5. Light Quality and Reflections

In this step we'll take a look at optimizing and improving light quality.


Our apartment is lit, however there are some things we can do to improve the quality of the lighting, starting with Build options.

  1. From the Main Toolbar, click the down-arrow next to Build to expand the options.


  2. Under Lighting Quality, select the Production Quality Level.


  3. Click the Build icon to build the game.

    You will notice that the build time has been increased with the increased quality of lighting. For quick iteration, the Preview setting is fine but once you are nearing completion of your project, you can switch over to Production to build your final or near-final project.

Another thing we can do is concentrate where the important areas to light are by adding a Lightmass Importance Volume.

  1. From the Modes menu under Volumes, drag a Lightmass Importance Volume into the level.


  2. Inside the Details panel for the Lightmass Importance Volume, set its Transform as shown below.


    The volume should now encompass the structure.


    See the Lightmass Basics documentation for more information on work with Lightmass.

To create a more realistic look, we can use Reflection Capture Actors to reflect light off surfaces.

First, let's add some Materials to our apartment instead of using the default ones.

  1. In the Content Browser under Content/StarterContent/Materials, drag the M_Concrete_Tiles onto the floor near the patio.

  2. Drag that same Material into the small bathroom.

  3. For the other floors, drag in the M_Wood_Floor_Walnut_Polished Material.

  4. While we are at it, drag the M_Metal_Rust asset onto the pillars across the roof.


    You can change up the Materials and use any you wish, however this will get us started.

  5. From the Modes menu under Visual Effects, drag a Box Reflection Capture into the level viewport.


  6. In the Details panel, set the Box Reflection Capture's Transform as shown below.


    Also set the Box Transition Distance to 1.0.


    If you fly into the bathroom, you can see how the Box Reflection Capture affects the surface on the tile.


    The current Transform is not ideal as it creates a hard line in the room and was only used to illustrate how it affects the scene. You can move the Box Reflection Capture up and down, left and right to see how it affects the light in the room off the surface. You can use your own settings or try the ones shown below.


  7. Click the Build icon to build your lighting (you can also return to Preview mode if you wish to speed up build times).


  8. Duplicate the Box Reflection Capture, resize and position it over the other tiled area in the apartment (our settings are below).


    Since we added a shiny wood floor Material, we did not add a Reflector above it however you can if you wish. You can also place just one Reflector in the level and adjust its settings to see how it impacts the lighting in the level.

  9. Click the Build icon to build your lighting.


Our little apartment is now lit with some basic lighting. In the Next Step we will update one of our lights to a slightly more complex light.

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