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21. February 2020


Global Illumination describes several algorithms used to calculate non-direct lights in game engines.  In Godot, it’s implemented using the GIProbe node, which can calculate emissive lights and secondary reflections, giving you more accurate lighting in your scene at the cost of performance.  In this tutorial we will go step by step through the process of setting up a GIProbe.  You can learn more in the video embedded below.


The first step for setting up global illumination is to go through the scene, select each model that will participate in the calculations and select Use in Baked Lighting in the Geometry Instance section.

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Once you have your models set to participate, it’s time to create a GIProbe node.  Add a new Node to the Scene (doesn’t matter who it is parented to) of type GIProbe.

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Now size the GIProbe box using the red/pink control handles, so that it envelops your scene.  You can have multiple GIProbes per scene and having them overlap serves no purpose.

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Now with at least one light source in the scene, with GIProbe selected, click Bake GI Probe in the menubar.

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This will calculate the indirect lights in your scene.  You can also have a GIProbe calculate the effects of emissive lights in your scene.  Emissive lights are lights that are projected from textures.  In a SpatialMaterial you can turn emissive on in the Emission tab by selecting Enabled.  Emission is the color of the light emitted, while energy is the strength of the energy emitted.

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Emissive lights will only be shown after being baked by a GIProbe.  Emissive lights cannot move without baking the scene again.  You can cause a GIProbe to bake lights in code using the following code:

	get_node("../GIProbe").bake()

This is an expensive operation and should not be performed lightly.

There are a couple of ways to control the quality of the lighting generated by a GIProbe.  The first is by setting the Subdiv property in the GIProbe.

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The higher the resolution, the better the results but more expensive the calculations.  You can also change the quality of lighting in Project Settings by enabling High Quality in Voxel Cone Tracing. 

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Once again, this is a trade off between quality and performance.  Finally I should point out that GIProbe only works with the OpenGL ES3 renderer, not in ES2.  On ES2 you are instead stuck with traditional Light Baking, which takes less processing power, but produces inferior and less dynamic results.

Another thing to be aware of is dealing with the GIProbe inside the Godot Editor.  The GIProbe, as shown above, is a giant green lattice, which can make viewing your scene somewhat difficulty.  You may be tempted to hide the GIProbe like so:

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Unfortunately this turns the GI off completely!  If instead you want to hide the GIProbe in the viewport, you turn it off in the viewport menu.  In the viewport, select View->Gizmoes->GIProbe.

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This value is a toggle and controls ALL GIProbes in the scene.

You can learn more about Global Illumination and GI Probes in the video below.

Programming Design


6. January 2020


3DBuzz is one of the original online learning resources for computer graphics, programming and game development, first launching way back in 2002.  Until recently the site was completely commercial, with prices set on a per course basis or available under a monthly subscription.  They announced they will be shutting down, for the most unfortunate of reasons, and have released all of their content for free download.

Details from 3dbuzz.com:

Hello everyone,

The 3D Buzz community has been amazing and inspirational for 2 decades. However, all good things...

3D Buzz, Inc has closed its doors. Subscription and recurring payments have already been suspended. This page is our final gift to such a wonderful community. Below you will find download links to all of our available material, free of charge.

Thank you for so many years of support. You are all, truly, the best community anyone could hope for. May we see each other again somewhere in the ether...

From all of us to all of you,

Remember to always look, listen, and learn.

Goodbye, good health, and good luck.

If you visit 3DBuzz.com you may get a security warning, this seems to be linked to an invalid SSL certificate and can be ignored.  The entire content of the site add up to over 200+GB in size.  As a result, some readers over on Reddit have been working to set up torrents, so if you are interested in grabbing the entire archive of video tutorials, be sure to check out that thread.  Otherwise you can download each video one by one in zip format.

Thank you for your generous gift 3DBuzz and our condolences on your loss.

GameDev News


27. June 2019


Back in April Unity launched Unity Learn, a completely free online learning portal for learning various aspects of using the Unity game engine.  Today they have announced Unity Premium, a paid expansion of Unity learn.  Unity Learn Premium costs 15$ a month, and is included in current Unity Pro subscriptions.  There is a 30 day free trial available.

Details of Unity Learn Premium from the Unity blog:

We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality, free learning resources for Unity, and we will continue to add to and maintain the free courses, projects, and tutorials on Unity Learn. More in-depth and advanced resources for serious hobbyists and professionals who want to specialize in an industry or get direct guidance will be available through Unity Learn Premium.

If you have a Unity Plus or Unity Pro license, you can access Unity Learn Premium for free with your current subscription. Just log in with your Unity ID and go to Unity Learn Premium to start learning!

Otherwise, you can try Unity Learn Premium for 30 days, free. After that, you can continue accessing all the great resources and interactive learning on Unity Learn Premium for $15 a month. 

In addition to content from Unity, Learn Premium also includes courses from partners such as Udemy and Pluralsight.  They are also offering bi-weekly online interactive sessions as well as Streaming Labs, quick start courses in a web hosted Unity Editor.

Check out the contents of Unity Premium in the video below.

GameDev News


21. March 2019


Earlier at their GDC 2019 keynote, Unity announced the beta release of Unity Distribution Portal, or UDP for short… thank goodness that acronym isn’t taken!  So what exactly is UDP?  Its a combination of a beta package in Unity that integrates with their existing analytics and IAP packages and enables you to submit to the UDP.  The UDP itself is an online portal for managing publishing, IAP and tracking of multiple different online stores around the world. 

Described succinctly as:

Create once, publish everywhere

UDP reduces the engineering complexities associated with publishing to multiple app stores, enables you to distribute and operate games in local markets, and connects you with hundreds of millions of players worldwide through participating app stores.


Currently limited to the Android platform and only a few live app stores ( Catappult and MOO Store), with more coming online soon.  Essentially it allows you to publish to more stores with very little extra effort, all managed and reported in a single interface.  More interesting, is the following question and answer pair from the FAQ:

Does UDP support non-Unity games?

Currently, UDP only supports games made with Unity. However, in the future, UDP will be engine-agnostic. More details on this will be coming soon.

For more details on the Unity Distribution Portal beta visit here.  See it in action in the video below.

GameDev News


27. January 2019


We just published a brand new 18 part text tutorial series over on DevGa.me, Getting Started with Godot Step by Step Tutorial Series.  This tutorial walks you through theEBookCoverA4Format entire game creation process using Godot 3.1, from creating your initial project, to publishing your game with details step by step instructions and screen shots.  Even better it’s got professional quality art assets from Game Developer Studios and is completely open source!

The tutorial consist of:

Getting Started with Godot

Setup and Project Creation

Creating your Title Screen

Playing Background Music

Global Data via Autorun

Creating a Simple UI

Creating the Main Game Scene

Creating Parallax Clouds

Creating the Player

Handling Input

Add a Scene Animation

Creating Bullets

Creating the Enemies

Configuring the Collisions

Populating the Game World

Adding Shooting to the Game

Making Things Explode

The Final Code

Building your Game for Windows

If you need more detailed information on any subject we cover, be sure to check our existing Godot 3 Tutorial series, that goes into much more technical detail.  There will be a step by step video version available shortly.  There is also a 70pg PDF version of this tutorial available for Patreons.

Programming Art Design


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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