Adding Lights to Maps and Tokens

Enabling Lighting and Vision on a Map

  1. Open your map

  2. Click on the Unlock Map button at the top right of the screen. This unlocks the Image Control.

  3. Turn on lighting and vision by clicking on the button that says Enable Lighting and Vision

Adding Lights to a Map

Any map can have one or more types of lights added.

Ambient Lighting

There is ambient lighting that represents natural light or outdoor light. This type of lighting will illuminate any part of the map which is not masked off. Walls, terrain, and shadow casters will all cast shadows based on the direction and length of shadows defined for the map. You can adjust the color of the light, color of the shadows, direction of the light and length of the shadows. You can even turn off shadows if you just want to illuminate a map. This may be best where shadows are already drawn on an existing map.

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To Add Ambient Lighting:

  1. Enable Lighting and Vision

  2. Navigate to the Lighting Mode on your Image Control

  3. The Lighting Mode toolbar reveals a second layer of toolbar options. Click on the option for Ambient Lighting on the far right.

  4. Select from one of the built-in preset values to choose settings which work well for Dawn, Dusk, Sunlight, or Moonlight.

  5. Adjust values as desired

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Limit Where Ambient Lighting is Applied

If you have a mix of indoor and outdoor areas, you may want to mask the indoor spaces from ambient lighting so that only the outdoor areas receive lighting and shadows from the Sun.

  1. Return to your Ambient Lighting toolbar

  2. Click on Add Mask at the bottom right of the toolbar

  3. There are two modes available: hide area and reveal area

  4. Click on hide area and then drag rectangles on the map to mask off those areas. These areas will not receive any light or shadows from ambient lighting.

  5. To mask an area that is not rectangular, you can hold down ALT while you click and drag.

  6. You can switch back and forth from hide area and reveal area to complete your ambient light mask.

See video walkthroughs below

Adjusting Colors

Light and shadow colors can be assigned by using the color picker. You can pick the color, use the sliders for Red/Green/Blue/Alpha, or paste in an RGB or ARGB value. The Alpha slider sets the opacity/transparency of the color.

Add Lights to a Map

Regular lights can set a distance for bright light and dim light, along with a falloff amount that describes how sharp the edge will be as it transitions from each state: bright, dim, no light. You can also adjust the color of the light, the opacity, and an effect (flicker, pulse, flash).

To Add Lights:

  1. Enable Lighting and Vision

  2. Navigate to the Lighting Mode on your Image Control

  3. The Lighting Mode toolbar reveals a second layer of toolbar options. Click on the option for Lights.

  4. Select from one of the built-in preset values to choose settings which work well for Torches, Candles, or Lanterns.

  5. Adjust values as desired

See video walkthroughs below

Lighting is Additive

Multiple light sources in the same area will add together. If you have ambient lighting already and then you add dim light, Fantasy Grounds will adds these together and the result will likely be bright light. If a player or NPC token is using a light source, this will add to any light or ambient light already present in an area.

Add a Light Source to a Token

Both player tokens and NPC tokens can carry around their own light source. As the token moves, so will the light. Tokens can have multiple light sources attached, although remember that light sources are additive.

Add a Token Light from the Image Control

This method allows the GM to add or remove a light source from a token.

  1. Enable Lighting and Vision

  2. Navigate to the Lighting Mode on your Image Control

  3. The Lighting Mode toolbar reveals a second layer of toolbar options. Click on the option for Token Lights.

  4. Select the token(s) you want to add the light to

  5. Select from one of the built-in preset values to choose settings which work well for Torches, Candles, or Lanterns

  6. Adjust values as desired and then click on the Add Light button

  7. To remove it, click on Remove Light

Which Method to Use?
This method works in every ruleset. Token lights added this way, however, must be re-applied every time the player token is added to a new map. See the section below for the recommended way to add token lights to players wherever the ruleset supports it.

Adding a Token Light Using an Effect (Recommended)

Using an effect is the recommended way to add and remove lights. This is supported in a subset of rulesets built upon our CoreRPG ruleset. In version 4.1, this applies to CoreRPG, D&D 5E, D&D 4E, D&D 3.5E, Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2E, SFRPG, DCC, Castles & Crusades, d20 Modern. This enables your players to apply their own lighting as long as they add the effect. It also allows a Player token to remember the setting if they move from one map to another.

Prerequisites:

  • The player or NPC must be in the Combat Tracker and then the token has been dragged from the Combat Tracker to your map

  • You will need to add a Custom Effect to the Effects window to re-use it (or have an action defined on your individual character sheets)

Supported Light Effects Syntax and Examples:

Syntax: LIGHT: {range} {type or color in ARGB} {special Fx} {Fx frequency} LIGHT: {range} {preset name} Examples: LIGHT: 5 candle LIGHT: 20 torch LIGHT: 30 lantern LIGHT: 20 FFFF0000 pulse 25

Optional Parameters

Range is optional and is supplied in the units defined for the ruleset. If left off, the range will be unlimited. The examples above work for D&D fifth edition.
Special Fx is optional. If absent, no effect will be applied.
Fx frequency should be a value from 1 to 100. 1 is minimum and 100 is maximum.

Range

Can be specified as one or two numbers, and is optional if a preset name is used. If two numbers are used, they should be separated by a slash.

  • If one number is used, then the light type of the next parameter is bright for that distance in feet, and then dim for an equal further distance.

    • Ex: “LIGHT: 10 light” gives circle of bright light with a 10’ radius, then dim light for an additional 10’.

  • If two numbers are used, then the distance/radius of the dim light circle is specified by the second number which includes the bright area.

