Force No Precompute Lighting vs Full Production Quality Light Baking

Hey all,

I’m working on a film in Unreal using multiple high poly, high res textures, no mip maps etc. I’ve built myself a teaser video based in a forest castle and have been operating with “Force No Precompute Lightning” while I build the animation. (I am not using Raytracing for this project.)

Now that I’m getting into final stages, I’m looking at baking for at least 24 hours due to the intensity of the scene.

I’m curious if anyone has a side by side comparison of Force No Precompute vs Baking and what the pros/cons are in a film scenario, with game performance not mattering.

I’m under the impression the baking is worth the wait but I could be wrong.


Force No Precompute just means you’re not baking lighting, so you’re comparing dynamic vs static lighting and all of the quirks with each. That’s a pretty hefty comparison :smiley:

Is there any benefit to the bake for a film scenario when I’m not concerned about performance? Let’s say in terms of dynamics the only thing really moving is my skeletal mesh characters.

Besides performance, baking the lighting allows it to calculate more realistic lighting, more specifically with global illumination where it calculates how light bounces off surfaces. So it will look more realistic than dynamic lighting but you have to deal with the time that it takes to build the lighting along with making UV’s for each mesh for lightmaps and building things certain ways to avoid some of the quirks that happen with the baked lighting system. Raytracing was something that was so desirable since it can get nice shadows/global illumination/reflections in real-time without having to bake anything. It saves a significant amount of preparation time along with allowing you to immediately see the results of what you’re doing which saves even more time.

That totally makes sense. Thank you! That’s the info I needed.

in my experience, the baking allows some stuff in shaders that didn’t show up when using no baked fully dynamic lights
AO channel in materials and bent normal maps being 2 examples

just baking alone with no objects or lights set to static
helped with some reflection captures and getting those channels to work

The no material AO under dynamic lighting issue is due to a GBuffer optimization for storing lightmaps. So if you do use all dynamic lighting, you can disable static lighting in the project settings. This reduces material overhead for 2D, and volumetric, lightmaps as well as giving you full material AO back. Not sure about the bent normal maps(never used them) or reflection captures(never had any issues there).