Outdoor Lightning Demo Much Needed - Request

There are many amazing and unreal interior scene we are spoiled by day by day.
Now ask yourself, how many stunning outdoor environment have you seen using Unreal engine.
They are few and far apart.

Why is that? I think its because we lack understanding on utilizing UE lightening system to its full potential.

The Realistic Render Demo is the greatest thing EPIC has every done for the community.
It taught me lightening and how to setup a scene, which in UDK looked like quantum entanglement.
But because of the simplicity of the scene and the fact that i can compare the result to my own living room.

I could recreate real life lightening to high precision. I can also learn how to set up materials suitable for interior scenes.
But outdoor is altogether different. No matter how hard i tried to set up a good lightning scene.
I fail and so does many people.
A rare few are able to breakthrough and shine.

Please, the wonderful people at EPIC, It will be amazing if you could gracefully do a outdoor lightning demo/in-depth tutorial.
It will greatly benefit the community. You will see amazing lit scenes/games popping out left and right.
It will be easier to learn if its kept simple like modern building instead of medieval scene, or desert or village scenes. Most people live in the city.
I was able to pick up interior lightning so quick because i could compare it to my room.

It will be crazy easy to learn how to setup outdoor lightning if it was based on what the outside of my building and those around me looked like.
Then i can compare them in real time and try to recreate effects i wake to everyday.

Much Thanks!

For example:

You could always go at it yourself but on a smaller scale, then you would be the pro at it and people would ask you for help :wink: and im sure you would learn a lot more than watching a tutorial.

Until Epic prepares a thorough system like that i suggest playing around with a movable directional light, atmospheric fog and post process. Atmospheric fog adds so much to outdoor looks so dont ever ignore it. Check the documentation and play with its settings. And there is also LPV if you’d like to try, which already has a documentation page describing every setting. In the end a single lighting setup wont work for every environment even if Epic gives you one, so you’ll have to experiment a lot.

I’ll pass the request along. Making a realistic outdoor scene like in those screenshots is a lot of work though, mostly to make the assets. The lighting and atmospherics setup should be really easy.

For a really quick and high impact outdoor lighting setup you just need:

No time of day version (higher quality and performance)

  • Stationary directional light
  • Stationary sky light
  • Reflection probes placed around
  • Atmosphere

Lightmass will compute sky shadows for the sky light and bounce lighting for the directional light. Reflection probes will override the sky reflection

Time of day version

  • Movable directional light
  • Stationary sky light
  • Atmosphere

Try out the LPV work-in-progress feature for GI from the directional light. The stationary sky light will allow you to change its color tint over time. It should allow you to change out the cubemap completely, but that isn’t implemented yet.

Thank you all
By reflection probe, i assume you mean sphere reflection captures?


blahblahblahblah (character min requirement)

I would be VERY interested in a content example that combines BOTH in a nice way.

So far we have seen that you can do nice interiors (realistic rendering demo, reflection showcase) and we have also seen some nice outdoor stuff (mostly from the community, but I would also consider the shooter demo as outdoor, because its just not a small house where a family lives in that has windows and thin walls → reflection bleeding, its just huge pillars etc that cause no real issues with light radius or reflections…a real house with rooms next to each other and thin walls in between would be completely different).

However, you can not build a game with a town for example, where you can enter all the buildings and build it the same way the reflection showcase or realistic rendering demo was built. Each of those maps has sooo much fakery in it that the stuff that worked there would never work in an environment where you need everything to work and look equally good^^

So yeah…I would really REALLY love to see a small town scene (or just a building with a sourrounding garden – hint, show of nice grass and tree shading) where all the techniques are applied and not every material is sci fi shiney^^ My problem with the content examples is just that they are only working in that particular situation, but its not all the elements brought together to make a believable environment that could really work. Please make it happen Epic :slight_smile:

I completely agree.

It doesn’t come down just to lighting or atmospheric effects. The materials play in my opinion an equal role to the entire look. You probably don’t see many outdoor scenes made cause they involve a lot more things to be made rather than a interior one. But, the images from the beginning of the thread, they can be achieved with Unreal, easily. It’s not always about the engine, but also the artists. Elemental demo shows some outdoor environment and in my opinion it looks very cool. At this moment I’m working on a island, 4 km by 4 km, tweaking the terrain, stuff like that. Made some lighting tests, day night system with a skylight that calculates the information based on the rotation of the sun and the color of the sky at that moment, and it looked bad ***. So, in conclusion, you just have to play with Unreal, learn the ins and outs of it, and you can achieve what ever you want. Don’t just wait for Epic to release a demo to show of the strength of Unreal, you learn things by doing them yourself.

Need an advice

Thanks for sharing your tips…
But still need an advice for a start point for creating outdoor environment scenes… for example a house or a multi-storey building…

Shall I start with a specified project in the market place… OR with a blank one…!!?

Best Regards

For the most part it comes down to the quality of your assets. Getting materials to look right, and then adding levels of imperfections on top of that.

Thanks for tips!

I would add to this, local cubemaps used in post process volume as ambient cubemap.
And even though it’s essentialy flat ambient term, it really adds variety to lighting and makes environment more believeable.

I wish that the ambient Cubemap could be decoupled from post process volume, and place on level on it’s own as something like “ambient cubemap probe”, which would capture cubemap in set radius, and light in that radius. It would be reallllllyyyy helpfull.

Actually I make feature request:

For easier tracking ;).