UE4 RnD – Custom Shaders: Realism vs Accuracy

While a large portion of the materials for the project are PBR metals where surface textures will added to material instances with altered properties, a few materials will use added effects like Fresnel effects to reflections or roughness to add a more cinematic feel to them – the example here would exaggerate the rim-lighting on…

UE4 RnD – Custom Shaders: Adding Visuals

For this project I will have to create several custom shader materials. One example of this is my current solution for volumetric light. As UE4 does not currently support this feature and has god-rays only as a screen-space effect, I developed a simple shader with custom textures that creates the effect of a fog that…

UE4 RnD – Tiling Solutions

Due to the nature of the environment it was clear that I would have large flat featureless planes. This introduced the issue of tiling. Solution 1 To combat this I created several decal materials similar to the caustics approach that modify roughness, reflection and normal. Solution 2 Another approach was to overlay the same texture…

UE4 RnD – Colored Lights & Caustics

Colored Light Textures Colored lights is what I’m using as an approach to compensate for UE4’s inability to support colored texture lights – in offline renderers this allows users to project colored images which are blurred and create the illusion of a complex lighting environment off-screen. Caustics When it comes to shiny translucent or chromatic…

UE4 RnD – Lens Flares

Lens flares have become a strong staple of sci-fi visuals as strong lights aimed at the camera from lasers or engines work to create surreal and abstract artefacts that can greatly enhance the sense of scale, space or brightness. UE4 Lens Flares by default work by taking multiple copies of the image, blurring them, inversing…

UE4 RnD – IES Lighting

While the defaulst point/spotlight actors in UE4 do an incredible job of lighting a level I wanted to create a stronger realistic feel with them. As such I have decided to use IES light profiles for my lighting set ups. IES profiles simulate a light source behind various layers of glass much like light bulbs…

UE4 RnD – HDRI Maps

A staple feature of my work with offline renderes was finding the right HDRI map for the right model. An HDRI map provides lightning that that has been captured from a real world setting and as such can give extremely complex lighting features at a fraction of the computing cost of recreating them in engine.…