Welcome to the week eight round up 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.
Project Phase 2!
Now that I’ve completed all work on my main project assets it’s time to start pulling everything together and polish-off any areas that are lacking. As such this week I have done some in-engine asset test – the first ones in a month!
Even with basic details and no great material or texture work the models look pretty good.
New Engine Work
You may have read in my previous post that I was not entirely happy with the lighting limitations in the Unreal Engine 4 when it came to lightmap generation on complex models. To fix this I’ve decided to try and implement Nividia’s VXGI real-time global illumination system. This was a very difficult process for me as it required compiling my own version of the Unreal Engine 4… however 11 hours later I had a working version.
While I have yet to run extensive tests on performance impact, this scene managed to run at about 50fps on my laptop – which is just about what my project is pulling in at the moment. I do expect to have performance drops, but it shouldn’t be anything impossible to control.
Mech Color Concepts
Prior to texturing the assets I did a few color passes on the models to get a feel of what textures/materials I needed to prepare. For the overall appearance I wanted to have a robust industrial look incorporating as much color as possible while keeping them realistic – I find the black/gray mech idea a little too overused nowadays
Once I knew what needed I set about to create some textures to be used as decals and additional detail… 98 hand made texture assets later…
Finally it was time to put it all together
Early material tests
Late material + texture set-up
Damage and wear tests
While the textures and materials are shaping up extremely well I would like to add a few more damage decals to ground the asset. Moving forward I will be bringing in my more advanced VFX into the scene including my IES light profiles and custom lens flares.
Overall good stuff, everything seems to on track – given my non destructive workflow allows me to reuse a lot of the more complex assets, it should be a matter of pulling everything done so far into a single working project. That being said I feel that this project simply has too many moving parts to simply snap neatly into shape – as such I’m trying to get ahead of schedule to accommodate for any last minute bug fixing.