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Env_projectedtexture has different appearances
Projecting a colorful texture in Garry's Mod.
Portal 2 uses projected textures extensively for world lighting.
Showcase of Portal 2: Community Edition volumetrics in a Portal 2 map.

env_projectedtexture is a point entity available in all Source Source games since Source 2006 Source 2006. It projects a texture as a dynamic light that affects all objects in the world, optionally with Shadow Mapping. env_Projectedtexture does not light the world similarly that other light entities which are ray-traced when you compile the map. This light however is real-time and works without RAD.

Warning.pngWarning:This is the most expensive light entity in the engine. Use sparingly.
Note.pngNote:Newer hardware with a good CPU can handle it better.
Note.pngNote:While its still kinda supported in Alien Swarm Deferred Alien Swarm Deferred and Lambda Wars Lambda Wars its highly recommented that you use Light_deferred.
Note.pngNote:Removed from Black Mesa Black Mesa in the December 24 2017 update and replaced with its new deferred rendering lighting system.
In code, it is represented by theCEnvProjectedTextureclass, defined in theenv_projectedtexture.cppfile.

Caveats and Fixes

Issue/Caveat Affected games Fix/Workarounds Notes
The Volumetrics option in Strata Source Strata Source is temporarily broken due to a missing shader Strata Source Strata Source N/A
Note.pngNote:This was fixed in Portal: Revolution. There are plans to upstream it to P2CE [1]
Valve's games only support one shadow map in the PVS at a time. Official Source games/stock Source SDK Base 2013 code It is possible to modify/remove this limit by following these instructions. The following games/branches have exceptions to this:
  • Garry's Mod: 9 (Can be increased with -numshadowtextures #)
  • Strata Source: 8
  • Mapbase: 4 (Can be increased with -numshadowtextures #)
  • INFRA: 8
Textures used for projected textures require the flags Clamp S, Clamp T and Clamp All to avoid glitchy tiling. Also note, that VTFs are used directly and no VMT is needed. All Source games N/A N/A
Shadows are only rendered when the user is running with "High" shadow detail.
All Source games except Portal 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. If your options menu does not show the "High" shadow detail setting by default (especially all Intel graphics card), add
-force_vendor_id 0x10DE -force_device_id 0x1180 to the game's launch options
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive dynamic shadows from Projected Textures work on "Low" settings
In multiplayer, mat_supportflashlight must be set to 1 for flashlights to work All multiplayer Source games N/A By default these ConVars are disabled in Team Fortress 2, so this entity won't work there without special configuration
Viewmodels won't receive light or shadows from projected textures All Source games except Garry's Mod and Portal 2 env_projectedtexture/fixes#Enabling shadow receiving on the view model
Some Nvidia graphics cards (especially with latest drivers and/or all newer Nvidia Nvidia cards since around mid-late 2010s) render big/small white specks, squares or noises (and sometimes it's also flickering) on certain textures Portal 2 and Garry's Mod, possibly all Source games[confirm]. Remove the bumpmap ($bumpmap or $ssbump) or $detail textures), or use mat_bumpmap 0 (to disable Bumpmapping), or run the game in Vulkan (-vulkan launch option). Video of said bug.
Also in GMOD (click to preview):
A animated GIF of said bug, but in  Garry's Mod.
While running in DirectX 9 mode, some graphics cards will not render shadows from env_projectedtexture regardless of the shadow detail setting, and as a result will render the texture through brushes and props instead of properly stopping them Portal 2 Run the game in Vulkan mode with the launch parameter -vulkan Also affects all DX9 based mods, fixed in Portal 2: Community Edition and Portal: Revolution
Parenting does not work with stock SDK code Source SDK Base 2013 Env_projectedtexture/fixes#Fixing Parenting N/A
No smooth transition between this light and env_cascade_light CS:GO N/A N/A
SpotlightTexture is disabled in some branches Portal 2 engine branch and CS:GO branch N/A Fixed in Strata Source Strata Source
The light will cause multiple layered info_overlays to show through each other
Blank image.pngTodo: At least in Garry's Mod
Source 2007/2009 Bugs
Note.pngNote:the way that this page was structured before made it easy to put newly discovered bugs in the wrong category, so some of the following bugs may or may not be in modern titles.
The configurable texture value from Hammer is not accepted - will always default to effects/flashlight001 Source 2007, Source 2009, Source Multiplayer Use the SpotlightTexture input or override the actual contents of the default VTF with a new one.


