Table of Contents

Skybox lights

Beginner Designer Programmer

A skybox light is an ambient light emitted by a skybox. Stride analyzes the skybox texture and generates lighting using image-based lighting (Wikipedia).


Skybox lights are good for exterior scenes, where the skybox is visible. They're less useful for interior scenes, such as in rooms where the skybox is only visible through windows; as the skybox light nonetheless lights the entire room, this creates an unnatural effect.

How skyboxes light the scene

These images show the difference between ambient and skybox lighting on two pure diffuse materials:

Ambient lighting Skybox lighting
Ambient lighting Skybox lighting.png

These images show the effect of skybox lighting on a material with different metal and gloss properties:

Material Plastic Metal 100% Gloss 50% Metal 100% Gloss 100%
Material plastic Material 100% Gloss 100% Metal 100% Gloss 100%

Notice how the skybox texture colors are reflected.

Set up a skybox light

To use a skybox as a light, you need to add a skybox asset, then select it in a Light component.

  1. In the Asset View, click Add asset

  2. Select Miscellaneous > Skybox.

    Choose asset type

    The Select an asset window opens.

  3. Choose a skybox texture from the project assets and click OK.

    Choose texture

    Game Studio adds the skybox asset with the texture you specified.

  4. Select the entity you want to be the skybox light.

  5. In the Property Grid (on the right by default), click Add component and select Light.

    Background component properties

  6. In the Light component properties, under Light, select Skybox.

    Light component property

  7. Click Hand icon (Select an asset):

    No skybox asset selected

  8. Select the skybox asset you want to use as a light source and click OK.

    Select an asset

The Light component uses the skybox asset to light the scene.

Skybox asset properties

When you use a skybox as a light, Stride uses it both in compressed form (spherical harmonics (Wikipedia)) and as a texture to light different kinds of material. You can control the detail of both in the skybox asset properties.

Skybox lighting properties

Property Description
Texture The texture to use as skybox (eg a cubemap or panoramic texture)
Specular Only Use the skybox only for specular lighting
Diffuse SH order The level of detail of the compressed skybox, used for diffuse lighting (dull materials). Order5 is more detailed than Order3.
Specular Cubemap Size The texture size used for specular lighting. Larger textures have more detail.

Skybox light properties


Property Description
Intensity The light intensity
Culling Mask Which entity groups are affected by the light. By default, all groups are affected

Example code

The following code changes the skybox light and its intensity:

public Skybox skybox;
public void ChangeSkyboxParameters()
    // Get the light component from an entity
	var light = Entity.Get<LightComponent>();

	// Get the Skybox Light settings from the light component
	var skyboxLight = light.Type as LightSkybox;

	// Replace the existing skybox
	skyboxLight.Skybox = skybox;

	// Change the skybox light intensity
	light.Intensity = 1.5f;

See also