Everybody says Lumen is amazing and stuff, but I personally am not impressed at all. I am talking about game development not film making (I do not care about film making). As far as I know if you turn on Lumen, you can not use lightmaps and it is eternal quirk. with lightmapping you can use hundreds and even thousands lights to make your scene perfect - for Lumen you have strong limits. Besides, using Lumen requires high end PCs and higher specs your game has less available for public it is. Yes I understand it may be curious to play with it, or it may be interesting for movie makers, but let me remind you - UE is a game engine and end users may have mid or even low end machines. I simply can not think up situation where I may need Lumen so badly, to justify all downsides that come with it.
What do you think - is Lumen usable in game industry, or it is just another toy?
The Coalition thinks it’ll be possible to to use Lumen at 1080 60 FPS on high scalability settings upscaled to 4k using TSR on consoles.
Seems like it has more potential than SVOGI ever did.
I’m sure we’ll see some big improvements by the time it’s out of early access.
Yes, the new features of the engine do require a more powerful PC. Epic is pushing the technology because fully dynamic lighting is something that’s extremely useful and improves both the game itself and makes it faster to build the games since you can immediately see your lighting and don’t have to wait hours for lighting to build. It also means you don’t have to deal with lightmap UV’s which is great.
When UE4 came out they had a different dynamic GI system they had to pull from the engine because it couldn’t run on consoles. Now we have a solution that works on the current generation of consoles but it does mean that a range of PC’s won’t be able to benefit from it, but that’s necessary to push things forward. In the meantime, you can still use the old lighting systems if you wish.
This reminds me a bit of how raytracing got beat down by hot-takes from youtubers. Basically they’d take content designed for rasterization, turn on raytracing, then complain that it didn’t look that much better.
Well no kidding. It was designed around the limitations of rasterization to look as good as possible and so the problems of non-raytraced techniques were intentionally avoided.
Similarly, if you can get away with making your game with lightmaps it will not seem like Lumen offers much benefit. But the point is that Lumen offers opportunities to make content that would have been difficult if not impossible to reasonably create otherwise. Lightmaps completely break down when you start making highly dynamic environments or games where players have immense control over the level geometry (such as being able to build or destroy large structures)
To answer your question, is Lumen worth it? If you can get away with using lightmaps then no, probably not. It’s not meant to replace lightmaps, though it can if you don’t want to wait for lighting to build. It’s primarily meant to provide a solution to situations where lightmaps are not practical.
I mean, they will eventualy catch up. Dynamic GI is the future of games like it or not. Solutions like Lumen exist because current hardware can’t shoot that many rays at playable frame rates.
I’m sure many games will find use for it on current supported hardware. Take Metro Exodus new update for example. Believe Fortnite will be next with Lumen on pc/PS5/XBSX.
The biggest beneficiary of lumen is for developers, for the public it is transparent.
Low computer users do not expect to see super graphics on their computer so there is no need to worry too much.
And for an indy it is the biggest jump in speed of development ever seen, if my two games were to subtract right now the time used in placing lights and reflections volumes, building preview qualitys, and speend the full night buildding in high quality. I could have spent a lot more time in other areas including sleeping and drinking beer.
It also opens the door to a higher quality in games with Procedural Level Generation something that also helps to improve the gaming experience and replayability.
Certainly for anything procedurally generated, anything that has changing environments that is going to take advantage of the graphics, anything with caves there’s significant benefits. There are of course performance costs and tradeoffs, but I’m happy with it. Hopefully it continues to be optimized through the rest of early access.