Tips/tutorials for dealing with stationary light limit in interiors? (for games, not archviz)

How do people deal with the 4-light static shadowing limit for stationary lights in games?

For example, if I have a ceiling point-light in each room, I want them to be stationary because they need to bounce indirect light off the ceiling and also cast shadows for the character. Since the light is close to the ceiling, the attenuation radius extends into the room above it but is useless since light never reaches there in-game. But it still will overlap the attenuation radius of the light in the room above it, because that light needs to illuminate the entire room.

I quickly hit the limit of 4 lights this way. Are there “standard” tricks to get around this? Do people use some combination of static and dynamic lights with weird settings to “fake” stationary lighting in these situations? Or replace point lights with multiple stationary spot lights that have carefully-chosen shapes or something?

Are there any guides or tutorials for things like this? I can’t be the only one who has run into this problem…

A little bit of all of that to be honest. I personally prefer to shape/light the environment with static lights, then do some extra Stationary or Movable lights to cast shadows and hit the character directly. I only use Movable if I need to cull the shadow, because Stationary per-object dynamic shadows don’t have a view distance and will always cost, but you can’t cull a Stationary light since it will be invalidated when it comes back.

Also Volumetric Lightmaps and Capsule Shadows are a great way to get the characters grounded without dynamic lights. Reflection Probes will also capture the Static Lights and emissive surfaces, giving you a little bit of specular.

Hmm, cool, good to know I sort of have the right idea. Thanks for the tips! I’ll have to think about shadow culling…didn’t know that about Stationary lights!

It’s a bit frustrating since most of the interior lighting examples I see are for archviz. Am I the only one who gets really annoyed when a character doesn’t cast shadows in a well-lit area?