I'm a doctor, not a mechanic


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Zonelight provides ambient lighting to an entire zone of a map. Stylistically, using zonelighting isn't recommended for the polished version of a map. Most experienced mappers find it gives a washed-out look to a map if used as a principal lighting source. However, it has two important uses:

  • If used carefully, with low brightness, it can help prevent a map from being too dark, or in outdoors areas.
  • When you're playtesting a map, it's a pain having to drop lights here there and everywhere just to preview the architecture: zonelighting allows a whole area of a map to have an ambient light level without the need drop in lights. (If a map has no lights at all, the other way to preview architecture without lights is simply to not build any lights: build only Geometry and BSP.)

Setting zonelight[edit]

Zones take their properties from the ZoneInfo actor UnrealEd finds in the zone on rebuild. If there isn't one, the properties set in the map's unique LevelInfo actor are applied. (More on this: Zoning.)

Note that an "unzoned" map, ie with no portals or ZoneInfos, is just treated as a map consisting on a single zone.

  1. Does your zone has a ZoneInfo or not?
    • If yes, find the ZoneInfo actor
    • If no, open the Level Properties (in the View menu or press F6)
  2. Now Set the following properties for either the level or the zone:
    • Zonelight -> AmbientBrightness to the desired light level.
  3. rebuild, resave and run the level. It should now have ambient lighting without any manually placed lights.

You can also fiddle with the hue and saturation values to achieve different light colors.

The ZoneLight properties work the same way as those under Actor/Lighting.

Related Topics[edit]


Ironblayde: What exactly needs to be done? It seems all right to me; there isn't a lot to say about ZoneLight.

Tarquin: Good point! I have no idea! Let's remove the tag until we remember, if ever :D

Evilmrfrank: It is not always a good idea to use Zone Lighting in your maps. It would probably run much smoother and better but your level will not look near as good. I have often found though that setting it to a brightness of 2-5 helps to cancel out the solid black parts in a map.