Mastering Lightmass Features of UE4
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by Marc Che
5 hours ago

Long life to Embark studio and its fabulous procedural artists dream team !

truly excellent and inspiring to read. Would have loved to read some on the texturing since that is top-notch.

great environment with a lovely serene sense. Thanks for the write-up!

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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