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CSM in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

env_cascade_light is a point entity available in the following Source engine games:

<Insurgency> Insurgency, <Black Mesa (Source)> Black Mesa (Source), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Portal 2: Community Edition Portal 2: Community Edition.

It casts an extremely accurate shadow map via the tools/skybox texture, acting as a real-time variation of light_environment. This form of lighting is known as Cascaded Shadow Maps, or CSM, which works by rendering very detailed shadow maps which becomes a lower and lower resolution depending on the distance the viewer is from the surface, similar to mipmaps. Some games automatically add this entity to the map, but it can be placed manually as well.

Note.png Note: <Black Mesa (Source)>'s implementation is different from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's. It may work differently than expected.
Bug.png Bug: In <Insurgency>, shadows will be very faint if the map hasn't been compiled with HDR.
Bug.png Bug: In <Insurgency>, Lightstyles will break when this entity exists.
Note.png Note: You still need to have a light_environment in your map as well to create lightmap based lighting, which is not done by this entity.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Represented by class CCascadeLight.


Light Color (color) <color255>
This is the color of the sunlight. For Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the color is automatically copied from the light_environment.
Max shadow distance (maxshadowdistance) <float>
Maximum dynamic shadow distance. Higher values are slower, default on PC is 400 units.
Use light_environment's angles (uselightenvangles) <boolean>
If true, the CSM shadow angles are automatically taken from a light_environment's angles. If false, this entity's Pitch Yaw Roll is used.
LightRadius1 (LightRadius1) to LightRadius3 <float> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Used for controlling shadow softness in cascades 1, 2, and 3.
Depthbias1 (Depthbias1) to Depthbias3 <float> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
DepthBias for cascades 1, 2, and 3.
Slopescaledepthbias1 (Slopescaledepthbias1) to Slopescaledepthbias3 <float> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Slope DepthBias for cascades 1, 2, and 3.
ViewModelDepthbias (ViewModelDepthbias) <float> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
DepthBias for viewmodel cascade.
ViewModelSlopescaledepthbias (ViewModelSlopescaledepthbias) <float> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
DepthBias for viewmodel cascade.
CSM_Volume_Mode (CSMVolumeMode) <choices> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Use Manual mode for better quality and performance. In near future Auto mode will be removed from the game.
  • 0: Auto: Static cache will update once every 10 frames (approx) covering max shadow distance or whole map around player.
  • 1: Manual : Static cache area coverage and updates are managed via CSM Volumes' I/O.


Start Disabled (StartDisabled) <boolean>
Stay dormant until activated (with theEnableinput).


Name (targetname) <string>
The name that other entities refer to this entity by.
Parent (parentname) <targetname>
Specifies a movement parent. An entity will maintain its initial offset from its parent. An attachment point can be added to the end of the name, separated by a comma. Every entity can be parented, even point entities. Entities which are parented will be forced to transition to the next map, such as from a trigger_transition. Some entities which aren't intended to be parented may not function correctly. phys_constraint can be used as a workaround to parenting.
Global Entity Name (globalname) <string>
Name by which this entity is linked to another entity in a different map. When the player transitions to a new map, entities in the new map with globalnames matching entities in the previous map will have the previous map's state copied over their state.
Origin (X Y Z) (origin) <coordinates>
The position of this entity's center in the world. Rotating entities typically rotate around their origin.
Note.png Note: While this can override positions of where some entities spawn at, Hammer does not move the entities accordingly.
Pitch Yaw Roll (X Y Z) (angles) <angle>
This entity's orientation in the world. Pitch is rotation around the Y axis, yaw is the rotation around the Z axis, roll is the rotation around the X axis.
Note.png Note: This works on brush entities, although Hammer doesn't show the new angles.
Response Contexts (ResponseContext) <string>
Pre-defined response system contexts; Format is key:value,key:value,...and so on. Can also be filtered for or against.
Classname (classname) <string> !FGD
The classname defines the type of entity. Classnames can be changed usingAddOutputinput, which may influence how the engine deals with the entity in certain circumstances.
Flags (spawnflags) <integer> !FGD
Toggles exclusive features of an entity, its specific number is determined by the combination of flags added.
Effects (effects) <integer> !FGD
Combination of effect flags to use.
Hammer ID (hammerid) <integer> !FGD
The entity's Hammer ID, which is auto-generated on map compiles. Mainly used by plugins and debugging commands, such as theent_keyvaluecommand. Run-time spawned entities aren't assigned a Hammer ID.
Entity Scripts (vscripts) <scriptlist> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Space delimited list of VScript files (without file extension) that are executed after all entities have spawned. The scripts are all executed in the same script scope, later ones overwriting any identical variables and functions.
Script think function (thinkfunction) <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Name of a function in this entity's script which will be called automatically every 100 milliseconds (ten times a second) for the duration of the script. It can be used to create timers or to simulate autonomous behavior. The return value (if present) will set the time until the next call. Try to avoid expensive operations in this function, as it may cause performance problems.
Lag Compensation (LagCompensate) <boolean> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
Set to Yes to lag compensate this entity. Should be used very sparingly!
Disable for Xbox 360 (disableX360) <boolean> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
If this entity should automatically be given the 'Disable' input on the Xbox 360 version of Source.
Is Automatic-Aim Target (is_autoaim_target) <boolean> (in all games since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) !FGD
If set to 1, this entity will slow down aiming movement for consoles and joystick controllers when the entity is under the crosshairs.


