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What’s the best method for lighting a large outdoor level?


Im trying to research the best way to light a vast level and wanted to know if anyone has advice on this topic?

From initial research it seems I can either:

1) Use lightmass to bake in lighting. However the baking times are very long and the texture streaming pool is extremely oversized after doing this. Any issue results in a rebuild which makes iteration almost impossible.

2) Use lightmass to bake lighting, however use cascaded shadow maps to switch to dynamic lighting when close to the camera.

From this it seems that number 2 is the best option however I imagine it comes at a cost of losing a few FPS as well as the lighting not looking as good. Is using cascaded shadow maps the best method for lighting a large level?


Product Version: UE 4.16
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asked Feb 13 '18 at 02:21 PM in Rendering

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Maintaining decent lightmap density for large outdoor level is unrealistic, so you bound to either use fully dynamic lighting, or combine baked lighting with dynamic lighting upclose, as you mentioned. If you are not forced to change things like time of day and scene layour on the fly, go for combination of baked and dynamic. Do not try to rely on baked only.

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answered Feb 13 '18 at 03:30 PM

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avatar image Dan0z0 Feb 13 '18 at 03:43 PM

Thanks a lot for the reply. Yeah it really does seem like the best option to use a combo of baked and dynamic light. However would any other lights placed inside the scene need to be set as dynamic as there is no cascaded shadow maps for individual lights?

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