This entity cannot target another entity Source 2007, Source 2009, Source Multiplayer [confirm] env_projectedtexture/fixes#Fixing targeting N/A
Models will not receive their own shadows correctly Source 2007, Source 2009, Source Multiplayer [confirm] Create a bumpmap for the texture.
Even a flat bumpmap is sufficient, such as 🖿dev/flat_normal.vtf.
This entity will cause issues if the entity overlaps a portal in Portal Portal N/A
Confirm.pngConfirm: Is this fixed in latest version of Portal?


  • 1: Enabled
Icon-Bug.pngBug:Always starts on in Garry's Mod Garry's Mod.
PlacementTip.pngWorkaround: Use logic_auto with TurnOff input.
  • 2: Always Update (for moving light)

(in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)

Tip.pngTip:If a game doesn't support this flag, you still can move projected texture. Clear parent each 0.24 seconds and set parent each 0.25 seconds, this will update the projected texture position (parent must have attachment point).


Target (target) <targetname>
The entity will rotate to point at this target. Make sure you check the Always update flag if you set this.
FOV (lightfov) <float>
The field of view cone/pyramid at which the texture is projected.
Confirm:This keyvalue does not work in Alien Swarm.
NearZ (nearz) <float>
Objects closer than this will not receive the light from the projection.
FarZ (farz) <float>
Objects beyond this distance will not receive the light from the projection.
Enable Shadows (enableshadows) <boolean>
Enables/disables shadows from this projected texture. 0 = no, 1 = yes.
Shadow Quality (shadowquality) <choices>
Quality of shadows.
  • 0: Low (sharp, pixelized shadows)
  • 1: High (smooth edged shadows)
Shadow Filter (shadowfilter) <integer> (only in Mapbase)
Changes the Shadow Filter parameter of the light, which is responsible for smoothing the light. Works only when enabled Always update flag.
Light Only Target (lightonlytarget) <boolean>
Limit flashlight effect to only affect target entity.
Light World (lightworld) <boolean>
Control whether flashlight affects static world geometry. 0 = no, 1 = yes.
Light Color (lightcolor) <color255 + int>
Light color and intensity.
Note.pngNote:This entity has different brightness rules when compared to light. A good number to start at is 10000 with a Brightness scale of 5-10
Camera Space (cameraspace) <integer>
Angles are interpreted as being relative to camera.
Texture Name (texturename) <string> !FGD
The texture which this entity projects. Must be a VTF file (not VMT), relative to /materials.
Texture Frame (textureframe) <integer> !FGD
If the texture is animated, this is the frame it should begin on.
Simple Projection (simpleprojection) <boolean> (in all games since Alien Swarm) !FGD
Indicates if this is a simple, non-light casting texture projection.
Simple Projection Size (projection_size) <float> (in all games since Alien Swarm) !FGD
Size of the simple projection.
Simple Projection Rotation (projection_rotation) <float> (in all games since Alien Swarm) !FGD
Brightness Scale (brightnessscale) <float> (in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)
Scale the light color by this brightness.
Color Transition Time (colortransitiontime) <float> (in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)
Amount of time it takes for a color change to occur. Higher numbers cause faster transitions.
Appearance (style) <choices> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Various Custom Appearance presets.
Note.pngNote:Requires input AlwaysUpdateOn to work.
Light Appearances
Literal Value Description Sequence Preview
0 Normal m Sequence 0.gif
10 Fluorescent flicker mmamammmmammamamaaamammma Sequence 10.gif
2 Slow, strong pulse abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba Sequence 2.gif
11 Slow pulse, noblack abcdefghijklmnopqrrqponmlkjihgfedcba Sequence 11.gif
5 Gentle pulse jklmnopqrstuvwxyzyxwvutsrqponmlkj Sequence 5.gif
1 Flicker A mmnmmommommnonmmonqnmmo Sequence 1.gif
6 Flicker B nmonqnmomnmomomno Sequence 6.gif
3 Candle A mmmmmaaaaammmmmaaaaaabcdefgabcdefg Sequence 3.gif
7 Candle B mmmaaaabcdefgmmmmaaaammmaamm Sequence 7.gif
8 Candle C mmmaaammmaaammmabcdefaaaammmmabcdefmmmaaaa Sequence 8.gif
4 Fast strobe mamamamamama Sequence 4.gif
9 Slow strobe aaaaaaaazzzzzzzz Sequence 9.gif
12 !FGD Underwater light mutation mmnnmmnnnmmnn Sequence 12.gif
Custom Appearance (pattern) <string> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Set a custom pattern of light brightness for this light. Pattern format is a string of characters, where a is total darkness, z fully bright. i.e. aaggnnttzz would be a steppy fade in from dark to light.
Default Appearance (defaultstyle) <string> (in all games since Portal 2)
Light View Models (lightviewmodels) <boolean> (only in INFRA)
Control whether flashlight effects view models.
Light Not PVS Culled (lightnotpvsculled) <boolean> (only in INFRA)
Disable PVS culling optimization for this light (you shouldn't do this unless it's explicitly causing problems).
Enable Volumetrics (volumetric) <boolean> (only in Strata Source) !FGD
Whether or not to use volumetrics for this projected texture.
Volumetric Intensity (volumetricintensity) <float> (only in Strata Source) !FGD
Defines the intensity of the volumetrics. (Default is 1. Can go above; no strict limit)
Icon-Important.pngImportant:As of 31/10/23, Volumetrics are currently broken due to a missing shader. According to a dev, the shader was working in DX9 but was not ported to DX11 due it planning to be remade, however currently this has not yet been worked on. Do not enable volumetrics while this is the case!
Movie Name (moviename) <string> (only in Strata Source)
.webm file used in place of the texture.

