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Building an environment - Evil Genius hidden forest base

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  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    If you look at his preparation notes, it says he plans on adding :
    • Birds
    • butterflies
    • squirrels?
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Thanks Propecies!

    creation - I'd most certainly do these with custom FX as I wouldn't want them to have any sort of set flight path or anything. I'm planning on doing fauna and bugs are apart of that.
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    No problem! I've been following this thread since it's first post, so I'm pretty up to date on what you've posted so far :P
    Will you be animating the trees at all? Just a simple light sway in a light breeze, adds a ton of life to an environment. (I'm hoping you've never mentioned this before, because I'll look like a royal fool if you did!)
  • Tom Ellis
    Oops! I was just thinking as I clicked the post button 'i wonder if that was mentioned in the first post'.

    Looking forward to seeing how you go about it. Not least because I'm sure it'll be yet another valuable educational experience much like the majority of this thread!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Prophecies - The tree's are animating already ;) I'll do another video when the camera is finished.
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    Ahhh excellent! I haven't watched your video since I thought it was just a simple panning camera of what you had done! And me uber slow internet connexion doesnt help either.
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 13
    been folowing this for a while now, have not read the entire million posts so forgive me if this is covered but i had a couple of points to make

    DOF- have you tried, (not sure its possible in UDK) having two (or more) itterations of DOF one strong like you have and another a little less strong but stops further out...wont fix everything but will help with the line of blurriness on the ground and near objects agianst slightly further ones.....also if the DOF is masked by the zbuffer there are tricks to process the buffer that will eliminate the hard edges from close objects rendered ontop of far, one is too blur the actual buffer and increase the values slightly befor using it to mask the blurring, this effectively softens the effect and push it out to cover the edges of the near objects

    lighting- cant remember who said it, but someone piped up and said its a touch flat...i know its a hazy sunshine but i tend to agree, not in the direct light though more in the shadows, i guess this is cos you are using all RTL lights, no baked directional lightmapping...yes?....well if so i would suggest that adjusting the ambient down a touch, and adding a planar directional, un-shadowed up light underneath everything, give it a colour value somewhere between the main light and the average ground colour and a value roughly a third of that of the directional light. this will approximate bounce light from the sun and will really add to your cliff faces in shadow etc etc

    edit- forgot to say looks the bomb
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Hey Owen - Thanks for checking it out man. :) For the lighting, its actually just temporary. Literally 1 directional for me to see the environment with and isn't indicative of the lighting at all. It's been mentioned a few times, but this thread is huge now so it's expected that it was missed. When I do hit the lighting, I'll definitely be making sure its not flat. Actually, I think I'll tackle this over the weekend to make this thing a bit more presentable in that area, as a lot of people have commented on the lighting only to have me reply back with it not being the legit lighting I'm going for.

    As for DOF, I'd love to but I *think* you can only have one dominant post process volume. The second you overlap them, one over-takes the other and the one that is not dominate is null. At least when I've tried pairing post processes together I've had that result. Perhaps someone who knows better will chime in and tell me "dude you're doing it wrong!".
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 13
    the blurring may still work :-Z

    as for comments on the lighting, tell me about it i get it every working day....EVERY $%@^£&^&@!£

    ;)........

    what are you planning i like the the morning atmosphere, what juicy tech isit going to use or is it going to be oldskool smoke and mirrors ( my fav )
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Very small update from me tonight as I wanted to quickly show the camera as it is in the map. I decided to keep the shell / shield as it is in case I go back to add in Dr. Q's logo all over his security assets.

    I'm going to do a proper light pass this week so we can finally see this environment in some actual planned lighting. Until then:
    forestbase_asset_cameraingame_01.jpg
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    looks cool adam :) would be nice of there were some twigs on that branch
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Yeah, it would be NICE. To bad Dr. Q is an EVIL genius and therefor his tree's don't get NICE things.
    I'll add branches in later!
  • doeseph
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    doeseph polycounter lvl 7
    lol. Looks great, reminds me of the cameras in portal for some reason.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Cool - hopefully that's a good thing :D


    So, I'm having a hell of a time lighting this environment with anything BUT a dominant directional light, which is entirely not ideal for this. I've tried to get it to bake with proper lighting methods of vanilla directional and omni lights and get poor results. I have a thread going on over @ Technical Talk that I hope yields some results.

