  44. nekitu

    nekitu

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    how about linking gameobjects between the layers? their references are kept ?
     
  45. This plugin seems very nice. I have a few questions after checking this thread and the videos.
    1. When baking the navmesh, it takes into account all the subscene's navigation objects?
    2. In the Angrybots exemple video, the final scene used in the game would be AngryBots-NoCubes.unity or would it be another unity scene file containing everything?
     
  46. question #3: Have you been able test and confirm that it supports Unity 5 beta?
     
  47. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Sorry guys, I did not get notified of this post update. I crafted up a longer response but lost it. Here is the gist of it:

    Nokotu, no the references between scenes are not yet kept. Unity's implementation of additive scenes do not allow for that. I am adding new functionality and am working on that today. Progress is promising.

    Bagel:

    1. Yes
    2. It would be in the AngryBots-NoCubes. AngryBots-NoCubes is the scene that contains links to the other scenes.
    3. It currently does not. Unity changed when/how some of their callbacks work. Expect it working by February.
     
  48. Jodon

    Jodon

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    I now have an alpha build for saving cross-scene references. If anyone's project depends on having this functionality (or you'd just like to test it out), send me an e-mail. If you need source code with it, please add your license number (found in the Unity Asset Store receipt).

    Cheers.
     
  49. iamsam

    iamsam

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    Hi Jodon,

    I am still facing a few issues with lightmapping.

    This is how I tried to go about it
    - I have two subscenes in my main scene. Each subscene has their individual light components (no light components in the main scene).
    - I load each subscene separately and ligthmap them so that the lightmaps are stored in the respective scene folders.
    - However when I load the main scene they all appear dark.

    I believe I am doing something wrong. I would really appreciate it if you could please help me figure out how to go about this.

    Thanks,
    Sam
     
  50. Jodon

    Jodon

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    Hey Sam,

    Lightmapping in that way is still not supported. Lightmaps are super tricky because they only make sense when baked from the main scene while all of the SubScenes are loaded. It's too easy to break lightmapping by simply setting a SubScene to not load, or baking it in its own level (which may not have the corresponding surrounding geometry), etc. Furthermore, Lightmaps rewrite the MeshRenderer data with an index into the Lightmaps array. If you load your SubScenes in a different order than previously loaded (e.g. re-ordering them in the Hierarchy View), it would again break Lightmaps. For those reasons, I kind of abandoned the additive lightmap loading. You can bake only parts of your map by selecting those objects, which is probably how it should be done for SubScenes.

    With that in mind, to bake a Lightmap with SubScenes, load up your main scene and make sure all of the SubScenes are loaded in. Then unlock them all (so they're writable -- Lightmap baking rewrites the Mesh data). Then run the Lightmapper on your scene. The result should be the Lightmaps stored under your main scene folder. The lighting will only be visible when loaded from the main scene.

    I may revisit the Lightmapping scenario again if I find this workflow's not adequate, but my current project doesn't use Lightmapping. I'm about to begin a new one that does.

    Cheers.