Best method for lighting

Hello all,

I am wondering what you guys think the best method for creating lights in a Blender game is. Lights meaning for bulbs for lamps, side paneling, sci-fi doors, ect.

I have come to doing it in three ways, but I am pretty newb at Blender when it comes to optimal performances in the run-time. So I am not sure which of these three is best, hoping you guys can help me see the light.

Method 1) Directly using the lamp features in Blender and positioning them/tweaking settings to make them match what I want.

Method 2) Using the radiosity settings to create desire effect, baking them as a texture, then putting them onto the models for use in BGE.

Method 3) Using the node compositer to create a a lightbulby type effect.

Which of these three methods would you guys consider most optimal in the long run for run-time performance and gives the best more realistic result?

If you know of a better method then those, please share as well.


Do you mean lighting, or representation a meterial that seems to emit light?

In CG lights are invisible, but effects objects around them.

As you are defining “best” towards the performance (processing speed), use as less dynamic lights as possible. Baked lighting just eats memory but not more processing time.

Light bulbs are pretty simple with an shadeless material.

So something like this (a google image that is not my blend):

Is what I mean. I guess this would be considered a material that is made to seem like it is emitting light.

My game is survival horror based, so good ominous lighting is very important to create good shadows and such. You explained that the more dynamic the lighting the slower it will be, which is in other words saying the more instances of built in blender lamps the slower the processing speed, am I correct?

I’m concerned because to create the intense lighting with realistic shadows I would think to use spot or point lamps in blender, which if I am understanding you correctly trying to use a ton of them would make the game essentially slow way down. Is there some kind of work around for this?

Always remember this: Game graphics are just illusions. That isn’t actually a light object emitting a blue glow, but rather a combination of separate elements to create the illusion of it seeming that way. Here’s a breakdown of how to recreate this in the bge (from what I can see):

  1. Light mesh (emit set to 1 or shadeless white)
  2. Blue spot lights or a point light set to a light-blue colour
  3. A set of halo textures that are set to face the camera at all times (blurry circle with an alpha channel)
  4. SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) 2D Filter to fake shadows.
  5. Bloom 2D Filter

I have never heard of these before, how would I use ether an SSAO filter or a Bloom filter?

How would these effect processing speed though?

I wouldn’t use spotlights or point lights for such a small light source, myself - maybe if objects were likely to be lit up by it, but not really otherwise.

@Damutantman - You’d plug them into the 2D filter actuator set to a Custom Shader. They would pull on the Rasterizer’s speed, of course. How much depends on how complex the shaders are or how powerful your computer is. Depending on the complexity of your scene, how you arranged the individual pieces (i.e. if they’re merged together a lot), and your graphics card’s power, you would be able to use them fine.