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Improving overall look of indoor scene?

I was curious, when working on an indoor scene, is there a way to improve the lighting/overall look of it? I'm currently creating a high ceiling art gallery, and something about the scene looks...off. I'd love to get some feedback from people more skilled in the field than me.

If you guys need screenshots of any details windows or anything, let me know, and I'll post them. I'd just love some honest critique and instruction on how to improve this scene!

The blue light ring is to add some cold color to the scene, but it looks bad at the moment.

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Product Version: UE 4.19
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asked Apr 19 '18 at 09:31 PM in Using UE4

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Your lightmap resolution is way too low for realistic look... I would break up your walls into separate pieces at the edges and set a 1024 lightmap resolution per piece. Floor maybe 2048 but because of the material you can get away maybe with 1024. ...and so on... For archviz you should have 0.1 10 10 10 0.6 lightmass settings in your world settings. I would also put a lightmass portal covering the emissive surface(s). Good luck! :)

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answered Apr 20 '18 at 12:53 AM

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avatar image Ethandale Apr 20 '18 at 01:59 AM

Alright, I'll give that a shot! Is there an easy way to make sure they all line up once I bring them into Unreal when breaking them? I was just going to take a "loop" of faces where each wall is right now and use the "Detach" tool in max...I could export them all separately as individual FBX files, but once I get them in engine, how can I sort them?

Thank you so much for your advice! :)

avatar image Makigirl Apr 20 '18 at 02:05 AM

No worries! :)

I use a script in 3ds max to export my meshes and it saves their position so in Unreal I just grab everything into the scene and everything is in place... ...I wouldn't use just planes as walls they can cause some lighting problems... if you want to go for sure use meshes with thickness all the time!

avatar image Ethandale Apr 20 '18 at 03:20 AM

Sounds excellent! I'll try your suggestions and post an image later of how I can get it to look. :) I might just end up making one wall and duplicating it, so that I can use one set of textures from Substance Painter instead of having a separate set for each wall, which would also mean way better texel density in the end....but now that I think about it, that's probably how all you pros work already. ;P

avatar image Ethandale Apr 20 '18 at 04:06 PM

Here's an updated image! The places where the walls/center meet the ceiling don't look too good for some reason, but other than that, the entire scene looks fantastic! The ceiling and floor have a 2048 resolution, and the walls are all set to 1024. I built the lights at production quality, and it took about 2 hours on my computer (8700K CPU and 1080 GPU), and it looks awesome! Thank you!

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avatar image Makigirl Apr 20 '18 at 06:18 PM

Oh it can still look a lot better! ;) You should turn off lightmap compression! /or any ambient occlusion if turned on/ I guess your ceiling is touching/intersecting the walls... try to make it just the visible shape (with thickness) snapped at the corners of the walls! Also if you're making your own lightmaps: keep just the visible faces on the map and leave the rest outside of the uv area! ...till you're doing just testrenders... I would go with 0.1 10 10 2 0.6 lightmass settings (quality is the one that kills your building time but it's also responsible for a clean result...) And also no 2048 res lightmaps while you're just testing... also you can stick with medium build! These should speed up your testing builds but would still get "dirty" but detailed results!

avatar image Ethandale Apr 21 '18 at 04:55 AM

Hmm, I made sure nothing was clipping anymore, but I still got those edges...and now I have this odd disco show effect happening. :P I'm not really sure what I did, but I'll try taking out the reflection probes and seeing if that helps.

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avatar image Makigirl Apr 21 '18 at 02:43 PM

It's all good you're baking in lower quality! ...when you'll be happy with the shadow detail you can go back up to higher settings and it will be clean again! ...you've turned on the emissive again, it can cause it too... but again don't worry! The ceiling still doesn't look good! :S ...could you take a screenshot of the mesh with the lightmap please? ...you should have a clean corner if everything is ok... Oh yeah! There is a bug right now with light's source length so if you see 90 rotation try to use instead more standard lights shaping the wanted length...

avatar image Ethandale Apr 22 '18 at 02:22 AM

Yes, of course! Is this the screenshot you need? Let me know if there's anything else that will help.alt text

ceiling.jpg (172.8 kB)
avatar image Makigirl Apr 22 '18 at 02:48 PM

This helps too! ;) So! If you want to achieve the best result as possible (IMO!!) you should have the best uv for each mesh... So to get rid of those blocky shadows at the corners you have two options: 1. Cut you mesh up to the visible parts and keep only those visible parts on the uv space (SIDE) 2. Cut your mesh's surface into the visible parts and keep just the visible parts on the uv space (TOP) 3. And always snap walls at their corners to each other! I made a little explanation pic! ;) alt text So what's happening is that your lightmap has a certain resolution. If you have meshes blocking out parts (in your case the middle column touching) and they don't align perfectly to the lightmap texels (lightmap pixel/TOP?) it can't visualize a perfect lighting information... it's between two "pixels"... so this is why you get those zip lines! As far as I know you can stretch lightmap uvs to a certain amount. So for a perfect result follow 1 or 2 + you should also snap corner points to grid/pixel (have a let's say 512 x 512 black and white checker image in your uv editor) I would try to stretch your uvs to a rectangle with all side edges aligning to pixel/grid...

uv.jpg (156.0 kB)
avatar image Ethandale Apr 22 '18 at 08:14 PM

Wow, that helped a ton! I just assumed I could put a roof on like I would in real life. @_@ Guess that's not the case, but I'm glad I know now! Those graphics helped so much! I forgot to remove the section above the walls at first, so this first render is still messy, but the second one look so much better. Thank you!

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avatar image Makigirl Apr 22 '18 at 08:23 PM

Yeah looks a LOT better!! :)) You know the "secret" now! :D So when you're satisfied with everything (if possible! ;) :D) and cleaned up all the problematic parts you can go higher with your lightmap resolutions and/or the lightmass settings... you can achieve a (close to) photoreal result...

avatar image Ethandale Apr 22 '18 at 10:26 PM

Yes! Thank you so much for all the help, this has been amazing! :)

avatar image Makigirl Apr 22 '18 at 11:58 PM

:D No worries! I'm glad I could help...

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