Big Archviz Project - Need safe directions to progress


I have a big Archviz project, 3 buildings, each with 3 floors to be rendered (offline rendering, as the final out will be on video format)

I’m thinking of setting all 3 buildings up and assign materials within UE4 and then bake lighting, as I need to make the videos showcasing interior exterior seamlessly.

, I did some testing and this is a small scene I tested out, it took almost an hour to build the lighting.

So I’m thinking it might take forever to build this big scene. Is there any way I could import each 3 storey buidlings separately, bake lighting and merge together? or any idea on how to achieve this goal would be a great help.

(core i5 - 650 | 8GB RAM)

Hi Avengerxp,

In your scene where you said it took an hour to build lighting, are you using a lightmass importance volume that encompasses your scene? If not, adding that can help speed light builds along.

Just to clarify on your next part when you want to build lighting for the others and then merge them. Do you mean have the assets merged as a single asset? This is not possible, but you can place them in a blueprint that or select them all > Right Click > Group to group all the actors together.

If you meant that you wanted to bake each building independently and then combine the maps this is possible as well and not very hard to setup.

Go to Windows > Levels > and here you will see the Persistent listed. This is the current map you have.

Next you’ll add new levels, one for each building presumably.

Do not place any buildings in the persistent level.

Now with each level for each building you can toggle the visibility via the Levels window and build lighting for each separately and then in the end just set them to all be visible and the lightmaps will be correct without the warning that lighting needs to be rebuilt in the top left.

The only problem I see happening here, if this is what you need to do, is that in order for your ground to receive any shadows from each mesh it has to be visible in each buildings level when you build the lights. The problem here is that since you would only build lighting for each independently, it’s only going to have the lighting from one of the buildings. If you build for another building map it will wipe any previous ground shadow information.

I hope this makes sense and if I’ve been way off the mark please let me know and I’ll see if I can provide a different example.


Hi Tim,

Thank you for your informative feedback!

  1. no I didn’t use a “lightmass importance volume”, will try it out. thanks.

  2. I meant to bake each building independanly and merge them together. and thank you for the right direction.

for the ground shadows i will use big blocks as buildings to only cast a shadow (may be that might work)

Thank you, now it’s a lot of testing before the final step…

No problem. If you run into any issues with your light build or have any questions about lightmapping please feel free to post here.

Also feel free to check out this post on the forums where Eric and I are setting up some Lighting Troubleshooting and Tips. This includes where we are with our progress and what we have planned thus far. (we also like suggestions if you see anything not listed!): [TUTORIALS] Photons Be Free: Mini-tutorials and other curiosities - Community & Industry Discussion - Epic Developer Community Forums

This is a direct link to the guide, but does not include All the other things we have planned listed: A new, community-hosted Unreal Engine Wiki - Announcements - Epic Developer Community Forums

Our hope is this will help people as well with some more common issues that devs face, but may not have a solution for.

Again, if you have any questions I don’t mind helping or offering some suggestions that may help. :slight_smile: