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[TUTORIALS] Photons Be Free: Mini-tutorials and other curiosities

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  • [TUTORIALS] Photons Be Free: Mini-tutorials and other curiosities

    Hello Everyone!

    I've been wanting to do this for sometime and just now getting around to organizing and getting some mini projects and things together. Instead of just posting a bunch of random threads with a bunch of scattered bits of information and tutorials I'd rather have them as one cohesive growing piece. Plus, it's such a chore to keep track of so many different threads!

    As many of you know, I typically answer a lot of questions regarding APEX Destruction. A lot of these mini-tutorials, projects, and nuggets of information I post here will gear more towards that side of things.

    I'll try and keep this as organized as possible and will update as often as I can.

    Feel free to throw suggestions my way. I make no promises and keep in mind that I'm not a master of all! I have my own specialties so asking me to show you how to make an advanced cover system, animation, or complex blueprint functionality probably won't get you that far.

    Useful Free Software:
    1. Path Length Checker : Good program for checking the file path length for your project if you're running into the 165 character length issue that causes a build to fail. NEW

    Personal Website: http://timhobsonue4.snappages.com/


    Projects:

    1. Colored Translucent Shadows (4.5 or later required)
    2. Sample with Line Trace and Physics Projectile for Destructibles (4.6 or later required)
    3. Destructibles Chunk Paremeters Comparison Testing (4.6 or later required)
    4. Simple Jump Pad Blueprint (4.4.3 or later required)
    5. Night Vision Post Process Material (4.4.3 or later required)
    6. Radar Pulse Post Process (4.4.3 or later required)
    7. Gregdumb's wiki tutorial for Day Night system (with some tweaks) (4.7 or later required)(UPDATED: 3.9.15)
    8. Level switch for Day/Night levels using same space with baked lighting (4.5 or later required)
    9. Simple BacklightingNEW
    9. Sponza Attrium Test Scene (At some point in the future)
    10. Destructible Settings ShowcaseNEW

    Occlusion Culling
    1. Precomputed Visibility Culling (Ideal for mobile)

    Distance Field How-To's:
    1. How to Enable Mesh Distance Fields for your project.
    2. How to use Distance Field Ambient Occlusion
    3. How to use Distance Field Soft Shadows
    4. How to use Distance Fields for Particle Collision
    5. How to use Distance Field Global Illumination


    Destructible How-To's:

    1. How to use Import FBX Chunks (Destruction without the fracture tool in UE4)
    2. Rigid Mesh Animation without need for bones
    3. How to use Large Chunk Threshold (Project included requires 4.6 or later)
    4. More FBX Chunks Examples: Barrel and Fence (At some point)
    5. Using "Do Not Fracture" to make a hole in a wall
    6. Using "Impact Resistance" for better damage effects (ie. glass vs. concrete wall)
    7. The power of using World Support
    8. Damage Spread



    Other How-To's:
    1. Setting up Local Multiplayer
    2. Setting up and using Cloth with the PhysX DCC Plugin with 3Ds Max
    3. Creating Level of Detail (LOD) meshes in 3Ds Max for UE4
    4. Light Functions with Color
    5. Custom Collision Demonstration - Beginning to End
    6. Blueprint Clock:
    a. Basic Clock Movement
    b. Set Clock to Random Time when starting rotation
    c. Set a Specific Time when starting rotation
    d. Set to use System Time using Overlap Events
    e. Set Time based on Sun Rotation (ie. Using a Time of Day System)



    Ideas for How-To's or test projects:
    1. Distance Fields Soft Shadows (General use and trouble shooting type stuff, mostly things Daniel Mentioned from this twitch stream, but with project and examples)
    2.
    3.
    4.

    Wiki Tutorials/Troubleshooting/Tips
    1. Lighting Troubleshooting and Tips Guide
    2. Swarm Agent Troubleshooting and Tips Guide
    3. Destructible Troubleshooting and Tips Guide
    4. FBX/Asset (On hold)
    5. Materials
    6. Post Process


    Curiosities
    1. Fun with Moire Effect (At some point)


    Training Twitch Streams (Not affiliated with Epic Games)
    1. Destructibles Overview and Q&A
    2. Occlusion Culling and General Lighting Review with Q&A

    Future Streams
    1. Distance Fields (Shadows, AO, GI)
    2. Physics (non-vehicle oriented)
    3. Rendering: Occlusion Culling
    4. Global Illumination (Dynamic: DFGI and LPV & Lightmass)
    Last edited by Tim Hobson; 03-29-2016, 02:28 PM.

  • replied
    Somehow - when downloading the destructible Mesh Blueprints, i get a load of "Create Export: Failed to load Outer for Resource "SceneThumnbnailInfo**" Errors, and some more.
    I cannot open the sample project without errors, and blueprints and meshes are broken.
    Tried it on 4.20, 4.19 and i think 4.18 is the first version, saying it is too old to open this project.
    I tried to erase cache and start it fresh from the archive - no luck at all.

    Any hints ?

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    I wish very much that I had discovered this thread on Saturday. I spent roughly 14 hours trying to troubleshoot my Destructible mesh behaviors. This is a goldmine of information. Thank you! I am absorbing as much information as i can.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hello! Before jumping into actual experiments, for time saving I would like to ask this question: attaching particles (smoke, sparks) to chunks of destructible mesh - yes or no? Is it possible at all, and/or is it maybe better way to have actual mesh combined from parts from the beginning, and separated on destruction (with particles or whatever attached)? Thank you in advance for hint on this

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    hey there
    how do you make and export LODs for an animated object
    as a test i made a sphere and several LODs and attached them to a node that simply spins 360
    but just exporting from max explodes and crashes out every single time
    is there some extra step ?

    cheers

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    I have a few question how can i control how fast or slow this day/night changes. Plus could you make some kind of clock connection with day/night cycle and make it smart too so if i changed how fast the day/night cycle the clock will follow the time? Also if i were to press a button near the clock i can choose the time on it and it would set the time in the game?

