Dynamic Lighting


I know a much anticipated feature is Dynamic Lighting. This topic is meant for the discussion and improvement of Dynamic Lighting.

Below are my initial thoughts on how the editor and screens will behave.


The editor will feature a new “Dynamic Lighting” layer that will permanently sit on top of all other layers. This is similar to how the grid works behind-the-scenes.

The Dynamic Lighting layer will give you exclusive access to a “pen tool”. Those familiar with other VTTs are probably already familiar with such a tool. It’s not a fantastic way of doing things, but it works. I will do my best to make the system not clunky and cumbersome. I welcome suggestions if anyone has any.

Using the pen tool, you can trace the outline of anything you want to be contained for your players. Each player will act as a light source and will eventually be configurable as to how far/near they can see and light-up the world.

Not shown in the screenshot above but important to note is that there will be a button on the top toolbar to “Preview Dynamic Lighting”. Clicking the button will drop a token onto your map you can move and play around with. Easy.

Playing Online

In addition to testing Dynamic Lighting easily within the editor, it will be simple to test Dynamic Lighting for each of your players. Simply click a player and “Toggle Dynamic Lighting” to get that player’s live perspective.


This is a work in progress. Please let me know your thoughts, comments, questions, or concerns in the comments below!


Let's talk macros

Work in progress.Showing off dropping with snap-to-grid on and undoing. Of course you can turn snap to grid off for more control.


Will it be possible as a GM to see what our player can see. For instance with dynamic sightlines for a character could I as a GM then click on a character and have a toggle ingame to see only what they see.


@chunkosauruswrex That is exactly the reason for the “Toggle Dynamic Lighting” button on the online toolbar. Clicking a character reveals the options for “Center on Token”, “Open Character Sheet”, and soon “Toggle Dynamic Lighting”

This would reveal what your player sees!

Does that helps?


Sounds good that just wasn’t clear to me yet


Woohoo! I finally had some time to dive back into Dynamic Lighting and I’m really happy with how this is turning out.

Notes on Usage

The pen will automatically snap-to-grid based on your settings (toggle on/off in the top toolbar). This makes outlining large areas like in the gif below really simple.

White points are “selected” points and can be moved. Points that are placed are inserted after a selected point. This is so if you have a new room, you can select an old point somewhere along your path and start inserting new points to open it up. You can also delete selected points.

Points are grouped. Placing points with a previously selected point will keep that point in the group. This is so you can create interiors, like the columns shown in the gif. Simply plot your points, press ESC to deselect any selected point, and begin placing to create a new group. Groups will eventually be able to be moved much like the bounding box.

I’m going to make the difference between selected and non-selected points much more obvious, for now consider this a tech demo.

I’ll be continuing development by making these boxes actually react to light. The “Preview Dynamic Lighting” button should be landing in the editor very soon.

As always I welcome your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, comments, questions, or concerns!




Press P to toggle the Pen Tool. Each point is selectable, moveable, and deletable.

Pro Tip

Outline big areas first and then turn off snap to grid and fill in the smaller areas in between. You’ll be done mapping out Dynamic Lighting in half the time.


Points can be re-selected, moved, and deleted, or additional points can be added from the last selected point. This makes extensions extremely simple.

  1. for some maps and assets we will need make some margins.
  2. as feature - one-way dynamic lightning
  3. as feature - dynamic height lightning - when you are at low point - you can’t see what are going at high points


Thank you for this!

Agree with margins for the map.

Could you elaborate on “one-way dynamic lighting”?

I’ll see what I can do about heightmaps. While that might not come now, it might be a feature later on.


Some progress - nothing impressive yet but figured it was worth showing what it looks like to test your dynamic lighting in the Editor. The red lines are far from permanent; it only serves to show me distance and where the line-of-sight is being traced.


Progress Update

It’s buggy but working! I’m going to extend the token to allow a circular pool of light in addition to the calculated dynamic lighting paths. To increase/decrease distance of line-of-sight, I’m thinking of letting a user scroll up/down on the token to increase/decrease. In game, this would be calculated from the character sheet.

Full Experience (Pen Tool + Test Dynamic Lighting)

Quick Gifs


(Mostly) Working!

Still need to work on clamping the line-of-sight to 30ft (and make it adjustable via scrollwheel) but I’m super happy with only a few day’s progress.


Use the mousewheel to test line-of-sight. 30ft? 60ft? No problem!


I have a question about dynamic lighting. Is there a possibility of making a distinction of bright vs dim light especially for characters with dark vision. Per the PHB:

Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray

Will you add in a lighter gray to distinguish dim conditions for characters.

Light sources also have bright vs dim distances.


Great suggestion!

This might be something I can do. The biggest challenge isn’t code, it’s legality. I need to follow what’s allowed in the OGL (not much)

With that said, I plan to incorporate bright vs dim and I am working on new and interesting things each day so there could be a chance this makes it in somewhere down the road.

Thank you!


One thing I have to give roll20 credit on is how the lighting system works and actually creates false walls to prevent players from dragging a token somewhere unintended.

The other system I really like is how the lighting isn’t updated till the token is dropped.
I’ve played games where people will cheat the experience and just drag their token around on the map to view everything. Because the system doesn’t update where the token is till it drops and calls on the redraw command.

If this is something doable I’d really like this option


Absolutely possible. Collision detection is something I think will come in an update but I’m definitely aware of the “less than fun” players who will cheat a map. For now updating the draw call after the token is placed will definitely be implemented. I eventually would like a system like FG where players request to move tokens and the GM needs to approve it.

Thank you as always for the suggestions. Hopefully I should have most of this implemented in the upcoming month.

Always feel free to reach out if you have additional thoughts, questions, or concerns!



In Game GM Testing

As a GM you can test each of your PC/NPCs tokens for visibility. What you see if what your PC will see on their screen. This still needs some tweaking but this is the final step of the Dynamic Lighting feature. If I’m able to keep this momentum I should have Dynamic Lighting out as early as next week.

Stay tuned for updates and please tell everyone you know about Power VTT! I sincerely appreciate your support and this platform would be nothing without it.

Enjoy this teaser gif below :slight_smile:




Dynamic Lighting is launching next week. Expect a release Monday or Tuesday.

One more gif to get you through the weekend :slight_smile:

I cannot wait to see what you all build!