Unreal Challenge: Better Light Than Never

Winners have been announced! Check out the blog and watch the sizzle!


In addition to this year’s annual Epic MegaJam, we’re hosting a brand new way to hone your skills and show us what you’re made of—welcome to the first-ever Unreal Challenge!

Each challenge will focus on a specific skillset or feature within Unreal Engine and general development. In future iterations, we aim to offer unique opportunities to collaborate with other community members in even larger events, like the Epic MegaJam.

But without further 'ado, here is your challenge:


For this first event, Unreal Challenge: Better Light Than Never, we encourage you to create a short video showcasing your lighting abilities, pulling inspiration or guidance from the title itself. Build up a scene yourself, leverage available Marketplace products, KitBash3D’s provided content or anything else you’ve stashed away in your Vault, then make it shine! We want to see how you make those environments convey a feeling.

Your efforts earn you a chance to win up to $1,000 in cash, plus KitBash3D and SketchFab licenses. Oh, did we mention there will also be swag?

Not only that, but we’ve set aside a round of prizes for students!

You’ll have four weeks to complete your task—all submissions are due by June 26, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT.

Be sure to join us for a super exciting kickoff on Inside Unreal with amazing guests, Pasquale Scionti, and William Faucher. Find out the details here!

Get the full details below on how to submit, what resources are available to you, and of course, what prizes you could win.

We cannot wait to see what you create!


Your video must:

  • Be between 10-30 seconds of content
  • Be a minimum of 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Not contain any post-production editing

MovieRenderQueue & Path Tracer

Your video file should be encoded directly from Unreal only, using any methods in the documentation. We reserve the right to ask you to provide a screen recording of running the render from Movie Render Queue.

Path Tracing is not permitted as this creates an unfair advantage against those that do not have systems that can use this feature.

And will be scored (1-5 points) on each of the following criteria:

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Conveyance of Mood/Atmosphere
  • Use of Theme


  • Create a new Discussion in the Unreal Challenge category and use the tag ‘BetterLightThanNever’
  • Include a title for your video
  • Link to your video or embed it in the topic
  • Indicate whether or not you are currently a student
  • Include which engine version you used to create your project
  • Attach a screenshot of your project in Editor

Calling All Students!

Are you a student? We want you to compete too! The Unreal Education team is paramount to giving students further opportunities, learning, and growth. Whether a technical challenge like this or the Epic MegaJam, you can expect the team to have students at heart!

We also understand that it can be somewhat daunting to compete against industry veterans and that many students might doubt their abilities- but know that you are all fantastic and deserve the same opportunities and to be seen and heard- that’s just one of the reasons why we have three finalist spots specifically for student participants.

We’ve added the tag “Student-Entry” for this category. If you a student submission, please use the tag along with the ‘BetterLightThanNever’ tag.

If you are particularly proud of your lighting project & submission, you can also submit your work to be a part of the Unreal Student Showcase. We would love to see your work! (This is not the submission for the Challenge)

If you’re looking for more learning content around Unreal Engine, we have some perfect suggestions that are designed with students in mind, such as;Learn the art of virtual robotics with our new Unreal Learning Kit update. For even more student resources check out our student page.



We’re excited to welcome back KitBash3D, who creates premium 3D asset Kits filled with all the pieces needed to build worlds for video games, film, television, design and digital art. They provide artists with completely customizable sets of 3D assets that serve as the building blocks to create original environments ranging from modern skyscrapers to neo-futuristic utopias to ancient temples.

Featuring select pieces from some of their most popular full world kits: Neo Tokyo, Cyber Streets, and Neo Shanghai, KitBash3D will also be sponsoring assets from their Neo City kit to use within the Challenge. Participants are encouraged to utilize these to create their scene.

Get it here!


We’re honored and excited to have Sketchfab as a part of the Challenge family, we believe the combination of tools available within the ecosystem is paramount to the encouragement of the community, and the opportunity it provides. Sketchfab is the leading platform for 3D & AR on the web. Publish, share, and discover 3D content on web, mobile, AR, and VR. 50+ File Formats. Over 5 Million 3D Artists.
Not only is Sketchfab a fantastic place to get assets, but it is also a great place to showcase your own, no matter its style or format.

Unreal Engine Marketplace

The Unreal Engine Marketplace sculpted the May 2022 free Unreal Engine content with the Challenge in mind. Download the free assets before Tuesday, June 7—next month’s content also features items curated with the Unreal Challenge in mind.


Quixel Megascans are free for all Unreal Engine users! Log in with your Epic Games account and get access to the entire library.

Quixel Mixer allows you to leverage hundreds of free premade Smart Materials that adapt to the shape of your 3D model. One tool for all your basic texturing needs, texture tile creation or maps for 3D models and is free for use with Unreal Engine.Log in with your Epic Games account and get access to the tool and the entire Mixer/Megascans library. Remember, Quixel Megascans is built into Unreal Engine 5!


The Unreal Challenge: Better Light Than Never will feature 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finalists and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place student finalists.

