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How to set up a realistic real-time environment

UE5 has a big update. one of the biggest is Lumen. which makes the rendering a big leap. much more close to the rendering in v-ray. The diffuse color and shadow are much softer, the reflection is much more realistic, only one point-light can affect all the environment. but make me most excited is still that all of these animations are rendering in real-time.

Set up lumen

Follow this link you will get a basic Lumen setup. But in my case, I set the reflection as "ray tracing" but not Lumen. because I found that it will bring me a lot more reflection details on the fur. while using the lumen reflection, covered with occlusion the fur will be much more dark and black. that may be I didn't set up something right. but for now ray tracing flection is enough for me.

and for the shadow, we got some problem either. there is some jagged shadow on the landscape, not smooth. so we set the shadow as virtual shadow even it is a beta version now. and then change the "ray tracing shadow" as enabled. that will solve the problem.

For the environment, we also put some features into the scene, such as Atmospheric Fog, HDRI sky, Directional light, and some rectangle lights or point lights. we want to make the light as less and simple as possible. one reason is that lumen will illuminate all around the space. on the other hand, it will make the rendering much faster. redundancy lights always make the real-time rendering very heavy.

Exporting videos

There's a video that tells you how to render the movie out using Movie Render Queue which has more quality than the old sequencer. there is only one problem when we export the animation out, that some of our buildings are flicking. and we search on the internet for all the solutions but no result. Then we found that it might be relative to screen trace, so we turn it off which solve the problem temporarily.

the parameter will be like this

r.Lumen.Reflections.ScreenTraces 0

0 means off, if you want to turn it on, just type in 1

After all that settings, we will get something rendering not bad. and we are still on the way learning to get it better and better.


For now, we have some effects like fog and fire, here I just post some screen shorts but we did a lot actually. if you are interested in it, here is the course but contains a lot of information in it. we will update this part in the future

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