Mastering Lightmass Features of UE4
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Amazing art. I'm curious how the rocks manage to be such a natural part of the terrain! It really looks like they have been there for ages.

Great job and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

Frankly I do not understand why we talk about the past of this CEO. As a player I do not care about what he did or not until his games are good. As an Environmental Artist instead I see a game with a shaky graphics. It is completely without personality, emotion and involvement. It can hardly be considered acceptable especially for the 2019 platforms (which I understand will be the target of this game). Well, this is probably an indie group, with no experience facing a first game in the real market. And that's fine. Do the best you can that even if you fail, you will learn and do better. From a technical point of view the method you are using is very old. It can work but not as you are doing it. I bet you're using Unity, it's easy to see that since I see assets from their asset store. Break your landscapes more, they are too monotonous and contact real 3D artists and level designers. One last thing, the last screenshot is worse than all the previous ones. The lights are wrong and everything screams disaster. Avoid similar disasters in the future.

Mastering Lightmass Features of UE4
30 October, 2017

Epic Games has recently shared an amazing talk by Jerome Platteaux on UE4 lighting from Unreal Dev Day Montreal 2017. The video is full of tips and tricks, so you should definitely watch. However, if you don’t have time for a 50-minute talk, there’s another option. Tom Looman has collected all the useful data from the talk and you can just read his article to learn more about lighting in Unreal Engine 4. 

Here is a small piece to get you interested: 

Post-processing Setup (Pre-lighting)

Before you start lighting your scene, there are a couple of post processing settings to change to get consistent results in reviewing your light bakes. (10:00 video timestamp)

  • Deactivate Auto Exposure
  • Deactivate SSAO and SSR
  • Keep default tone mapper
  • Vignetting = off
  • Bloom = off

To properly test your lighting set up reference spheres to visualize the lighting results in the map. Here are the material settings:

  • Chrome Sphere
    • Base Color 1
    • Metallic 1
    • Roughness 0
  • Grey Sphere (50% Grey, sRGB)
    • Base Color 0.18 (Linear)
    • Roughness 1
    • Metallic 0

With a Directional Light set at 3.14 in your scene that should give you the same intensity of 0.50 Grey (which you can check with a Color Picker either in-engine or on your screenshot via Photoshop)

Setting up Lightmaps

Check out the Static Mesh Editor to let Unreal Engine generate lightmaps for you. By specifying the Min Lightmap Resolution you define the space between each UV island (Padding) By keeping this the same as the actual lightmap sizes used on the asset you get the best padding on the lightmaps and thereby better shadows in the same resolution. (16:36 video timestamp)

Lighting Quality Settings

Jerome provides us with a great comparison of some of the most important Lightmass settings, the effect on quality and bake times for each. I’ve compiled the list below to easily review their individual effects.

Tom Looman 

You can find the full article here. The artist mostly focused on the Lightmass information, so you should still watch the presentation to get more details.

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