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Unreal Engine 4: Beginners Guide to Lighting

A practical guide to understanding lighting in Unreal Engine 4.
Instructor:
Bradley Wascher
2,096 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
A fundamental understanding of how to install the unreal engine and use its interface
What are the different lights that are available to use and how to use them
How to light full production ready levels, both from a static perspective and real time
How to problem solve quality issues with your lighting
The ability to understand and debug lighting errors inside of Unreal Engine

Lighting inside of Unreal Engine is hard. Not only are there literally hundreds of options for controlling lighting, but there are multiple menus for controlling the lighting that you might not even know about. This can leave you feeling overwhelmed. What light to select, how to use it, and when to use it seems impossible to wrap your head around. 

What really would be useful is a systematic approach to explaining the different lights and how to use them inside of Unreal. You would understand the different menus and options that affect the lighting. Finally, you would take all that knowledge and use it in real scenes to apply what you just learned in a practical way. 

This course is designed to do just that for you. In this course we will be covering the whys of the lighting system inside of Unreal engine. This course will give you practical understanding and knowledge of how to set up your lighting. Then you will be guided through case study scenes that will use the knowledge you just gained to light full production levels. Finally you will have access to a long list of common issues and fixes that can appear when working with lighting inside of Unreal engine. 

This course will leave you with not just an understanding of how to light your scenes in Unreal engine but the confidence to understand what will result in the best quality and performance for your project. This course is built to help you stop struggling with understanding lighting and finally master the concepts of creating great lighting inside of Unreal engine. 

Welcome

1
Overview of Course

In this video we will be covering an overview of what to expect from the course. At the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of what you will be learning and the new skills you will have by the end of the course.

Getting Started with Unreal

1
Section overview

In this video we will be discussing getting started in the engine and what you should expect in the following section. By the end of the video you should have a solid understanding of what you will be learning. 

2
Installing Unreal Launcher

We will be going over how to install the epic games launcher. At the end of the video you will have the Epic Games Launcher installed on your computer.

3
Installing the proper unreal engine version

In this video we will be covering how to install the proper version of unreal engine inside of the Epic Games launcher. At the end of this video you should have the proper version of the unreal engine installed and ready for us to start creating projects.

4
Setting up a project in the Unreal Engine

In this video we will be going over how to set up your project so that you can follow along with the examples. By the end of this video you should have an unreal engine project created and save. The project will be the base for all future examples.

5
Unreal Engine Quick Layout overview

In this video we cover the basic layout of the unreal engine editor. At the end of this video you should have a solid understanding of how the menus are laid out and how to get around at the most basic level within the software.

6
Navigation and Manipulation in Unreal Engine

In this video we will be talking about the controls inside of the editor. This include how to manipulate your camera through the scene. Also will be discussed is how to manipulate objects within the scene. At the end of this video you should be able to move the camera within the scene and manipulate objects from within the scene. 

7
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we will be discussing what you should have learned in this previous section. You should now have a basic understanding of installing the unreal engine, getting a project started, and also navigating inside of the engine. 

The basics of lighting in Unreal Engine

1
Section overview

In video we will be talking about what will be covered in this section. By the end of this video you should have an understanding of overview of information about the basics of lighting in unreal engine that we will be covering.

2
The different types of lights in Unreal

In this video we will be covering a high level look at the differences in the lights inside of unreal engine. At the end of the video you should have a better understanding off the different types of lights in unreal and when to best use each type of light.

3
Creating a test scene for our lighting

In this video we go over building a simple test scene to try out some of the different lighting types inside of unreal engine. By the end of this video you should have a small test scene that you can use to test of different lighting scenarios in the future. 

4
Building our Test Scene Lighting

In this video we do a very quick build of the lighting in our scene to let you finish the fulling lighting pipeline. By the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of the building lighting process inside of unreal.

5
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we will be discussing what you should have learned up to this point in this section. Also congratulating you on completing the section.

Breaking Down the Systems

1
Section overview

In this video we will be discussing all of the things that will be covered in the following section. 

2
Adaptive Eye and its effects on lighting

This video will be covering the topic of the adaptive eye adaptation inside of unreal engine. We will talk about the pluses and minuses of this feature and how to disable it if its getting in our way. At the end of the video you should have an understanding of how the eye adaptation system works inside of unreal engine. 

3
Static Lighting / Stationary Lighting / Movable Lighting

In this video we will be covering the basic's of the three man lighting mobility setting inside of the unreal engine. At the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of what each of the mobility settings does and also when you might want to use one setting over another. 

