Meshes placed with Foliage Tool do not receive Environment Color

I’ve been having difficulty getting correct lighting with meshes placed with the Foliage Tool. This is NOT related to requests for a better tree/grass lighting model, but lighting inconsistency with any mesh placed with the tool, eg. rocks.

I set up a quick test/repro scene. On the left are meshes placed manually, on the right are meshes placed with the foliage tool. The mesh is a simple quad with a 32x32 lightmap. The mesh lighting on the foliage tool instances is uniformly darker, as it’s not receiving the correct light contribution from the Environment Color set in World Settings. Changing the Environment Intensity to 0 and re-baking results in lighting parity.

A poster on Polycount mentioned that environment color was being deprecated, and to use a sky light instead. After testing, I get even worse results. The meshes placed with the foliage tool are brighter in direct light and much brighter in indirect light. Meshes placed manually aren’t even receiving correct indirect lighting. I set this scene up quicky based off of a new map template, just importing a quad, 32px lightmap res, default material.

After further investigation, the issue is more widespread. Really, the indirect lighting quality across the board on foliage instanced meshes is poor. I did some more testing this morning and compared my results in UE4 (4.1) and against UDK just to see if my expectations were out of line. Here are the results:

Hi ,

Thank you for your in depth analysis. I was able to reproduce this effect and will attach this as well as my findings to a bug report to be assessed. Have a great day!

Thanks for looking into it! I’m glad you were able to repro and I’m not imagining things!

This should be fixed in 4.6, as foliage will support static lighting/shadowing and as a result should be lit identically to regular static meshes :slight_smile:

Did the problem go away in later versions of Unreal? I’m using 4.14 and I’m encountering a problem that I’m almost positive is somewhat related to this issue -_- I just posted a question about it.