Why is there still no light linking in Blender?

… You do know that the pay you get for open source development if at all is far less than a similar position at a regular company? Following your argument they’re doing more work for less money than the other way around.

OP didn’t mention Cycles. Also, if these 2 options are made to work in Cycles is this a solution?

For me that would be a solution :slight_smile:

No, BI’s options are not user friendly at all.
Instead of this lamp illuminates this layer only and this material is illuminated by this group of lamps, it should be the lamp illuminates this group of objects only or theses materials only.

We shouldn’t use Blender’s layer system anymore. Nodes wasn’t available at this time, there is better workflow with nodes now.

I do mainly product rendering and sometimes I want to place a light only on a certain object.

While light layer and group can work - I think for a single object making a group seems to be not a logical step.
Ideally you want to link a light to any single object.

Layers work but then instead of linking two objects I start sorting my scene based on layers.
So you see it gets more complicated needlessly.


I know the AOV stuff would be a bit involved as a project (as it’s been mentioned that it would require a complete rewrite of the way Blender handles render-passes, which isn’t the fault of Cycles by the way). The stuff relating to the lights may be a bit easier though.

Exactly. Cycles currently is really good with all the things it should have but they seem to have forgotten about lighting tech. To any lighting artist, no light linking is like having no copy/paste option or undo. I might be a little extreme with that comparison but I am trying to make a point. Working on the small stuff/details is also important. That’s what made me start wondering if it’s difficult for light linking to be included in cycles because it has been absent for a long time but Corona is similar to Cycles and this is possible. Also glare and glow in Lighting is also another feature. Is this possible with cycles without post/compositing?

I should have mentioned Cycles. My apologies. I think it would be better in the light or emission material settings to have a include/exclude option where u can add selected meshes/selection set or group into the tab telling the light to exclude lighting these objects or
include- only light these objects.

I don’t know if u can check out 3dsmax include/exclude lights dialog. Something like that if it’s possible.
Like others have mentioned, Bi’s light linking isn’t a good workflow tbh.

Vray for Blender light include/exclude:

And different light passes for postpro, include/exclude itself does not solve postpro at all aka changing lighting on/off/brightness/colors etc.

Has anybody tried V-Ray or Renderman for Blender? How they’re managing custom aov and light linking in Blender?

Edit: oh! didn’t see the post just before :smiley:

On renderman for blender, it’s per object.


On maya, you have the light linking, select a light, you see all the objects and then you select the objects you want illuminate by this light.


Blender dev’s should really look at the rendergraph of Guerilla, since it’s node based, we can do whatever we want, even light linking etc.


I wonder if this could be added to gooseberry branch. Does anyone know when shape keys for hair would be added to main blender version?

Light linking is a need when it comes to Bake some geometry and not the others, distributing fake lights and choreographing studio lights…I am seeing a possible node like object index might help in this case…maybe assigning an index number to objects which needs to match the index number of the dedicated light…default will be 0

I agree with pitiwazou Guerilla render graph is incredible flexible but i am not sure if this linking system could be made in blender…but since alembic its possible to choose another render engine.

There is answer: https://developer.blender.org/D1985

Thanks Ko. i was reading about a devoloper for cycles hired from this studio some times ago…good to know it takes this direction.

Do you know if its integrated as a node based workflow or its a side bar solution?

Light linking is a very important feature but I think the best solution would be ray tagging, which would give us light linking but many more options like controlling any object or material, not just lights.

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gottfried - do you know if either light linking or ray tagging has been implemented yet or is being considered for 2.8?

I was under the impression that this was one of the things that 2.8’s “Collections” paradigm would address.

Right now, the devs. don’t have much time for Cycles (outside of mentoring the GSoC students) because it’s all hands on deck for 2.8 related projects.

For the sake of giving users greater freedom in art direction, I would say that light-linking or light groups would be an important thing to have (if the more advanced feature known as ray-tagging doesn’t come first).