4
Cleaning up our test scene

In this video we talk a pass at cleaning up your lighting test scene to make sure its easy to see all of the lighting changes that are taking effect in the scene. At the end of this video you should have a cleaner scene with more consistent materials so we can see lighting changes more easily.

5
Engine Scalibilty settings and its effects on lighting

In this video we discuss the engine scalability settings and their effect on our scenes. At the end of this video you should have a better understanding of how engine scalability can and will effect the quality of the lighting that you're trying to create.

6
Build settings : Lighting Quality and its effects on quality

This video covers the build settings for lighting quality inside of unreal engine and its impact on the quality of the GI inside of our scenes. By the end of this video you should be able to change the quality of the lighting and also have an understanding of what the different lighting quality settings mean.

7
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we review what skills you just learned in this section. We also talk a moment to congratulate the success and the amount of knowledge that you have just gained.

Lighting Test Scene: Static Lighting

1
Section overview

In this video we cover at a high level the goals for the following section and what you should learn. At the end of the video you should have a high level understanding of what you will be learning in this section.

2
Setting up our test scene for static lighting

In this video we prepare our test scene for static lighting. At the end of the video you should be able to set your lights and your meshes in your scene to the proper setting so that static lighting will work. 

3
Lightmaps

In this video we cover what are lightmaps and what is important about lightmaps so that we get the best results possible from baked lighting. At the end of this video you should have a basic understanding of lightmaps and their effects on static lighting. 

4
Lightmap resolution

In this video we discuss the impact of lightmap resolution on the quality of our static lighting. At the end of this video you should have an understanding of what the impacts of lightmap resolution are and how to better tweak it to get great results in your levels. 

5
Lightmap Optimization and Scale Preview

In this video we will be discussing how to view some of the technical views when it comes to dealing with lightmaps. At the end of this video you will be able to turn on and off some of the debug menus and options that will allow you to better understand the performance of your lightmaps. 

6
Lightmass / Global Illumination / Swarm Agent

In this video we discuss lightmass and its effects on static lighting within your scenes. At the end of this video you should be able to understand where lightmass is located inside of unreal engine and its high level functions when it comes to baking global illumination into your scenes. 

7
Lightmass Importance Volume

In this video we talk about the importance of the lightmass importance volume. At the end of this video you should have an understanding of what a lightmass importance volume is and why its so important for your scene to include one. 

8
Moveable Objects in Static Lighting

In this video we will be talking about how moveable objects are effected by static lighting. You will be learning when to use static lighting with moveable objects and learning about how it still can influence them. 

9
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we review at a high level the new skills that you have attained in regards to setting up a scene for static lighting. We also take time to congratulate the hard work that has been put into the course so far. 

Stationary Lighting / Moveable Lighting

1
Section overview

In this video we will be reviewing what you will be learning in the following section about stationary and movable lighting. By the end of the video you should have a high level understanding of what you will be learning. 

2
Getting Started with Stationary Lighting

In this video we will be covering what it takes to get stationary lighting set up inside your scenes. Once done with this video you will have the skills to set up stationary lighting inside of your levels.

3
Shadow on Movable Objects from Stationary Lighting

In this video we will be covering the effects of shadows on stationary lighting. What you should know when dealing with shadows, and some of the other considerations when dealing with them. 

4
Setting our scene up for a Moveable light / performance considerations

In this video we will be setting up our scene for using movable lights. We will be talking about the steps that you need to preform so that you can get the most performance and optimization of of your movable lights.

5
When to use a movable light

This video is designed to give you insight into when to use a movable light within your scenes. Understanding when to use a movable light will give you the skills to have been performance inside of your levels and scenes.

6
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we will be discussing what we just covering in the last section and what you should now know about lighting with stationary and moveable lighting. 

Workshop Case Studies

1
Section overview

In this section we discuss what we will be going over in this section. At the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of what we are going to cover in this section.

2
Adding content to our Case Study project

In this video we cover how to add the infinity blade content to our project. At the end of the video you should have the infinity blade assets added to your project and an understanding of how to add items from the store to a project. 

3
Downloading the Case Study scene

This is the base case study's map that you can download to use if you want to follow along in the following videos.

4
Installing the Case Study Base Map

In this video we talk about how to install the case study base map. At the end of this video you should have the case study base map installed in your unreal engine project. 

5
Case Study: Baked day time lighting : Preparation

In this video we will be preparing our case study base map for static daylight lighting.  At the end of this video you should have your case study map set up so that way you can properly bake your scene.

6
Case Study : Baked day time lighting : Setting up our scene

In this video we start to refine and add the lighting and other items we need to get great baked lighting results in our scene. At the end of this video you should have an understanding of how to setup the basic lights and components you need for static lighting in your scene. 

