cables is under heavy development.
There might be one or another bug, please let us know about it!
cables DocumentationHow To UseWorking with filesKeyboard ShortcutsUser Interface WalkthroughBeginner TutorialBeginner 1: Drawing A CircleBeginner 2: TransformationsBeginner 3: ColorMore TransformationsintermediateImage CompositionsPost-Processing 3D Scenescommunicationcables APICommunication with an Arduino via SerialCommunicating with Arduino over MQTTExporting And EmbeddingHow to serve files externally and fix CORS headersExporting PatchesExport using the cables command line interfaceExport via IframeExport creating a standalone executableExport to github (pages)Export and deploy to netlifyExport a ZIP fileExternal triggers / functionsUsing variablesPreviewing / uploading exported cables patchescoding opsCreating AttachmentsGeneral op/Port CallbacksPortsDynamic PortsArray PortsBoolean portsInteger Number PortsObject PortsString portsTrigger PortsFloating Point Number PortsGUI/UI attributesHello Op - Part 1LibrariesDeveloping OpsGuidelinesObject PortsWriting ShadersWeb Audio Op DevelopmentHTML and CSS in cablesLightingLightsShadowsWorking with audioBasic Audio SetupWorking with EffectsReal-Time Audio Analyzation & Audio VisualizationOffline Audio Visualization & AnalyzationFAQEmbeddingHow to integrate my cables patch into my CMS (webflow/wix/squarespace/...)?getting a warning when running the patch in electronHow to remove grey rectangles on touch (mobile)?Why doesn't the DownloadTexture op work on iOS?How to disable page scrolling on mobile?Mobile tippsTransparent CanvasFeatures and SupportHow to contribute code to cablesWill there be support for (animated) GIFs?How to report a bug in cablesGeneral questionsLicences and paymentWhat licence do i need to use cables?Will I have to pay for it in the future?How is my work licenced when using cables?Does cables support midi and OSC?ShadertoyTechnical questionsUI / EditorGuide to VR in cablesWebGL1 and WebGL2


In this section of the documentation, we will explore how the system works and how to use it efficiently. We will also look into common problems that can occur with adding shadows to a scene. Please keep in mind that the operators are subject to change in the future. We will try to keep the documentation as up to date as possible but if you find outdated parts or explanations that don't hold true anymore, do not hesitate to contact us on Discord.


The following ops are able to cast lights:

The following materials are able to receive light:

Basic Setup


In the screenshot above you see the minimum amount of operators needed to get shadows on the screen. The patch for the screenshot is availible here. In this example, a Directional Light is used. You can use any of the above mentioned operators to add lighting to a scene.

Multiple Lights

To use multiple lights, simply add them to your patch BEFORE your material(s).

Check out this patch to see a simple multi-light setup in action.

Light settings

The most important parameters for lights are Color, Position and Intensity.

With these 3 parameters, you can already generate an infinite amount of looks.

If you are using the Phong Material, another interesting parameter is the Specular Color.
The Phong Material features specular reflections, whose color you can control by changing the specular color of the lights. Please note that the Ambient Light doesn't feature a Specular Color parameter. Please refer to the documentation of the ops for a more detailed overview.

A note on Ambient Lighting

The color of the ambient light gets added on top of all the other colors, there are no lighting calculations involved. Subtle amounts do wonders.

help cables get better and edit this file on github