UT3: Basic outdoor lighting tutorial / Part 2

In part two I will cover a large issue not covered in the first tutorial. With a scene containing only one asset, and something as small as a fire hydrant, it is easy to get the results you want, however when you are faced with a street with a lot more area covered in shadows, a rather large problem arises which I will be covering in this tutorial.

This is a relatively accurate desired look to a piece of level. Please note that I quickly mocked this up, so not everything is accurate, but it will give you a better understanding of some issues moving forwards. Like I said, the image to the left is the desired look we're aiming for, however, with the light set up we had before, the following image is the result we get.

Compared to the first image, this lighting is far too dark. You do not see any details in the shadows, also there is no spec or highlights on any of the un-lit surfaces. Here is a method you can use to help fix this issue.


Go into your "Generic Browser Window" and select a "SkyLight" from your Lights menu. Change all the asset properties to the SkyLight to what you see on the left. What this will do is fill in your all the dark areas and even out the overall look of the shadows.
















As you can see with the before (top) and after (bottom) images, the results are quite noticeable. If for some reason you want the shadows darker, by all means, play around with the settings and get something that's right for you, just remember to bake your lights after changing any settings or nothing will update accurately.


On a side note. The setting for the light placed by the street lamp in the scene is what's displayed on the image to your left. Any shaded area should always have some sort of alternative light source shining somewhere, mainly due to the fact that the shadows will look much more interesting with highlights and contrast. Without an alternative light source, everything will have a bit more of a flat feel to it.

Again, I strongly encourage you to play around with the settings and get something you like, and what best fits your scene. Everything you see here is just a basic starting point, nothing more.




I hope this little tutorial has helpd you out. i thank you for your time.