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Post Info TOPIC: Tutorial - UEd3: How to fix the AmbientLighting on Static Meshes


Unreal Old Friend

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Tutorial - UEd3: How to fix the AmbientLighting on Static Meshes
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How to fix the AmbientLighting on Static Meshes


You have to know the basics of the Unreal Editor 3 to be able to follow this tutorial.


Step 1: Preparation


Well, what do we need?

  • We will need a raw example-map that contains at least one static mesh and (if possible) no light actors (this will help you to see the effect better)
  • We will need a ZoneInfo in our example-map
  • You will need curiosity, ambition and motivation
  • And (of course) we need the Unreal Editor 3 and UT2004

First, let's start with our example-map.
Just subtract a cube and place a static mesh and a ZoneInfo (Actor Class Browser (short form: ACB): Actor->Info->ZoneInfo) or you can separate a part of another map and use this one or you can use it on one of your maps which you want to improve (visually). The example map shall look a bit like this:
ambientbrightnesamplema.jpg
Usually you don't expect something of this quality by a mapper these days but that's all we need, so why bother making more than we need, after all it's just an example!

If you didn't rebuild yet you should do it now. Click on the BuildAll button
To underline the effect your map should be pitch-black if you view it in the Lighting Only and Dynamic Lighting mode (I have set the ceiling to unlit to show where the ceiling and where the floor are - and to make it look somewhat logical - the ceiling serves as the "source of lighting", even if there is no light actor or actual sun texture visible - but whatever. Example map).


Step 2: Setting the AmbientBrightness

 

Mark your ZoneInfo and open its properties.
Go to ZoneLight and there you should see three sections that belong to the AmbientLighting:

[Those who have been working with the AmbientLighting before can skip this small section that features the definitions of the three sliders]

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

AmbientBrightness


If you move the slider you can change the AmbientBrightness.
Default setting: 0

AmbientHue


This is the "colour palette" of the Unreal Engine. By moving the slider you can set the colour of the lighting. If you compare the slider with the MS Paint colour palette you will see that they are identical what concerns the "settings". 0=red (left), 32=orange, 64=green, 128=blue, 255=red (right).
Default setting=0

AmbientSaturation


This slider lets you choose the "pigment content"/saturation of your light colour that will brighten your zone. The highest setting is 0 which will make the colour appear very strong, the lowest setting is 255 which will make your colour white (basically the same as with light actors).
Default setting: 255

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

Choose a value with the AmbientBrightness slider that lights up your example map. 64 is a nice value, let's take this one!

If you have set the slider to 64 and if you are in Dynamic Lighting mode you will probably notice that although you didn't rebuild your map your static mesh became brighter, just your static mesh. Here's another picture to show you what I mean:
litsm.jpg
That's actually the whole trick and we will use this to our own advantage.

Now click on BuildAll and you will notice that your static mesh is much brighter than your BSP architecture. You can switch to Lighting Only mode to convince yourself.


Step 3: Fixing the lighting issue of the static mesh


Now you'll probably understand what I want to do in a few moments.

We will reduce the AmbientBrightness from 64 to just a quarter of it, in other words: We set it to 16. This way we have solved our little lighting issue of our static meshes that made the map look odd. Here are a few pictures to show you how it looked before and after the fix.
Before:
toobrightsm.jpg
toobrightsmlit.jpg
After:
smdynamiclightingfix.jpg
smlightingfix.jpg
But you should be careful now! Don't rebuild your lighting! I recommend to do this fix at the end of your mapping process otherwise this will happen:
rebuildmistake.jpg
lightingrebuildmistake.jpg
And again we would have to fix this to set the brightness of your BSP architecture and static meshes to the same level, either by setting it back and repeating the process of just by reducing the current brightness to a quarter of what it was before:
lightingrebuildmistakef.jpg
Static meshes have the tendency to appear four times as bright as your BSP if you are using AmbientBrightness. I have no idea what the source of this problem could be, I guess you would have to ask Epic Games themselves.

This method is also fps-friendly and reduces your framerate just slightly:

Before the fix: an average between 376 and 377 frames per second
After the fix: an average between 374 and 375 frames per second

The average fps changed just a little and because of this you can use this nice and easy-to-use method in real maps. Out of curiosity I have used this method in a map and the fps sunk just a small little bit. However, if you want do this with very complex maps which had fps issues before, I recommend to not use this method since these performance issues may get even worse. I don't know what influence this method would have on very detailled maps (especially on old PCs).


