Lumen is a new lighting technology introduced with Unreal Engine 5 that allows you to create realistic and detailed environments with extremely realistic and computational efficient light and shadow effects during the execution of developed interactive content (videogame, film …). But what is the mechanism behind its operation and when is it convenient to activate it? Here is an overview of Lumen and its advantages and disadvantages.
How does Lumen work?
The mechanism behind the way Lumen operates is its global lighting technology and its physics-based rendering system. The global lighting technology calculates the lighting of an environment in real time, taking into account the position of the lights, shadows and reflections. This way it is able to create environments that change dynamically depending on the position of the light source, allowing for greater realism and detail. The rendering engine also uses a physics-based system to simulate the interaction of light with objects, creating extremely realistic light and shadow effects.
How to enable Lumen?
To enable Lumen on Unreal Engine 5, follow these simple steps:
- Open Unreal Engine 5.
- Go to the rendering settings.
- Select the option to enable Lumen.
And that’s it! Now Lumen is active and ready to use in your scene. It’s important to note that it can be disabled at any time by selecting the option again in the rendering settings.
What are its advantages?
There are many advantages to using Lumen on Unreal Engine 5:
- Dynamic real-time lighting: Lumen calculates the lighting of an environment in real time, taking into account the position of the lights and the movement of objects. This allows for greater realism and detail in the scene.
- Realistic light and shadow effects: Thanks to the physics-based rendering system, Lumen is able to create extremely realistic light and shadow effects, creating a much more immersive gaming or viewing experience.
- Greater efficiency: Lumen has been designed to be as efficient as possible in terms of performance. This means you won’t have to worry about delays or drops in frame rate while using Lumen.
- It requires a high computational power from the developer: in order to fully exploit the features of Lumen, you need a powerful hardware. This means it may not be the ideal choice for those with less powerful PCs or those who want to keep system requirements low.
- It is not suitable for all projects: Lumen may be a bit excessive for smaller projects or for those who only need basic lighting. In these cases, it may be better to use other lighting options.
What are the drawbacks?
Despite the many advantages of Lumen, there are also some disadvantages to consider:
In conclusion: when is it convenient to activate Lumen?
It is convenient to activate it on large projects that require greater efficiency.
Another system offered by UE5 that should be activated, but in relation to meshes, is Nanite.