This week was all about completing the whitebox model and making some props to try out in the game. I also wanted to try out the scripting with the Kismet-system, the integrated animation system called Matinee and also the particle system. Just to make sure make an estimation on how much time everything will take, it turned out to be easy to get into and I made some basic scripts that’ll turn off the player HUD and attach a snow particle emitter that I experimented on to the player.
Once I started up the Matinee editor and have assigned the affected meshes I made some movement with a carolean and made him play some looping animations mixed with some timed particle effects. It was great fun and easy to use, but the animation and scripting has to wait for the last 3 weeks of this project, can’t wait. I also wanted to get rid of the ugly whitebox texture so I made a layered shader that uses the red channel as alpha channel. UDK has a nice feature called Mesh paint which means that the user can paint the vertexes on any mesh in the level. So I simply paint the vertexes in different colors to get nice transitions between snow and dirt. I also tried out UDKs terrain that uses height maps as displacements. I realized I needed more control of the terrain, especially at the trenches and went for sculpted terrain. I believe it’s going to be better in the long run since the level is going to be split into segments.I modelled,scuplted and textured some planks, stones, pebbles and trench-stuffs. I made them modular so that I could place the same object multiple times on the map but just by making some rotations and scaling it’ll look lika a completely different stone etc. I also try to make the tri count as low as possible and making the objects share texture maps.
All the objects on the image above shares 5 texture packs (Diffuse\Specular\Normal maps).
The pipeline is the following:
-Maya (modelling to get the shapes).
-Zbrush (Sculpting the high poly modell).
-Topogun (Making a retopology, a low poly mesh of the high poly).
-Xnormal (For baking the high poly information into maps for the low poly).
-Mari (texturing the objects).
-Photoshop (For some finishing touches).
-UDK (Importing everything and placing it ingame).I made a great shader that uses the Z-vector (Up/down in the world space in UDK) and makes the “top” parts of the mesh white, faking the effect that snow has fallen on the object. No matter how much i rotate the mesh the snow will always be on top of the object.
When I made the water shader I followed a tutorial that taught me about texture panners in the UDK material system and I just had to try it on some planes making it look like clouds that “move” at a distance, it really helped build the atmosphere of the battlefield.