For this week's 80 Level Rating, we gathered 10 fantastic YouTube tutorials on lighting in Unreal Engine 4 and Unreal Engine 5.
Hello everyone! Last week, to support aspiring artists and help them understand how to properly light their projects, we shared a list of 10 super-useful tutorials on lighting in Unity. For today's 80 Level Rating, we collected a similar list but for another widely-used game engine – UE. So, without further ado, here are 10 excellent tutorials on lighting in Unreal Engine, both 4 and 5, that will help you learn useful lighting techniques, explain UE5's Lumen workflow, and teach you how to accentuate all the right places of your projects.
Speaking of Lumen, let's start our today's rating with a comprehensive and beginner-friendly tutorial shared by Virtus, a UK-based educational community for aspiring game developers. If you are to light your first project, this tutorial is exactly what you need, as it thoroughly explains what Lumen is and how to use it. What's more, you will learn how to light your scenes using emissive materials as light sources and how to set up indirect light bouncing. Overall, a great tutorial for UE5 beginners.
If Unreal Engine 5 is not your cup of tea, not a problem, here's a fantastic tutorial on using UE4 for lighting a scene shared by Game Artists Masters Academy (GAMA). In this tutorial, GAMA's Dustin Tinkler explains how to light an abandoned bathroom scene with an HDRI in Unreal Engine 4, how to set up the sky and exposure, and shares some tips and tricks on lighting in general. So, if you want to create a scene in UE4, especially a post-apocalyptic one, this guide is exactly what you need.
And here's one more informative tutorial on lighting in Unreal Engine 4, this one is dedicated to exterior areas. In this video, Ryan Manning, a 3D Artist, tutorial-maker, and Studio Head at Bad Rhino Studios, explains how to set up and light an exterior scene in UE4 using only the necessary assets to keep performance and high FPS, and still achieve a good looking scene. The tutorial shows the entire lighting process from start to finish, making it a perfect guide for aspiring Unreal artists.
Of course, this week's list would not be complete without at least one tutorial by William Faucher, a tutorial-maker and an absolute Unreal Engine master. One of William's tutorials on lighting was already featured in one of our previous ratings but recently, the artist shared a great new guide on lighting nighttime scenes. In this new tutorial, William discussed some nuances of working with lighting in UE5, talked about setting up moonlight and Volumetric Fog, shared the entire lighting workflow and so much more.
Next up, we have a great Lumen and ArchViz tutorial, shared by an amazing CG Artist Israel Rangreji, a.k.a. pinkpocketTV. In this UE5 tutorial, the artist demonstrated how to assemble and light an ArchViz Scene. You will learn about Lumen Global Illumination (GI) and Lumen Reflections, as well as some important workflow techniques that will help you bring your Unreal projects to a whole new level.
Halfway through our list, we've got a short but extremely informative tutorial on lighting realistic characters in Unreal Engine 4, shared by Lighting Artist Florian Senekowitsch. In just 8 minutes, the artist managed to explain all the basics of character lighting in UE4, shared some useful techniques that many Character Artists can use to their advantage, and even talked about using Metahumans. So, if you are an aspiring artist and need to learn the topic pronto, here's the perfect guide just for you.
If you're not a fan of realistic environments and your heart lies with stylized scenes, here's a perfect tutorial just for you. In this guide, 3D Environment Artist and Game Developer Michael Braybrook explains the basics of lighting a stylized environment in Unreal Engine 4. The artist showed the entire lighting workflow, talked about setting up candlelight, and shared some useful tips and tricks for beginners.
If you are developing your first game on Unreal Engine 4, this next tutorial might be exactly what you need. In this tutorial, Game Developer and tutorial-maker Ryan Laley shares some important advice on lighting and explains how lighting works in UE4-powered video games. The artist also talked about the difference between static, stationary, and movable lights, explaining how to set up all of them.
The next spot on our today's list belongs to Environment and Lighting Artist Daniyal Malik and his in-depth tutorial on setting up cinematic lighting in Unreal Engine 5. In this guide, the artist showed an entire process of creating realistic lighting in UE5 using Lumen and shared some cool techniques that will help you create AAA projects. The tutorial is very short and beginner-friendly, making it a perfect starting point for aspiring Environment Artists.
And finally, we've got a great tutorial on lighting in Unreal shared by the Unreal Engine team itself. This guide, which is by the way the fifth video in the six-part Slay Workflow series, covers the basics of environment lighting, beginning with a blank canvas and layering in your lights as you build to your final shot complete with cinematic lighting.
These were our picks for this week's Unreal Lighting Rating. Do you agree with our list? What channels should we have added here? What inspired you to study Unreal Engine? Leave your thoughts down in the comments below or on our new Reddit page, our new Telegram channel, Instagram, or Twitter.