UE4 VR | Airbus A320 Cockpit

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MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3

Hey guys! 

I want to share my latest work.
So far its my Airbus A320 Cockpit in HP. Realtime model with textures will follow soon. 

To addition, its a part of my bachelor thesis. Main focus there simulation in VR. So the VR model with all his functions will follow.

Hope you will enjoy it and critics are always very welcome! THX





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  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    Very well done! You've done a great job with the paneling, it's very convincing. Looking forward to seeing it textured! 
  • jaker3278
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    jaker3278 polycounter lvl 4
    Yes good work with the paneling and the whole thing looks very nice and smooth.
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks guys! I appreciate it so much! Lowpoly and textures are already finished. "Just" need todo the panel gravings and displays. So updates will follow soon. 
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    New update from my project: 





    Light is not very good right now and also textures are not 100% finished. 

    Critics, questions, tipps and tricks are very welcome! 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    Glossiness feels like a bit too much on your plastic, I suggest turning it down. Also, try to brighten your shade of grey because it feels a bit dark compared to some of the reference pictures I'm looking at now. Your type in some areas also needs to be emissive, as seen here:

    Other than that, this looks fantastic!
  • kymo_thys
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    kymo_thys vertex
    The tiling of the cloth on your seat is a bit obvious, but it's looking very nice already
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    thanks for your feedback guys! 

    @gfelton emissve is still in, if I put the light brightness a bit lower you can see it better


    With the panel coloring, I guess you are right! It is too dark and desaturated. I will change this for sure. Thanks! 


    @kymo_thys haha! yes it is :D need to change this of course. thanks! 
  • vertex_
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    vertex_ triangle
    Great work on the high poly, would love to see the low poly wireframe.

    I agree with kymo_thys about the cloth tiling on the seats. The seats also look quite stiff, it would be nice to see some folds in the fabric. Also a nitpicky thing - typo on the speed brake text.

    A complex project, looking forward to more! Would be nice to replace this with the FSX A320 model :)
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @vertex_  

    here is the lowpoly pedestal wireframe:

    It is very midpoly because it will be used for VR. Normal maps will not work like in "normal" games, so I need to have this depth in my geometry.
    So when you see this, I dont think it will work in FSX with that triscount and also the tons of drawcalls. For me it will work, because there will be more or less just the cockit in my scene, but for other uses it will be too much i guess haha :D 

    The typo on the speedbreak will also come very soon. Im working on right now. 
  • defragger
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    defragger polycounter lvl 3
    soo many switches :awesome:
    Great work!

    The weakest point right now would be the seat cushions. Not only the texture tiling but the sides are made out of leather and are kind of wrinkly from what I have seen on a quick google search. I think the cushioning should look more inflated on the sides and worn-out in the middle. Hope you know what I mean.

    http://www.bredow-web.de/Cockpit_A-320.jpg

  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @defragger thanks! really appreciate it to hear somthing like that from you. love your stuff! 

    Not every seat, there are different kind of. In the newer one is all fabric. This is a nice view here:
    http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a320family/commonality/a320-cockpit-virtual-visit/

    And yea, I know. The seats are still the weakest part. You are totaly right. But I decided not to put in to much time into this detail, because this cockpit will be used for VR in my bachelor thesis. The main focus will be on the panels and how to use them to train pilots. Maybe I will try to work on them afterwards for better portfolio shots.
  • rage288
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    Oh man, you should not have posted that virtual cockpit visit because now I desperately want to model my own :O
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @rage288 thanks man! 

    @gfelton you really want this? It could be a hard pain to model every single hole in the panels haha :D maybe try a cessna cockpit or something like this. Its not that repetitive. Dont want to say it wasnt fun, but you need soo much patience. Would be nice to see one from you!:)
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    Added the gravings for the trim wheel and changed the panel color a bit. also played a bit with cameras in unreal just for fun xD 


  • kymo_thys
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    kymo_thys vertex
    looking very nice already! It does look super clean though, maybe a little bit of dust and wear will help sell it more? or are you looking for the factory fresh look
  • vertex_
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    vertex_ triangle
    Stunning detail. Would love to see some more variance in the roughness values, even if you're going for the factory new look it would be nice to see some minor indication of use.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    That looks great dude. A little dust/wear would perfect this, awesome stuff! 
  • Gazu
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    Gazu polycounter lvl 5
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @kymo_thys thanks! yea i want to have the factory look, but there is still a bit of dust and stuff on the panels. At this shot you cant see much of this. 

