In case you haven't seen it, lots of upgrades in June's UDK Beta:
- Skel. mesh UVs
- Improved bloom
- New HUD tool
- Custom normals
Click through to see the entire list of updates...
Oooh, multiple UVs and vert colors... I can't wait to see what Polycounters come up with after they get their hands on it!
Vertex Colors and Multiple UV Sets for Skeletal Meshes
- Users can now import vertex colors with skeletal meshes and access them in materials.
- Works with both the FBX importer and the latest ActorX plug-in.
- Vertex colors only work for GPU-skinned meshes (for now).
- Up to four UV sets will be taken when importing a skeletal mesh.
- The skeletal mesh vertex buffer only uses the amount imported so as not to waste memory.
We've been pushing the next one here in the Polycount Forum and also here on the Polycount Wiki... and Epic has delivered!
Custom Normals with FBX
FBX importer now supports custom vertex normals
- This is useful for 'combing' vertex normals on foliage, or when you need smooth lighting continuity between multiple meshes
- To use this, first export normals (and/or tangents) using the FBX exporter in your modeling program
- Next, enable the new 'Explicit Normals' option while importing the FBX file into UE3
New Tool for Visualizing Render Target Textures on the HUD
Multiple UVs for Skeletal Meshes
- Up to four UV sets per skeletal mesh is supported
- Works with both the FBX importer and the latest ActorX plug-in
- You can access these texture coordinates in materials assigned to your skeletal mesh
Game Caster Virtual Camera
This next one has potentially the biggest impact on productivity of them all... you know you want it...
Auto Texture Reimport
Other New Features and Improvements
- Major performance improvements, especially with shadows and animation
- New per-level post process chain will override the single per-game chain if set
- http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ContentBlog.html#Per map post process chain.
- Added one-bounce GI even for areas outside the Lightmass importance volume
- Note that this is lower quality than bounced light within the volume
- Physical Material Masks for material instances now available in the editor.
- Support for Shader Model 2 and fallback materials has been removed
- Fallback materials will be automatically deleted
- Improved screen-space ambient occlusion with new 'AngleBasedSSAO' setting
- This will yield better quality with same sample count
- Improvements to skeletal mesh importing of 'alternate weight sets'
- This allows vertex data to be shared between different weighted character rigs
- The editor's Map Check tool will now also warn you about potential performance issues
- Various minor improvements to Scaleform GFx workflow
- Gamma correction has been disabled throughout the GFx pipeline in order to better match the output of Flash
- DM-Deck has been updated with some new engine features
- Added god rays, improved bloom, and a new sky!
- Angle-based SSAO is now enabled in UDKGame by default (improved SSAO quality)
- Made shield projectile-blocking consistent with the old behavior
- Various minor cleanups to PlayerController, PlayerReplicationInfo and Pawn classes
Updated UDN pages
Additional notes, code samples and more are available at the Unreal Developer Network (UDN):
UDK LinkedIn user group: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2493123
UDK on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/UDK/183744733429
Epic Games on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EpicGames
UDK forum on Polycount: www.polycount.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=63
There you have it folks! A great update for what is already one of the most artist-friendly toolsets out there. What more could you ask for?