Environment Textures and the Environment Light

In Spark AR Studio, you can use environment textures to mimic the light in a specific real world environment, in your effects. This is also known as using image-based lighting.

You'll combine environment textures with the physically-based material in Spark AR Studio.

You can either:

How environment textures work

Environment textures are made from images that capture a scene - like an office or the beach on a sunny day - from all directions. For example, using the Office environment texture included in Spark AR Studio would provide an object with similar lighting to an office.

Below, we've added an environment texture to the material applied to the object on the right:



There are several environment textures built into Spark AR Studio - you can also add your own. Environment textures should be HDR images, and we recommend maximum 4K images.

Applying environment textures to individual materials

First, create an environment texture:

  1. Click Add Asset in the Assets Panel.
  2. Select Environment Texture (Presets).
  3. Choose an option from the list.


Next:

  1. Select the physically-based material applied to the object in the Assets Panel.
  2. In the Inspector, check the box next to Environment.
  3. Click the dropdown next to Texture and select New Environment Texture (Preset).
  4. Choose an option from the menu.


You can apply environment textures to single materials, even there's an environment light in the scene. Environment textures applied to individual objects will override the environment light.

Adding an environment light

Adding an environment light will apply environment textures to all objects in your scene.

  1. Click Add Object.
  2. Select Environment Light.
  3. In the Inspector, click the dropdown next to Texture.
  4. Either select an environment texture or import your own.

Adding your own environment textures

There's a huge range of environment textures to choose from on HDRI Haven and other similar websites.

Either:

  1. Import the texture into the Assets Panel by clicking + next to Assets, and selecting Import from Computer.
  2. Apply it directly to a material in the Inspector by selecting New Environment Texture from the dropdown under Environment:

The texture will be listed in the Assets panel. The image in the Assets Panel won't look exactly like the texture you imported, because the texture undergoes some processing before it can be used as an environment texture in Spark AR Studio.

Constraints and optimization

There can only be 1 environment light in a scene.

Environment textures can increase the size of your effect, which can impact performance.

We recommend:

  1. Including no more than 1 environment texture.
  2. Applying the same environment texture to each material in the scene.

Before you export your effect, make sure any unused environment textures have been removed from the Assets Panel. Otherwise, they'll still be included in the overall size of your effect.