Help! Please give me some advice on this noob practice.

Hi Guys,

I am new to the engine and recently I tried to improve my lighting skills through working on a very small Archviz scene. My aim is to achieve photorealism on this project. The outcome looks ok to me at the moment, but it is still not enough from my perspective to be like a real-world scene. I have uploaded the outcome and the detailed lighting image here, can anyone give me some advice on how can I further improve it?

Here is how I structured the lighting in the scene. I did not use any directional light, Instead, the main light source is a spotlight with a bounce board. I read a journal about this combination and I am satisfied with the smooth shadow it gave. In terms of the light, I did use an HDR to give some variation of light color but the intensity value was set to be very low, like 1. The remaining interior lights are just some spotlights and point lights. What makes me feel bad in the shadows of the two bar stools. I tried to switch the cast shadow setting for all the lights but could not get a good result. All the lights are set to be static as I want to improve the performance when running it and better shadows.

As I said, I am very new to the software and I saw a lot of very amazing Archviz projects. At this stage of studying, I think I should force myself to achieve the best outcome in this small scene, and though this process I may have a better understanding of how the engine works in terms of lighting.

Thank you very much

Thank you very much for your clarification!

Yeah, it seems that I focused too much on static lighting. I watched some tutorials showing how static light improves GI so I tried to make all the lights static in my scene, which took me forever to render before getting what I want. However, most of my scenes are static, do you think it is a good idea to use stationary light first for testing and change them back to static when in the final output step?

Besides, the reason why I chose to use the spotlight + bounce board is that I wanted to get a very soft shadow, just like a picture here. I found that during the daytime the shadow of furniture is quite soft, and not too dark. However, if I use skylight + directional in UE4 to lit the room, the shadow is always too dark and sharp, even when I clicked using area shadows. Does that mean the intensity ratio of directional light and skylight is wrong?

Thank you again