    • Ex: “LIGHT: 10/15 light” gives a dim light circle 15’ in radius, with a bright light circle 10’ in radius inside it. You can also say this is a 10’ bright light circle, then dim light for an additional 5’.

  • The effect of the numbers is dependent on the map’s grid distance multiplier, or distance per grid unit.

    • Light distances are clipped to the nearest whole number of grid squares, rounded down.

      • Ex: In D&D 5E, 5’ = 1 grid square.

    • If the first number is smaller than one grid square distance, then there will be no bright light. (i.e. if range < 5 in D&D 5E)

  • Light effects will be adjusted to the map specific grid distance multiplier for the map. The default grid distance multiplier for a map is set by the ruleset (Ex: default grid multiplier is 5’ in D&D 5E)

    • Ex: “10/20” (for D&D 5E)

      • With grid distance multiplier = 5’, the light will have a dim circle with a 4-square radius, and a bright circle within it with a 2-square radius.

      • With grid distance multiplier = 10’, the light will have a dim circle with a 2- square radius, and a bright circle within it with a 1-square radius.

      • With a grid distance multiplier = 2’, the light will have a dim circle with a 10- square radius, and a bright circle within it with a 2-square radius (5/2 = 2.5, rounded down to 2).

      • With a grid distance multiplier = 200’, the light will not be visible, since the light “circle” is smaller than a single square.

Presets

There are six presets available to use within lighting effects. Preset tags should be specified in lower case (i.e. “light”).

  • These presets are defined by the ruleset, and can be modified by the GM within each campaign in the Options. The tag field in the Options specifies how to reference in an effect. Presets have additional parameters that can be set by the GM via the Options.

  • If you specify a range with one or two numbers, that over-rides the distances mentioned for the preset, retaining the special effect if any.

  • The built-in presets are specified below, with range specified in number of grid squares which are multiplied by default ruleset grid distance multiplier (i.e. 5’ for D&D 5E).

    • candle = color: FFFFFCC3, range: 1, animation: flicker 100

    • lamp = color: FFFFF3E1, range: 3/9 (grid squares), bright for 15’, animation: flicker 25

    • torch = color: FFFFF3E1, range: 4, animation: flicker 25

    • lantern = color: FFF9FEFF, range: 6 o darkness = color: FF000000, range: 3/3

    • light = color: FFFFF3E1, range: 4

Color

If a preset is not specified, then you can specify the color of the light.

  • Light colors are specified in a hexadecimal ARGB color format of 8 characters. (alpha, red, green, blue)

    • Helpful tip: Pull up any color selection window (such as user or dice), find the color you want, copy the hexadecimal code from the selectin window, and hit Cancel.

    • The alpha portion can be left off, and is assumed to be FF, if not present. (i.e. 6 characters, instead of 8)

    • The first two characters are the alpha, or a strength indicator. FFFFFFFF is the brightest white light. DDFFFFFF is a dimmer white light. AAFFFFFF is dimmer still.

    • FFFFFFFF is white light. FF000000 is darkness (like the Darkness entry above). FFFF0000 is red light, FF00FF00 is green light. FF0000FF is blue light. The last six can be any valid RBG color.

    • In addition to simply adjusting brightness, this also affects light overlap areas. If one light effect is a bright blue FF0000FF, and a second light effect is an equally bright red FFFF0000, if those two light effects overlap, the area of overlap will be purple. If instead the second light is a dimmer red CCFF0000, the area of overlap will be bluer purple (less red).

    • If you have three light effects, equally strong red, blue, and green, an area where all three overlap would end up being white.

    • I notice that you can also specify only the last six digits to get the color. Apparently the leading “FF” is not needed unless you want to use decrease the brightness, but if you happen to use 7 characters the color will be dark, and if you have 5 or fewer characters, FGU will generate a color you might not expect.

Animation Type/Frequency

If you do not use a preset, you can specify one of three effects, followed by a speed ranging from 0 (no effect) to 100 (fast effect). Animation types should be specified in lower case (i.e. “flicker”).

  • flicker = The light flickers at the edges. It is most apparent at fast speeds.

  • pulse = The light pulses from center to edge. The speed enables a lot of variation here.

  • flash = The light flips on and off. Speed 100 is about once a second; speed 50 is once every 2 seconds.

Additional Examples (for D&D 5e)

Effect

Description

Effect

Description

LIGHT: torch

For creatures who are carrying a torch

LIGHT: light

For creatures who are carrying something to which a Light spell has been applied

LIGHT: 15/30 light

For creatures hold unsheathed Moon-Touched Sword

LIGHT: 30/30 FF2213FF pulse 23

Aura of Life spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 30/30 FF99FFF6 pulse 23

Aura of Purity spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 30/30 FF00FD34 pulse 3

Aura of Vitality spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 30/30 FFC4B1FF pulse 23

Circle of Power spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 10/10 FFFF96C8 flicker 90

Faerie Fire spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to target)

LIGHT: 10/20 FFFF9999 flicker 90

Produce Flame spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 5/5 FFCCCCFF flicker 95

Shield of Faith spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to target)

LIGHT: 30/30 FF5555FF flicker 90

Spirit Guardians spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

LIGHT: 10/10 FFCCDBEF flicker 99

Spirit Shround spell (light portion of effect only) (applied to caster)

Video Walkthroughs

Earlier videos may contain features that have changed either visually or in function since the video was created. This is due to Fantasy Grounds Unity being in active development during filming.

For example: the Sidebar may now look different. More information about that here:
Link:

Basic Usage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz3p0NY-aCA

Adding a Mix of Ambient Light and Normal Lights

Advanced Lighting Options