Hey @Cam, here is some insight from the team that I hope you find helpful:
“I see that the environment probes capture the cube maps in a similar manner, with a five-sided texture being created for reflections. What I would like to know, is if Lumberyard has anything that works like a Sky-Light (environment light/dome light) which are present in both Unreal and Unity, and other 3D softwares.”
In Lumberyard we call it “static Skybox”. You can go to the Environment tab in the Editor and select a Material in SkyBox.
Apply any of three skybox texture ( skybox_12.tif, skybox_32.tif or skybox_5.tif ) to the diffuse texture slot of material . Note: The static skybox won’t react with the Time of Day changes. We would highly recommend that you use Dynamic HDR sky.
Here are the order of the Lumberyard Skybox textures.
In order for the HDRI map to work, there are some modifications needs to be done as the right order.
“and then use that to drive the ambient lighting for the level/scene, with a way to control its intensity and rotation, and then compliment that with a direct sun light. Is this possible within lumberyard, or is it unavailable? It’s possible quite easily within other engines, and its something that would be really useful to have, for creating a shading scene for model/material setup.”
We’ve worked hard to meet all the needs of our users, but there are some limitations and best practice implementations for Lumberyard. We recommend you try utilizing SVOGI in the Environment tab and Total Illumination section with Environment Probe setup to get the best result for a dynamic lighting environment.
“Secondly, is there any plans for lumberyard to adopt a more conventional lighting system in the manner unreal has, with more light types place-able within a level, such as a directional light for the sun, which is more easily and directly controlled?”
Have you tried using the “Time of day” setting to control sun direction as an main directional light source. From there you can use “Sun Trajectory Tools” to adjust sun direction as desired (tutorial). Time of day is the main method for controlling directional light Lumberyard and in conjunction with SVOGI, you’re going to get the best dynamic lighting result.
I hope this helps. Let me know if it’s helpful or not and we’ll continue to get the answers your looking for.