Hello all! I hope everyone is staying safe and sound during these times!
I’ve been keeping myself busy and mostly putting my time to good use! Over half of the map is now complete and I figure I have about another 2 weeks left of work in it. It’s been a pretty fun area to build and certainly eye-opening in some aspects. I learned some new things working on a huge open map like this that I otherwise wouldn’t have with a smaller or indoor map. It also runs pretty well so far and I haven’t even optimized it yet outside of LOD’s!
I did run into a few problems but I got through them fairly quickly
Problem 1 – I started to test it out in Full-screen mode and ran into this beauty:
It took me hours searching for answers online and I started messing around with different screen resolutions and stuff in Blueprints but nothing helped. The only way it looked normal was playing it in Windowed-mode.
It then occurred to me that the artifacts in Full-screen mode looked a lot like the over-sharpening artifacts in image editing software. Well, I did use a Sharpening Post-Process so…could that be the culprit? I turned it off and sure enough, it was! It turns out the sharpening effect I was using wasn’t all that great so I found another one, tweaked it and now I still get some fairly crisp visuals without the artifacts when playing in Full-screen.
Problem 2 – Hearing about all the new improvements on Realtime GI, I decided to check out the latest version of UE4 (4.24) After it installed, I migrated the project over to it and then I was greeted with this:
Normally it sits at the 3k range so yeah, not happening. I promptly went back to 4.20. Besides, I worked so long on the current lighting setup, I couldn’t possibly throw it all away now and the fact that they removed Matinee is a deal-breaker anyway.
Problem 3 – I needed a way to add more depth but I wanted the old-school distance-based fog from older game engines. It seems that it was taken out in favor of the more physically correct Atmospheric and Exponential Heightfog I guess? Even so, I really wish they kept Distance-based fog for people who just wanted the old solution. I currently only use the Exponential Heightfog for light rays and the Atmospheric Fog to affect my ambient lighting (It’s weird I know. Don’t ask me why that is, I only discovered that it just does)
If I mess with any of the settings to thicken the fog, it alters everything else so I was able to find a post process that mimics Distance Fog instead.
It’s a subtle effect for sure but I think it makes a big difference. You can even crank it up to Silent Hill-levels of fog!
Problem 4 – The foliage, specifically the Spruce branches were too…thick? (I can’t think of a better term) I went through and made some changes to my Foliage Shader and got some better results:
So after all that, I recorded another video for you guys. I can’t wait to add in the sound effects, the leaf and mist particles and all the other bells and whistles but that will come later down the road!
Enjoy guys! And by the way, I’ve added a link to my Youtube channel on the right! Why not head on over and watch some videos of me absolutely getting f***ed over in games? 😀