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Unreal or CRYEngine ?

polycounter lvl 9
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Elod.H polycounter lvl 9
Hey there,

I was browsing through the forum, but could not find an answer to my question, hence I started this thread.
I am an Environment Artist who has mostly been working on cinematic, film stuff up until now, but recently decided that I want to focus more on games.

That said, I realize I need to test my work out in game engines. I am debating between Unreal and CRY Engine. Haven't been able to make up my mind yet. I`d really appreciate some answers! :)

-Which one would be more beneficial to work in?

-What are the main differences. etc ?

Thanks in advance!

Replies

  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    They're both free, you can try them both.
  • Elod.H
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    Elod.H polycounter lvl 9
    Hello Ace-Angel,

    Nice avatar :) . Yeah, that would be best to try both of them out, but I was thinking, in terms of testing out your art in a game engine.. if one of them is better suitable for it. Before digging into some hard tutorial hours, I was hoping for some general advice.

    I would use either of them to test out if my models, materials, lighting etc. would work in a game environment. I wouldn`t want to have to do coding and more complicated stuff, so whichever one is easier and more suitable for testing out your visual ideas in, would be my choice... so would appreciate some answers on the matter.
  • Ark
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    Ark polycounter lvl 11
    Both are great engines and you can create the same environment in both and they will look great with the effort put in.

    I think the biggest difference between the two is that Cryengine is more or less based around everything being real-time, wheras Unreal uses more pre-computed methods to achieve the same thing.

    The lighting in Cryengine is all deferred apart from the sunlight with is still forward rendered.

    Unreal uses baked lightmaps for the most part, although you can get dynamic shadows with a directional light. The DX11 in unreal also supports deferred lighting.

    Again both do some form of Global Illumination, Unreal has Lightmass and Cryengine has Light Probes/Light Propagation Volumes

    I prefer Cryengine myself and would argue that it does look better than most Unreal powered games.

    Pro's and cons imo, baring in mind im only talking about environment/lighting workflows, are:

    Unreal

    Pros:
    Plenty of tutorials and reference materials.
    Good shader/material editor.
    Good FBX support.
    Easy to setup Post Processing.

    Cons:
    Baked lighting for the most part.
    Precomputation on alot of the tools.

    Cryengine

    Pros:
    Everything is real-time no need to wait around on any computation phases.
    Great lighting from the get-go, awesome time of the day editor.
    Editor is really easy to use.

    Cons:
    Dosen't support FBX so not every app can export to the engine.
    Documentation isn't has good has what unreal has.
    Material editor is more limited that what can be achieved in unreals, but hasn't stopped my from getting the material definitions I want.
  • James Ordner
    It depends on several different factors, though if you want to use your game commercially in any way, that almost definitely rules out CryEngine.

    CryEngine is great for open, outdoor environments. It is all realtime, not requiring large lightmaps that take a very long time to bake. You can import a model, set up a material, drop it into your level, and immediately see the results. Being 100% realtime does have its cons, being more demanding on hardware and not having raytraced, pre-baked global illumination. I haven't used it much myself, but those are the major pros and cons of CryEngine.

    UDK is very indie friendly, offering a very cheap $99 license to sell your game in any way you wish. It has a large user base great for asking questions, and has a powerful visual scripting language (Kismet) for non-programming artists and level gameplay elements. It features Lightmass, a global illumination solver for creating lightmaps, great for indoor environments or scenes benefiting from indirect lighting. However, you must create a second UV channel for every model you wish to use lightmaps on, with sufficient padding and unique UVs for each face (more on that here). The larger your level gets, the longer the lightmap baking process takes, sometimes requiring several hours to build the entire level. If you can get past the long build times, the results are pretty impressive.

    Like I said before, if you want to sell your game or make money off of it, go with UDK. I have heard CryEngine licensing is very... unfriendly. But like Ace-Angel said, if you're doing non-commercial work, try both!
  • wichenroder
  • e-freak
    It depends on several different factors, though if you want to use your game commercially in any way, that almost definitely rules out CryEngine.

    nope. not true.

    anyway, I think the major point here is that you want to test your models and build environments? I'd go with CryEngine as it probably is a lot closer to what you are used from Film than Unreal. Apart from the fact that its real time.
  • Elod.H
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    Elod.H polycounter lvl 9
    Ark, James Ordner, wichenroder, e-freak: thanks for the replies! Really appreciate it.

