Bake Lighting in Condos

I’m not sure how technically possible is this, but the basic idea is to have an option in condos to “Bake Lighting” of non-physics objects into a static shadow map, and instead of dynamically casting shadows out of each and every object of the condo that wasn’t part of the original map, use the baked shadow map whenever possible, that is, whenever both the object and the light source can be asserted to remain unchanged unless edited.

This is, of course, not really useful if the condo has dynamic daytime/weather or if you edit the furniture often, because you would have to re-bake the lighting every now and then, but in those cases where you are happy with the master piece of art you made of your condo and it would be a sin if anyone dared to see it with any other daytime or weather that you, the author, decided it was fit for, by baking the lights and shadows I would expect a great performance increase.

Furthermore, we could potentially have Path Traced Global Ilumination, wich, albeit computationally expensive, usually looks way better than the dynamic lights most games use at the moment. If you can have the result of the PTGI pass baked and saved, it wouldn’t need to be recomputed at each frame, meaning we could have great lighting while maintaining the performance benefits.

As a side note, I really don’t know how TU works internally and, as far as I know, I could just be spitting nonsense that can’t really be implemented, but I think it’s worth trying and seeing what developers have to say about the viability of this.


Pretty sure baking lighting at runtime isn’t possible as UE4 is designed to run lightmass baking with specific tools alongside building the rest of the project like compiling C++ code and such. It’s an option in the editor but not available in a production build of the game afaik.
Not to say it isn’t possible but it’d probably involve sending the level to a remote server to be built and an open instance of the editor on said server so it wouldn’t be practical in any case.


All I know is when I place lights they can sometimes just go through the floor and walls to other rooms (good example being placing lights on the 1st floor in house, and then they can be seen on the ceiling/wall top of the basement) I think that might just be how lighting in UE4 is tho idk.

This is just not possible, unfortunately. Light baking is in the UE4 developer toolset, and is a big process that changes the map game files themselves. This is just not something we can accomplish.


Could it be possible to toggle shadows for each item?

Like as in Right Click Item > Edit > Shadow [toggle yes/no]

When I was working on my Art Studio one corner of the condo TANKED my FPS and I couldn’t find out why until I turned shadows off.

A lot of the shadows merged together, but since I had numerous small objects on around a platform they were all casting shadows. If I could toggle off the shadows of the smaller items, and just keep the platform shadow toggled on, then it’d look nearly identical and be much more optimized.

If this were possible I think it’d help condo builders optimize their condos a huge deal. However I have no idea how complicated/possible implementing that toggle would be.

That would be more data that has to be networked to players entering the condo so we probably wouldn’t do that. I do think that a lot of objects probably shouldn’t have shadow casting on them. This is an area that needs to be looked at in the future when we do more condo work, and something I would like to figure out a solution to with mac.

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