Lighting for Games (Volume 1): Fundamentals of Lighting in UE4 _ Part 1

(The product thumbnail is just for showcasing purposes and is not a part of the tutorial)

This is the first part of many lighting series to come.
in this Vol 1. we talk about the most fundamental aspects of lighting in Unreal Engine 4 and discuss many technical issues and how to use the toolset to our advantage.
there are many volumes to come and with the release of every new volume we add upon the knowledge that we have gathered and move on to create beautiful yet practical lightings, and many concepts that we talk about are not only bound to Unreal Engine 4, but we try to discuss them so that they are globally usable in every other Rendering engine out there as well.

These are a list of topics that we cover in every chapter.

001  Getting To Know The Most Common Lighting And Rendering Actors.mp4
In this chapter we discuss light actors that are available in Unreal Engine 4 (Directional Light, Point Light, Spot Light, Skylight, Rect Light) and do a high level overview of these actors. of course we will go a lot deeper in these actors in the future volumes but in this Vol 1. we talk about their most common propertise like Intensity, Color, Radius, HDRI lights. after this chapter you have a high level familiarity with the light actors in Unreal Engine 4.

002   Static Lighitng Vs Dynamic Lighting.mp4
In this chapter we discover the meaning of Dynamic Lighting and Static Lighting. what are the pros and cons and where to use them. we also discover the stationary lighting which is a blend between the two.

003   Static Lighting And Introduction To Lightmass.mp4
This is where we start discussing the static lighting. we discover lighmass and how it creates lightmaps and how to have a higher quality lighting, specially shadow-wise, by increasing the lightmap resolution. we use a Lightmass Importance Volume and Lighmas Portal to make the lighting focus more on playable areas and getting better bounce lighting.

004   Lightmaps Inside Ue4.mp4
In this chapter we go alot deeper inside Lightmaps and learn what they are and how to create them inside Unreal Engine 4 or Outside using other DCC applications. then we export a custom mesh from 3ds Max to UE4 and use the allegorithm that Unreal has to create the lighmaps from the UV Layout that we created inside 3ds Max. We also talk about the Lightmap resolution and how to change them to get a better lighting.

005   Volumetric Lighmaps.mp4
In this chapter we discuss the Volumetric Lightmaps and why they are important for movable objects inside Static Lighting. Volumetric Lighmaps are a grid of sphere that recieve the indirect lighting from lightmas bake and inject them to moving characters and objects in the scene, so they blend a lot better with the environment and get affected by the static Lighting. then we learn how to increase Volumetric Lightmaps density for a better lighitng and optimizing them as well for areas that the player is not going to see from up-close.

006   Emissive For Static Lighting.mp4
In this chapter we produce static lighting from the emisive portion of materials and meshes and add a bit of beauty touch from objects to be able to cast light into static Lighting of the scene, Then we learn about Unlit materials and how they can help with the lighting contribution.

007   In-Depth Lighmass Exploration – Part.mp4
In this chapter we go a lot deeper inside Lightmass system inside ue4 and learn how it can cintribute to the indirect lighting and bounce lighitng. we discus the Indirect lighting and how it can make our scene a lot more realistic. then we use Diffuse Boost to make the propertise of the materials in the scene affect the lighting, and why it is important to have our albedo values all in the same range to have a consistent lighitng in UE4. in the end we learn some optimization tricks to make the light building times less and more efficient. then we go inside Lightmass Settings in the World Settigns tab and discuss numerous settings like Static Lighting Level Scale, Num Indirect Lighting Bounces, Indirect Lighting Quality, Indirect Lighting Smoothness, Diffuse Boost,and other settings as well.

008   In-Depth Lighmass Exploration – Part 2.mp4
In this chapter we continue with the Lighmass and explain other propertise than can make dramatic changes to your lighting. settings like  Environment Color, Num Skylight Bounces and Use Ambient Occlusion.

009   What Is Dynamic Lighting.mp4
In this chapter we learn what is the Dynamic Lighting and how it is different from the Static Lighitng. we learn that why Dynamic Shadows is very performance demanding. and learn some other kinds of shadows that are good for other situations, we discuss Cascaded Shadow Maps, Distance Field Shadows.

010   Light Propagation Volume And Cascaded Shadow Maps.mp4
In this chapter we learn how to use the Light Propagation VOlume to make the dynamic lighitng inject Indirect lights into the scene as well and then learn about the Cascaded Shadow Maps and what they are and why they are important for having a good lighting in distances while keeping the game performant. we explain a lot of possibilities with the Cascaded Shadow Maps and learn how it is good for some situations.

011   Using  Meshdistancefields For Shadow- Soft Shadows- Ambient Occlusion – Indirect Lighitng And Capsule Shadowing.mp4
In this chapter we dive deep in Mesh Distance Fields and learn what they are and why they are important for creating open world maps. we learn how to create High Resolution Mesh Distance Fields to get a better representation of the mesh, and learn how to tackle different situations like hardsurface meshes and foliages and tress. we also talk a bit about the optimization tips and tricks. then we produce Distance Field Soft Shadows that are a realistic technique that we see in normal life. we learn about the Distance Field Ambient Occlusion that is the solution for creating AO for Dynamic Lighting, then discuss the numerous ways that we can manipulate it to make our environment feel more grounded. and then we learn about using Distance Field Meshes for creating dynamic Shadows in Static/Baked Lighting where the lighting is baked and can not be changed in runtime, By using this technique we make moving objects and characters cast shadow in the Baked Lighting which was impossible before. then for the last technique we learn about capsule shadows and how they can make our characters cast shadow in the environemnt.

012   Stationary Lighting.mp4
In this Final chapter we discuss the thirld Lighting mobility type in Unreal Engine 4 which is the Stationary Lighting, that uses he power of both Static and Dynamic Lighting. we learn that how it uses Lightmass for Indirect Lighting and Dynamic Lighting for Direct Lighting. we create a realistic Area Light using the Stationary Light.

There are multiple Volumes being in production phase and will be released eventually. Be sure to check back for more Volumes.

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