GSO Lighting Challenge #01

Living In Space

DEADLINE is DECEMBER 31st, 2017 @ 11:30 PM PST


Welcome to GSO’s first ever lighting art challenge! This art challenge is all about lighting- simply take an environment and complete a lighting pass on it!. Because lighting artists focus on lighting and rendering, you should not spend time creating new environment art, instead the goal is for participants to take a scene that already exists and relight it yourself from scratch. The theme is “living in space”. You’ll be required to use an environment available for free from the Unreal Launcher, the “SciFi Bunk” environment by Liam Tart.



So here’s the deal- you’ve been brought on as a lighting artist for a game level, and you’ll be responsible for all of the lighting and final look of the environment. Your responsibilities include lighting, optimization, look development, and final polish.



If you don’t stick to the rules, your entry will be disqualified:

  • Do not create any environment art or meshes, only use what is provided in the project

  • Do not add new textures to materials on static meshes (textures related to lighting are ok, such as those used with light functions, IES profiles, etc.)

  • You are allowed to change the albedo value and hue of materials on static meshes, but you’re not allowed to change anything else (i.e. you can make a dark wall lighter to help with bounce lighting, but you cannot change the actual texture, normal map, decal, etc.)

  • You’re free to use either static lighting, dynamic lighting, or a combination of the two

Judging Criteria

All entries will be reviewed by Leo Gonzalez, GSO’s resident lighting instructor. Your entry will be judged on the following:

  • Mood, atmosphere, storytelling, and personality

  • Technical achievement (did you use clever tricks to achieve a goal or manipulate final rendering?)

  • Artistic achievement

  • Quality of shadows, baked lighting, post processing, etc.

  • Impact of lighting on performance

Responsibilities of the Lighting Artist

  • Use lighting to set a mood, or even tell a story- make the viewer feel something on first read of your scene

  • You are allowed to edit or even add a new skybox in any way you see fit

  • You are free to edit or manipulate vista elements in the background, if you see fit

  • You’re a games lighting artist, so make sure that your lighting setup is performant- use profiling tools and performance view modes to keep lighting performance in check!

  • Post processing

  • Tone mapping

  • Color grading

  • Environment fog


  • 2 screenshots of your entry showing final polished lighting; choose only the two BEST screenshots to submit, they should have good composition! Final high quality screenshots must be 1920x1080

  • Breakdown screenshots from the Unreal Editor viewport, of the following viewmodes:
    (all breakdown screenshots should be of the same camera position and angle)

    • Lighting Only

    • Detail Lighting

    • Light Complexity

    • Lightmap Density

    • Stationary Light Overlap

    • Submit all work in the #homework tab under the Lighting Channel in Discord. Pin your post for review!


  1. Can I use static or dynamic lighting?
    You can use any lighting method you’d like.

  2. Can I change or add my own skybox and vista elements into the environment?
    Yes, many times lighting artists are responsible for skyboxes, due to their effect on overall lighting.

  3. Can I submit several different lighting setups, like a warm version, a cool version, etc.?
    No, you are only allowed to submit one entry for the challenge, so choose your best lighting pass!

  4. What if I have questions about the challenge that aren’t answered here?
    Feel free to ask any questions in our Discord channel!