Environment design: Rendering and Reflection


To make my environment have depth and realism I went in and started to add spotlights like in front of the fire to give it a highlighted look. These were simple to add in the lighting tab and I changed the intensity of it to be lowered as the light from that fire in the day would not be that strong.

I then also made a large spotlight and had it facing the blacksmith for mood lighting. I also made both of the lights an orange colour for more of a glowing effect as I found this fit the mood better. I also added a few more spotlights to really highlight my building and make sure it was well lit, as I was having lighting issues with my building being dark.

HDRI Textures:

I used the website Poly Haven as they offer a wide variety of free HDRI textures. In Unreal I added an EnviroDome and made a new material for the sky, when I imported the texture I had to convert it to a parameter for it to work. I wanted to have a HDRI texture for there to be clouds in the sky.

I then added that to the EnviroDome and moved it so you didn’t see any mountains. I also needed to add a skylight as it made the world look very unnaturally dark, so I added one and made sure it didn’t have too intense of a light.

Screenshots and video:

I used the built-in High-Resolution Screenshot Tool in Unreal to take my beauty shots and I include quite a few as they have lots of little details. I wanted to show off the steam and fire well as well as some of the texturing that I am proud of.


For the video, I recorded it in OBS in 1080p and then did some light editing at the start and end to make it look more professional so as to cut out pressing start and stop.


I think our team worked well together, as straight away we made a group chat and used it frequently to keep each other up to date and also to ask for help. Despite losing one member, I think we quickly adapted to not having him and split up his jobs well between the group. There were never any arguments within the group, and people could also give good feedback to others without fear of offence. To improve the environment I would have liked to include more structures throughout the world as it is very large, as well as having more advanced dynamic lighting as I feel this could have pushed the piece further. I would have also liked to see what different building types could have looked like with different asset packs. If we would have had a different theme such as Egypt, I could have designed some interesting villages and it would have been interesting to look into their architectural style. A sandy environment could have been very challenging in a good way to push us further. Overall, I am very happy with how this turned out as it was the first time I used Unreal at all, and I found it really pushed me to learn many new skills and was also the first time I’ve worked in a group on a project like this.

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