Creating Light and Barriers

Dynamic Lighting can help you transport your players to the deepest dungeons or the densest jungles where only a torch or their own vision can guide them through. To achieve this, you can create barriers that block out any unwanted light for more immersive play. Pretty cool, huh?

‘How do I create light?’

There are two ways to add lighting to your dynamically lit maps:

  • Using Tokens: tokens are how you give sight and how you provide light to your players. For more information about tokens and lighting, visit our Dynamic Lighting Token Settings page.

  • Using Daylight Mode: Daylight Mode is how you bring natural light to your whole map! For a daytime market vibe, visit our DL Page Settings page.

  • NEW: Using The Place Light Tool in the Toolbar- this new button allows you to place a token emitting 20 feet Bright Light and 20 feet Low Light on whatever layer you have selected

‘How do I create barriers?’

Navigate to the Layer category of the Toolbar and select Dynamic Lighting. This will switch you to the layer used for laying down lines and shapes that will serve as barriers for blocking vision.


When you're ready, click on the Drawing category of the Toolbar and select Draw Shape. Draw Shape allows you to quickly draw pre-made shapes. By default you'll draw a rectangle, but you can also hold down the Alt key while drawing to draw a circle instead. You can also use the Polygon/Line or Freehand Drawing tool to draw less constricting lines and shapes!

You can use either of these tools to draw outlines of all the walls, columns, doors, other pieces of the map that you want to block light for total engagement. To reiterate, anything drawn or placed on this layer will block lighting or vision for Tokens on that page.

Setting up Transparent Barriers

Transparent dynamic lighting barriers allow light and vision to pass through both sides of the barrier, but will still block movement. To utilize this feature you'll have to select the option Transparent on the draw tool while on the Dynamic Lighting layer.


When selecting transparent as an option, we automatically check your page settings to ensure that "Restrict movement" is enabled so you can utilize this feature to its fullest. If it is not, you will see this pop up -- clicking yes will automatically enable the setting without needing to open an extra menu!


When you draw a line with the transparent option, the lines will be dashed to show that they are transparent. In the image below, players can see over the bushes but can't walk through the thicker areas or stumps.


Setting up One-Way Barriers

One-way dynamic lighting barriers allow light and vision to pass through one side of the barrier but not the other. To make use of this feature you'll select the option for One Way that appears in the submenu after selecting the Draw tool.


When a line or shape is drawn with this input selected triangles will appear near the line letting you know which way light and vision will bypass the barrier. You can toggle the direction using the button to the right of the submenu. In the image below anyone on the balcony above the stairwell can see everything happening below them but anyone below is unable to see onto the balcony.


If you're looking for dynamic lighting lines that block all vision from both sides those are now called "Walls" in this submenu and are the default option. Any dynamic lighting created before the introduction of one-way barriers will be a "Wall" by default.

Setting up Walls for Dynamic Lighting

In this video, we'll show you how to draw and set up walls to use Dynamic Lighting. Use barriers to build rooms, block line of sight, and customize your map for your Roll20 game. [Plus and Pro Account feature]

Setting up Token Vision with Dynamic Lighting

Adjust Vision Settings for a token & tweak your players line of sight on your map. With Dynamic Lighting on, update Token vision, Night Vision and field of view! [Plus & Pro Subscription needed]

‘Do you have any more tips?’

  • With recent updates, you can now use the Freehand Drawing Tool on the Dynamic Lighting layer. Draw columns, cave walls, or anything else you can think of!
  • You can utilize different color lines to help tell different types of barrier shapes apart (ex. lime green for stationary dungeon walls and bright red for doors).
  • Remember that any drawings or tokens added to the Dynamic Lighting layer are invisible when you leave that layer.
  • If you plan to block out a multi-room/complex map, we recommend that you build your barriers with smaller, individual lines. This makes it easier to select and move shapes that you add to the layer.
This page is about Dynamic Lighting, a feature exclusive to Plus and Pro subscribers, or to players in a game created by a subscriber. If you'd like to use this feature, consider upgrading your account
  Free Plus Pro
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Looking to set up Dynamic Lighting quickly, or need to double check your work?

You can visit the Dynamic Lighting Checklist for a quick and easy walkthrough!

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