Hi, I work for an engineering company, and I am testing out some of our models in UE4.18, with the intent to use them for VR demonstrations with SteamVR. The models are large - I’m talking LNG plants, mining infrastructure, etc. I have been researching and testing various lighting, shadowing and rendering options, but it is taking a long time to do so, and I am hoping for some advice to shortcut the process. Most of what I read is suited to small scale models, or interior levels, etc, and I’m not sure how applicable the information is to what is effectively large open world levels.
So the models have thousands of rather simple static meshes, which import correctly with UV maps generated correctly. Some larger parts require the lightmap-resolution increased, to allow decent shadows. However, this isn’t working for the terrain, which is exported from CAD programs as huge static meshes. For these, I imagine I need dynamic shadows. Whilst researching how to use them, I found a UE4 stream that suggested large open worlds don’t use baked lighting at all, because all the individual lightmaps take up excessive graphics memory. So I attempted to disable static lighting in the project settings, but then I don’t get any shadows. This may be due to my use of Forward Shading Renderer, to suit VR?
So it is taking a long time to try every setting, and hopefully I can get some specific advice on the best setup. Whilst I have been learning a lot, I still don’t understand a few aspects like Mesh Distance Fields, Ambient Occlusion, Distance Field Shadows, Cascaded Shadow Maps, etc. I also don’t understand how these aspects work together?
So here are my exact requirements;
- VR suitable models, preferably using Forward Shading Renderer, as MSAA with a high screen-percentage (200) does look better than equivalent TemporalAA.
- Thousands of static objects, which should have shadows.
- Huge static mesh objects for terrain, which should have shadows cast upon them.
- Single directional light to represent the real world sun.