SetAngles <string>
Sets the direction shadows cast in.
LightColor <color255>
Changes color of the sunlight.
LightColorScale  !FGD <Obsolete>
Deprecated. Boosts the color of the sunlight. Non-functional, only resets the Light Color.
SetCSMVolume  (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Set CSM Volume via trigger volume.
SetCSMVolumeToSceneBounds  (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Set CSM Volume to scene bounds.
SetCSMVolumeViaCSMVolumeEntity <targetname> (only in <Black Mesa (Source)>)
Set CSM Volume to CSM Volume Entity.


Enable/disable this entity from performing its task. It might also disappear from view.


AddOutput <string>
Evaluates a keyvalue/output on this entity.
Format: <key> <value>
Format: <output name> <targetname>:<inputname>:<parameter>:<delay>:<max times to fire, -1 means infinite>
Removes this entity and any entities parented to it from the world.
Functions the same as Kill, although this entity and any entities parented to it are killed on the same frame, being marginally faster thanKillinput.
SetParent <string>
Move with this entity. See Entity Hierarchy (parenting).
SetParentAttachment <string>
Change this entity to attach to a specific attachment point on its parent. The entity will teleport so that the position of its root bone matches that of the attachment. Entities must be parented before being sent this input.
SetParentAttachmentMaintainOffset <string>
As above, but without teleporting. The entity retains its position relative to the attachment at the time of the input being received.
Removes this entity from the the movement hierarchy, leaving it free to move independently.
FireUser1 to FireUser4
Fire the OnUser outputs; see User Inputs and Outputs.
AddContext <string>
Adds to the entity's list of response contexts. Format is <key>:<value>.
RemoveContext <string>
Remove a context from this entity's list. The name should match the key of an existing context.
ClearContext <string>
Removes all contexts from this entity's list.
DispatchEffect <string> (removed since Left 4 Dead) !FGD
Dispatches a special effect from the entity's origin. Removed and replaced entirely by the particle system since Left 4 Dead.
DispatchResponse <string> !FGD
Dispatches a response to the entity. See Response and Concept.
Use  !FGD
Same as a player invoking +use; may not do anything. Can also be invoked by creating an output that does not specify an input.
This input is not included in Valve's FGDs.
RunScriptFile <script> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Execute a VScript file from disk, without file extension. The script contents are merged with the script scope of the receiving entity.
RunScriptCode <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>)
Execute a string of VScript source code in the scope of the entity receiving the input. String quotation may be needed when fired via console.
Bug.png Bug:  In <Left 4 Dead 2>, the code is executed in the script scope of the entity that fires the output, not the one receiving the input.
Warning.png Warning: Never try to pass string parameters to a script function with this input. It will corrupt the VMF structure because of the nested quotation marks, which then must be removed manually with a text editor.
CallScriptFunction <string> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead 2>) !FGD
Execute a VScript function in the scope of the receiving entity.
SetLocalOrigin <coordinates> (in all games since <Alien Swarm>) !FGD
Send this entity to a spot in the map. If the entity is parented to something, it will be offset from the parent by this amount.
SetLocalAngles <angles> (in all games since <Alien Swarm>) !FGD
Set this entity's angles.



OnUser1 to OnUser4
These outputs each fire in response to the firing of the like-numbered FireUser1 to FireUser4 Input; see User Inputs and Outputs.