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Deus Ex Inspired Enviro [UE5]

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Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

Hey everyone !

So I've began working on my next project. It's based on an environment I did for school years ago that I really liked and I wanted to make a version 2.0 with UE and my actual skills (at the time I did it in Maya using Vray)

It's based on a couple of concept from the Deus Ex universe and I took 2-3 days to get the right scale and base blockout just to get a feel of everything.

I really want to work on improving my texturing skills and lighting in UE and that's the objective of that enviro. My biggest challenge here I think would be how to approach the mass of clutter in the concepts and also the lighting, which I think would be mostly lit by emissive textures.

Here's the original shot I made before:

These are the concepts from which it is inspired (mainly the second one):

And finally here's where I'm at:

I'll posting more as the project progresses, in the meantime don't hesitate with feedbacks and ideas of course.

Cheers !


  • croklin

    nice project! The light is the challenge right?? I love the concepts.

    It will be awesome!

  • Bhasara
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    Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

    Thanks, yup the light and the texturing is quite a challenge indeed :) I'm working on modeling more detailed assets right now, but I think that before moving to texturing, I'll need to setup the lighting more properly; otherwise it's going to be tricky to get the textures looking right in the scene :p

  • Bhasara
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    Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

    Sup everyone !

    So, I've trying to fix a problem for some time now with the reflections on metallic/low roughness materials in my scene. I have very noisy reflections; tried a couple of fixes found online but to no avail yet. Tried changing the reflection method in the post process volume and stuff like that but nope. Maybe fixing something in the mats themselves ?

    Also some weird moviing reflections, like the light keeps bouncing non stop even when the camera is not moving.

    Here's a short video showing the issue.

    If any of you guys know how to fix it that would be a great help ! Thanks !

  • rexo12
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    rexo12 greentooth

    You are seeing artefacting from the Lumen ray tracer trying to denoise/resolve detail with limited information. Not much you can do about this except increase the number of samples and/or increase the intensity & size of your lights. Does your graphics card have hardware raytracing?

    The lack of mirror reflections are odd, it looks like your floor material is too rough perhaps?

    This is quite a dark scene with sharp and focused light sources, which are traditionally difficult for ray tracers to resolve efficiently. Many of the tools available to offline ray tracers to mitigate this problem like light portals are also not available in UE5 (yet..). An idea - no idea if it would work - is to use a skylight with a custom HDRI to fake some ambient scatter in the scene and help Lumen along a little bit.

    Some other ideas to build your scene around these limitations:

    • Use brighter and larger lights
    • introduce some 'fake' bounce lights
    • increase the roughness on certain materials
    • experiment with the indirect lighting intensity.

    In case you haven't already seen it, this article details a number of common problems with Lumen and some potential fixes.

  • Bhasara
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    Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

    Thanks for the help rexo12, really appreciate it.

    Unfortunately my gpu does not have raytracing which would indeed have helped.

    The lack of mirror reflection on the floor is due to the fact that I tried to increase the roughness of the floor to get rid of the artifacts without touching the light. But it doesn't fit the concept, where the floor is clearly quite smooth and metallic.

    It could be an idea to try and work with a larger "exterior" light source like the skylight as you suggested. I may try that and get back to you as soon I can with the results. I'll rework the lighting to get it closer to the concept mood, which is way brighter anyhow, so that may help as you suggested. The histogram in PS looks far from good at the moment. Also went with a bit of experimenting with the indirect light intensity but so far the results are not as good as I want. So I'll keep digging !

    Many thanks again for the help and suggestions, much appreciated.

  • Bhasara
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    Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

    So I've been digging around in engine and online for some techie stuff on Lumen. I had to ask on the UE dev forum to get a clear answer, but there's at present no solution to completely fix Lumen's reflections issue. Here's a screen of the answer I got:

    I used the CVar that suppress the noisy lumen reflections in my scene. It's not a top solution but I guess it works.

    There's still noise here and there (specifically in the roof vents) but nothing a 200 screen percentage can fix I think.

    here's the CVar if anyone needs it: r.Lumen.Reflections.MaxRoughnessToTrace 0.28 (There are many more that you could use to tweak stuff online if you look around)

    Setting the reflection capture resolution in the project settings to 2048 seems to help also.

    So here we are, it doesn't feel to me that Lumen is completely production ready at the moment. Yes it's great for realistic GI and having that said GI in the reflections, but there are still a lot of work to make it work properly out of the box.

  • Bhasara
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    Bhasara polycounter lvl 6

    Been reworking the composition and the lighting a bit after kind of fixing the reflection issues.

    Still not there lighting wise, feels a bit better but far from satisfying. The composition feels a bit better now.

    What I'll keep on doing :

    ○ Replace blockout assets (model & texture) and adding clutter.

    ○ Filling the empty space between the desk and the window

    ○ Improving overall lighting and composition.

    ○ Better integrate the ceiling architecturally speaking.

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