    @vertex_ I want/need to go for factory new look for this one. But I put in some kind of roughness variance. But its just a bit, at some point you see it very good and sometimes not. Lighting is not that good right now. In final shots you will see.

    @gfelton thank you! Maybe I will slightly a bit more, but it needs to be in factory look for this project.

    @gazu danke bro! :p
  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 3
    looking great Max!
    how are you going about adding all the text and the small details such as the emissive lines on the panels and around the buttons / knobs etc?
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    All is done with planes and one "alpha tested" bitmap. So I`ve done a decal sheet with all shapes I needed, cutted and placed them in max. Then I exported them as one mesh with an easy material in UE. 
    Texts are all done with text components in Unreal. 

    Here you can see what I mean:

  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 3
    very efficient.  thanks for providing the images - makes it much easier to understand heh.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    I hate to bump these old threads but I was just curious if this ever got finished, and if it did, could we get some more screenshots? Sorry, I just have this really weird fetish for cockpits :)
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @gfelton haha no worries, all good ;) 
    I was on vacation for a few weeks and right now, we have to figure out a bit behind the scenes. The programmer for this project setup an system for all switches and stuff and I have to give them the right conditions. Because this cockpit will be playable in vr, like I mentioned in this thread before. 

    I am also working on the UI. The main menu will be on a tablet you will have directly ingame. There will be also UI elements on the VIVE controller in your hands because u cant really read the texts on all panels, so we figured out this will be the best solution. 


    I am not really good in UI design, but for this project it dont need to be thaat good. Here is what I have right now for the controller UI. 
    I just done much small things in last weeks after my vacation.

    We also had serious problems with VR size, but I thing with some tricks we found a good solutions. Here is the other thread with the problem we had: http://polycount.com/discussion/175746/vive-vr-ue4-perspective-problem#latest

    We are also tweeking very much right now to get good quality but also good performence in VR. Its a real struggle. we can mostly not use baked light because all buttons and switches need to be moved later "ingame". I will post some pictures soon and also will ask for some lighting advises. 

    Thanks for asking me @gfelton . Really cool to see that someone likes what I am doing here. Good feeling after long time of working on this project;) 

  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    I was asked on artstation how my hp edgeflow for the joystick looks like. So here it is:


    If you guys want to see more, I could do this;) 
  • MagicFlyingBus
    Danke Fur die topologiebilder ( I had to look up that last word. I hope it is right!)

    - Conor 
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    totally right haha! hope it will help you;) 
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    Yeah I'd love to see more! Really cool idea you have for the UI design as well. I'm also kind of interested in what is giving you performance issues. Is it the vert count on the art or some scripts in the background that is causing it? Must be really hard trying to balance polycount for VR games, especially when you can't condense surface details into the the normals and they must actually be present in the geometry. Hope it all works out though!
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    The triscount should be totaly fine with 400k for the whole scene. But our drawcalls are way to much and also the dynamic light for all these buttons and switches. There are more than 300 buttons in the scene and I cant bake them because they will be used/moved. But we will figure out, I hope ;) 
    If there are any tips, let me know! 

    Images and maybe a video will follow very soon! 
  • macoll
  • robomaniac
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    robomaniac polycounter lvl 9
    Looks amazing! good job! post more :D
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    I am sorry for not posting! Again to much trouble in the last couple days with sickness etc.! Here is our WIP UI:



     The table is our main menu, you can use the trackpad to navigate the cursor. This tablet will also be used for giving tips etc. for the learning progress later.

    The controller also have an UI now for easier usablity in vr. We found out its pretty hard to see all the typo in the cockpit with the resolution of the HTC Vive right now. So we tested a few opportunitys and at the end nominated this as the best for our purpose. Pretty easy to use and understand. Basicly you use the trackpad and the area in which your thumb is selects the "mode". At the start of the project we wanted to be as close to reality as possible, but with tons of hours working with vr we found out it isnt possible without such kind of workarrounds...

