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Tutorial: Cinematic Lighting in Unreal Engine 5

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The Gnomon Workshop has released Cinematic Lighting in Unreal Engine 5, an advanced two-hour workshop on real-time lighting techniques recorded by Naughty Dog lighting artist Ted Mebratu.

Master current static and dynamic lighting workflows in Unreal Engine 5
In the workshop, Mebratu reveals the techniques he uses to mimic cinematic lighting in Unreal Engine.

While Lumen, the new real-time global illumination system in Unreal Engine 5 generates realistic dynamic lighting, it lacks some of the control available with traditional static lighting workflows, like baking lightmaps.

Baking lightmaps also increases the number of light sources that can be used in a game level without harming performance on typical current hardware.

Mebratu sets out both workflows, beginning by creating night and day lighting set-ups for a domestic interior environment, using Unreal Engine’s GPU Lightmass system to bake direct and indirect lighting.

Topics covered include how to use reflection probes effectively to achieve believable results, and how to create atmospheric effects using static volumetric fog.

Mebratu then switches to an ornate cathedral environment to explore how to create a multi-camera cinematic using the Sequencer editor, showcasing different techniques for lighting shots using Lumen.

As well as how to use Lumen effectively, Mebratu reveals his approach to achieving dramatic compositions, and his techniques for editing and arranging cinematic shots.

About the artist
Ted Mebratu is a lighting artist at game developer Naughty Dog, where he worked on The Last of Us Part 1.

A self-taught artist, originally from Ethiopia, he previously worked at Ready at Dawn as a lighting artist on titles including virtual reality games Lone Echo II and Echo VR.

Pricing and availability
Cinematic Lighting in Unreal Engine 5 is available via a subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. Free trials are available.

Read more about Cinematic Lighting in Unreal Engine 5 on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

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