Terrain Lighting: day and night cycle

I want to have a proper day and night cycle system, so I am going to follow the tutorials from kleiner baer , looks great. Someone else added a video to make ready for the multiplayer. see

As location it will take Vlissingen. 51.4500° N, 3.5667° E

Update 2017. Too much problems to get this working. So for the moment I will skip this. Just use a fixed situation.

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Tutorials Terrain Lighting

How to get proper lighting.  If I look at other projects, several assets appear:

  • Directional Light.  Documentation 
    The Directional Light simulates light that is being emitted from a source that is infinitely far away. This means that all shadows cast by this light will be parallel, making this the ideal choice for simulating sunlight.
  • Sky Light Documentation
    The Sky Light captures the distant parts of your level (everything further than SkyDistanceThreshold) and applies that to the scene as a light. That means the sky’s appearance and its lighting / reflections will match, even if your sky is coming from atmosphere, or layered clouds on top of a skybox, or distant mountains.
  • Atmospheric Fog. Documentation
    gives an approximation of light scattering through a planetary atmosphere. This can give your outdoor levels a much more realistic look.
  • Lightmass Importance Volume. Documentation
    Many maps have meshes out to the edge of the grid in the editor, but the actual playable area that needs high quality lighting is much smaller. Lightmass emits photons based on the size of the level, so those background meshes will greatly increase the number of photons that need to be emitted, and lighting build times will increase. The Lightmass Importance Volume controls the area that Lightmass emits photons in, allowing you to concentrate it only on the area that needs detailed indirect lighting. Areas outside the importance volume get only one bounce of indirect lighting at a lower quality.
  • From Unreal 4.21 a Geographically Accurate Sun Positioning is included in Unreal.  Link
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Settings UE editor

Settings I use in the UE editor.

  • Making the command-line visible.
    With my first project, when launching within the editor, I could not stop the game. My mouse stayed in the window.  I had to close the window in windows.  It It turned out you had to change a setting to activate the command-line.
    “Edit”, “Project settings” , “input”, “console” . Choose a key
  • Setting the level my project has to start with.
    “Edit” , “Project settings” , “Maps & Modes”.
    Important, you also need to set the starting map for the dedicated server! It is hidden!!


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Building Dedicated Server

The steps I took to build a dedicated server. My goal is to get my project online and used as a multiplayer.  I have windows 10 on a desktop.
My goal is not to change C++ code in the unreal engine.

Some useful sites:

Below the steps I took to build a dedicated server.