    BTW: The controller lags are not performance issues, this was the connection to the base-stations. We have performance issues, but not that hard haha;) 
  • vertex_
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    vertex_ triangle
    that is so sick. Are you working with aviation professionals for the lessons or doing your own research?
  • RustySpannerz
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    RustySpannerz polycounter lvl 7
    This looks incredible! Now I really want a real VR flight sim, I don't think I would ever leave it. 
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @vertex all own research xD but I`m working with an programming student of my university. But its a real hustle to work with vr by your own. So much problems and nothing works with the first try. We also have performance issues... Tomorrow I will post more, so maybe someone have an idea to reduce them.
  • Telerak
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    Telerak vertex
    I'm a huge fan of your UI design. I've tried working on VR UI myself, and it is no simple task. 

    My my only suggestion would be to make the end of the laser pointer a little bit more noticable. Possibly by adding a small circle that disappears as you hover over controls.
  • gfelton
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    gfelton polycounter lvl 3
    Really cool stuff, the cockpit looks great as does the UI. Can't wait for more videos and you should be really proud of your work, especially given the amount of buttons you're doing without the help of an aviation professional. Awesome job! :)
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate you like it so far!


    Telerak said:
    I'm a huge fan of your UI design. I've tried working on VR UI myself, and it is no simple task. 

    My my only suggestion would be to make the end of the laser pointer a little bit more noticable. Possibly by adding a small circle that disappears as you hover over controls.
    @Telerak sounds like a good idea! I will definitly test it out. still not happy with the laser right now. Thanks:)
  • robomaniac
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    robomaniac polycounter lvl 9
    very impressive how you solve small switches interaction (with a beam)
    I'd recommend to put and avatar to your seat, so user can "anchor" himself in the VR ;-) , that helps me a bit in my VR demos. I am using Unity3D to build prototypes. For avatar controls I use IK + unity "mechanim" animation system, that helps to bind hands of avatar to controllers position. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that in UE.
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @robomaniac thats a great idea. also thought a lot about this. But for now I think we will stick with what we have. because when we try to use a character now with real arms and a rig etc. there will happen tons of new problems we have to solve again. my schedule is tight and maybe I will just stick with the idea for now and maybe add this later. Anyways thanks for your support!:) 
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    I need your help guys!

    I have still problems with the lighting... Its so hard for me to figure out how to get good interior lighting for this small scene. Sometimes I think the unreal engine have some problems with all the small gaps, buttons and shapes I have. So maybe its to small to get good results.

    Here are some of my problematic places:


    Lighting only:


    Everything is baked static for now. Just to test good light bakes for this scene and to reduce our performance issues (because movable light with 200 moveable buttons in vr is killing everything).
    I just want to see how it looks without shadows on every button, if its even noticeble. But not even this is possible for me haha xD I got this strange artifacts on every place and nothing is really good baked. 



    There you can see all my light sources. Many of them are just fill lights, so I disables "Use Inverse Squared Falloff" to get some diffuse kind of light to lighten up the scene overall. 

    And these are my "Lightmass" settings:


    My problem is, I dont have too much experience in lighting and its a very very big chapter to learn. So maybe someone out there could give me some good advice.
     
    Thanks a lot for following my posts!:)
  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 3
    Hey Max, what version of unreal are you guys using?

    I'm working on a VR project myself for my major @ uni.  I'm not sure if you are following unreal engine development, but the new 4.14 version has forward rendering which is a big performance increase for VR, and also MSAA solution that might fix your issue with the small text not being readable due to bad AA + Vive resolution.  Definitely worth doing some research if you have time to port your project to that version.  I wish my team and I could, but we don't have the time!

    Maybe try to use 1 stationary spot light located at the top of the cockpit and directed at the panel, this will give you some dynamic lighting for your buttons. You could also use a light function to "shape" the light so it looks like the source is actually multiple small spot lights (like an array of 4 or something) but the cost to calculate would be of just 1 light.

    As for the lightmass artifacts, I'd check the lightmap resolution on these static meshes, increase it and see if it solves the issue.

