Architectural Visualisation Tests

Inspired by Koola’s results I’ve been having a go with the ArchViz style of renderings. I haven’t managed to get quite the same results so far, I’ve got some issues with shadowing and a few material issues (my glass is refracting oddly on the windows).

The biggest problem I’m having is the lack of contact shadow and AO under the chairs. Koola managed to get some really strong shadows in his scene but I’ve yet to figure out how to get that effect.

Can anyone suggest a method for increasing the shadows/AO under objects?

Here is my scene so far.


Nice, the orange chair seems to lack proper shadow though.

Yes that’s the thing that I’m still struggling to fix. Koola gets really nice contact shadows in his scenes but I can’t seem to replicate the effect so far.

Any suggestions?

Is that chair static or movable? It should have contact shadows if it is static. If not, you’ll have to fake it with post process AO.

I hadn’t thought of that, I may have accidentally made the chairs moveable. Thanks for the suggestion Jacky, I will check out the post process AO and the object settings to see if it improves things. :slight_smile:

Fantastic work AJUK! I am loving the colors and layout of the scene. Keep up the great work!

Thanks for the kind words, but I’m basing this on Koolas original image so I can’t take much credit :slight_smile: I am trying to achieve the same results so I can then apply them to a different scene. I find it’s easier to debug the results when I’m working towards an established result.

Here is Koolas original version:


Hey Ajuk,

same problem for me to get these soft shadows.

I tried the post process AO but it’s not really working.

Did you manage to get something ?

Nothing yet, it wasn’t the static/moveable thing as my meshes are all static. I think it has to be a texture resolution issue. I am changing the floor to get more resolution into the shadow map there. Will hopefully have an update tomorrow.

I’m not sure it’s a pb with the texture resolution. I tried also Distance Field Ambient Occlusion but I didn’t get any good result :frowning:

You cannot use DFAO with static lighting, as far as i know, since it requires a movable skylight.

@AJUK; If it isnt a problem with the chairs mobility then it is probably the lightmap resolution of the floor.Looking at the first screenshot it doesnt look like the floor needs higher lightmap resolution either. Can you place another mesh(a sphere or a thin cube like the chair’s leg) instead of that chair and see if you get contact shadows?

You cannot use DFAO with static lighting, as far as i know, since it requires a movable skylight.

Yes, I used a movable skylight.

I put a chair in the koola scene, tweaked the baselighass.ini, used AO in post process, but still no luck with nice contact shadows!

First of all, the fidelity of Koolas work cant be achieved with any dynamic solution UE4 is providing right now. DFAO is too low rez and standard AO from post has no directionality, but which is what you want. So you have to aim for achieving this in Lightmass.
Second, Koola said that he is not using the Lighmass AO feature that can be found in the world settings (which might help with that).

Stationary skylight “could” work since it provides these kinds of shadows and saves them into bent normals which could be very nice, but you have to test a bit and see how its performing.
So my guess is you a) definitely need this reflector setup to get these nice smooth contact shadows and b) you might need to put indirect lighting quality to 2 or 3 and reduce the smoothness to something between 0.6 and 0.75.
If you dont reduce the smoothing, the nice contact shadows basically get smoothed away and you wont be able to see them anymore.

Let me know if this helps :slight_smile:


Thanks very much Daedalus! I tried your settings and I’ve got definitively contact shadows.

But now it s like rendering with Vray, so long!

I need to find the right balance with the settings…

Thats good to hear! :slight_smile: Yeah…I have the same observations regarding baking time^^ With Koolas Lightmass.ini changes a simple room with some furniture took me over an hour to compute :smiley: But it looks gooood :slight_smile:

Perhaps I should try changing the lightness.ini as I’ve not done that yet. My computation times are going through the roof and my old GTX580 is ready to melt so I’ve upgraded to a 680 which I hope will run a bit cooler with UE4 :slight_smile:

Sadly Lightmass only computes on the cpu :frowning: So getting a new gpu doesnt help. But it would definitely be awesome to get gpu light baking in the future (man what a dream :D)

This was the information I needed thanks Daedalus, I’d missed the world settings part of the setup and I had been increasing the quality of the lights (and rendering times) but with the smoothing settings set too high so all that extra processing and bounce was being lost.

It’s working so much better now, and even without a production render I can see the shadows coming through at last! :slight_smile:

Here is an update with the contact shadows working correctly. I’m getting some blotches on the wall AO due to the reduced smoothing but I will continue to play with the settings until I find the sweet spot.

Thanks for all the help so far guys.


The contact shadows make it look much better :slight_smile:

The red and white vases look sort of fake, or maybe they are meant to be very bright plastic?