Unreal Engine 4 Tutorial – Light Will Fall Back to Dynamic Shadows!

Unreal Engine 4 Tutorial – Light Will Fall Back to Dynamic Shadows!

Greetings game creators and other 3D-heads!

A few days ago I decided to (finally) take the jump from my beloved UDK, and started testing out Unreal Engine 4. Let’s just agree right away that Unreal Engine 4 is immense, it’s awesome, it’s straight up beautiful. The only reason I didn’t switch to it right away is because I knew I had to pay $19 each month to subscribe to it, while UDK is completely free.

However, after doing some easy research I learned it’s enough to sign up, pay and download it, and then you’re actually free to cancel the subscription right away. Thus, still being able to use the engine, but not getting any new updates for it until you pay another month. A good idea then is to pay and get it, cancel the subscription, and wait a long period of time until you pay again to get a whole huge bunch of new updates that has been gathered as time passed by. (The funny part, though, is that I’ll probably just keep being subscribed now that I’ve first started, lol. Oh well.)

First scene, first joy

So I started playing around with my first scene, enjoying the next-gen graphics with beautiful reflections and lots of yummy stuff, applying materials, dragging and dropping boxes around like a nerd playing The God of Boxmania, setting up a bunch of lights and. Then.

First problem in Paradise: Light build error

After building the lights, this – to the newbie me – awful message popped up:

Performance loss 1

Severe performance loss: Failed to allocate shadowmap channel for stationary light due to overlap – light will fall back to dynamic shadows!

“What?!” I shrieked like a girl with a premature period blasting off in my nether regions. “This cannot be!”

I had only been playing around for no more than maybe 15 minutes, and now THIS?!

“Okay,” I said to myself, “there’s gotta be a logical explanation.”

At least, it almost always is.

Light will fall back to dynamic shadows! – The Solution

This is, of course, an utter newbie-thing to not know how to fix. Something you only experience the first time you try the engine, and so I thought I wanted to help ya out right away in case you can’t easily figure this one out.

Another perhaps 10 minutes of scratching my head and clicking around my scene, changing the location of the lights and/or their settings, I realized the error only happens when too many dynamic (station) lights overlap each other. Pretty simple, huh?

Indeed. Stupidly simple.

Performance loss 2

So there are, as far as I know, at least 2 different ways to solve this problem:

1) Just delete a few lights and re-build. 2 and even 3 station lights seem to be able to overlap each other with no fuzz. When it gets up to 4 the problem arises.

Unless ..

2) You change the Mobility Setting in the light’s Details menu to Static:

Performance loss 3

Of course, the light won’t have as many nice thingies about it anymore, but it still looks pretty good, and you can stuff many more lights into your scene with no extra hassle.

That’s it, Paradise restored.

Performance loss 4

A bit more interesting Unreal Engine 4 tutorials will surely follow as I get more acquainted with the software.

Till next time!


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