Legacy Documentation: Version 2018.2 (Go to current version)
Mixed lighting
Shadowmask mode
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Baked Indirect mode

Baked Indirect mode is a lighting mode shared by all Mixed Lights in a Scene. To set Mixed lighting to Baked Indirect, open the Lighting window (menu: Window > RenderingThe process of drawing graphics to the screen (or to a render texture). By default, the main camera in Unity renders its view to the screen. More info
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> Lighting Settings), click the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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tab, navigate to Mixed LightingA Light Mode for creating indirect lighting, shadowmasks and subtractive lighting. Indirect lighting gets baked into lightmaps and light probes. Shadowmasks and light probes occlusion get generated for baked shadows. More info
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and set the Lighting Mode to Baked Indirect. See documentation on Mixed lighting to learn more about this lighting mode, and see documentation on Light modesA Light property that defines the use of the Light. Can be set to Realtime, Baked and Mixed. More info
See in Glossary
to learn more about the other modes available.

For Lights that are set to Baked Indirect mode, Unity only precomputes indirect lighting, and does not carry out shadow pre-computations. Shadows are fully real-time within the Shadow Distance (menu: Edit > Project SettingsA broad collection of settings which allow you to configure how Physics, Audio, Networking, Graphics, Input and many other areas of your Project behave. More info
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> Quality > ShadowsA UI component that adds a simple outline effect to graphic components such as Text or Image. It must be on the same GameObject as the graphic component. More info
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). In other words, Baked Indirect Lights behave like Realtime Lights with additional indirect lighting, but with no shadows beyond the Shadow Distance. You can use effects like the Post-processing fog effect to obscure the missing shadows past that distance.

A good example of when Baked Indirect mode might be useful is if you are building an indoor shooter or adventure game set in rooms connected with corridors. The viewing distance is limited, so everything that is visible should usually fit within the Shadow Distance. This mode is also useful for building a foggy outdoor Scene, because you can use the fog to hide the missing shadows in the distance.


The following table shows how static and dynamic GameObjectsThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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cast and receive shadows when using Baked Indirect mode:

Dynamic receiver
A dynamic GameObject that is receiving a shadow from another static or dynamic GameObject
Static receiver
A static GameObject that is receiving a shadow from another static or dynamic GameObject
Within Shadow Distance Beyond Shadow Distance Within Shadow Distance Beyond Shadow Distance
Dynamic caster
A dynamic GameObject that is casting a shadow
Shadow map - Shadow map -
Static caster
A static GameObject that is casting a shadow
Shadow map - Shadow map -

Advantages and disadvantages of Baked Indirect mode

The performance requirements of Baked Indirect mode make it a good option for building to mid-range PCs and high-end mobile devices. These are the most significant advantages and disadvantages of using Baked Indirect mode:


  • It provides the same visual effect as Realtime Lighting.
  • It provides real-time shadows for all combinations of static and dynamic GameObjects.
  • It provides indirect lighting.


  • It has higher performance requirements relative to other Mixed Light modes, because it renders shadow-casting static GameObjects into shadow maps.
  • Shadows do not render beyond the Shadow Distance.

  • 2017–06–08 Page published with limited editorial review

  • Light Modes added in 5.6

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Mixed lighting
Shadowmask mode
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