Instant Realistic Lighting in Godot

Out of the box the lighting system in Godot doesn’t give amazing results. In fact, out the box the lighting system in the Godot game engine ONLY works in the editor, which can be more than a bit confusing for beginners. Thankfully we have an in-depth lighting tutorial that will get you up and and running fairly quickly. There exists however an even easier solution, that is perfect for beginners, the Instant Realistic Light add-on.

This relatively simple plugin adds a button to the 3D view in Godot once enabled:

Click Instant Realistic Light and PRESTO, it creates a new entity in your game world called WorldEnvironment. This embedded scene contains a World Environment node with sensible defaults configured (a sky, tone mapping, Global Illumination, etc.), as well as adds a directional light and a Reflection probe and that’s about it. All of these settings can be tweaked to your preference.

You can learn more about the flaws in Godot’s default lighting and how they can easily be fixed using the Instant Realistic Light add-on in the video below. Remember if you are interested in learning more about how to configure your own games World Environment, be sure to check out our more in-depth tutorial available here.

If you are interested in obtaining the level environment used in this demo it is currently (May 16/2024) available in this Humble Bundle. Details on exporting an Unreal Engine environment to the Godot (and other) game engine is available here.

EDIT – There is a feature now in the Godot game engine I was unaware of that performs a lot of the functionality of this add-on, by taking the default World Environment and applying it to your project.

If you click the 3 bars beside the World Environment preview toggle button:

This will bring up a menu where you can toggle many settings in the default WorldEnvironment, but most importantly it has a button to populate the game with a World Environment and DirectionalLight matching the preview from the editor:

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