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[SOLVED partially] Lightbaking in Archvis Template Interior produces different/unexpected results

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    [SOLVED partially] Lightbaking in Archvis Template Interior produces different/unexpected results

    Hi!
    I got the following Problem which is quite a bit puzzling.
    I created a new Project in UE 4.24.1 using the Architecture > Archvis Template, which has an Interior Map with an really nice even lighting.
    Checking the BuiltData I saw that it was last baked using high quality.

    So wondering how long this might take and if the quality would be even better I tried to rebuild the lighting using production, not changing any settings.

    This took about 3h on i7 8750 2.2GHz using 6 cores, no problem with that, maybe thats just the time needed.

    The thing that is strange is that rebuilt lighting is different (much darker) than the prebuilt one shipping with the template.
    Also the floor is made of three boxes and and with the prebuilt lighting it seems to be perfectly smooth across them, while in my production build
    there are seams/lighting differences showing.
    I know seams can appear because light is calculated on different cpu cores as described in the lighting troubleshouting guide,
    but I don't get why there are no seams in the prebuilt lighting. At least I won't believe that this was baked on only one core in high quality, which takes
    about 1.5h on my system with 6 cores. Rebuilding in high quality also produces a dark result with seams by the way.

    For clarification I attached some screenshots

    So the question here is:
    • What kind of lightmass voodoo has been used to get the bright and smooth lighting that comes with the template?
    • Were any other engine tweaks or .ini-files used than included in the templates config-folder?
    • Maybe someone involved with the creation of the template can shed some light on this?

    And maybe this is unrelated but the swarm agent log shows these errors:
    13:47:37: Failed to determine engine directory: Defaulting to ../../../Engine/
    13:47:37: Failed to load 'aqProf.dll' (GetLastError=126)
    13:47:37: File 'aqProf.dll' does not exist
    13:47:37: Failed to load 'VtuneApi.dll' (GetLastError=126)
    13:47:37: File 'VtuneApi.dll' does not exist
    13:47:37: Failed to load 'VtuneApi32e.dll' (GetLastError=126)
    13:47:37: File 'VtuneApi32e.dll' does not exist

    Or is there stuff missing in the current binary engine version as downloaded via launcher?

    SOLUTION:
    I took the time to do some tests after all and it seems that the skylight used for the original lightbake most certainly had different settings. Raising the indirect lighting indensity to 2 and adjusting the color slightly leads to a very similar outcome. But as I said the only way we could know for sure would be if the creator of this map himself would elaborate what was changed in between. So this is not exactly answering my questions, but at least is a very probable thing that could have happened.

    Thanks and best regards
    Christian
    Last edited by ChristianAlles; 01-31-2020, 01:28 PM.

    #2
    Hi!

    I know it's not exactly the same (the pic is your render tuned) but it's going to be your PostProcess!!

    Click image for larger version

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    Comment


      #3
      Hi,
      thanks for the quick reply. But I think it doesn't exactly answers my questions.
      If I understood right you adjusted the levels of my darker screenshot in photoshop(?) to make it match the bright one and suggest doing the same using the postprocess volume?

      To clarify the issue/question once more the bright screen shot is the interior map as seen when it is opened in a fresh unaltered project based on the archvis template and the second one is after building the lighting again with production quality (though high yields a similar result).
      So the question is why the lightmass solution is so much different from the provided one, when nothing at all was changed?

      In my opinion it is a bit problematic if a level in a template with baked lighting, can't be rebuild the same, since it somewhat defeats the purpose of being an example on how things are setup to achieve a certain outcome

      Maybe someone can reproduce this? I will try rebuilding lighting on another machine tomorrow.

      best regards
      Christian

      Comment


        #4
        Hi!

        Yes I did some adjustment (contrast, curves, colors...) in Photoshop to match the original... you can do the same and use the lut file in your project...
        ...after you do this you can build your light 100 times with the same settings you'll get the same result every single time...
        ...the two screenshots (= lighting setup and build) are the same the only difference is the post process...

        Comment


          #5
          Hi,
          yes thanks for confirming that I understood you right. And of course I know that I could match the two version easily creating and using a LUT, but as I said it doesn't answer the question. Also using postprocessing won't get rid of the seams that rebuilding the lighting introduces. So it would be really interesting to know how the original lightbake without any apparent seams was created?
          But maybe it is related to my machine and something might be off, though I use a freshly installed UE4.24.1 without any tweaks/changes but you never no maybe some experimental feature was used when creating the template.
          Cheers

          Comment


            #6
            Was it created in 4.24(1)? ..there can be (and sadly usually are) differences in light builds in different versions...

            Comment


              #7
              ...sry I didn't and still don't see the leaks in your render... BUT I know that's not the question!

