Movie Theater Lighting


I’m working on a VR Movie theater and I’ve been having issues making the lighting realistic. Currently with my setup, I have an emissive media material being displayed on the screen that automatically starts at runtime. Being an emissive material, it does cause that little bit of glow around the screen, however the environment itself isn’t being lit at runtime. This being a rather important portion of the experience, how do I solve this problem and have the screen light up the environment at runtime?

Sorry if this was poorly worded, any information necessary will be provided.

Hi lostdexter,

I had someone ask me recently about this and I gave them a short example of a cheap way to fake some dynamic GI in their project for VR. Emissive dynamic materials are not really something that is widely usable in the editor right now other than Light Propagation Volumes (LPV) and that has it’s limits.

Here is a demonstration of the simple example I had made that you could apply the same technique to the theatre and have a timeline to adjust the GI intensity in your Post Process Volume to imitate the flicker of the projected image. With some additonal art skills and time this could look better than my slapped together example. :wink:


Example Gif

Example Project
John Carmack solved this same problem there. If you can some how get last mipmap of media texture and use that for dynamic spot light color. If you know the content of media you could preprocess this and store colors to 1d color array. Not ideal but should work.

That doesn’t sound as straightforward as I had hoped. Just to clarify, the option you listed would require manually adjusting the lighting correct? Although that would be okay for a short clip, I’m looking for something more dynamic that would allow for a much much longer chain of videos. Is there another workaround to make a dynamic emissive texture work more easily?


Using a dynamic spotlight color sounds like something that would work fine. I’m relatively new to Unreal and have only scratched the surface. Is there any more information you could provide to me to accomplish this idea?

General solution won’t be easy. Your media texture need mipmaps and you will need custom lighting shader that can query it’s color from that media texture.

You are too late. Samsung already released it.

It wont be as conventional as i made it out to be, sir. If it were I’d settle with samsungs solution.

I’ll look more into it! Thanks for your advice. I hope in the future there will be real implementation through the engine without having to mess around with it too much.

I don’t know what you mean by this but as soon as my projects done it will be released for free, I won’t be making any sort of profit for it :slight_smile: