I have been doing some archviz stuff now for a bit and have come across some pretty noticeable issues in unreal’s baked lighting system- not just for archviz and interiors, but also for game and scene design. It seems as if the baking only parts of the map is impossible, and the entire level must be rebuilt every time you touch that Bake Lighting button. When doing an entire house or scene with multiple rooms, levels, etc. the time it takes to build the whole thing can be quite long. Add into this the edits that most achviz creators make to the baselightmass.ini file, and you have a painfully slow multiple hour build, even if you just added a chair into the level. I understand that in UDK (or UE3) the ability to only rebuild the lighting on certain objects was available, and this functionality was removed in UE4 for some reason. Sure, its important to preplan the lighting build and have everything you want in place before building, but at least for me, this just isn’t feasible. I like to modify and work with the scene to make it visually attractive, and having to rebuild the lighting every single time I want to see the final result takes hours.
I know that many of you more experienced artists and designers know this, but for someone not totally yet acclimated to Unreal, it is frustrating.
I didn’t post this thread just to whine about the system, but I would like to understand how people here get around this limitation. What is it that you do to make a coherent and beautiful scene without seeing the lighting until it’s built? For me, it’s very tough (maybe that’s my photographer speaking) but I like to see how the light falls off throughout the room, and ensure that it is both visually appealing and not awkward (shadows covering detail, highlights in unwanted places.) I have created scenes that look, to my eye, very nice, but have had to sit through perhaps three, four hour builds due to my additions of objects and tweaks of positions. I could have gotten around this by arranging everything beforehand and building the lighting once, but I just couldn’t do that.
I would love to see an addition in a later version unreal that sees to these concerns, perhaps allowing designers to cordon off one particular part of the level and only building the lighting there. I’m not familiar with how this dynamic worked in UDK, but something like it should be implemented in future versions of UE4.
These are just my observations, feel free to be critical and add
NOTE: I kinda just discovered the forums on this site and have barely gotten a chance to explore. I just wanted to lay down what I was thinking, so if this post doesn’t belong in this category I can remove it.