Dev Diary: Week 0

Welcome to the week none  of the Hangar 45 student project!
Here you will see some of the progress I have made with this task on a weekly basis and see me talk about some of the challenges and (more importantly) solutions that I deal with.

This post will be about some of the work that had been completed prior to the project’s “official” launch. This post will mostly tie up some of the research that I previously posted about here as well as some of the work that emerged from it.

Room Concept

One of the first things I wanted to get out of the way was designing the room. The idea behind this was to create a simple environment in which the characters would stand out and be the main focus while offering interesting lighting scenarios.

These products were the result of my research into minimalist design, brutalist architecture and some sci-fi environments that I like (Mass Effect and Deus Ex)

 

Texture work

Since my level was to be relatively minimalistic a lot of the details would come through the materials and textures used.

F1.jpg

For my first test I created a floor texture that would cover an area of around 300m this texture in turn had to have details that were clear in extreme close ups as well as have no tiling when viewed from above. To achieve this I used one high quality texture, blended with several low quality ones that help break up some of the patterns. To improve the effect I also created a function that fades out some of the high quality texture at great distances which helps improve performance and visuals.

 

Room Build_1

By the end of the week I had managed to build my empty room to a level where I could begin importing my characters and test out material appearance in the setting.

Level WIP.jpg

This part of the project took slightly longer to complete as I had a few engine hurdles to overcome:

  • I found that the lighting model I worked with in RnD did not scale well for large closed environments – to change this I edited some of the world scale parameters to have lighting that while not %100 accurate looks good and renders relatively fast.
  • Softimage to UE4 has issues with geometry vertices and sometimes need to rebuilt by the engine for more accurate lighting.
  • For best results with lighting bleed I now use additional shells that block out light, giving me more accurate lighting at lower res lighting maps.

Overall this was a solid start which now allows me to focus entirely on the characters for the foreseeable future.

 

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