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by Tim Hobson View Post
    In this instance Destructible Meshes would not be the best path to persue. For something like a tree where you want a very specific set of things to happen when you cut the tree down this system won't give the best results for that, especially if you're just using the in-editor Destructible Mesh Editor since you only get a single depth of destruction.

    For something like this I would actually set up all the individual fractures of the mesh as their own separate mesh and import those into UE4. I would then use Blueprint to control how the fracture through some logic and swap out the meshes as needed. My description is kind of vague, but it's really the best route when you need that kind of control and especially dealing with foliage of any sort. The DM system in UE4 works really well for hard surface kinds of materials where a fracture looks more natural. When using wood you don't get the splintering effect that would look more natural unless using PhysX Labs, but even still the setup you're looking for wouldn't look natural.
    Gotcha, I actually started with a few swapped out meshes but then thought about using DMs instead...guess I will stick with the mesh swap

    Thanks for the help!!

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by grizly32 View Post
    Hey Tim,

    Question for you...if I have a tree mesh that I want to be destructible but i only want the lower third to fracture and have the upper two thirds be just one solid chunk...is that possible?

    The reason I want the top to be just one chunk is that I want to make the bottom have as many small chunks as possible so I want to focus to detailed small chunks to the very bottom of the tree...

    Thanks in advance!
    In this instance Destructible Meshes would not be the best path to persue. For something like a tree where you want a very specific set of things to happen when you cut the tree down this system won't give the best results for that, especially if you're just using the in-editor Destructible Mesh Editor since you only get a single depth of destruction.

    For something like this I would actually set up all the individual fractures of the mesh as their own separate mesh and import those into UE4. I would then use Blueprint to control how the fracture through some logic and swap out the meshes as needed. My description is kind of vague, but it's really the best route when you need that kind of control and especially dealing with foliage of any sort. The DM system in UE4 works really well for hard surface kinds of materials where a fracture looks more natural. When using wood you don't get the splintering effect that would look more natural unless using PhysX Labs, but even still the setup you're looking for wouldn't look natural.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hey Tim,

    Question for you...if I have a tree mesh that I want to be destructible but i only want the lower third to fracture and have the upper two thirds be just one solid chunk...is that possible?

    The reason I want the top to be just one chunk is that I want to make the bottom have as many small chunks as possible so I want to focus to detailed small chunks to the very bottom of the tree...

    Thanks in advance!

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Was watching Star Trek voyager during a lighting build, and, oh how life imitates art

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hey Tim, great tutorials!<br><br>can you explain why only the Apply Radius Damage BP node seems to work, while the Apply Damage node does nothing? Does it require some specific setup to work? <br><br>Also I have noticed that setting fracture Chunk limits only works in APEX lab but not in UE4 (at least not for apex lab meshes), also reimporting destructible meshes still crashes the Engine most of the time (4.12).

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    I've been adding some Tutorials and Setup pages to my personal site over here at TimHobsonUE4.snappages.com if anyone is interested.

    Latest additions are:

    Reflection Capture's new features for 4.12
    - Increased Texture Resolution for Cubemaps of Reflection Captures
    - Cubemap Offset Values
    - Custom Cubemap assignment for Reflection Captures

    Lighting Channels (New Feature in 4.11)
    - Covers basic setup and general practices with using these

    Capsule Shadows (New Feature in 4.11)
    - Covers setup and adjustment of settings
    - Comparison of Console Variable settings to adjust the look of your Capsule Shadows

    Follow me on Twitter [MENTION=36520]TimH[/MENTION]obsonUE4 for the latest updates and if you have any requests within my area of expertise I'm happy to add it to the list.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Distance Field How-To's

    Basic how-to's to help you setup and use Mesh Distance Fields with your project. Includes break down of settings and some helpful console variables.

    Distance Field How-To's:
    1. How to Enable Mesh Distance Fields for your project.
    2. How to use Distance Field Ambient Occlusion
    3. How to use Distance Field Soft Shadows
    4. How to use Distance Fields for Particle Collision
    5. How to use Distance Field Global Illumination


    Culling: Precomputed Visibility Volume

    This techinical page will cover the use of Precomputed Visibility Volumes and various stats and settings to make them work well in your scenes.

    Precomputed Visibility Culling



    Destructible Settings Showcase

    Click image for larger version

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    This is a standalone project that is in the vein of Content Examples with it's setup. This project covers all the available settings from the Destrucitble Mesh Editor in (hopefully) a clear and concise manner.

    You can find out more about it on my site below and download the project.

    Destructible Settings Showcase
    Last edited by Tim Hobson; 03-29-2016, 02:30 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Useful Software: Path Length Checker

    So, I've recently been doing a lot more packaging for some test projects and knowing the length of the file path cannot exceed 165 characters while cooking the build I have had to clean up a few things in my process. In an effort to see where my problem files were without having to dig into logs from the cook I found this little diddy of a program that is FREE and simple to use! It can be a real time saver if you need!

    Path Length Checker

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Path Length Checker.png
Views:	1
Size:	95.1 KB
ID:	1101213

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Hi Tim, that's awesome!! Yeah no rush, just if you get time for it.
    Last edited by Kajisan; 02-16-2016, 02:11 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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