Speedtree look very flat

Hi everyone,

I have some issues with speedtrees models. Everything look good inside speedtree but inside my level, they look very flat. I mean they don’t have any shadows and light contrast. I saw in some videos that you can put some point light around the tree to make better contrast, but I am sure there is a better way to do it. Maybe there is something wrong with my import process or there is some basics consideration that we need to take before or after the import. I cleared and adjusted the ambient occlusion in speetree and the result look better.

Thanks you in advance for your help!


Are they dynamically lit or static? If I recall correctly, SpeedTree creates lightmap UVs for its trees, so they shouldn’t look like that if they’re static. If they’re dynamic, see if you can bake some AO to the vertex color and plug that into the AO slot in your material. I don’t have SpeedTree so I might be off on some of this.

You’ve built your lighting since placing the trees, right?

There are in “movable”.
I put them on Movable because I wanted to get their shadows moving with the wind movement… but now that I am thinking it, the shadow should move even if the tree is on static mode. the shadows is generated by the directional light set to “stationary”. right?

Yeah I built the light after. I will set them to static and try again to see if it resolve the problem. thanks!

If you want to use movable trees, with dynamic lighting, add some ambient occlusion (in your post process) to simulate some G.I. It’s better than nothing.

This is what I’ve done here. Movable speedtrees, lit by a stationary skylight and sun and added some light ambient occlusion otherwise they would look overly and evenly lit. You can do a lot in the post process volume!

That’s right. Stationary directional light and static trees should still have moving shadows. Hope that works out!

Its look like we need movable trees to get dynamic shadows. I played with lightmass settings and post process volume to get a better look. But I think the best option (but more work) will be to bake AO on vertex color like you said before, but I don’t know how to manage this. Do you know a tutorial or an good example that I can take reference. thank you!

Here the result for now :


This looks like it should cover what you need to do:

It seems odd that your trees need to be moveable to get moving shadows. Are you using cascaded shadow maps? My scene has a stationary directional light and static trees and the shadows move, but I am using cascaded shadow maps.

No I am not using cascaded shadow. I think I would need to try it. I saw that you need to set a distance to active it and it look like the distance is calculated from the camera/player. But It wont overlap baked shadows and dynamic shadows if I don’t remove the cast shadows option from the trees?

For the baked AO it is what I did with the trees. I was thinking that you were using a baking method inside UE4. I will try to bake a stronger AO effect to see the difference.

thanks again!