VisArea - Lumberyard User Guide


This feature is in preview release and is subject to change.
Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the successor to Lumberyard, is now available in Developer Preview. Download O3DE or visit the AWS Game Tech blog to learn more.

A vis area (visible area) is a shape object that helps you manage visibility and culling in a scene. When a camera is in a visible area, the camera can see only other objects that are also in the visible area. You can use the VisArea component to define indoor areas and manage overdraw. Objects are inside a visible area only if their center is inside the area.

You can also add a Portal component to an entity to create windows between visible areas. This helps you create beautiful areas that render efficiently.

Visible areas are only dynamic during editing. If you modify the VisArea component or move the entity that the VisArea component is attached to at runtime, the area that the VisArea component defines isn't affected. Also, the VisArea component doesn't work if it's spawned as part of a dynamic slice.

For more information, see Working with the Event Bus (EBus) system.


You can't modify the OccluderArea, Portal, and VisArea components at runtime.

VisArea Component Properties

                The VisArea component properties in
                    Lumberyard Editor.

The VisArea component has the following properties.

Name Description


The height of the visible area.


Displays the visible area as a filled volume in the Lumberyard Editor viewport.


Objects in the visible area are affected by the sun.


A multiplier on the view distance of the visible area during editing.


Renders the ocean outside the visible area.


Choose Edit, and the component is locked for editing. For more information, see Editing Components in the Viewport.

Vis Area Component Examples

Example 1

The following example shows two boxes. One box is inside the visible area, and one is outside. From outside the visible area, the inside box isn't visible. The DisplayFilled option is enabled so that the visible area appears orange.

You can see the shadow of the box inside the visible area because the AffectedBySun option is enabled.

                        The VisArea component hides one box from

Example 2

In the same example, the DisplayFilled option is disabled in the visible area.

                        Use the VisArea component to create a shape to
                            display and hide objects.

Example 3

In the following example, you can see the box inside the visible area, but you can't see the box outside the visible area.

You can see the ocean inside the visible area because the OceanIsVisible option is enabled.

                        The VisArea component displays an ocean in the
                            visible area.

Example : Non-Planar Legacy Vertices

If you're familiar with the legacy visible areas, you might be used to seeing the legacy visualization. In the legacy system, if you raise one vertex of the visible area higher than the other vertices, the legacy visualization displays the visible area incorrectly.

The following example is the legacy visualization for a visible area. One vertex appears higher than the others.

                        Legacy non-planar visible area visualization.

Example : Planar Vertices with VisArea Component

The following is an example of the VisArea component with the same vertices.

                        Use the VisArea component to create a shape to
                            display and hide objects.

The second example is correct because the visible area is the volume on the xy-plane with a z-position and a height. This makes it faster to determine whether an object is inside the VisArea component.

The position on the z-axis is the position of the lowest point. The height is the specified height plus the difference in height between the highest and lowest point. This remains true even after transformations. If you rotate a visible area on the x- or y-axis, you might see volumes that don't make sense. All points after a transformation are projected onto the xy-plane.

When legacy visible areas are converted, Lumberyard corrects this behavior for you. All points are made planar, and any difference in height between points applies to the visible area's height.