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How to use SkyLight?

Hey guys! This one is stumping me… I can’t figure out how to get SkyLight to do anything. If I make a level with a few static meshes, and one skylight, the level remains pitch black. I can add a simple skyphere found in engine content but the level still remains pitch black.

I’ve read the unrealengine doc, and tried to find videos explaining skylights but there’s not many. I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to do and how to use it.

This is my extremely bare level in unlit view:


Then in lit view:

Then with the added skysphere:

Try adding a directional light. I’m understanding skylight to merely light the sky surrounding the level, not objects / actors such as platforms, spheres, or other geometry. It still is going to affect how geometry is lit in combination with other lights, but isn’t lighting up geometry by itself. So, adding a directional or other type of light is where to start. I noticed that in a tutorial I went through in the Unreal Learning area of the web site. The skylight was already in there, while a directional and other lights were needed to begin lighting the example house with the objects inside it.

Sky Lights can light objects and you can use it exclusively without any other lights as well. It doesn’t update dynamically though, so in these examples, have you clicked “Recapture” after making any change to the background? You’ll need to do that anytime you make a change to the background or sky and if you add anything custom, you may need to move it farther away/scale it up or reduce the Sky Distance Threshold, which controls the minimum distance the Sky Light will capture anything.

Adding a directional light didn’t work. The SkyLight has a color parameter for the light it casts, if SkyLight was working, the light color would change, but it’s not. So directional light isn’t it.

Thanks! It seems to be partially working? I’ve reduced the Sky Distance Threshold and something is happening now, but the lighting is completely messed up (I’ve been clicking Recapture, yes) (Keeping Sky Distance Threshold at default, but scaling the SM_SkySphere x400 has the same result).


Curiously, instead of using SM_SkySphere (StaticMesh), I used the BP_Sky_Sphere, also found in engine content. That worked without reducing Sky Distance Threshold.

I’ll have to dig around to see how the BP_Sky_Sphere works, or does anyone know what’s in BP_Sky_Sphere that’s making SkyLight work?

EDIT 01:
Nvm, using just the SM_SkySphere (StaticMesh) does work but requires some odd fumbling around:

If SM_SkySphere is scaled to x400, either delete the SkyLight and place a new one in, or switch mobility from Stationary to Movable, then back to Stationary, that seems to fix it. (It’s unpredictable, making a new level, and scaling the sphere first, then adding the skylight worked right of the bat, no light fu**ery)

If keeping SM_SkySphere to scale x1, reduce Sky Distance Threshold to 1500 and set SkyLight mobility to Movable. Then it works. Leaving it stationary always produces the weird lighting.

End result:


Thanks for all the help guys! Although can anyone explain why the odd lighting?

Is the platform mesh set to static, stationary, or movable? The reason I’m asking is because stationary lights store indirect and shadowing in the lightmap, with direct shadowing stored in the shadowmap. Direct lighting from a stationary light is dynamic, so can change at runtime and I think, updates automatically in editing mode (not Play mode). So, if the mesh is static, then it requires building the light to update all changes in lighting and shadowing. If it’s movable, then it updates dynamically. I’m thinking it might be updating only part of the changes in the skylight and skysphere prior to a light build.