  1. Install Visual Studio Community 2017.
    Important: install the correct components for UE4 development, check the “Game Development with C++” workload, and the “Unreal Engine Installer” optional component.
    Note: It is not necessary to install all the azure stuff
  2. Install Visual C++ 2015 building tools
    As I understand, you really need to install this!
  3. Make Account at Github .
    Note: Don’t install the Github Desktop app.
  4. Make a connection between your Unreal account and Github account.
    Open your Unreal account on the unreal website , go to “account” , “personal”, “profile”. You will find a field for your GitHub account name.
    Note: You will get some notification email from epic
    Note: Many tutorials show how to make a fork. Because I don’t want to change the C++ code, I did not make a fork at github.
    Note: I can’t remember when it is asked, but you should select the “release” branch of Unreal.
    If everything went well,  EpicGames is added as an organization on your github account. You should be able to go to Epicgames on github. You don’t have to do anything on this page.
  5. Download the engine as a zip file and unpack
  6. Go to the map where the engine is unpacked .
    Run Setup.bat    (just double click on the file)
    Run GenerateProjectFiles.bat  (just double click on the file)
    Note: When running the Setup.bat I got the following error: Failed to download ‘http://cdn.unrealengine.com/dependencies/2636758-e606e606851e4693b1729dd35dcef7ae/345f37ad429b27f1360cf26aa535ef037724f7c4’: Het opgegeven pad, de bestandsnaam of beide zijn te lang. De volledig gekwalificeerde bestandsnaam moet minder dan 260 tekens bevatten en de mapnaam minder dan 248 tekens. (PathTooLongException)
    I copied the project to a dir/subdir/subdir….. To solve this I moved the projectmap to the root!!! Stupid problem, took me hours.
  7. Open VS 2017 by double click on UE4.sln.
    Note: The width of the “solution configuration”. box is small.
    “right mouse” bar at the box, select “customize”, see picture
    In “modify Selection” you can change the width (200)
  8. You should see the following settings. Much to my surprise? compiling is done with 2015?
  9. Build by “right mouse” click on UE4 in VS 2017 en “build”
  10. Run the UE editor.
    Make sure “Development editor” is selected in the “solution configuration” box
    In VS 2017 “right mouse” click on UE4, “Debug”, “Start new instance”
    Note :  Besides the editor, you also have the launcher. I don’t believe the launcher is included in the C++ source. But because I have downloaded and installed the launcher on my computer, at some point it starts to appear when starting the UE editor. If you want you can just close it.
    Note: In VS 2017 I have opened the “Diagnostic tools”, to see what is happening
  11. Build the cooked version.
    Open your project in the UE editor.
    Some important settings are discussed in the following post. 
    Go to “File” , “Package project”, “Packaging settings”
    Note: Make a separate map for the cooked project
    Go to “file” and:
    This will take some time, open “show output log” to see the action.
    !!!!Hopefully no error occurs!!!!
  12. Run you project outside of UE editor.
    Note: This step is not really necessary, but you are just going to look how your project looks.
    Go to your cooked map / WindowsNoEditor.
    Run the exe file and hopefully, you get what you want 🙂
  13. Add C++ code to the project.
    At first I was not able to do the following steps. This because I could not find the C++ files of my project. It took me some time, but it turned out that I had to add these to my project!!grrr.
    Go to “file” in the UE editor.  Select “New C++ class”.  Don’t change any setting, just run the thing.
    Go to “file” again. Select “Refresh Studio Vision project”
    Go to “file” again. Select “Open Visual Studio”
    Your project should appear in VS 2017
    Also in the map of your project, you will find C++ code. (At the source map)
  14. Preparation for compiling the server, generate VS 2015 file from the project.
    Go to the project map (not the cooked one).  “Right mouse” click on the .uproject file, select generate VS files.
  15. Build the project, combined with editor, in VS 2015
    Build the project, with the “solution configuration” box set to Development editor.
    Select your project, “right mouse” click and “build”
  16. Prepare for building the server. Making “project”Server.Target.cs
    Link to template you have to use 
    According to the tutorials, I should make an copy of “project”.Target.cs and rename it to “project”Server.Target.cs.  In VS 2015 I could not make this copy.
    So I did this with windows explorer. Go to the source map of your project.
    Copy and paste “project”.Target.cs and rename to “project”Server.Target.cs.
    Double click on “project”Server.Target.cs , so the file is opened in VS 2015.
    Clear all content
    Copy the template from link in the file.
    At 3 locations you have to replace game by the project name. In my case FD_online.
    Save file
  17. Generate VS 2015 files again.
    Go to your project map with the explorer, “right mouse” on the .uproject and generate visual studio project files
    o back to VS 2015. It will ask to reload the files
  18. Building the server!!
    Set  “solution configuration” box set to Development server
    Hit Build and be patient
  19. Finalizing the server.
    Go to your project /binaries/Win64.
    Find “project”Server.exe.
    Copy this file to your cooked version (see step 11) and paste the file in the  /binaries/Win64 map.
    So the cooked map contains all files for both server and client.

How to run server and client on your computer (test).

  • Open cmd
  • Got to map with server
  • Type FD_onlineServer.exe -log
  • Hit FD_online.exe
  • Open commandline (in my case tab)
  • Type open
  • Your are connected to the server.
    Note: If screen is black, check following settings

I could open 4 clientssamen2





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Tutorial OMG / HUD

Streaming video and pictures

Recent training video’s on UMG in Twitch


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First images basic island

The first steps.
It doesn’t look that difficult, but it took some effort to get the dikes on specific slopes and dimensions.

Dune with beach
Overview island
Video explaining how I made the beach

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Tutorial online multiplayer


Udemy course https://www.udemy.com/unrealmultiplayer/learn/v4/overview

Based on the tutorials my conclusions for building an online game (dedicated server) are:

VPS servers.


Documentation Unreal

Dedicated server setup

Standalone dedicated server

Building a dedicated server for windows, by compiling C++

Another video, with some problems

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Landscape tutorials

Basic landscaping Notes:

18.26 min




Another nice serie on landscapes, including moss and tessellation



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Dimensions island

General dimensions island, where the action is going to take place:

  • Total size (including sea) 2000 x 2000 m
  • Dimensions island 1000 x 1000 m
  • Bed level at sea – 20 m
  • Sea level 0 m. In future a tide between -1,5 and + 1,5 m
  • Defense against sea: 25% dunes with beach, 75% dikes
  • Area levels island:
    – rural low land + 0 m
    – rural middle land + 1 m
    – rural high + 3 m
    – urban area +3 m
  • Dikes
    – top level + 8 m, top width 3 m
    – bank width 6 m, level 0 m
    – slope dikes (sea side and land side) 1: 3
    – slope below sea 1:5
  • Dunes
    -top level + 15, width 100 m
    -beach slope 1:50, from +3 to -2 m, length 5*50 = 250 m.
    -slope below sea 1:5 : from level -2 to -20 m, length 18*5 = 90 m
  • Coordinate-system
    Top left will be 0,0.

Settings landscape in UE4 (link)

2017×2017 63 4 (2×2) 126×126 256 (16×16)

Pdf with a simple drawing island-Layout_high

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Beginners tutorials

My favorite

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