Archviz best lighting practices

Hello all!

I’m currently learning UE4 for archviz. Long story shot, I wend trough a lot of documentation and tutorials and I can’t seem to decide what is my best bet to light my scene.

I watched the online learning videos, but they are relatively old, and I’m sure new pipelines and methods have surfaced since they where created.

So far I have come to the conclusion that I want baked lighting with GPU lightmass and raytraced reflections and translucency, but I can’t seem to disable the raytraced GI, and my lighting becomes way darker when I enable raytracing effects. My RTGI is set to disabled in my post process volume, but I see “RTGI: brute force” around the top of my GPU stats.
I’m not sure that what I want is even possible, and that’s why I’m here with 2 questions.

  1. Is this possible and how can I achieve it?
  2. What are/Where can I find the best practices for lighting for archviz in 4.26/27

ps: My goal is an archviz interior with static lighting.

Thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to help!

1 Like

Hey @Soul_Easer

Let me try help you on lighting. There are many resources on raytracing and GPU lightmass and I suggest you check out VR Division on YouTube, they have some great tutorials regarding raytracing and GPU lightmaps. William Fauchner also has some great in depth lighting videos.

Lighting for archviz is very much a science and an art mixed together :slight_smile:

Your choice of static and dynamic lighting will depend a lot on your final product. If you are purely rendering still imagery or cinematic video, dynamic can be used as performance is not really important to the final product. Here you can use Raytracing and GPU lightmass to achieve those photoreal scenes you are looking for. GPU lightmaps is not even that important if you are using RTX to its fullest capability.

If your final product is for presentation of an interactive experience in first person, then you could use only dynamic or a combination of static, it will all depend on your performance targets and the target hardware of your final product.

If your target hardware is VR or mobile. Then static lighting is generally the only way to go. In some VR cases you can get away with a dynamic directional light, but again depends on what performance you are looking for. RTX is out of the question.

It is also not all about lighting methods. Reflections, post process, shaders, textures, engine settings and project settings all play together to achieve the best results.

It’s all about a balance of target hardware, performance and quality.

Good luck!

Thank you @craftvr for the replay!

Your post was very helpful. It helped me arrange the questions in my head a little bit more. It also gave me a new perspective on the matter, especially the VR workflow. I haven’t looked into that yet.

I agree, there are a lot of great tutorials and documentation files out there and that it all depends on the project. My idea was to create a project, so I can learn on the go and I have learned a lot over the past weeks.
I wanted create a project with baked GI and dynamic reflections and translucency and that is where my problem came from. I’m unable to stop the raytraced GI, while keeping my raytraced reflections and translucency. My main question was whether that is even possible, or do RT reflections require RTGI as well, and if it is indeed possible, how to achieve it.

My second question was more to see if anyone knows a more up to date source of information. Maybe someone could share a brief overview of their lighting pipeline.

Again, thank you @craftvr for the replay! Much appreciated !