7
Case Study: Baked day time lighting : Adding Skylight and refining

In this video we take a refinement base at improving the quality of the look and feel of the lighting in our scene. At the end of this video you should have a better understanding of how the skylight can contribute to the overall look and feel of the scene. 

8
Case Study: Baked day time lighting : Fog and Reflections

At this video we go ahead and add fog and reflection actors to our scene to really capture those smaller details. At the end of this video you should have a much more refined level and a high level understanding of how fog and reflection actors play a role in your scenes. 

9
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this section recap what we learned in this section, what to remember when baking static lighting for a final scene, and possible next steps for you to try out. You should have an understanding of what you just accomplished and congratulate yourself on what you have learned so far. 

Case Study: Real Time Lighting

1
Section overview

In this video we will be covering the high level goals of this section. We will be discussing what you should be learning about using real time lighting inside of unreal engine and also how to set your scene up for the best possible real time lighting results. 

2
Real Time Lighting setup

In this video we set up the case study base map for real time lighting. We go through the steps of adding in and setting the proper setting on our lighting to case a fully dynamic shadow.

3
Distance Field Ambient Occlusion

In this video we discuss how to set up the case study base map to include distance field ambient occlusion into our project and our scenes. At the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of distance field ambient occlusion and how to set it up in your scenes. 

4
Distance Field Shadows

In this video we talk about distance field shadows and how to use them in our scenes. At the end of this video you should have an understanding of what distance field shadows are and some of the overall effects that they can have on the look and feel of our scenes. 

5
Polishing our Real time lighting daylight scene

In this video we take a pass to refine the lighting inside of your dynamic lighting test scene. At the end of this video you should have a better understanding of how to add the last couple of details to a scene to really help your lighting come to life.

6
Night Time Real Time Lighting

In this video we go over how to change our dynamic lighting in our scene to look like its a night time scene. Some of the considerations and things we should do to make sure that our night time scene really pops. At the end of this video you should have a better understanding of how to set up your dynamic scene for night time lighting. 

7
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we review at a high level what we have learned in this section about dynamic lighting in unreal. We also take a moment to recognize the hard work that you have put in up to this point. 

Common Issues and Fixes

1
Section overview

In this video we will be covering the high level goals of this section. We will be discussing what are some of the most common issues in unreal lighting. At the end of this video you should have a high level understanding of what we will be covering in this section. 

2
Why is there shadow splotches on my static mesh?

In this video we talk about why you can have splotches in your lightmaps and so tips on how to remove those splotches. At the end of the video you should have some tools to clean up and remove unwanted issues from your lightmaps.

3
Seams in between modular meshes

In this section we will be covering how to deal with modular meshes inside of unreal engine and its effects on meshes. At the end of this video you should have some techniques to overcome some of seams that can appear when dealing with modular assets inside of the unreal engine. 

4
What does this red X over my light mean?

In this video we will be discussing what the red x over a light inside of the unreal engine means. We talk about how to avoid it and fixes for it in the future. At the end of the video you will have a high level understanding of what this issue is and how to fix it. 

5
Overlapping lightmap uvs : Warning message

In this video we will be covering a common issue that you can see in your output log. We will be talking about how to solve overlapping lightmap uv errors. At the end of this video you should have several options that can be used to solve this issue and remove artifacts from your scene. 

6
Lightmass Portals

In this section we quickly talk about lightmass portals and their role inside of the unreal engine. At the end of this video you should have an understanding of what lightmass portals are and why they might be used inside of a level inside of unreal engine. 

7
IES Light profiles

In this video we cover what IES profiles are and how to attach them to our lights. By the end of the video you should have an understanding of how to use IES profiles on your lights inside of unreal engine.

8
Light Shafts / Bloom

In this video we will be talking about bloom and light shafts inside of unreal engine. At the end of this video you should have a better understanding on how to enable light shafts on your lights within your scenes. 

9
Emmisive Lighting

In this video we talk about emissive lighting and how to set up our materials and objects properly so that they can contribute to the lighting from within our scene. At the end of the video you should be able to create emissive materials that contribute to the lighting inside of unreal engine.

10
Congrats! : Review what you learned

In this video we will be doing a high level review of everything that you should have learned from this section. We also will take a moment to discuss future issues that come up and possible solutions. Finally a congratulations for getting this far in the course. 

Conclusion and next steps

1
Conclusion and next steps

In this video we conclude the course and talk about next steps that you can do to follow up or continue to learn more about lighting inside of unreal engine. 

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