    It seems there is a bit of compromise whichever one you choose. Deciding what's more important for me will be the key.

    e-freak: yes, I do want to test my models (along with textures/maps) and build environments, set up unique lighting. For my taste CRY Engine looks a bit more appealing to be honest.

    What I would be looking for is an engine that simulates better an actual work environment. I want to bump into issues like baking out the textures properly, setting up light maps etc.. all that stuff which I would encounter when working for a game development company.
    I am more interested in MMORPG games like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online.. so I guess those are more limited in terms of resources.
    Basically, whichever engine better prepares me for professional game work would be the one I am looking for.
  • Scruples
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    Scruples polycounter lvl 10
    Elod.H wrote: »
    I am more interested in MMORPG games like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online.. so I guess those are more limited in terms of resources.
    Basically, whichever engine better prepares me for professional game work would be the one I am looking for.

    UDK, for the reasons previously mentioned + more documentation and larger user base.
  • Zepic
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    Zepic polycounter lvl 6
    I say CryEngine.
    In my opinion, if you're first starting out, it's easier to get into. Also, like everybody mentioned, it's realtime. It's free to try out so give it a download and open up the forest map. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get around in...


    BTW, what 3d package do you mainly use? (The CryEngine interface is similar to 3DsMax.)
  • Elod.H
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    Elod.H polycounter lvl 9
    Scruples, Zepic: thanks for the suggestions, although they're both different :) .

    I mainly use 3DSMax, ZBrush, but I`m also "fluent" with Maya as well. Does CRYEngine's simpler interface mean less control over the different elements of your work? For example, if I want to create a piece of work for a job application which would require me to create a very specific visual style... would I be limited by CRY? I understand UDK is more flexible. Or so I heard.
  • CordellC
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    CordellC polycounter lvl 9
    Unreal currently has a much bigger community and more documentation (as well as training from various sites). CryEngine is definitely a great engine as well, though.
  • Zepic
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    Zepic polycounter lvl 6
    Elod.H wrote: »
    I mainly use 3DSMax, ZBrush, but I`m also "fluent" with Maya as well. Does CRYEngine's simpler interface mean less control over the different elements of your work? For example, if I want to create a piece of work for a job application which would require me to create a very specific visual style... would I be limited by CRY? I understand UDK is more flexible. Or so I heard.


    Currently I'd say UDK is more flexible. BUT, that can come with a steeper learning curve. Say you wanted to do a cell shaded look, you would have better luck with UDK. However, sometimes starting out with UDK, it can be hard just getting a normal map to look good. The material editor is very technical and sometimes overbearing when just starting out. It's much more streamlined in the CryEngine (but limited).
    If you're going for just pure portfolio work, the CryEngine will get you up and running faster in my opinion.
  • Zepic
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    Zepic polycounter lvl 6
    Elod:
    This tutorial helped me out a lot starting with the CryEngine, it's a basic overview on how to setup Max and get an object into the engine and setup a material. It's pretty straight forward from there...
    http://www.simonfuchs.net/folio/tut01_getting_started.htm
  • Elod.H
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    Elod.H polycounter lvl 9
    Thanks, Zepic! Will take a look at the tutorial.
    I hope to make the better choice, because I don't really have the time to invest learning two of the engines if the first one does not work out as I had planned...whatever that means.

    The looks of what people have been doing with CRY is more appealing to me.. Unreal has that unique look that is sometimes quite noticeable. I almost every time can tell if a game I`m playing has been created with Unreal or something else. That DoF they use and the foliage almost every time look the same.
    Although I understand you can change a lot in UDK, so I assume you can get rid of this "typical Unreal-look" I notice.
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 11
    I for one cant stand the way I have to import my assets into cryengine, I find unreals way much more intuitive, only a personal opinion of course :)
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