    I'm working on a more open environment than your project, but the settings I've found that work well for me are:
    Static Lighting Level Scale: 0.35
    Number of Indirect Lighting Bounce: 100 (you probably need way less since your space is small)
    Indirect Lighting Quality: for preview I use 3, when I'm ready to build on production I increase this to 10.
    Indirect Lighting Smoothness: 1
    Environment Color: I've found that setting this to a bit above black produce less artifacts. I'm using a gray value of 0.098

    Also, might want to disable AO, it's quite expensive in VR. It's actually disabled by default in the new VR template (4.13+) due to that reason.

    And also, run GPU profiling, all the time!  VR requires so much optimization.. it's crazy.
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @Tzur_H thanks man! I will definitly try everything out! great tipps, thanks!:) 
    Now my CPU died, GG! Shit happens all the time when schedule is so tight, lol
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
     
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    First , sorry for not updating this thread. I am really ashamed to be honest that I am not able to keep this thread alive over the whole time I am working on this project! 
    But here is a big update/final update for you, because I`ve called this project finished. I also finished my bachelor degree with this project and I am very happy about it :p
    Thanks to everybody who supported me some much here on polycount, I really appriciate this! 

    The aim of the present work was to create a cockpit of an Airbus A320 and to make it into a useful training software for pilots in combination with a game engine and VR.Through this software in conjunction with VR, it is to be possible to practice certain procedures even outside the costly simulator. The whole project was used as a test object for my bachelor work.
    During the project I was responsible for all visual, as well as technical thinks in this direction. Starting with the planning of the cockpit layout, as well as highpoly / lowpoly modeling, texturing, material creation, lighting, UI and testing with pilots of Germanwings fell under my work area.

    Together with Jerry Haindl (http://jhaindl.fomalhaut.uberspace.de/), who took over the whole progammier part, it was possible for me to steer this project.


    First some nice screenshots of the final scene:

    And here video:

    This is a walkthrough of the built-in "Cockpit Preperation" procedure, which I officially got from the German Lufthansa. All possible built-in functions are shown and listed here. Also the operation of the controllers in the cockpit as well as in the operation of the ingame tablets are shown here. Everything visual was made by myself.

    Lowpoly Wireframe


    UI Design:

    Also the UI design was a big part of my work. Initially, the plan was to integrate as few UI elements as possible. Much more the cockpit itself should be the UI. But in the course of the work it turned out that the technology is not yet so far. For example, small numbers on displays are not visual in VR so far. So it was a game between usability and immersion which should not be destroyed.

    By moving the thumb to the correct position of the trackpad, the selection option can be selected. By letting go, confirm.

    Due to the wide variety of buttons and switches in such a cockpit, the operation should be very easy. Each element can thus be operated with this principle.


    All different Viewmodes with the Lightsetup in UE4:

    Created every Material from sratch by myself in Substance Designer:


    hope you like! but critics are very welcome:) 

  • Xelar
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    Xelar polycounter lvl 2
    I think the modeling is all done very well but you gotta be careful with tiny fonts in VR. If the brain sees writing it wants to read it. Not being able to read it due to lack of resolution often causes motion sickness.
    Gute Arbeit :D
  • limeforce
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    limeforce polycounter lvl 3
    Looking awesome in so many ways, don't even know where to start haha! Wondering / just checking a thing: did you guys try rendering the scene with r.ScreenPercentage 200 (renders in double resolution, which then gets antialiased down)? Not sure if it would work well for your scene or be too heavy, but doing that improved readability of small text in Vive a TON on a project I worked on. Anyways, congrats on finishing such an enormous project!
  • robomaniac
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    robomaniac polycounter lvl 9
    looks better with each iteration keep going! as for substance designer, have you seen this?
    https://www.allegorithmic.com/blog/your-smartphone-material-scanner
  • MaxHoek
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    MaxHoek polycounter lvl 3
    @Xelar thanks man! and yes, I think you are right. It was my first try with vr and I´ve never thought it will be that difficult to read texts etc. So I implemented this UI system, so the user could just read the big texts on the controller. thanks for your feedback:)

    @limeforce yes we currently use supersampling 250%+ and it still works pretty well. thanks anyways:)

    @robomaniac no, I`ve never saw this before. looks pretty awesome! Maybe I can use this in my future projects! thank you for letting me know!:)

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