Name (targetname) <string>
The name that other entities use to refer to this entity.
Parent (parentname) <targetname>
Maintain the same initial offset to this entity. An attachment point can also be used if separated by a comma at the end. (parentname [targetname],[attachment])
Tip.pngTip:Entities transition to the next map with their parents
Tip.pngTip:phys_constraint can be used as a workaround if parenting fails.
Origin (X Y Z) (origin) <coordinates>
The position of this entity's center in the world. Rotating entities typically rotate around their origin.
Note.pngNote:Hammer does not move the entities accordingly only in the editor.
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.pngNote:This works on brush entities, although Hammer doesn't show the new angles.
Classname (classname) <string> !FGD
Determines the characteristics of the entity before it spawns.
Tip.pngTip:Changing this on runtime still has use, like making matching an entry in S_PreserveEnts will persist the entity on new rounds!
Spawnflags (spawnflags) <flags> !FGD
Toggles exclusive features of an entity, its specific number is determined by the combination of flags added.
Effects (effects) <flags> !FGD
Combination of effect flags to use.
Entity Scripts (vscripts) <scriptlist> (in all games since Left 4 Dead 2) (also in Team Fortress 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. Scripts executed on the worldspawn entity will be placed in root scope.
Think function (thinkfunction) <string> (in all games since Left 4 Dead 2) (also in Team Fortress 2)
Name of the function within this entity's script that'll be called automatically every 100 milliseconds, or a user-defined interval if the function returns a number. 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!
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.


