Allen Zayden showed the way he did the relighting of the amazing environment created by Wiktor Öhman. Learn about the different lighting techniques in UE4.
Hello! My name is Allen Zayden, I’m from Minneapolis in the United States. Currently, I’m the Lead 3D Artist at Frontwire Studios, volunteering my time on Galaxy in Turmoil. Previously I worked at AECOM as a Junior Visualization Specialist working on projects in VR and general visualizations.
I’ve been helping the Art Director at Frontwire Studios with lighting our levels recently and was pushing him to upgrade our engine from 4.17 to 4.18 due to the lighting updates.
The recent lighting experiments are due to having internal server maintenance at the studio, so I decided to take the downtime as a chance to test out my ideas of lighting our interior levels via emissive materials rather than dozens or hundreds of point and spotlights. The results went far better than I could anticipate!
For years I’ve been wanting to get V-Ray quality results with lighting in a game engine, the recent update with the volumetric lightmaps and multi-bounce improvements definitely helps bridge the gap that existed between 3d Graphics software and your traditional game engine.
I’ve found lighting fascinating since I was a child, my mother is an electrical engineer so I’ve found light and how it’s used in art and the scientific properties behind it fascinating my whole life. Depending on the direction of a single light for example, you could make a character look angelic, mysterious, or dangerous. You can turn a fairly normal or even somewhat bland 3d scene into something visually exciting just by how your lights are placed and what the focus is on.
Deus Ex environment
Placing a skylight in the scene is used mostly for shadow tinting (shadow casting needed to be turned off on the skylight, volumetric scattering intensity boosted up to 4.0 can also help slightly, but it depends on the interior) working with the exponential height fog’s volumetric fog. If you leave “Override Light Colors with Fog Intensity” checked off (as is the default) you can easily tint the volumetric fog/shadows (and it appears the AO? I might be mistaken regarding AO but in my tests it appeared to affect AO coloration as well) in the interior with the skylight color.
As stated above, the volumetric fog works in conjunction with the skylight here. In my recent re-lighting tests, I’ve incorporated volumetric fog in all of them. First and foremost- because I just love it, but it also adds a bit of a kick to the interior. Personally, I increase the fog density over the standard range which stops at 0.05 to 0.1 or slightly higher depending on what I’m looking for and then adjusts it further with the “Static Lighting Scattering Intensity.” I don’t touch the albedo, emissive, or extinction scale in this scene but I have in others, although adjusting the albedo does the same thing visually as the skylight color. Since there’s no directional light in this scene, turning on or off the “Override Light Colors with Fog In-scattering” does nothing- but in my re-lighting of Liam Tart’s Scifi Bunk Room, I had kept it disabled so I’d have full control of the color of the volumetric fog. I also occasionally adjust the Fog Height Falloff to 2.0 from the default of 0.2 but didn’t do that for this scene.
Setting up for games
I would also like to thank Kirill Tokarev for giving me the opportunity to share my work, and for all the inspirational articles that 80 Level has provided for the gaming industry and our artistic processes.