Setting Up a Level to use the Reflection Environment
The first step toward having good reflections is setting up diffuse lighting including indirect lighting
through the use of lightmaps. The
Lightmass page contains more info on how to accomplish this if you are unfamiliar with using it. Common errors preventing Lightmass indirect lighting
from working after a build include but are not limited to the following:
- A shadow casting skybox.
- Lack of a LightmassImportanceVolume.
- Missing or incorrectly setup lightmap UVs
- Having Force No Precomputed Lighting set to True in the World Properties.
Since the level's diffuse color is what will be reflected through the Reflection Environment you will need to do the following for the best results.
- Ensure significant contrast between directly lit and shadowed areas.
- Remember that the bright diffuse lit areas are what will show up clearly in reflections.
- Darker shadowed areas are where the reflections will be most visible.
- Use the Lit viewmode together with the Specular show flag disabled to see the level as the reflection captures see it.
It is also extremely important to setup your level's Materials to work well with the Reflection Environment by keeping the following in mind.
- A flat, mirror surface will reveal the inaccuracies of combining cubemaps projected onto simple shapes.
- Curvy geometry or rough surfaces can both obscure these artifacts and provide convincing results.
- It is important to use detail Normal maps and specify some degree of roughness on Materials that will be
used in flat areas as this will help them better show off reflections.
Smooth surface but curvy geometry: Good quality reflections
Rough surface but flat geometry: Good quality reflections
Smooth surface AND flat geometry: Evident that reflections do not match up
Place reflection captures in the areas that you want to have reflections. Try to place the sphere captures
such that the part of the level you want to reflect is contained just inside their radius since the level will
be reprojected onto that sphere shape. Try to avoid placing captures too close to any level geometry, as that
nearby geometry will dominate and block important details behind it.