Patchwork 3D Enterprise 2021.1 X5

Calculating Lightmaps

When at least one of the visible lighting layers is a lightmap, the lightmap must be calculated before the illumination will be visible.


The lighting resolution and the shadow size are each set by default at 2048 and 1024 pixels, respectively. In the settings, you can increase the lighting or shadow definition for greater fineness when working on an object. Keep in mind, however, that the calculation will be slower as a result of more intensive image information processing.

Select the Lightmap mode. Choose the layers and the surfaces for which lightmaps should be calculated, then use the rendering buttons to render the lightmaps.

Filtering Layers

The Layers filter specifies which layer or layers to take into account when calculating lightmaps.




Lightmaps will be calculated for all of the layers.


Only the lightmaps for the layers that are visible in the current configuration will be calculated.


The lightmap for the active layer will be calculated, even if this lighting is not visible. The active layer is the layer that is currently selected. If multiple layers are selected, the active layer is the layer bordered by a dotted line in the Layers list.

Filtering Surfaces

The Surfaces filter allows you to restrict the surfaces for which lightmaps will be calculated.




Lightmaps will be rendered for all surfaces.


Select surfaces directly in the 3D product view from the Lighting tab of Shaper. Direct surface selection saves time as it is not necessary to switch to the Surface tab to select a surface requiring a lightmap computation. The selected surfaces for which lightmaps will be calculated will be highlighted in green.


Lightmaps will be rendered only for surfaces for which no lightmap has been calculated yet.

Setting the Render Quality

A slider allows you to determine the speed at which lightmaps are calculated by setting the balance between speed and precision. The default slider position (50) sets an advantageous rendering speed that preserves global lightmap quality in most contexts.

You can modify this setting by moving the slider towards one of the extremes:

Rendering quality



Rendering speed is increased. The precision of the lightmaps created by this calculation is decreased.

More accurate

Priority is given to the precision of the lightmaps being calculated. This calculation takes longer to carry out.

Launching a Lightmap Render

Two render calculation modes exist:



Start Local Rendering

Use this option to calculate lightmaps using your computer's resources.

Start Distributed Rendering

Use this option to calculate lightmaps using the resources of a network of computers running Patchwork Lightmap Render. More information on distributed rendering can be found in the chapter Distributed Lightmap Rendering.

The option Show while rendering allows you to visualize the result of the calculation before the calculation has been completed. When this option is enabled, as soon as the lightmap for a surface is calculated, it is shown in the viewport. Surfaces for which the lightmap has not yet been calculated are displayed in red.

If you are calculating lightmaps for multiple layers, the display will switch to the layer for which lighting is being calculated if Show while rendering is checked.


When no lightmap has been calculated for a given surface, it is displayed in red in both Shaper and Matter.

Options for Existing Lightmaps


Surface and layer filters for lightmap calculation are also applied to the following functions.

Once a lightmap has been calculated, you can:




Update the lightmap to view the lightmap in a different lightmap format.


Export the lightmap as a series of image files.


Remove the lightmap. This deletes the lightmap completely. A deleted lightmap can be recalculated from scratch but cannot be restored.