How to create a proper balloon material in unreal??

I’m having trouble creating a realistic/convincing balloon material in Unreal. I would like for some of the balloons to have a more square shape highlight if possible.
I would also be OK with faking a square shaped highlights via an emissive(it it’s necessary),but I’m not sure how I would go about doing this.

Here is a an emissive material that was used to create a phong specular reflection:

In Unreal By default, with point lights (like there would be in indoor lighting) the highlight strength on the balloons disappears very quickly, which is very unrealistic, because if you’ve even seen balloons before you can see that the highlights are very visible even from further away light sources.

Pictures for reference:


Hmmm I’d say the main reason the balloons have square highlights in the photos is due to the square light sources ie. windows in the scene.
You might be able to better reproduce this by adding a reflection map of a room with square light sources in your balloon material.
To do this get any HDRI environment map of a room (feel free to make it low res and in .jpg) add it as a texture sample and connect a"Reflection Vector WS" to the UV slot in the texture sample. Then just plug it in either Color or Emissive Material pin :slight_smile:

A nice HDRI source: HDRIs: Indoor • Poly Haven :wink:

Thanks! I’ll give it a shot. Do you also know how to keep the point light highlights/reflections from fading with distance so quickly?

(I *could *fake the highlights via an emissive, but the problem with that is because they are “fake” they wouldn’t take advantage of shadow mapping, so the emissive/fake highlights wouldn’t disappear when enveloped by cast shadows like they’re supposed to)

Not sure about the distance fade on the lights (I haven’t messed with lighting in a while) but could it be from the visual quality settings or rendering distance on the lights themselves.

You could try to use the “rectangular area lights” and try to mess around with the lighting channels on the balloons and lights so you can set lights that affect the balloons only.

If you want sorta accurate reflections of dynamic off-screen events you can have a “scene capture cube” write a “cube render target” that you can put in your material like a dynamic HDRI (be warned that method can get expensive). PS: You can specify which objects appear in the capture.

Other than that you may have to look into DXR stuff if you can run it :frowning:

just set fake reflection cubemap in it.

for example

Ok, I will try both. Thanks