Part of me feels like I haven’t made much progress on the whiteboxing of the environment since I last blogged about it, however I have spent a lot of this week working on small environmental changes. After having laid out the plan for the city streets and where the buildings will be, I did play A LOT with landscaping flora, fixing the rain particle system (I’m still not overly keen on it), and tinkering with fog.
There are tons of different ways to bring in landscaping to use in Unreal. I spoke with James about grass and other models he’d made previously and it got me thinking about creating everything from scratch rather than using downloadable content from the storefront. I watched a number of tutorials and the below video was actually one of the best ones I found, merely because it also covered the blueprints side of things to add a bit of life to the grass – by animating the tops based on a gradient and the world position offset.
I quite liked the way the grass material turned out, except I found something out about the shaders… making grass like this doesn’t exactly provide optimised shader complexity…
There will likely be a way to fix this for if we were making a real game, so I’ll need to look into it further. Until then, it all seems to render just fine and I threw in the vertex painting as well as the rain; I also played a bit with the skybox, even though I know that’s what Mark is meant to be looking into.
I found a couple of neat videos about a more realistic nighttime scene which led me to another video about “animating” a sun/moon cycle using a placed moon, so I’ll just leave these here for future reference if they’re needed. I think it would be neat if we could have a sun/moon rotation along with the skybox change.
The latter video has several in the series which all help build a better day/night transition, too, including stopping the sunlight shining through the floor… which it has a tendency to do.
My next plan is to bring in some of the finished assets to start testing the import process into Unreal and how I’m going to have to mess with the shaders for the vertex painting. I have my own pay phone model which has a neon light on it, so I’ll be able to create a light-providing emissive shader in Unreal, too. I’ll speak with everyone tomorrow about how we’ll start gathering the finished models; I think it would be good to use the GoogleDrive account and start filling it with assets that can be passed around.