Overcast Lighting Questions

Hi there,

I’ve been spending a few evenings on achieving a good overcast lighting for outdoor. Not disappointed in UE4’s lighting system (It does lack a powerful tool like CE’s ToD tool tough) but I’m rather disappointed in myself for not grasping how to cop with UE4’s.

Regarding the subject, I’ve read about overcast lighting and the answers here and there on the forums and answer hub as well but they are all just not the proper way to do so. Like maxing out GI from directional light, baking and then turning it off, or just use an skybox…

I’m going to link two images from Simon Barle’s work in UE4 as a good reference.

While you don’t see any shadows being cast from the tree, at the same time if you look at the rocks or here and there you are able to see the normal map details. Unlike the two ways mentioned above where if you turn down your directional light intensity or just add a skylight you completely lose any normal map details.

Any good info you drop here would be a ton of help to me.


You need a movable skylight, atmospheric fog and a cloudy sky sphere, with DFAO enabled. Rotate the atmospheric fog until you see the sun on top then disable sun disk in its properties. Set sun multiplier to 0.2, default brightness to somewhere between 5-7 and light color to gray. Now when you update the skylight you should get the lighting from atmospheric fog and sky reflection from your sky sphere. In order to see normal map details the material needs to be at least a little reflective(notice how the rocks look wet in the pictures you posted and the floor of the hangar in my screenshot below) Here are two examples i had made a couple of months ago:



And here some old stuff without DFAO:!)&p=181154&viewfull=1#post181154

It should look and perform a lot better now with all the improvements on DFAO, btw.

God bless you.

Question, Is there no way to prevent sky light getting inside interiors other than disabling it using triggers?

Using reflection captures should help. You may need to put r.DiffuseFromCaptures=1 in ConsoleVaribales.ini in order to see the effect, i dont know if it’s still required in 4.8.

Hey Jacky, just looked at ur earlier post… and i dont see any settings like default brightness in there or light color :confused: Where are you looking?

Atmospheric Fog Details panel > Lighting.

IM still getting a heavy bloom effect from indoors to outdoors. I am using the default cloud setup scene… those clouds seem to glow when you up their color or intensity. Is tehre something i should do about that? The attached screenshot is where it is with all clouds turned down to black.

I should have pointed out that i dont use the default sky sphere. I just made 2 tiling cloud textures taken from, made a two-layer half spherical mesh then created two materials for those layers. One texture for the translucent layer to add some variation, the other one for the opaque(outer layer of the sphere.) I had made it with two translucent layers first on a dx11 card but then it all got messed up when i switched to dx10. I dont have the old material setup anymore so i cant help you there i’m afraid. Also you dont need any fancy, complicated materials for these either unless you want to change the weather in game.

Hi Jacky, I guess my last answer got lost while I attempted to send it.

Anyway, I did follow your instructions as good as I could, and I did manage to set up the hemispheres with cloud textures applied on them.

Now, I was able to import them, but the result did not look very… convincing. :slight_smile:

In fact, the imported sphere is being treated just like any other prop, and my panner-based materials don’t look too good either.

Could you by any chance be talked into elaborating about this?

The thing for me is, that after three years, for most other topics there is a decent-enough
coverage on youtube, but as soon as it gets to overcast skies… the documentation is slim,
to say the least using the friendliest of terms.

Could you help out here? :slight_smile:

Hey Albatros!

Unfortunately i cant help you right now. :\ I have been working on a project for the last couple of months and all the networking&dedicated server stuff have melted my brains. :frowning: And i dont have any of those projects with me so i cant help with the parameters i had used either. I’ve been away from all this fun stuff for so long but hopefully i’ll get back on track next month!