Tips for better listening
- Play the video in 1.5x speed (saves time & reduces echo/reverb a little bit)
- I placed the mic right next to the laptop fan like a pro. A little “loading bar” shows when the noise will be gone.
- This is the Diablo/Blizzard-Talk I mention in the talk. Watch. It. Now!
I hope you’ll like it and I’m looking forward talking to you in the comments or via mail/twitter about similar effects or improving the ones I just presented. :)
Thanks to Alain from Alkemi and the organizers of the conference (Elsa, Amélie and Eddy) for inviting me, Tequila Works for letting me speak about the effects and all the nice people I had the opportunity to speak to at the event. It was awesome!
Download this uasset file (“Right click” and “Save as”) and copy the file into your Unreal project directory (note: you’ve to add your own noise/mask textures). This picture shows how the material network looks like:
Two guys asked me for help with their material- and particle-setup. I created two little videos for them using their assets as example. The videos weren’t meant to be public but it fits here well and maybe it helps other as well. :) Thanks to Brandon for allowing me to use and show his materials/particles he sent me!
The first video goes about the fire material and how to set it up correctly (on the example on Brandons material):
The second video is about how to setup the material and the particle system for the dust/smoke VFX (on the example on Brandons material/particles):
Source: Alexandre Van Halteren
Oh and someone asked about how to avoid the linear vertex-color-transition. I made a little example for that:
Here you can see how the edge is modified by an Unreal material. At the top you see the original linear transition. This gets modified by some nodes. You can let it like it is or use one of the two examples below to “sharpen” the edge a little bit.
Charles Thomas mentioned another way to do this and here it’s even possible to scale the hardness of the border:
And here’s the Unreal-Nodes:
I just noticed this smoke in The Showdown Effect which does not only fade-out nicely (by Alpha-Erosion/Threshold) but the particles are actually lit which gives them a similar appeal to what we achieved in RiME.
Here is a zoom-in on the lit particles which proudly present their nice volume:
So I had a look on the textures and it wasn’t surprising to find some normal-maps (only with RG channel stored, the B channel gets re-calculated in real-time).
More interesting are the diffuse textures. A little detail which I really like: The alpha of the diffuse texture is responsible for the alpha fading/erosion/threshold – that is a common technique.
But the structure of the alpha is not randomly painted. It fits perfectly well to the normal-map! My guess: They used a sculpting-program to create the normal-map and then rendered out a height-map of the same sculpted geometry. This serves as a perfect alpha-fade mask.
It’s a subtle thing but in the left version you see a alpha-mask which does not fit to the normal-map. On the right you can see the version where everything fits:
As you can see, when everything fits together, the impression of volume is preserved even during the fading-out. On the left the fading happens with a alpha channel which does not fit to the normal-map which destroys the illusion of volume:
In case you’re interested in the material, here I created something in Unreal: