Alleyway Environment Breakdown #4 - Lighting

Making Of / 10 March 2021

The majority of lighting went in hand with the development of the blockout. I knew from the start I did not want to be using baked lighting but instead fully dynamic. Quixels own Medieval tutorial provided the base for my ideas behind lighting (link at the bottom) and I took a lot of elements from that including Unreals' new sky atmosphere lighting and using Screen Space Global Illumination (SSGI) on top of using Distance Mesh Fields.

One issue found during development with Distance Mesh fields would be props being too big, for instance the Dumpster which is not fully accurately represented. Though this didn't prove to be much of an issue in the end it is definitely something I will be keeping an eye on here on out.


Lighting went as follows:

First starting with the atmosphere lighting with fill likes from all openings to mimic city light coming from behind.

Following that key lights are introduced as hot spots across the scene. I like to in all of my environments have larger lighting set behind walls often projected against buildings; I feel its widens out the world and helps provide some depth and more specifically layering to the scene beyond what we see.

Following that is lights emanating from windows, and then a large swath of fills lights across the scene with no shadows to help brighten up and fill in dark spaces.


In the end lighting was a fun experience for me and I believe did I good job between keeping the scene dramatically lit and ensuring enough light for the majority of the scene to be readable. There was one prominent issue in the original upload I fixed after the fact you can see discussed in my polycount thread.


Quixel link:

  https://youtu.be/bRtmxoxtbLA

Polycount Thread:

  https://polycount.com/discussion/225474/alleyway-finished#latest