Now this HDRI is added in our Engine Content and we will use it as our “Environment Background” and as “SLS Specified Cubemap” for lighting the scene through “Skylight”.
Using HDRI as environment background – To do so, we need a sphere to map our HDRI onto it. Luckily, Unreal Engine already have this static mesh available to use, it’s been hidden away in “Engine Content”. To get “EditorSky Sphere” in the scene, first we to unhide the Engine Content –
Click on Content Browser and after that click on “View Options” in bottom right. We have to check “Show Engine Content” to be able to see the “Engine Content” in Content Brower.
After placing the “EditorSky Sphere” in the scene, it’s time to set the material of the sphere to use HDRI as projected map.
Select “EditorSky” Sphere from ‘World Outliner’ or by clicking it in ‘Viewport’ –
It’s good idea to get some knowledge about ‘Material Creation’, I highly recommend to go through this awesome video tutorial by EPIC –
Purpose of all these nodes is to get UVW mapping correct and ability to change rotation of HDRI. As the material is “Unlit” and Texture is plugged into “Emissive” node, Lighting will not affect it and we can easily control the intensity of the texture.
To get the best visual resolution of HDRI, we need to use these settings (You need to apply this on individual HDRI you import). –
Now we will create “SkyLight” –
After this Place a Post Process volume with “Unbound” Option checked to bring in the “Eye Adaptation back”. We added Post Process Volume at the end because if we already used Post Process Volume at the start, we were not be able to get the idea of HDRI illumination through Skylight. A properly lit environment is first step towards realism, increasing light intensity and exposure through Post Process comes second.
“As for Lightmap resolution – I am using “256” on all objects at this stage, will be increasing some of them as we progress further.”
Side Note – This document by Digital Tutors is good for understating some basic terminology for texturing
Before building lighting, we will set the ‘Lighting Quality” and ‘Lightmass Settings” as –
What are these values and how they control lighting quality?
All these values and other things will be covered in next tutorial series.
Here are the final results –
Tutorial File Download Link (Unreal Engine 4.10 and above) – https://www.dropbox.com/s/8gp9ze6mko8bi7v/Simple%20Extrior%20HDRI%20Setup.7z?dl=0