Lumen in UE5: Let there be light!

Paulo Souza |
August 10, 2021
Lumen is Unreal Engine 5’s new dynamic Global Illumination and reflections system, targeted at next-generation consoles. It is the result of years of work from the team at Epic to bring real-time Global Illumination and reflections to Unreal Engine.

We believe that the next-generation of games and simulations will need advanced lighting, such as time of day or lighting that reacts to world changes. The CGI industry has been pursuing a definitive solution for real-time Global Illumination and reflections for decades, which is why real-time GI has been called the “holy grail” of computer graphics.
Lumen uses a fully dynamic indirect lighting pipeline, which means that the scene geometry, material, and light properties can change at any time. Because of that, Lumen greatly improves artists' workflow. Not only does this mean lighting updates instantly, but it also removes the wait for build times to get to final lighting quality. In addition to that, Lumen-lit scenes need no reflection cubemaps, since Lumen fully replaces other methods and is able to render geometrically precise reflections.

In this video, Paulo Souza, Epic Games Evangelist for Latin America and Brazil, takes you through all of Lumen’s features and provides a high-level overview of how it works. He will also show tips on how to improve lighting and reflection quality, along with some of the best practices to make your Unreal Engine 5 scenes shine.
 

    Get Unreal Engine 5 Early Access

    If you’re an existing Unreal Engine user, you can get UE5 Early Access and the Valley of the Ancient sample project from the Epic Games Launcher. If you’re new to Unreal Engine, we suggest getting to know UE 4.26 as a first step.
    Join us online or in person at GDC 2024
    Event
    February 13

    Join us online or in person at GDC 2024

    Tune in to the State of Unreal for the latest announcements from Epic and our partners, dive deep with our tech talks, and get inspired and informed with our sessions and learning theater.
    Join us online or in person at GDC 2024
    Event

    Join us online or in person at GDC 2024

    Tune in to the State of Unreal for the latest announcements from Epic and our partners, dive deep with our tech talks, and get inspired and informed with our sessions and learning theater.
    February Marketplace sale: get 50% off over 2,000 products
    News
    February 15

    February Marketplace sale: get 50% off over 2,000 products

    Retro cafes, rustic interiors, low-poly towns, customizable NPC characters…February’s Marketplace sale has something for everyone. Act now to get this month’s selection of goodies at half price.
    February Marketplace sale: get 50% off over 2,000 products
    News

    February Marketplace sale: get 50% off over 2,000 products

    Retro cafes, rustic interiors, low-poly towns, customizable NPC characters…February’s Marketplace sale has something for everyone. Act now to get this month’s selection of goodies at half price.
    Featured free Unreal Marketplace content—February 2024
    News
    February 6

    Featured free Unreal Marketplace content—February 2024

    Fantasy interiors, stylized crystal mines, a trip back to the 90s, and more—February’s free 3D assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace have landed!
    Featured free Unreal Marketplace content—February 2024
    News

    Featured free Unreal Marketplace content—February 2024

    Fantasy interiors, stylized crystal mines, a trip back to the 90s, and more—February’s free 3D assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace have landed!