              Comment


                #8
                I don't see seams in the second screenshot. Can you highlight or draw an arrow pointing at the seams? I see how it's darker, and that is concerning since no settings were changed and the lighting was Production / High. Using a post process is capable of generating ambient occlusion and other lighting facets that change the result, and could be utilized to reduce or remove seams / leaks / noise / artifacts. However, I understand where you're coming from with the questions. The quality build options are basically presets, I think. Yet it's alarming how starkly different it is in terms of the scene's shadowing and lighting, appearing that it drastically altered settings, and it's uncertain which exact settings would be altered to produce the same differing results. Try waiting for a well-informed answer from the staff, or submitting a bug report. The AnswerHub is another place to post, yet it may simply auto-generate a suggestion to submit a bug report after several days of no replies. Trying it in an earlier UE version might yield results that are more or entirely consistent between build quality levels.

                What happens when the lighting is changed to dynamic? I think it requires "Force No Precomputed Lighting" to be enabled in World or Project Settings, and then change the lights and all meshes to movable.

                Comment


                  #9
                  No Problem!
                  About the seams no problem they are not that obvious just a slight reddish tint, which is to be expected since there is a red sphere in the level. I attached some screenshots.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Location of seam between meshes.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Closeup no seam and with seam.

                  To answer your questions:
                  Yes this was created in 4.24.1 creating new project > architecture, engingeering,... > archvis > no starter content and raytraced disabled. I will try using another version, though I'm not sure if this template is available in earlier versions.

                  But as preston says the alarming thing is the huge difference in lighting. I always thought of lightbaking as a more or less deterministic process, meaning that given the same parameters the outcome of repeated lightbakes should be at best identical at least very, very similar. Of course we know that the computation with multiple cores can cause seams at least if the light troubleshooting guide is to be trusted. So it can't be 100 percent deterministic I guess.

                  As for switching to force no precompute and clicking build to get rid of the light maps, this leads to the following result in the first screenshot below.
                  This is understandable since directional and skylight are set to static and therefore shouldn't cast any dynamic light. Switching them to movable leads to the second screenshot. which looks a bit strange but this seems to be an issue with the sun sky positioner used in the template, which doesn't update correctly after switching to movable. after deleting the sunsky and undoing the delete it seems to have updated and looks like the last screenshot , which is what I would expect for fully dynamic directional, skylight and atmoshpere
                  Click image for larger version

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                  But as you say maybe a staff member can provide an answer. If not I will create a bug report concerning this issue.

                  Cheers

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ah those... to be honest it looks like a wrong reflection capture... there are circular ones on the wall too... :S

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I was trying to do static only baked lighting with a directional and skylight, no reflection captures, and no other lights in the level. I placed 6 adjacent, square floors, the same duplicated for a ceiling, and used the starter walls to construct a basic room...with a door and two windows on one side. At medium quality, with indirect lighting bounces at 5 and skylight bounces at 2, the shadowing and light / color bleeding was bad. I think docs need updating as far as how basic features need setting up in order to produce coherent results for the settings. It's simply too difficult to try and fail numerous iterations of baking to comprehend what the problem(s) are, and how to fix them. The docs do not line up with the results enough in terms of how things are explained / defined, and much of it is for earlier versions that had bugs and other issues changed / reduced / removed, with new features added. Thus, the circular guessing game of causes and effects is a major deterrent to getting something complete and even having a draft version of a level that's presentable and workable. I mean, what happened? Is all the mysterious inner workings only revealed to the large teams that comprise game corporations / studios and other 'upper echelon' ventures?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I hope it's not as conspiratorial as you make it sound, but I can totally relay.
                        It really kills momentum if one has to struggle to get some of the basics work, even after watching and reading weeks of educational material.
                        I mean concerning lightmass besides the official documentation, there is the lighting troubleshooting guide in the wiki, which I think was created by the community and epic released the lighting masterclass on youtube and of course there are the lighmass deep dive slides which are from 2016 and therefore a bit aged I guess, but they are also one of the most comprehensive sources on the topic. And of course there are tons of forum threads like "making lightmass epic" or "modular asset lighting problem"

                        I know the usual workarounds are refraining from modular pieces or covering the seams with geometry, obscuring lighting difference through textures or decals or trying to fix the overall lighting quality by tweaking static lighting level scale, indirect lighting quality and smoothness and by using light portals and more light bounces. And as last resort we can use post processing to make seams less apparent.

                        But even knowing all this I am still being stumped on how it is possible to do an light bake as smooth and seamless as it is shown in the archvis - interior level. All those quality related tweaks are already in the example interior level and that floor is still made out of modular pieces and apparently was baked without any seams. Not to mention the difference in brightness. And I really would like to know what the average Unreal user is missing, that we can't achieve the same lighting quality.
                        Or does using luoshuangs gpu lightbaking was by any chance used and does it lead to different results than the default cpu light bake?

                        So please epic spill the beans! It is really infuriating giving us a completely smooth lightbake sample scene without the means to reproduce it.
                        Pretty please with sugar on top.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yeah, I don't know whether it's a conspiracy or mixed priorities, from how it sounds according to my observations of the docs, the lack of being able to reproduce those samples easily, and massive sets of changes from version to version. I simply think there is too much scattered information, and somewhat less updating / guidance then it all calls for. And on another note, it's easy to not appreciate the level of quality that can be achieved with the intact features because it's such an onerous task completing a scene. When looking at least a few of the major changes, or new features, between 4.23 and before to 4.24 now, it's evident that the engine is becoming more versatile and refined. The new landscape editor stuff looks much easier to create from, the sun/sky model is quite a bit more accessible in the range of capacities it has (such as transitional day/night and less reliance on skylight exactitude to not cause problems), yet it's obvious in the forums that simple tasks are meeting with buggy quandaries and little help from the devs or those that are more experienced and skilled in the basics of scene setup.

