Swamp almost finished!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

So as I was working towards wrapping the project I kind of realized that it was going pretty smooth so why not do more with this? Therefore I started expanding the map, essentially just using existing assets to create more houses and whatnot and to add extra polish and details.

I started adding extra shacks and modifying landscape while still maintaining connectivity to existing map. Started experimenting with some unique assets like water wheel, windmill, running river (that powers water wheel). Dynamic elements like that really brings environments to life and they tend to be rather easy to do. I mean all water wheel needs to do is spin, which is something you can do with 3 clicks in Unreal, just and Rotator component to dynamic mesh. Same with windmill, you just have to center out the pivot of whatever actor is supposed to rotate as it will rotate arround the axis of that pivot. Did same thing with gears that the water wheel spins. 

Hate the fact that SSR is so reliant on Temporal AA, as TAA isn't getting rendered in high-ress shots, therefore reflections look subpar. Might have to solve this with planar reflections and cubemaps. Tried running it in supersampled resolution but FPS drops like crazy, very hard to take screenshots when it's running at like 1-2 FPS.

But anyways, quite happy how things are turning out. Really liked the workflows in here, stayed very modular from very start while making it look as un-modular as possible, did some fine foliage which was always a challenge for me and managed to get some really cool colors going without it looking noisy as hell. Or maybe I'm wrong and it actually looks like crap but I like it nevertheless :D

Should wrap this up soon, next update should be the last.

Swamp WIP #3

Monday, February 6, 2017

Things looking good. Lots of small additions and tweaks.

Got in some extra assets like proper cloth/net, ropes and metal parts. Set up some vertex shaders to paint wetness/moss on wood and moss/wind on ropes. All painting done inside UE with paint tool. 

Also added mask on wood that enables wood to have paint layer on top of it. It uses bitmap mask for that, I got 3 of them in Photoshop with color range selection, just playing with intensities and whatnot. Idea was to use base diffuse and get correct information from it to then overlay that mask inside editor so that paint layer and diffuse underneath blend perfectly, creating convincing look. As the pain layer is just a mask, you can change it in material instance, you can choose from 3 different masks (all gray packed into single texture) and tweak other parameters like color, roughness, spec etc.

Also tried out new LoD system that came out with 4.14, it's fantastic. Basically like Simplygon but free and works within the engine. Very fast and produces great results, frankly cannot ask more from it (maybe some kind of billboard generation for things like trees, the way Speedtree does it, but that a little crazy I think).

Was a little worried that trees might look too good as they are done entirely by hand and there are issues with shading, but in the end I think results are great.