After Baking, Lighting Looks Bad/Same

Hi, let me preface by saying that I am an artist who has used Maya for 10+yrs but is new/ish to stepping into parts of Unreal Engine. I’m a camera/layout artist with some 3D animation chops. I’m new to lighting in the Engine, but I’ve lit plenty of scenes in Maya.

I watched tutorials for setting up lighting, and it’s legit the first step of just baking the baseline lighting that I run and it doesnt look at all like any of the tutorials I’ve watched.

for example:
@11:58 - Unreal Studio - Introduction to Global Illumination in UE4 - YouTube
you can see they just ran the basic lighting bake. And it at least looks half decent!

Here’s mine?! Help??

I have a post processing volume on that is adding ambient occlusion (figured that out) but there are no shadows anywhere. Why does this lack shadows? I’m pulling out my hair.

I have all the lights set to Static. I ran the Build > Lighting. And it finished in all of 2 seconds, which is already a redflag to me. But I have no clue how to fix it.

Please be kind and talk as though I’m a 2 year old when it comes to the engine and a 10yr vet when it comes to lighting in Maya haha. Because that’s where I’m at.

Thank you so much for your help. I’m seriously stuck.

There are a couple of thing you need to check:

-your lights need to be in static for lightmaps


  • As the lights, objects need to be static too.
  • Check the lightmap resolution on your meshes, bigger number bigger resolution, And of course, check if the lightmap coordinate index is the correct one.
  • In BSPs (Geometry in unreal) check the lightmap resolution too, but be care, now smaller numbers mean bigest resolution.

You can aswell check the lightmap density as a way to check if your lightmap is correct, Use Alt 0 to chek it. if everything is correct you can see squeras everywhere, with the size of th elightmap in each surface. If you dont see squares, then you don’t have lightmaps rendered.

Anyway, looks like your problem is the lightmmap renderer is not making his job for some reason, so create a completly new scene, add one ligh and one object and test the lightmaps there.