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Some questions from a Unity veteran but total Unreal newbie...

I have been using Unity for many years professionally and have never really gotten into UDK or Unreal that much but with Epic being, well EPIC I am thinking about using Unreal Engine 4 for my next professional project. I do have some pressing concerns on limitations and the ability of the engine though…

The first is that the light baking looks really good and that’s great and all but would it be possible to bake only the ambient occlusion and still have dynamic only shadows from the directional light while having the baked areas still affected by the scenes ambient (sky) light, this would be for a dynamic day and night system and it is very important.

The second question/concern is that is there a system similar to ‘Shader Forge’ available, I’ve heard about the Blueprint system for quick prototyping which looks great but I would love a system to be able to put together shaders/materials in the same fashion.

The third question is if I were to create a large world (lets say 12km x 12km) in Unity I would split the world up into 2km x 2km sectors and seamlessly stream in each sector, would a similar system work in Unreal? The last I heard level streaming was not possible.

And the last question is if I pick up a SpeedTree (www.speedtree.com for those in the dark) license how easy would it be to integrate their SDK into Unreal? Would this even be feasible?

  1. level streaming is possible in the UE4 (take a look at the documentation: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Search/index.html?q=level+streaming&x=0&y=0)
  2. Speedtree will be integrated into the UE4: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?1173-Official-word-on-SpeedTree-for-UE4-subscribers&highlight=speedtree

For lighting, you could try rendering just as AO and then change your light to a dynamic light, but it might give you errors about the lighting needing to be rebuilt. You can also use post-process AO if you want.
Shader Forge is actually a ripoff from Unreal’s material editor and the material editor in Unreal is much better.

Watch these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lngF4VVNER4&list=PLZlv_N0_O1gbQjgY0nDwZNYe_N8IcYWS-

In most ways its better then Shader Forge, but its a hard comparison to make because the systems take different approaches.