Directional Lights Solutions, Examples, Tips Unreal Engine 4

Directional Lights Solutions, Examples, Tips Unreal Engine 4. The Directional Light is the ideal choice for simulating sunlight, therefore it is used in many games that have a natural environment. The Light Direction is indicated by an arrow that points in the direction the light will emit, which is useful for orientating your light as needed. If you search for an actor that can provide light for the entire level, then the Directional Light is what you are searching for.

If you select the Third Person project with Starter Content, you will see that the starting level will have by default a Directional Light attached to a Blueprint Actor called SkySphereBlueprint, normally this is how a Directional Light needs to be set up in a level that has an environment and a light which resembles with the Earth natural atmosphere and light. If you rotate the Directional Light, the sun disc on the sky will rotate too. By default the light is set to resemble the daylight, if you want an evening sky or a night sky you need to make some changes to the Light Direction (indicated by an arrow).

How to rotate the Light Direction to have an evening sky or a night sky

If you want an evening sky you need to rotate the Directional Light, as following: on the x axis -180, on the y axis -15 and on the z axis -180. If you want a night sky with stars you need to rotate the Directional Light, as following: on the x axis -180, on the y axis 90 and on the z axis -180.

I can not find the SkySphereBlueprint in my Content Browser

The SkySphereBlueprint asset by default is located in the Engine Content folder, is named BP_Sky_Sphere, if you want to find it, open the Content Browser > in the right corner down, click the View Options > check the Show Engine Content box, next to the Filters button in the left corner up, click the - Show or hide source panel button, then, select the Engine Content folder and type in the search box the word: sky

How can I remove the Sun Disc

To remove the sun disc from your sky, select the SkySphereBlueprint, in the Details panel, search for Sun Brightness option, and set it to 0

How to Make a Space Sky

To make a Space Sky you need to edit the material attached to the SkySphereBlueprint and to remove any kind of fog effects from the level, like AtmosphericFog or ExponentialHeightFog, by default the material attached to the SkySphereBlueprint is M_Sky_Panning_Clouds2, you can find the material in the Engine Content folder.

Let's start editing the M_Sky_Panning_Clouds2 material. First, make a copy of the material, in case something doesn't work as expected, then, disconnect the wire that is connected to the main material node, pull out the wire from the second multiply node in the SkyColors string (the node that has the Sun height Parameter connected in the B pin), this is the part of the material that controls the stars, everything else is not necessary, connect this wire to the Emissive Color slot on the main Material Input. Now, you will see in your preview that there is a 360 degree sphere of stars.

If you have any problems with the SkySphereBlueprint when creating a Space Sky, or something doesn't work right, you can remove the SkySphereBlueprint and add the SM_SkySphere found in the Engine folder, add the M_Sky_Panning_Clouds2 material with the above modification, and make the SM_SkySphere large, to encompass your entire level design, re-build the light, and everything should work fine.

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