Now just a few last words and a few standard tips by me:

Always stay on the grid, never modify and save packages by others without their permission and don't change and save any files that came with the game since this can cause online incompatibility when playing with another player or on servers!

 

That's all! biggrin

Tips for improvements of my tutorial are welcome!


I hope I could help some mappers out there. Have fun mapping and good luck!
And may the UEd/BSP Goblin stay away from your maps! wink

Sly.

_________________________________________________________________

link to my original thread/tutorial at UTzone (German)



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...ǝp¡s ɹǝɥʇo ǝɥʇ uo

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top notch job m8 but isnt this UEd2? lol im sure u ll like to answer to this one
thx for ur work and for sharing

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Unreal Old Friend

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Thanks!

I'll do everything to keep UT and mapping for UT alive! biggrin

Nope, the UEd2 was the map editor for the classic UT
The chronological order of the editors is like this:
Unreal Editor - Unreal (1998)
Unreal Editor 2.0 - Unreal Tournament (GOTY Edition) (1999/2000)
Unreal Editor 3 - Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 (2002 - 2004)
Unreal II Editor - Unreal II: The Awakening (2003)
Unreal Tournament III Editor - Unreal Tournament III (2007)
Unreal Editor 4 (or Unreal Development Kit Editor..?) - UDK (20xx)
Well, I'm not sure about the UDK since I didn't use it yet. I've just seen the fancy effects.
However, I know this since I've worked with the UEd, UEd2.0, UEd3 and now I'm getting used to the UT3Ed by making my Vortex Rikers remake, hehe

PS: I forgot to mention that meanwhile classic Unreal also uses the Unreal Editor 2.0 in specific versions and that its maps are directly compatible with classic UT (just drag and drop the files into their respective folders and the rest is being made by the engine, hehe). In Unreal I like to stick to UEd though. Makes it easier to me to differenciate between the two games - otherwise it's too confusing.. Same textures, same editor and same weapon pickups confuseYes, you can place Unreal weapons in UT and they just get automatically replaced by their UT counterparts - example is CTF-Niven which was made when the Eightball was still in UT99 - it got removed very late! You can still see combatants holding the Unreal Eightball on the trophy and on the trophy on the cover if you look closely biggrin.

That was "Sly. explains useless knowledge about the Unreal Universe" for today. Be sure to turn on your TV- I mean internet -next time when someone asks a question about something that's indirectly related to the U-classics and when Sly. falls into a wave of nostalgia! smile



-- Edited by Sly on Tuesday 7th of June 2011 02:56:46 AM

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got it i always confuse UEditor and UEngine...haha

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I'm not using older version of the editor but this tut is well made, so I wanted to say it biggrin

UT2004 mappers will find that tut very useful aww



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Unreal Old Friend

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Thanks steve! Well, the Unreal Engine 3 has no zones and AmbientLighting anymore but Skylight, which has a similar effect but it doesn't make static meshes brighter. Otherwise I would have written it for UT3Ed too. But well, the Skylight is much better (and shouldn't be overused)



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Unreal Old Friend

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Reducing DramaticLightingScale to a lower value makes StaticMeshes darker, but in a better way. In fact tweaking every StaticMeshs DramaticLightingScale & Ambient Brightness values individually is MUCH better.

Except for Dynamic Lighting.

 

The optimal solutionn [for mapping] is to make the whole map either from StaticMeshes (pre-lit in the 3D application & unlit) or pure BSP. Dynamic Lighting and Projectors just behave too different on both types of map architecture.

My 0.02 $ ...

 



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Unreal Old Friend

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Thank you, Sly!
Very useful article, why didn't you post it on epic forums?
And by the way, this trick doesn't work with lighting in RGB8 format - lighting is being applied to geometry dynamically just like on meshes.

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Skylight, which has a similar effect but it doesn't make static meshes brighter. Otherwise I would have written it for UT3Ed too. But well, the Skylight is much better (and shouldn't be overused) ????

 

 

 

== Chess ==

 



-- Edited by adolfainsley8 on Wednesday 27th of April 2016 01:43:15 PM

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