Unreal 4 Lighting Academy
UPDATE: The Youtube Playlist with all the videos so far can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...DR8NDA79UKuN4b
I was recently thinking of combining my love for making things look great with some kind of platform
to help anyone from the Unreal community who would be interested in this to improve their scenes
and skills when it comes to lighting, composition and material definitions.
Who am I?
I have been in this industry for quite some time now. I had my first contact with making games in 2010 when I moved
from Switzerland to Berlin to attend the Games Academys 3D Art & Animation course there.
When I started this, I didnt really know what I wanted besides making games look great,
so I worked on my skillsets to become an Environment Artist as this was kind of a natural fit.
While studying though, I more and more realized that I wanted to go more towards lighting and materials.
However, its quite hard to get a job as a lighting artist with no prior experience,
so I started an internship at Berlin based YAGER (Developers of Spec Ops: The Line) in 2012 as an environment artist.
At YAGER, I had the opportunity to strengthen my skillsets and develop myself towards a lighting artist.
YAGER is and has always been an Unreal developer, so I had the chance to work with Unreal 4 before it was even publicly released.
I worked on Dreadnaught while it was still in the prototyping phase and later transitioned to Dead Island 2, which we were working on at that time.
During the development of Dead Island 2, I had the chance to grow tremendously and eventually became a technical lighting artist.
I was mainly responsible for the whole games lighting, prop master shaders, the landscape material system, sky rendering,
rock shaders as well as RnD for our lighting systems together with some graphics programmers.
Sadly, during the summer of 2015, Dead Island got cancelled and I joined a RnD and prototyping team at YAGER.
This was super interesting and fun, but ultimately unfulfulling, which made me apply at DICE to join their lighting team in Stockholm.
I got the job and I am now working as a lighting artist for DICE. Since I have joined, I did the lighting for all released Star Wars Battlefront Expansion Packs
despite the first one: Outer Rim. So I worked on Bespin, Death Star, the newly released Rogue One Add On as well as together with Criterion on the PSVR Mission.
Thankfully, I got some great support to help me at getting used to Frostbite with the amazing Oscar Carlen, one of the most experienced lighting artists I have ever worked with!
For PSVR, I was also supported by Karl Stjernberg who is just an awesome and great guy as well^^
Despite all this, I have held Unreal 4 courses at the Games Academy in Berlin and since I moved to Stockholm,
I have also been teaching Unreal 4 and lighting at the Future Games here.
So what is this about?
Teaching was great fun and a super rewarding experience! I almost like nothing more than aquiring knowledge
and sharing it to help others improve their results. It has always been a blast for everyone involved and I want to do this more.
So I came up with the idea of starting this little Unreal 4 Lighting Academy Community Project
As it exists in my head right now, its going to be somewhat like this:
I am asking all of you people from the Unreal 4 community to send me screenshots or even better,
Unreal 4 projects via google drive or whatever. I will make videos where I go over the shots or through your scenes
and I am going to show tricks and tips and will work on improving the scenes.
Its kinda like what some concept artists do when they take images from other people and then paint over them to show how the artist could improve.
The results will always be shared in this thread so everyone can learn from them.
But the most important part is that I need YOU as much as you might need me. I am quite busy in my life anyways, so I will not work on personal scenes
or build scenes specificly for this purpose. I need the people who are interested in this to provide something
This is really meant to improve the things YOU guys are working on and to reach better results while having fun and learn something
So the big question is this:
Do you guys think this is something you would like to see and more importantly, do you want to share scenes so we could actually do this?
This will be a community thing, so I cant do anything without you guys!
Also, one very important thing...if you have any ideas or feedback for me regarding the format, please just shoot! I didnt mention Twitch yet because I might do these things at weird times and maybe even in multiple sessions. So I cant really guarantee that I would stream for lets say 2 hours straight or so. I know it would be beneficial for people to give feedback or ask questions on the fly, but so far, I havent found a proper solution for this and would like to stick to Youtube first
What can you expect from this?
I want to show you guys a couple of results from my students so you get a better impression of what you can expect from this The examples shown here are all from the Unreal sessions at Future Games Stockholm.
Visby Scene by Henric Montelius https://www.artstation.com/artist/henricmontelius
Henric actually wrote an amazing article for 80.lv breaking down his process for the scene which you can find here: https://80.lv/articles/henric-montel...uals-with-ue4/
Here are some shots from the scene before we started looking at it together during the class:
Henrics main goal was to really go for the Overwatch feel and style, but while his assets where already super close to the look he wanted, everything else felt quite a bit off. We talked quite in depth about what makes Overwatch look like Overwatch, and I strongly suggested that he switches over to use Lightmass instead of dynamic lighting to get better readybility, values and overall interest into his scene.
He then started to apply those things and we can already see in the next screens that there is quite some nice improvement:
We worked further on the scene and eventually, Henric achieved something really good looking and very close to the style of Overwatch:
Throne Room by Joan Hägg https://www.artstation.com/artist/joanhagg
Joan also was part of my class at Future Games, the scene he worked on there can be seen on his Artstation and its called "Trabant".
However, Joan contacted me shortly after our session was over and asked for feedback and a bit of help for a new scene he was building: The Throne Room.
Here you can see what the scene looked like when Joan contacted me the first time. I think it looks quite nice when you see it first, but there are several problems like lack of focus, too much noise, lack of contrast and other more minor things:
We worked quite a bit on this scene and in the end we had this, which I think looks a lot more interesting and ballanced:
And last but not least....since my Portfolio is basically still the same as when I graduated, I am not gonna share it with you! However, I have attached the Trailers to the Star Wars Expansions I have worked on so you can see some up to date stuff from me
I am really proud of what we have achieved since those marketing videos are actually recorded from us playing the game
And again, big shout out here to Oscar Carlen who lit the Battlefront main game basically alone and set a new standard for realtime lighting with this project! Thanks for everything Bro!
So yeah...quite a big post! But this wrappes everything up for now. Lemme know what you guys think so we can get the fun started and make some great stuff!!
Thanks a lot and cheers!