Wikis > Visual Pinball Knowledge Base > Table and Environment Lighting

VP10 has two types of table lighting, Table Lights and Environment Emission. These are the only ‘true’ lights in VP10, shading the 3d objects. Without these lights, all table objects would render out black. So they’re very important.

An overview of the available settings for these lights:

Table Lights

These are two point-type lights that sit at the 1/3 and 2/3rds positions of the playfield.


  • Light Color: Changes the color of the lights
  • Light Emission Scale: Sets the intensity of the lights. (default 4000000)
  • Light Height : Adjusts the height of the table lights. This is in VP units, use VPU*800/17 to convert to inches (Default 5000)
  • Light Range: This sets the approximate maximum distance the light will travel. Light will quickly fade out after this distance. (default: really high, which essentially disables this)
  • (incidentally, Light Range also affects the maximum distance for the ‘show reflections on balls’ effect for Light Objects)

Environment Emission Lights
This is a form of IBL (Image Based Lighting) and a pretty advanced lighting technique. However, as you can see, there aren’t a lot of options here.

light sources are mapped to the environment image in a spherical projection. This is how the environment image is wrapped:

Brighter parts of the image will emit more light. Black will emit no light.


  • Environment Emission Image: Sets the environment emission image. The environment image must be an image (EXR or HDR recommended) with a 2:1 aspect ratio. If set to <None>, it will instead use a default image from the vp10 source.
  • Environment Emission Scale: Adjusts brightness. 0 is off.

Environment Emission tips:

  • Keep a high dynamic range without clipping, and then adjust the environment emission scale to taste in-game.
  • Don’t clip!!! Sections of the environment image that are pegged at their maximum brightness will create splotchy looking light. (This is why using an HDR or EXR image is so important, you get much more dynamic range to play with)
  • Most IBLs you find on the internet are designed for ray-traced 3d rendering. That’s not going to be applicable here – our light does not create shadows at all. Most IBL images will create very flat looking lighting in VP10 for this reason. The bottom half-to-two-thirds of the image should be pretty dark, because that’s where the playfield and cabinet sit.
  • You may be able to match a simple lighting setup in a 3d modeling program by mapping the light onto a sphere with a reflective material.

Misc options:

  • Ambient (Keep this low) : Sets the minimum color that the light will produce. Best to leave this at pure black.
  • Ambient Occlusion Scale: This adds a quick pass of screen space ambient occlusion, a shadow technique. This is ONLY applied to objects that are static rendered. Quality is not great on 4k displays.
  • Bloom Strength: A post process effect that allows bright pixels to ‘bloom’ out. This is a popular effect in video games because it’s a quick and effective way of representing high dynamic range on limited brightness displays. (Recommended: low, but greater than 0)
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