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  • lcoventry9

Unreal Lighting

Lighting in Unreal is very different to Maya, there are similarities in certain pieces of the tech but other things are completely different – Unreal has 3 different light options for whether lights are movable rather than fixed lights. This means that lighting can be baked in to geometry (which is more valuable for interior scenes and lighting you need to stay in place, compared to my outdoor scene where all the lighting needs to be moveable).

I tried some tests looking at different tutorials for how lighting interiors and other pieces would work. I looked at many different ways the lighting could be achieved on the bog, with Sunsky, HDRIs, and good old directional lights. I found a premade plugin on the Unreal site- GoodSky-for skies with a variety of changeable options – such as nighttime, daytime, cloudiness. This gave me a lot of control for how my sky can look and gave me the freedom of using my directional lights along with it.

First test. The ground looks unnatural and strange, the whole thing is very green, and the lighting is confusing and flat.

Later test. I was starting to make nice shapes on the grass with the light which was letting me break down the shot into sections, but running into issues with the harsh directional light source shining through the grass. Things look significantly more harmonious than the first test, however.

A later test trying to create a moodier scene and playing with volumetric clouds. Things were getting better, but I still felt I had a lot of problems. The scene felt very small and It was a this point I made a colourscript to pin down the lighting required in the 3D scene.

First attempt creating some lighting and testing the HDRI clouds. I wouldn’t be able to rotate clouds together with the HDRI to create this lighting effect however, so I think I will try simple planes with clouds painted on them instead.

I redid the landscape and tweaked some of the foliage to look more squashed like my reference footage of the moorland. I created a wider shot that felt more natural and what I was originally aiming for, and was able to recreate some lighting from the colourscript. I’ll be able to soften the sharp lines of the shadows by not using blank planes but clouds as cards with opacity masks on them.

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