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Properties - Light

This form allows you to change the type and properties of any 3D light source. You can open the form by right-clicking on the light source and picking Properties from the context menu or right-clicking a light source node on the 3D Scene tab of the Impact Explorer and selecting Properties.

You can also modify the properties by selecting the light source and clicking the Light tab of the Entity Inspector Standard Toolbox.

3D Light Properties

Light Type

  • Light Type - choose from  Point Light, Spot Light, Target Spot Light, Directional Light or Target Directional Light. When a new light is created, it will be a Point Light type by default.

Point Light Sources will radiate light in all directions from a single point (similar to a light bulb). They do not cast shadows and are best used as an ambient light.

Selected Point Light Source

Spot Light - the most efficient lighting model. Spot Lights radiate light from a single point, in a single direction and do cast shadows.

Direct Light - radiate from a single point, emitting light in a parallel fashion and do not cast shadows.

Target Spot Light & Target Directional Light - these types feature a target, which governs the rotation/direction of the light sources. Move the target and the light source will rotate to face the target.

NOTE: Changing the properties of a light source to a Target light source will automatically add a matching "target" to the scene.

Selected Target Spotlight source

Selected Target Direct Light source


  • Diffuse - specifies the base colouration of the light.
  • Ambient - specifies the colouration of objects when unlit (ie when in shadow).
  • Specular - specifies the colouration of reflected highlights.


The Attenuation property only applies to Spotlight and Target Spotlight types

  • Brightness - controls the brightness (in Watts) for the selected light source.
  • Outer Angle/Fall off - specifies the angle of the outer cone of a spotlight/target spotlight.
  • Inner Angle/Hot spot - specified the angle of the inner cone of a spotlight/target spotlight.
  • Range - specifies the range of the light source.
  • Attenuation - choose from Linear or Constant attenuation. Linear attenuation allows the light to decay gradually, and provides a software lighting effect. Constant attenuation allows the light to remain constant until it reaches the specified maximum range, at which point it decays completely. This creates a harsher lighting effect.


Only Spotlight and Target Spotlight types can cast shadows.

  • Enable/Disable- check this option if you require a light source to cast shadows. 
    • Density - controls the darkness of the shadows. Higher values create darker shadows, whilst lower values create lighter, subtle shadows.
    • Definition - defines how crisp the edges of the shadows will appear. Higher values will create a very crisp edge, whilst lower values will create a softer, more realistic edge.
    • Resolution - defines the shadow quality. Lower values will give a quicker rendering time, but may display a certain amount of noise within the shadows. Higher values will generate cleaner shadows, at the expense of increased rendering time.


The Silhouette feature is only available for Spotlight and Target Spotlight types, which have the Shadow property enabled.

3D Scene featuring a Target Spotlight with the Stars Silhouette pattern

  • Enable/Disable- check this option if you wish to use the Silhouette feature. This allows light sources to cast image-based shadows.
    • Image - select an image from the pull-down list (choose from Leaves/Random/Stars/Window) or browse  to select your own image. Monochrome images work best - the black areas will cast a shadow, whilst the white areas will remain lit.
    • Scale - you can vary the scale of the image if required. Increasing the scale will generate a smaller image.

Lights and/or targets can be re-named via the 3D Scene tab of the Impact Explorer Standard Toolbox. Right-click on the light (or target) name on the Explorer and pick Rename from the Context Menu.

Lights and/or targets can be 'parented' with other objects (such as moving mesh objects, cameras or folding models), to create advanced animation effects. You can do this by dragging & dropping a 3D light (or light target) onto another insert within the 3D Scene tab of the Impact Explorer Standard Toolbox.

Related topics: Notes On 3D Tools, 3D Components, Impact Explorer Standard Toolbox, Entity Inspector Standard Toolbox, Visibility.

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