It’s time to stop doodling around and start the real work on this secret project of mine… So here’s is a first weekend spent on locomotion.
Still lacking some start/end transitions and a few bugs in the 4 cardinal blending system but it’s getting there. Everything’s very heavily inspired by Epic’s work on Paragon. I doubt I’d be able to have an end result as good as theirs but we’ll see how far I can push this 😀
Every 4 directions include lean and slope blendspace. Max walkspeed is interpolated depending on the slope and input direction (a bit slower for backward runs). Animations were keyframed by hand in Blender using a custom rig. I got help from some mixamo’s animations (I actually used the dummy figure as well) that I used as a reference material to get the key poses set more quickly and then I reworked the animations.
I don’t like the attitude of the character very much and some motions are weird but it’s enough for prototyping. Next, turning in place, more start/end transitions and more jumping/landing stuff…
Experimenting lately on so many different stuff, but nothing worth showing yet. Here’s tonight doodles though, a two hour experiment on some potential alien structure that responds to the player. Idea is that it is showing some moving inner-core components as the player wallruns or interacts in any way with those kind of bizarre surfaces.
Coming close to an end on this tallgrass implementation! Yay!
Imho performance is starting to get really really decent considering it’s all blueprint driven. Most of the fps drop comes from overdraw from the unoptimized foggy particles and from recording. I’ll probably nativize some of the code sooner or later to further improve the performance, for now it’s good enough!
The whole foliage interaction system (swapping static foliage instances with interactive BP driven one and running the custom collision simulation on each active BP) cost at most like 0.3/0.4ms on the gamethread which I guess is good enough for a proof of concept. Now I still want to cleanup some of the bleuprints and I’ll actually be able to move on, either doing some art tests on landscapes or work on some AI or other BP related stuff… not sure yet! That being said, I’m super stoked on the result and I am super proud of myself (which is not often!) 🙂
Hey! Oh man I wish I had more time to work on personal stuff and upload this blog more often. I’m driven by an immense passion toward UE4 lately and can’t stop thinking about things to try. I’ve spent an entire WE two weeks ago toying with behavior trees and perception and I had a blast. More on this soon!
Anyway I’m still tackling this grass issue. Here is an update. I’m getting close! I’m despawning grass foliage instances and switching to a custom blueprint interactive foliage with a cyan material to see what’s going on. Still bugs and all but it shows great promises.
I’ve been amazed by this cool tall grass motion in Horizon:ZD
I’m trying to replicate this in UE. So far I made a plastic bender simulator.
On a more serious note, I feel like with the correct settings I could get close to the grass motion but what’s worrying me in UE is the fact that no matter what, the collision will affect the player and its ability to move around whereas the impact on the character physic in Horizon:ZD seems totally inexistant.
EDIT : turns out this last statement is totally false if you play with collision channel 🙂 One object may totally affect another one and not the other way around.
Hey! I’ve been diverging a lot lately about personal projects, tackling many stuff at once. For instance, those last few experiments with Sand Dunes that I posted previously remains unfinished but it’s not forgotten haha. It’s part of a bigger scheme, hopefully. It will make sense later on. Anyway, I was just super excited about my lastest accomplishement with Unreal Engine, one that still wasn’t even working an hour ago. It took me around 40 hours to figure that one out but I’m stoked on the result.
It calculates a wallride trajectory on the fly and offsets it (the offset part was extremely complicated for me, damn!!!)
Hello. Took the day off and wanted to make some progress on those dunes again. I started by taking a step back and thinking again about what I wanted to achieve here and it’s somewhere between those two references.
Then spent most of the afternoon on Substance Designer. I managed to make some improvements that I’m happy with like that “Y branching” of the main dune shape and more convincing secondary waves. I’m quite happy with you it feels in Unreal Engine so I might move on for now and switch to the next step.
I didn’t want to rely on tiling textures purely for those secondary shapes and I’m glad they read well enough with just the landscape mesh. So next step might be trying to texture that sand dune in Unreal Engine?
It’s been a while! I’ve mostly spent my free time here and there on a large-sized terrain project in UE4 that grew on me lately (having bought and played a lot with World Machine!!) I’m heavily inspired by the Wadi Rum landscape but I also want to have massives and tall sand dunes which Wadi Rum doesn’t necessarely feature. So that’s what I’m focusing on for now, nothing serious, doodling and fooling around.
I’ve stumbled upon two references that struck me lately, the first one being those new dunefield they found on Mars which are totally unique and only due to Mars’ own atmosphere. The thing here to notice is that contrary to earth where we only have two patterns in dunefields (one large scaled-pattern for the dunes themselves and one small, centimeter-scaled pattern for the sand), we have one Mars a third meter-scaled pattern that leads to a very interesting and appealing look that I’d like to get. I wouldn’t mind having to rely on a fantasy vibe to excuse the dunefields not looking earth-like hehe so, we’ll see.
Anyway, the second one is a standard close-up sand texture but having that Mars picture in mind I thought it would be great if that pattern was actually a medium to large scale pattern. But there’s a lot going on here to lead to those shapes. Those secondary and tertiary sand waves that are born from the main wave are very appealing but are very hard to recreate.
I tried a lot in World Machine but gave up for now. I switched to working on Substance Designer to create 16bits heightmaps that I could later import into World Machine and integrate in the rest of the terrain… Experiments… experiments…
Here is a try at a 2 kilometers squared dunefield in Substance Designer and imported in Unreal Engine. I like some of those shapes and the scale of it while walking around with the player feels okay but I’ve not yet able to recreate those secondary and tertiary waves branching from the main one.
And here is a try at a close up sand texture. I will probably tweak it to make it match with the final dune/sand pattern that I will be able to achieve. Looks pretty random for now.
One more image. Here I’m focusing on a single Wave. I’m trying to get a bit the feel of that Mars reference. I like how I managed to get smaller and waves in one single side and fading in long strips the other side. But those waves doesn’t read like they are born from the main dune and so it looks a bit random.
I’ve finally decided to buy World Machine & Geo Glyph 2 and I’m not disappointed. This software is crazy and it’s totally worth it. I’ve big plans for it, the first behing a new and massive personal project.
Reason why I’ve not made any update to my portfolio or blog is because I’ve been devoting all my time to being an Environment Artist at Spiritwalk Games. I’m super stoked on the position, the job is super challenging and the project we’re working on is awesome so it’s all I could ask.
Personal projects will be put on hold for a while, that’s for sure, but a few interesting ideas are slowly building in my head so I’ll get back to it, sooner or later! In the mean time I wish you all best luck with your art!