Light quality for exteriors, dynamic vs static vs RTX Raytracing

Most lighting tutorials focusing on exteriors use dynamic lighting exclusively.

Is the primary advantage of dynamic lighting simply speed of iteration? If the goal is highest quality what approach is best?

The main argument I’ve heard for precomputed is better GI but you can enable SSGI for use with dynamic lighting for amazing results. Anyone in doubt should check out the Rural Australia package in the Marketplace!

And is anyone aware of a visual comparison showing the same exterior scene with static vs dynamic vs RTX Raytraced lighting?

Ok, there’s a lot going on in your question.

First, why do most exterior tutorials use dynamic lighting exclusively:
Because exteriors usually only use one light (the sun), or if they have other lights, they’re much more spread out (ex, park lamps at nighttime). Because of this, they can afford to use really high quality dynamic lights, since there will be little to no overlap between lights, and thus really low performance costs for high quality.

Second, what gives you highest quality:
If your goal is the absolute highest quality, raytracing is the best way you can possibly do it, because it is an accurate representation of how light rays behave in the real world.

However, in order to get good raytracing results, you must use extremely performance intensive settings with high ray counts to effectively cover the area in view. This is not practical for video games, and it isn’t even practical for most normal computers, period.

As a result, most tutorials will focus on the kinds of lighting that make sense for video games, or just general unreal work, rather than “the highest quality possible”.

That said, you can still get amazing results by using standard approaches and avoiding raytracing period. Rural Australia is an absolutely fantastic example of how to work effectively without using any raytracing, and get an amazing looking, but still highly performant scene.

Static Lighting is purely used to save on processing power. It is essential for video games.