Mobile: Best Practices / Examples for Dynamic Lighting

Hey everyone,

I am coming from the industrial side of 3D creation, aka 3D Studio Max. So naturally I am very spoiled when it comes to lighting and overall aesthetics.

While I am very pleased with how UE4 performs on Desktop systems, the limitations towards mobile are still hindering me to realise what I imagine in my head. In particular, these restrictions drastically lower aesthetics for me right now:

  • Light functions do not work on mobile (e.g no flickering lights via LF)
  • No soft shadows on mobile
  • No shadows for moving lights on mobile (I luckily figured that moving actors can cast shadows)
  • No volumetric fog or atmosphere on mobile
  • Light emission from CPU particles does not work on mobile

So, with this in mind I watched and played some of the latest UE4 mobile games and in fact, they all look great, but if you remove 80% of the Lens Flares and Glooms FX, you’ll notice the static lighting of the map with little to no dynamic difference (e.g. no light flickering, no changing color based of actor’s position, no changing light brightness while runtime, …).

Since my app idea is mostly based around lighting (aka build your own room), I am strongly depending on changing lighting situations while runtime. Works amazingly beautiful on Desktop, on mobile rather miserably.
So, my question is: What have you seen (lately) in the environment of UE4 + mobile (iOS) which blows your mind? Techniques and or artistic skills, that made a scene aesthetic, even on mobile with having little tools except eyecandy on top.

Thanks a lot in davance!