    Check it out: Baking lights with non-dominants
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    Adam! Will the final result be anti-aliased at all? All your screenshots are completely choppy and un-anti-aliased looking. I think your screenshots would be SO much prettier with AA. Which leads me to my 2nd question. How do you get AA in Unreal? I've seen plenty of unreal screenshots with no form of aliasing whatsoever. I know there's a way to do it, but how?

    Thanks!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Yes of course I will, I am just not doing that for these WIP shots.

    From the console: Tiledshot 6
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Problem fixed and I'm back in business. I'll post an update tonight!
  • Zipfinator
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    Zipfinator polycounter lvl 9
    Looking forward to it!
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    sweet good to hear that, been fighting the lighting in udk myself. Thats some pretty evil evilness that even the trees suffer branch loss just at the mere presence of his evilness lol
  • Shogun3d
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    Shogun3d polycounter lvl 8
    You've been working on this for 3 months Mr. Brommell. You NEED to wrap this up so we can make a condensed tutorial and list it for all the world to see! This is amazing stuff and wealth of knowledge to learn from here! Kudos!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Alright, so an update as promised. I didn't spend much time on lighting tonight as I had planned as I spent the most of it trying to figure out ways of lightening up the shadow colour.

    Tomorrow I'm going to spend some time @ lunch collecting references of lighting that I'd like to try for this environment and in the evening give that a whirl. For now, here's where I'm at.

    forestbase_styletests_update_april272010_01a.jpg
  • konstruct
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    konstruct polycounter lvl 13
    lookin pretty sweet man.

    The only crit I have is with the edge treatment on the fence posts. I feel like the edge highlights are far to aggressive. Its a bit fluffy. The highlights should span out over a much smaller distance, with some minute scratches here n there.

    The forest has a nice "lush" vibe.
  • Zipfinator
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    Zipfinator polycounter lvl 9
    Looking great! I agree with Konstruct's point on the highlighting. It makes them look a bit too rounded in spots, especially on the front ones blurred by the DoF. Only other thing I can spot right now are those fern/nirnroot looking plants scattered mostly in the dirt area. The texture looks a bit too saturated and the shape of the leaves on them looks a bit too rigid and awkward. I think bigger leaves with a bit more curve to them and a bit of desaturation on the texture would make them look much better.

    Looking forward to seeing your lighting tests tomorrow!
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Haha, damn you guys caught me. While it certain is spec'd out like no one's business that's because I have omni lights over the fence to highlight them a bit. Perhaps its overkill! I'll check that out @ lunch.

    Good eye on the weeds in the mud.
  • haiddasalami
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    haiddasalami polycounter lvl 10
    Hey Adam how did you deal with the problem where after baking the lights, they didnt affect the ground? Just wanted to know for future reference.

    Edit: NVM took a look at the thread at TT. It was Visualize AO unchecked...looking forward to more updates :)
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    The colours seem darker in firefox. Ah well. Here's where I am from tinkering at lunch. I added in an Epic sky and sun flare so that i can have something in place for when i change the artwork to my own. I also spent time on lighting/etc.

    forestbase_styletests_update_april282010_01a.jpg
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    *Note to self: Fix lightmap UV's on conifer tree.
  • Shogun3d
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    Shogun3d polycounter lvl 8
    Very nice, i'm loving the bloom coming in from over the hills. The lighting is definitely stronger.(Seems to be a lightmap issue on the tree to the right in the 2nd screenshot.) updated to your note.

    Colours, contrast and beightness looks good over here on my end. Google Browser on DELL 1920 1080.
  • JasonLavoie
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    JasonLavoie polycounter lvl 12
    Oh hell yuh adam, i'm loving the colours, looks like you got some of the scene effects working I take it (colour wise). Stuff is popping right now which is very nice.

    Looking forward to MOAR!
  • mickyg
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    mickyg polycounter lvl 7
    Adam, earlier you mentioned that you stuck with Terrain objects despite the fact that it can't do modular blending.