All winning entries will receive that sweet, sweet swag, be featured on the Unreal Engine official blog, and showcased in the Unreal Challenge video sizzle, in addition to:

Overall Prizes Student Prizes

First Place:

  • One cash prize of $1000.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One One Year Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

Second Place:

  • One cash prize of $500.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One Six Month Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

Third Place:

  • One cash prize of $250.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG pack
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One Three Month Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

First Place:

  • One cash prize of $500.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One One Year Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

Second Place:

  • One cash prize of $250.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One Six Month Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

Third Place:

  • One cash prize of $100.00
  • One Epic Games / Unreal Engine SWAG
  • One Individual License NEO/NYC World Kit from KitBash3D
  • One Three Month Sketchfab Pro from Sketchfab

Refresh your memory, or learn something new!

If you’re using Unreal Engine 5, the creation of assets within the Engine couldn’t be easier, with the use of geometry tools. Check out the evangelism talk "Blockout and Asset Production in UE5’ to find out more, covering everything from blocking out your scene to populating it with packed level instances and dynamic meshes made with geometry script.

Furthermore, on April 14th, 2022, we hosted an Inside Unreal Livestream "Exploring Geometry Tools in UE5, which expands upon some of these tools and the process, and thought behind them. Check it out here.

In the sixth part of the Medieval Game Environment series, Quixel’s Jakob Keudel focuses on adding lights and atmospherics to the environment, explains his decisions about lighting techniques, and makes use of Unreal Engine’s new SkyAtmosphere system and volumetric clouds to achieve a realistic yet moody look. Full Medieval Game Environment tutorial series playlist.

Be sure to check out even more fantastic resources and learning content on the Epic Developer Community portal!



Got a bit of time now after all these years. I am in a better place myself after 16 years of using Unreal 2, 3,4, and now 5. So just the name of this challenge inspires me! better Light Than ever, and especially using Lumen! So will go for this one, I am an older guy, so don`t want to take anything away from those shining new bright lights. Check out more of my work on my website - http://www.ShaunTwilliams.com


Exciting competition. So hey quick question on the student part. Do you have to be a full time student to compete as a student? I am part time student 9 classes away from graduating for a media/entertainment bachelors degree. I am eligible to compete as a student?


Hey-glad to see you back on the forums; welcome back!

We’re looking forward to seeing what you create. I hope you’re just as excited as we are! :slight_smile:


We’re super glad you are excited!

Providing other eligibility to enter (as per the rules) is met- if you are currently enrolled with an educational institution, whether remote, in-person, part-time, or full-time, at a large institution or a small one, you would be eligible to compete as a student! :slight_smile:

I hope this answers your question @jsfilmz and gets you even more excited for the Challenge! It’s going to be lit! :wink:

Im a bit confused due the pun - it clearly states the theme is: Better Light then never, instead of Better late then never.

Would love to get some input on what we should do with the theme / other ideas about it since it hugely affects the rating.

I’m completely unclear on what would make a certain video/environment/lighting fit or not fit the theme, I have no pointers of what the theme means atm.

1 Like

Super Excited!
I am an Environment artist but, currently working in a Studio.

Do you think i can participate ?


Hey :slight_smile:

Much like the theme of the MegaJam, the theme is open to interpretation by participants, and you’re free to create your concept as you see fit.

The theme adds to the creative process and allows folks to think outside of the box- as such, we do not offer suggestions on how to interpret the theme.

We have found that it is sometimes a good idea not to take the theme so literally.

Good luck- we cannot wait to see what you come up with!


Providing that you meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Official Rules and are entering as an individual, there would be no reason why you couldn’t participate! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello everybody,

I tried my best but I was not able to create a new question because there are no engine tags available. So I’m asking the question here.

I read about new developers on the challenge page.

We want to level the playing field for new developers, so we’re splitting up the event into two groups. The Unreal Challenge will award individuals overall, and specifically recognize outstanding students or new developers.

But i can’t find anything about it in the official rules. There is only something about students. I first installed Unreal Engine 5 3 months ago. So I would classify myself as a new developer.
Would be nice if it were clarified what new developers means exactly.

Best regards

First of all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to participate this challenge.

I was not able to create a new question either :frowning: so, here is my question:
Is it possible to use CC sounds from ‘freesounds’? If possible, where could be the place to give the proper autor recognition?

Thank you!

Should final videos be posted within this thread or should we create a new thread within the Unreal Challenge section? Sorry, the fourms here are abit confusing to me :sweat_smile:
Thank you!

First,I am a student contestant,My question is how to provide proof and when to submit it? Is it at the end of the challenge?
Second,Submissions cannot contain any post-production editing,Can I use movie-render plugin to export high resolution pictures and then use PR to synthesize videos? Special effects without post software

just googled swag… ■■■■ that’s a hot prize!

This challenge is really exiting and motivating! I have a few questions. Can we animate characters and if so, we have to animate them using Unreal Engine only and not Maya or 3ds Max right? Can we also have sounds and music?

Hi everyone!

I was really looking forward to it but… i just read it is not opened for individuals of Italy. How is that possible? Can Epic consider open up to excluded countries?

Hey, I have a question regarding the submission.
So are we allowed to upload multiple submissions or is it one submission per entrant?

Hey @MindCrafted_Games,

Correct, there are the 1st, 2nd, and third finalist spots overall, and then another 1st, 2nd and third for student entrants. The classification of the new developer was in conjunction with students that are new to the industry.

For future Challenges, we are looking at ways to support new developers outside of those who are students, but there are hurdles to overcome with this.

We hope this doesn’t stop you from joining the Challenge; we would love to see what you create! <3