                          It's not my intent to criticize for the sake of criticizing, or to condescend from a vantage point of beginner aptitude. I'm merely trying to stoke the fires of initiative and see a major reprieve from getting upended in developing a scene, while pressing through a cascade of issues and required learning.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ChristianAlles View Post
                            I hope it's not as conspiratorial as you make it sound, but I can totally relay.
                            It really kills momentum if one has to struggle to get some of the basics work, even after watching and reading weeks of educational material.
                            I mean concerning lightmass besides the official documentation, there is the lighting troubleshooting guide in the wiki, which I think was created by the community and epic released the lighting masterclass on youtube and of course there are the lighmass deep dive slides which are from 2016 and therefore a bit aged I guess, but they are also one of the most comprehensive sources on the topic. And of course there are tons of forum threads like "making lightmass epic" or "modular asset lighting problem"

                            I know the usual workarounds are refraining from modular pieces or covering the seams with geometry, obscuring lighting difference through textures or decals or trying to fix the overall lighting quality by tweaking static lighting level scale, indirect lighting quality and smoothness and by using light portals and more light bounces. And as last resort we can use post processing to make seams less apparent.

                            But even knowing all this I am still being stumped on how it is possible to do an light bake as smooth and seamless as it is shown in the archvis - interior level. All those quality related tweaks are already in the example interior level and that floor is still made out of modular pieces and apparently was baked without any seams. Not to mention the difference in brightness. And I really would like to know what the average Unreal user is missing, that we can't achieve the same lighting quality.
                            Or does using luoshuangs gpu lightbaking was by any chance used and does it lead to different results than the default cpu light bake?

                            So please epic spill the beans! It is really infuriating giving us a completely smooth lightbake sample scene without the means to reproduce it.
                            Pretty please with sugar on top.
                            First of all...
                            I checked that example map: it was last modified on the 07/11/2019 so for sure it was not created for 4.24.1 as I've asked earlier...
                            Sadly or not there are differences in different builds so it can cause different results... In the same engine, same settings will give you 99%+ the same results!

                            Modular pieces should work fine with no seams, it's up to how the scene was built, lightmap uvs' and lightmass settings! You don't have to hide anything anymore!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Makigirl :
                              Thanks for checking, and though the map of course could not have been created in 4.24.1 it most certainly was created in 4.24 preview or pre-preview, since the template in discussion uses features that only were made available with version 4.24 (sun sky/sky atmosphere and the template itself). Also this would match with the date, as I seem to remember the first 4.24-preview was released beginning of november.

                              As for seamless lighting on modular pieces, I am totally with you it should work, especially considering that the map shows this nicely in the prebuilt lighting, but most of the time it appears it is not easily achieved even if the modules in questions are plain boxes.
                              That is the main reason I opened this post, since the information on how to do this is all over the place and sometimes inconsistent or contradictory depending on how old the source is and at first I was very happy to see a level that shows us lightbaking, modular floor meshes and no use of distracting textures.

                              So would you concur that to achieve seamless lightbaking the following requirements need to be met:
                              • High enough light map density (green or higher) and of course the same or very similar density on the pieces that should fit together
                              • unique uv for lightmap, with enough padding and ideally grid snapped uv shells, so that the shell edges align with pixel edges
                              • high quality lightmass world settings e.g. indirect lighting level scale 0.1 and quality 10 (or 0.2 and 5), bounces around 5 and if need be smoothness adjusted to remove blotches
                              • baking with high or production
                              • baking only on one core is suggested in the trouble shooting guide, though I can't believe this to be true, since this just won't be doable on anything but really tiny map
                              Is there something essential missing on the list?

                              So besides that where does this leave us. We can assume one of the following I think:
                              • light baking was changed somewhere since 4.24 pre-release
                              • a different lightbaking method was used, experimental, gpu you name it
                              • the settings shipped with the map are not the settings used with map, meaning different quality settings, higher indirect lighting intensity, etc.
                              • other suggestions?
                              No matter what of the above, we have no way of knowing, except for tedious trial and error changing values rebaking, which may or may not lead to the desired outcome.

                              And I think this is what is bugging me and some others like preston, that supposedly simple things like lightbaking especially in combination with modularity turn out to be a black box, which is especially bothering considering the time it takes to do lightbakes.

                              Also just to make it clear this is not to be meant as a rant against unreal or epic. I like to see everything that happens on the form as some kind as feedback. They do an amazing job and we can use all of this for free and we get more stuff to fool around with every 2 or 3 months. And most of the things we can do in Unreal just work as expected or at least get continuously improved until they work great. So it's just fair that there sometimes is struggle involved and epic can use the forums to get feedback on how to improve stuff.

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