UE3 material editor questions

interpolator
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thomasp interpolator
i'm using the roboblitz UE3 edition here and am wondering about a few things.

alphamaps - what would be a nice way to render 8bit alphas mapped to planes for character hair in UE3? nicely lit and able to blend in with the underlying head geometry, shader-wise. all i can come up with is strangely lit things that look like 1 bit alpha cutouts and don't even layer on top of each other correctly. i'm using BLEND_masked as a blend mode and played around with the alpha cutout somewhat. looks shite. wink.gif

self-shadowing: i get weird shadows in the material editor preview - some of them soft, and once in a while a fully shadowed quad or triangle, where it shouldn't be. what gives, looks like some shadow accuracy setting?

is there a nice way to do color correction on imported textures? i know i can multiply or add but just wondering if there is a better fitting node hiding in the list.

cheers.

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  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 10
    thomas... Not sure if in a more recent build they have fixed it but from everything I have seen so far alphas are still 1 bit and thus cutouts for the most part.


    Self-shadowing- hmm maybe a screenshot would help so we could see whats going on. It could be a few things. 1.) UVS. UE3 doesn't really like overlaying uvs for the shadow maps. 2.) Could just be the preview window. Drop things into a map quickly and build all. Stuff shouldn't be hard lit now.

    Color correction. Hmmm I think there was but I can't remember the set up. Let me play with the editor a bit and get back to you on that.
  • FAT_CAP
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    FAT_CAP polycounter lvl 13
    The shadows in the standard mesh preview window are the stencil like ones that you are talking about - having hard edges and shading across the full polygons.

    If you give the character a quick rig and import the character as an ACTORX object into the animation preview window you will get all the soft shadow loveliness you desire. Or as Jesse says you could drop the mesh into a quick test map if the object isnt a character or rigged.
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    Simple color correction can be done by multiplying a vector3 by the texture.
  • gamedev
    If you're going to be doing color correction on a lot of textures I'd suggest using the post process editor and doing some tone mapping on the whole scene to bring all the textures together.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 10
    [ QUOTE ]
    If you're going to be doing color correction on a lot of textures I'd suggest using the post process editor and doing some tone mapping on the whole scene to bring all the textures together.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    yeah thats what it was called tone mapping. thanks tyler
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    cheers, i'm starting to get the hang of this. color correction is mostly needed here to adjust masks that were painted for a different technology and have very different levels.

    i have to say, i'm amazed that i did not manage to crash the material editor so far, despite extensive tests with combinations of nodes. what a world of difference from unreal 2.x stability. wink.gif
  • SuperOstrich
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    SuperOstrich keyframe
    Sorry for asking a question in your thread. Can you add skeletal characters exported with ActorX into this? I wouldn't mind seeing how my work looks in UE3.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    haven't touched actorx. seems they support collada now as well.

    i noticed that the tech doesn't seem to handle mirrored normals in a nice way out of the box? i get a very noticeable seam on my models. is there a workaround?
  • gamedev
    "Sorry for asking a question in your thread. Can you add skeletal characters exported with ActorX into this? I wouldn't mind seeing how my work looks in UE3."

    You sure can. Just like using UE2, you can use ActorX export a .PSK file and simply import into the engine. If you don't need bones, a .ASE file (static mesh) will work just fine.

    "i noticed that the tech doesn't seem to handle mirrored normals in a nice way out of the box? i get a very noticeable seam on my models. is there a workaround?"

    are you using lightmaps? One thing to try would be to make sure the mirrored half of your lightmap uv's are separated by a few pixels. That prevents some weird blending and blurring on lightmaps that will cause nasty seams.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 10
    [ QUOTE ]
    "Sorry for asking a question in your thread. Can you add skeletal characters exported with ActorX into this? I wouldn't mind seeing how my work looks in UE3."

    You sure can. Just like using UE2, you can use ActorX export a .PSK file and simply import into the engine. If you don't need bones, a .ASE file (static mesh) will work just fine.

    "i noticed that the tech doesn't seem to handle mirrored normals in a nice way out of the box? i get a very noticeable seam on my models. is there a workaround?"

    are you using lightmaps? One thing to try would be to make sure the mirrored half of your lightmap uv's are separated by a few pixels. That prevents some weird blending and blurring on lightmaps that will cause nasty seams.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    or you could just add a second uv channel with your mesh flattened with nothing overlaying for your lightmaps / ao pass...and put it all together in the editor
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    oh, there is no ao pass nor are there any lightmaps i put in. just a head with mirrored uv's with a fairly standard shader, using color, spec, normal, transmission. shows a very noticeable seam in the material editor and also in the map when i place light in the scene.

    i tried importing assets made for other engines than what i used for my intitial test and i get the seams everywhere, as long as the uv's are mirrored.

    all the normals have been generated with max/nvidia PS plugin and display just fine in the target environments for the respective assets.

    this roboblitz UE so far looks like normalmapping tech from 2002. wink.gif
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 10
    when you import your normal maps are you making sure you set them to normal map compression? all other materials import differently. If you don't know what I mean take a look at the tutorial on my site and it gives you a quick showing of what i'm talking about.
  • FAT_CAP
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    FAT_CAP polycounter lvl 13
    Mirrored normal maps are fine - importing the maps with normal map compression and the correct settings is needed though as Jesse mentions. There are specular issues across seams with lightmapped objects however but are mostly unnoticable unless the specular is a flat colour.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    hi guys, yes - am importing all normalmaps with the specific compression setting. do i need to tick any other boxes?
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 10
    nope...but are you using a spec power map?
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