Lights in Spark AR Studio

A 3D baseball can be seen in the Viewport and Simulator. One side of the baseball is lit.

There are 5 types of light in Spark AR Studio - ambient, environment, directional, spot and point.

The ambient light adds a constant amount of light to all the objects in your scene. Directional, spot and point lights can be moved to illuminate objects from different positions. The environment light mimics the lighting from a real world setting - like the beach or a park.

Every new project has an ambient light and a directional light added to it by default. These lights help to illuminate objects in a realistic way - you can remove them if you want to. This is a particularly good idea for objects that use 2D objects, which don't need lights to provide realistic shadow and depth.

You can only have 4 lights in a scene at once - excluding ambient light.

Adding a light to your scene

To add a light to your scene:

  1. Click Add Object.
  2. Select the light you want from the menu.

The light will be listed in the Scene panel. You can make changes to it in the Inspector.

Editing ambient lights

An ambient light will provide each object in the scene with a constant amount of light. You can't change the position, rotation or scale of an ambient light.

In the image below, there's no ambient light in the scene:

The detail of the baseball can't be seen, and it looks like a jet black sphere.

In this image, we've added an ambient light:

The detail of the baseball can once again be seen.

In the Inspector, you can:

  • Choose a color for the ambient light, by clicking the box next to Color.
  • Adjust how strong the light effect is, using the slider next to Intensity.

Editing directional lights

A directional light will shine on each object in the scene from the same direction, like the sun. It's a good idea to have a directional light in any scene that contains 3D objects, as they give objects a sense of depth.

In the image below, we've added a directional light. Compared with the example above, the object has a more realistic sense of depth:

The baseball is lit as if from a specific direction, and the detail is much more clear.

In the Inspector, you can:

  • Choose a color for the directional light, by clicking the box next to Color.
  • Adjust how strong the light effect is, using the slider next to Intensity.
  • Change the position of the light, by adjusting the X, Y and Z values next to Position. You can also use the manipulators to do this.

Adding and editing point and spot lights

A point light is a sphere-shaped light that shines in all directions evenly. It becomes less intense with distance, like a lamp.

A spot light is cone-shaped beam of light, like a flashlight or headlight. Below, we've added a spot light to the scene:

The baseball has a circle of light in the center of it, as if lit by a small spotlight.

Editing position and rotation

You can edit the position and rotation of these lights, either in the Inspector or by using the manipulators.

Adding a color

You can also choose a color, by clicking the box next to Color.

Editing the spot light beam

The spot light shines a beam of light within the range defined by its 2 constraining cones:

  • Everything inside the inner cone is illuminated, and the intensity falls off towards the outer cone.
  • Everything outside the outer cone is in the dark.

You can edit the outer and inner angle of these cones, by adjusting the sliders next to Outer Angle and Inner Angle in the Inspector.

Editing environment lights

The environment light can be used to add lighting across your whole scene that mimics in a real world setting - for example an office or the beach. Find out more about environment lights in this guide.

Setting visibility

Selecting the box next to Visible in the Inspector stop a light from being visible in the scene.

You can also create a patch to represent this property, for example to make a light turn on or off based on an interaction, or create a flashing light effect.

Under Enable for, you can select or clear the boxes to choose whether a light appears in:

  • The front camera.
  • The back camera.
  • Preview - which is before someone has captured a video or image.
  • Capture - with is when a video or image has been captured.

Excluding objects and layers

You can stop a light from affecting some objects in your scene, and not others, by excluding the layer those objects are on. To do this:

  1. Apply the objects you want to exclude to a particular layer.
  2. Select the light in the Scene panel.
  3. Click the + next to Exclude in the Inspector.
  4. Choose the layer with the objects on that you want to exclude.

Optimizing effects with lights

Having lots of lights in your scene can impact the performance of your effect.

It's a good idea to remove ambient and directional lights from effects that don't include 3D objects, to help improve performance.



Select this box to stop the light from being rendered in the scene.


Change the color of the light.


Adjust the brightness of the light.


Change the distance over which the light falls off.

Outer Angle

Adjust the outer angle of a spot light

Inner Angle

Adjust the inner angle of a spot light


Edit the position, scale and rotation of the light. You can't change these properties for ambient light.


Stop the light affecting objects on a particular layer.

Enable For

Choose the camera or cameras on a mobile device in which you want to render the light.

When the boxes are selected next to Preview and Capture the light will be visible both before the person using your effect is capturing a video and during capture.


Insert simple combinations of patches into the Patch Editor, like tap gestures.

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