Mansion Shaders & Texture Wip

houseTexturewip1JPGThe Mansion is sort of a hero object in this game, therefore it will receive some cool shader tricks like environment mapping for reflections on the windows and roof. So that’s the functionality I’ve added to shaders today, as well as transparency for the glass. Textures and lightmap are work in progress, but I would like to get them to a presentable state asap so I can move on to other things.

 

 

In search of Perfection: Tangents, Binormals and Handplane

objsToTangenSpace

unrealplusHandplane3

When there are a million things that can go wrong, a few usually does. But hopefully, if things don’t work quite like you predicted there’s a workaround. And that’s where Handplane comes in, a nifty tool to get the most out of your normal-maps.

So I’ve finally managed to get a normal-map as good as is achievable in UDK, and thats using Handplane. Above you can compare the two normal-maps, while both where baked in Max the one to the right shows a subtle but significant quality increase. Jump over the the Handplane site for more information about how it achieves this.

FBX also seems a little busted, atleast the 2012/2013 versions I’ve tried recently. Importing tangents & explicit normals into UDK from a FBX of  this version produces worse shading result, while it should be the opposite. The workaround so far seems to be to uncheck Import Tangents and Explicit Normals.

I’ve included a few more images to illustrate, jump below for more.

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A dreary downpour

exteriorwipI’ve been focusing on the mood and atmosphere. To be able to iterate on the overall outdoor environment every aspect is assembled and added to the level in an early state. This screenshot shows off some of those things. Nothing is final.What you can’t hear is the ambient sound, but that’s for another update.

Matching Tile Sets

TileSets1Since we had two tile sets, one for the interior and one for the exterior facade of the building we had to match these perfectly.When we started building the level this wasn’t the case, we had tiles that were to big and an uneven amount of tiles in place.

The solution to this was very simple, both sets essentially have to have the same corresponding tiles and we have to be very precise when building the exterior and interior. However arriving at this solution took a while longer then we would have liked, almost half a day was spent on trying to match everything up.

The result however is that we can build the level easily now.

tilesBlueprint

Landscape Creation Research

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worldmachine3D1

Landscape Test in UDK (Vimeo).

So one of the goals in this project is good looking and naturalistic terrain. One method of achieving this is using World Machine.   World Machine can simulate natural erosion effects, we can output a heightmap and a few color textures for use in UDK. The above link is one of my own tests in video of a landscape created this way. Of course World Machine is not a one size fits all solution. Combined with any other traditional sculpting software you will have  full controll of the lay of the lands, which is important when creating a specific gameplay experience. Below are some images from worldmachine.