Note.pngNote:In some FGDs, only TurnOn, TurnOff and FOV are present.
Turns on the texture.
Turns off the texture.
FOV <float>
Sets FOV.
EnableShadows <boolean>
Set the if shadows are enabled. 0 = no, 1 = yes.
SpotlightTexture <string>
Sets the spotlight texture.
Note.pngNote:Disabled in Portal 2 onwards. Fixed in Portal 2: Community Edition
Target <string>
Specify a new Target entity to point at.
CameraSpace <boolean>
Sets Camera Space.
LightOnlyTarget <boolean>
Sets Light Only Target.
LightWorld <integer>
Sets Light World. 0 = no, 1 = yes.
AlwaysUpdateOn  (in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)
Turn on per frame updating (for moving lights).
AlwaysUpdateOff  (in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)
Turn off per frame updating (for moving lights).
LightColor <color255> (in all games since Alien Swarm) (also in Mapbase)
Change the Light Color.
SetBrightness <float> (only in Mapbase)
Sets the brightness.
SetLightStyle <integer> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Sets an Appearance. (see Appearance keyvalue above for possible values)
SetPattern <string> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Sets Custom Appearance. (see Custom Appearance keyvalue above)
SetNearZ <float> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Sets NearZ.
SetFarZ <float> (in all games since Portal 2) (also in Garry's Mod)
Sets FarZ.
Ambient  (only in INFRA)
Set ambient.
Confirm:Doesn't seem to do anything
EnableVolumetrics <boolean> (only in Portal 2: Community Edition)
Enables or disables volumetrics.
SetVolumetricIntensity <float> (only in Portal 2: Community Edition)
Sets the intensity of the volumetrics. (Default is 1. Can go above; no strict limit)
SetBrightnessScale <float> (only in Portal 2: Community Edition)
Sets the brightness.

AddContext <string>
Adds to the entity's list of response contexts. See Context.
AddOutput <string>
Assigns a new keyvalue/output on this entity. For keyvalues, some rely on extra necessary code to be ran and won't work if its simply just changed through this input. There is a strict format that must be followed:
// Format of changing KeyValues: "AddOutput [key] [value]"
//// Raw text:
"OnUser1" "!self,AddOutput,targetname new_name"

// Format of adding an Output: "AddOutput {targetname}:{inputname}:{parameter}:{delay}:{max times to fire, -1 means infinite}"
//// Raw text:
"OnUser1" "!self,AddOutput,OnUser1:SetParent:!activator:0.0:-1"
// Arguments can be left blank, but the empty blank should still be contained.
//// Raw text:
"OnUser1" "!self,AddOutput,OnUser1:ClearParent::0.0:-1"
Removes all contexts from this entity's list.
Removes this entity from the the movement hierarchy, leaving it free to move independently.
FireUser1 to FireUser4
Fires the respectiveOnUseroutputs; see User Inputs and Outputs.
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.
RemoveContext <string>
Remove a context from this entity's list. The name should match the key of an existing context.
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.
Use  !FGD
Same as a player invoking +use; no effect in most cases.
DispatchResponse <string> !FGD
Dispatches a response to the entity. See Response and Concept.
DispatchEffect <string> (removed since Left 4 Dead) !FGD
Dispatches a special effect from the entity's origin; See also List of Client Effects. Replaced by the particle system since Left 4 Dead.
RunScriptFile <script> (in all games since Left 4 Dead 2) (also in Team Fortress 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) (also in Team Fortress 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.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:In Hammer, using string arguments will corrupt the VMF file's structure, making the file unviewable for the next Hammer session.
Note.pngFix:Remove the string argument manually with a text editor.
Note.pngNote:Team Fortress 2 Backtick characters ` are replaced with quotation marks at runtime, allowing quotation marks to be used when normally not possible.
CallScriptFunction <string> (in all games since Left 4 Dead 2) (also in Team Fortress 2) !FGD
Calls a VScript function defined in the scope of the receiving entity.
TerminateScriptScope  (only in Team Fortress 2) !FGD
Destroys the script scope of the receving 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.
OnKilled  (only in Left 4 Dead)
This output fires when the entity is killed and removed from the game.

See also