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Unity5 - Baked GI only: Please bring back LightmapEditorSettings.lockAtlas and LightProbes.asset

Discussion in 'Global Illumination' started by rab, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. rab


    Nov 13, 2009
    Dear Unity Developers,

    I tried to update my LightSettingManager Asset for Unity5 and realized that I have to cut down the feature list back to the level of Unity3 due to the deprecated lockAtlas function and the missing LightProbes.asset file.

    As discussed in some other treads (here and here) there are some people who need those functions to support dynamic lightmap changes in a scene for baked GI only (e.g. on mobile devices).

    LightProbes.asset File

    This file made it possible to load the precomputed light information of lightprobes at runtime in Unity4. As it is not available now; replaced with an - "editor stuff only" - file (LightmapSnapshot.asset) which no one can use for loading or saving lighting data. This makes really no sense to me.

    If the light probe data is included in that file, please insert an option to export it to the old Unity4 format (LightProbes.asset) or create a function to load the LightmapSnapshot at runtime. Even the documentation is still talking about the file LightProbes.asset file.

    The LightmapEditorSettings.lockAtlas function was very useful to manipulate static object (scaling has an impact on the atlas) when changing lightmaps at runtime (as all prerenderd lightmaps used the same atlas). Now there is no way of achieving this, because every lightmap get a new atlas which can't be changed or loaded at runtime.

    As Unity Technology member Kuba asked ("Are there any use cases that the above doesn't cover?") in here, I hope to have successful shown a usecase Unity developers didn't had in mind.

    Hoping on positive replies from Unity developers!

    Thank you and best regards.
    bluescrn and Bravo_cr like this.
  2. Bravo_cr


    Jul 19, 2012
    Same problem here. We load lightmaps and probes dynamically in our scene to have the same scenario with different light settings (day/night). We bake a lightmap with "lock atlas", then save that file, change lighting settings and bake again. It was pretty easy to change it at runtime, but know. What we can use, if we are working on mobile and can't use precomputed realtime illumination?
  3. bluescrn


    Feb 25, 2013
    Also, can we get the 'bake probes' button back, so we can rebake probes independently of lightmaps?

    Even when not having to work around this 6-month old lightprobe bug it's useful to be able to tweak the light intensity applied to dynamic objects.

    It does feel like lightprobes are neglected functionality. They were a pro-only feature in 4.x, so relatively few people used them. But they're fairly critical to us mobile developers, who laugh at the idea of trying to do deferred shading, real-time GI, or PBR on a real-world target device. Say, an iPhone 4S or 5...

    Maybe in a few years time? But even then, I'm not convinced that mobile GPUs will keep improving at their current rate. We must be reaching a point where battery life will become a priority over more raw power?
  4. rab


    Nov 13, 2009
    As I've read in other treads, the developers are working on an Lighting Update for Untiy 5.2 (light probe data is now stored in snapshot file, assigning that file has been put on the todo list). But when this function will be released is not sure. (Thread)

    Indeed, the developers (or the management) seem to look only at high end graphical developments and start to neglect the support for actual available and older mobile tech.

    Unfortunately we don't get a line from someone at Unity, if the removed functions (LockAtlas, Lightprobe data) will return.