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Is there a way to increase the base illumination of the entire level?

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    Is there a way to increase the base illumination of the entire level?

    In simple terms, how does one ensure that even in an area lacking point/spot/directional/sky lights, there is at least some level of illumination? Is this a global setting, or is there an actor that can be placed?

    I'm really curious about this, as it seems like everyone's maps are very "evenly" lit, but I have to cram tons of lights in every nook and cranny to get the same effect, which is really putting a hit on performance (and it just looks ugly).

    Am I doing something wrong?

    #2
    The way I do it.

    -A few big Static lights in the room with low intensity but a large radius to make sure every spot has light.
    -Make sure you are using proper Reflection capture spheres/boxes.
    -Use Dynamic lighting to fill in all the little spots.
    -Dont worry about always having a light source for your lights.
    PayBack

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply! Hope you don't mind if I pick your brain a little more; I feel like I'm just on the cusp of understanding.

      -A few big Static lights in the room with low intensity but a large radius to make sure every spot has light.
      So, when I place a point light with a large radius, I end up running into this problem where too many radii overlap, and I get errors when building lights. Is there something special I need to do to make sure its a static light?

      -Make sure you are using proper Reflection capture spheres/boxes.
      I have the spheres sprinkled throughout the map. Can you elaborate on how many/how far apart I need to make them? Is there a general rule of thumb for these, or is there some hard limitation I'm not understanding? And, why would I use a box over a sphere, and vice versa?

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        #4
        Originally posted by Antnee83 View Post
        Thanks for the reply! Hope you don't mind if I pick your brain a little more; I feel like I'm just on the cusp of understanding.


        So, when I place a point light with a large radius, I end up running into this problem where too many radii overlap, and I get errors when building lights. Is there something special I need to do to make sure its a static light?


        I have the spheres sprinkled throughout the map. Can you elaborate on how many/how far apart I need to make them? Is there a general rule of thumb for these, or is there some hard limitation I'm not understanding? And, why would I use a box over a sphere, and vice versa?
        You can only have 4 overlapping dynamic lights. Once you get more than 4 overlapping, one of the lights automatically turns from stationary (dynamic) to static otherwise you will get really bad performance. Static lights you can have as many over lapping as you want since the light they produce is not dynamic. The difference between dynamic and static is exactly how it sounds. A dynamic light will change shadows and its light level based on the environment. You can walk past it and see your shadow move around the light or you can set it to turn on or off based on a switch. A static light doesnt, the light is baked into the map when you do a lighting build and it does not change during game play. So use one big static light to fill the room with boring and lame lighting, then use dynamic lighting in places were players are going to be at often or where it will just look cooler to have more "alive" or "realistic" lighting. For example you could have 5 Static lights and 4 dynamic lights overlapping and not have any issues or 10 statics lights and 4 dynamic lights. Static lights dont impact dynamic lights in terms of performance or the same issue you have when you have more than 4 dynamic lights over lapping. To switch between the two, just select the mode in the details window.

        I made you a pretty picture.



        I find things look best with reflection volumes when you make them properly fit the room. Both box and sphere reflection volumes do the same thing, they are just contained by their shape. Not many rooms I make are spheres or round, so I tend to use box volumes so that I can contain specific light to a specific area/room. If you use a sphere, you need to use a sphere bigger than the room to fill the whole room, this will cause the reflected light to show up in places you might not want it to. Use the sphere volume that best fits the space you are using the reflection volume in.
        Last edited by PayBack; 06-14-2016, 08:50 PM. Reason: spelling and stuff
        PayBack

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          #5
          For filler lights, I usually turn off the 'Inverse Square Falloff' setting (which can be found in the hidden Lighting settings), and then set a very low intensity (from 0.1 to 0.5) and a high radius (from 2000 to 5000, or more...). Color can be white or the same color of your Sunlight if you have any. As PayBack said, Static lights won't affect performance, so remember to set all your filler lights to Static.

          While it may not always be possible, I think you should stick to the 'make every light have a source' rule as hard as possible: placing a filler light in the middle of a room doesn't sound like the best approach to me. Even if they are low intensity lights, you may find a better logic such as placing them closer to windows or any other lightsource.

          There are also a couple of settings you can play around with:
          - If your level is an outdoor one, you can increase the intensity of the Skylight, and the 'Indirect Lighting' value of both the SkyLight and the DirectionalLight.
          - There's also a 'Diffuse Boost' value under World Settings you can increase, but I haven't tested this enough and I wouldn't recommend abusing it.
          - In World Settings you can also find the PostProcess settings where you can tweak the Brightness and other settings. I wouldn't recommend relying on this either, as PostProcess can be turned off by players IIRC.

          As for Reflections, you must use the Sphere actor in most cases according to the UE documentation. Something to keep in mind if you overlap these actors is that reflections with lower radius take priority over high radius ones.

          Having said that, shadows are what will make your lighting look nice, so don't try to kill them all! Just soften things a bit until playability is not affected, but try to keep your dark spots as dark as possible... Good luck!
          Last edited by TheGlecter; 06-14-2016, 09:48 PM.
          DM-Batrankus is out on the UT Marketplace! Enjoy!

          My UT Maps: | JB-Makoy (UT3JB) | JB-Fragtion2 (UT2004JB) | CTF-Opposite (UT2004) | VCTF-Antropolis (UT2004) |
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            #6
            Thank you both! These are very good replies... hopefully I'm not the only one who learns something from them.

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              #7
              This is what I Googled and used:
              https://answers.unrealengine.com/que...irectiona.html
              AKA ||Ransom from Absolute clan.
              I have a WIP map. DM-Mosnar on Absolute Atlanta Hub

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                #8
                On a related note...

                I'm trying to get light to shine through a vent, creating nice neat lines on the floor. But, I'm running into this issue:



                I've tried spotlights, point lights, and tons of different variants of settings. Every time, I get a similar, "mooshy" result after I rebuild the lighting.

                What gives? Is there a trick to doing this?
                Attached Files

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                  #9
                  While I'm pretty sure there is a more elegant way of doing that by using light profiles... if the floor surface is a brush you can select it (the surface), look for the Lightmap field in the Details panel and increase its value. Always use powers of two (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc).

                  Edit: Oops, just realised, on BSP you have to set a lower value for sharper detail, not a higher one!
                  Last edited by TheGlecter; 06-18-2016, 08:36 PM.
                  DM-Batrankus is out on the UT Marketplace! Enjoy!

                  My UT Maps: | JB-Makoy (UT3JB) | JB-Fragtion2 (UT2004JB) | CTF-Opposite (UT2004) | VCTF-Antropolis (UT2004) |
                  My Puzzle Levels: | Tetrobot and Co. | Portal 2 | Toki Tori |
                  My Localizations: | Killing Floor |

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