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Always start by dropping the Core blueprint in your scene. This gives you a good baseline for your lighting, with high quality settings enabled by default, and where you can tweak the settings to your liking. It also has an HDRI texture slot for image based lighting.

Core settings

GI Method
  • Disabled
  • Brute Force (ray tracing only)
  • Final Gather (ray tracing only)
  • SSGI
HDRI IntensitySets the intensity of the HDRI light contribution
HDRI RotationSets the HDRI rotation. This can also be animated for turntables.
HDRI SaturationControls the saturation of the HDRI texture.
HDRITexture slot for Image Based Lighting (IBL). Needs to be in the equirectangular format (lat/long). You can find free high quality HDRIs here:
BloomSets the amount of bloom
Chromatic AberrationSets the amount of chromatic aberration
Exposure CompensationSets the exposure compensation. Note that this defaults to 0, which is different from the Unreal default of 1: Unreal Automatic Exposure Documentation
Motion BlurSets the amount of motion blur
SharpeningSets the amount of sharpening
TintControls the tint of the image
VignetteControls the vignette
White BalanceControls the white balance of the image. Keep in mind that this works in the opposite way of the temperature control on a light for example.
Tonemap EnableEnables or disables the ACES filmic tonemap (which is enabled by default in Unreal)
Slope/Toe/Shoulder/Black Clip/White ClipAdjust the filmic tonemap curve
Reflection BouncesControls the amount of reflection bounces allowed. (Note that this gets overridden in the render settings)
Reflection SamplesControls the reflection samples per pixel. (Note that this gets overridden in the render settings)
Reflections Max RoughnessControls the roughness threshhold where ray tracing is used. 1.0 uses ray tracing for all reflections and gives the most accurate results. (Note that this gets overridden in the render settings)
GI BouncesControls the amount of global illumination bounces allowed. (Note that this gets overridden in the render settings)
GI SamplesControls the global illumination samples per pixel. (Note that this gets overridden in the render settings)
Translucency MethodControls whether or not to use Raster or Ray Tracing for refractions. Both have their benefits and depends on your scene.
Path Tracing Samples Per PixelSpecifies how many samples until the image is considered finished and the denoiser kicks in. Note that this gets overridden by Spatial Sample Count in Render Settings.
Path Tracing Filter WidthSets anti-aliasing filter width for the path tracer. Lower values are sharper (and more aliased), lower values are softer (and blurrier).
Path Tracing DenoiserControls whether or not the denoiser will kick in after the render has completed all samples.

When should I use the Path Tracer rendering method?

  • Still images (animations can get noisy)
  • Physically plausible glass (realistic refraction and caustics)
  • Subjects other than digital characters (hair and other materials are not yet supported)