    By modular blending, do you mean the advanced material blending techniques shown for instance in the tutorial you linked earlier?

    http://www.chrisalbeluhn.com/UDK_Advanced_Vertex_Painting.html

    If so, am I right in assuming that Terrain only allows standard, feathered blending between multiple materials?

    Thanks
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    As of the most recent build of the UDK, that is a correct assumption.
  • ScudzAlmighty
    Frackin Frackity-Frack Adam, that lighting is gorgeous. I think it's time for another little video yes?
  • Uly
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    Uly polycounter lvl 13
    nice compositions man. : ) fun to see this step by step
  • mkandersson
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    mkandersson polycounter lvl 7
    your new lighting is very nice. looks like a sunny morning after a rainy night. Lovely!
  • JasonLavoie
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    JasonLavoie polycounter lvl 12
    Another video please and thanks :P (bwaahaha)
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    I swear I didn't plan for those replies right before I dropped another video bomb.

    Hopefully this'll get processed up to HD resolutions.

    [ame]
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    The camera seems a bit jerky, I think it'd work better if it was "scanning" and rotating back and forth, then jerking to focus on a target for a few seconds, then go back to "scanning"
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    It was meant to be, you must have watched it before I added the annotation towards to the end. Scanning back and forth is pretty typical, and Dr. Q is anything but! His camera's are paranoid and constantly twitching at the chance to catch you.

    As I say their reactions are still a WIP.

    Now then, to bed!
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    Doesn't really come off as paranoid IMO, I think the jerking could work, just needs some tweaking.

    But everything is looking great, time for me to hit the sack, too. All of the natural/grass animation is really nice.
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 15
    If the foreground blurring is going to be texture blurring only, and not soft edges on the models, are you going to keep it?

    I think the environment is lovely, but the blurring stuff sticks out like a sore thumb that something is not right.
  • michi.be
    Whats this sound in the Youtube video? I really like it. :)
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO polycounter lvl 13
    preffered the bluesish tone to the ambient lighting in the image above than the video, it was too yellow in the video, and really started to blend all the material types into a monochrome gradient
  • dtschultz
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    dtschultz polycounter lvl 12
    I love the painterly look you have created. Usually the attempt in game environments to take a 2d style and make it 3d results in flattening everything out by making things look toonish or overly saturated, but this has a really nice sense of depth in color and contrast. The only thing that really bugs me is that one branch that the security camera is on. I wish it had a few more branches. I know you don't want to obscure the camera's view, but at least if there were nubs from where branches were cut away.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Good idea on the branches being removed.

    Shep - hmm, I can fiddle some more with the blue.
  • doeseph
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    doeseph polycounter lvl 7
    I completely disagree about the camera not feeling "paranoid" and it needing to scan or pan back and forth. Personally I thought it was pretty comical which fits the style adam is going for, and I knew exactly what he was trying to accomplish with that animation. I'm actually glad you didn't decide to do a typical slow scanning camera, it's far too, well, real? The current animation gives the environment more personalty I think, it's almost as if Dr. Q is at the controls himself whipping the control stick back and forth wildly.

    Good stuff adam, can't wait to see moar.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    IMO for it to sell well it'll need to be animated with the branch part of that animation. The camera is fairly heavy and that branch should wobble with each jerk of rotation from the camera.

    Consider the current movement a "proof-of-concept" created with Kismet.

    EDIT: 500 replies, holy shit.
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 10
    This may sound a little complicated since I'm not quite sure how to explain this, but here I go. For the camera animation. I agree with the branch being affect accordingly. However, the camera movement seems *too* jerky. Don't get me wrong, I love the paranoia feeling it has to it. But how about if it started off slowly and quickly accelerated to it's full pace? It just seems like it goes from 0 > 100 in a split second. Perhaps have it go from 0 > 10 >100? Just so it doesn't seem to pop to it's next position?

    Just my 2 cents though! Keep up the great work! :)
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    I can certainly give that a try, and I understand it exactly. It's like he's starting off his routine of slow panning but then BAM, squirrel.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Putting a note here for myself: Revisit the main branch the camera's on.

    -Rework the tip
    -more polys to support closer framed shots
    -additional, but smaller, brancehs
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