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Cubiquity for UE4 - Voxel Terrain Plugin

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    #16
    Update

    Over the last few days I've been reworking the internals of the plugin to make it fit better with the UE4 way of doing things in order to try to bring it out of the prototype stage. As of today, I've got live-updating of the mesh based on the volume data meaning that you can edit the volume live in-game and have it immediately visible.

    The interface to this is clunky at the moment but I'm designing it to be easily usable with Blueprints or C++.


    Extruded terrain created live in-game

    My next plans are to get the interface to this working more nicely, implement voxel painting and then work on tidying up the code in order to try to get a preview release out to you all.
    WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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      #17
      I wrote a Polyvox plugin for UE4 awhile back for fun that I have been playing around with. However it is really nice to see you guys pull your excellent work with cubiquity into this engine. Looking forward to seeing it completed, and will love to see what your shader implementation looks like as I'm still not happy with how complicated I ended up making mine


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        #18
        Originally posted by milliams View Post
        This would be technically possible and could make sense for very static terrains. The problem with UVs is that voxel terrains are difficult to unwrap to a 2-dimensional map. Instead of this, Cubiquity uses tri-planar texturing which is much more robust for our needs. Of course, you could still do the texturing yourself using the Cubiquity example.

        Since implementing this feature would take time away from getting the primary features working, it would have to be something we defer until the future but do remind us of it and if there's enough demand, things might be moved around in priority.
        I think triplanar materials would still be fine in that case. The idea is more to get something that will let us make simple organic shapes and stuff (vs. BSP's very rigid shapes) during the level block-out process, so they don't actually need to have really good UVs or anything, and even just having a triplanar material there would be perfectly acceptable.

        Anyway, I figured it would be low priority, but I'm happy you guys are considering it I think such a feature would put the kit's usefulness ahead quite a bit for UE4 devs, since there isn't currently a way to block out organic shapes like that, without just having an artist on team to do standard static meshes.
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          #19
          Originally posted by mordentral View Post
          I wrote a Polyvox plugin for UE4 awhile back for fun that I have been playing around with. However it is really nice to see you guys pull your excellent work with cubiquity into this engine. Looking forward to seeing it completed, and will love to see what your shader implementation looks like as I'm still not happy with how complicated I ended up making mine
          Yes, I remember you from the PolyVox forums. I'm definitely having fun playing with UE4 and the integration with Cubiquity is going really well.

          The shader implementation is very simple at the moment and not at all efficient (basically 4-way blended tri-planar based on vertex colours) since it's all implemented in the Blueprint editor. I'm looking into how to do 'proper' shaders in UE4 so that I can make the whole thing a lot more efficient. In the meantime it works, but it's not there yet.
          WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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            #20
            Originally posted by n00854180t View Post
            I think triplanar materials would still be fine in that case. The idea is more to get something that will let us make simple organic shapes and stuff (vs. BSP's very rigid shapes) during the level block-out process, so they don't actually need to have really good UVs or anything, and even just having a triplanar material there would be perfectly acceptable.

            Anyway, I figured it would be low priority, but I'm happy you guys are considering it I think such a feature would put the kit's usefulness ahead quite a bit for UE4 devs, since there isn't currently a way to block out organic shapes like that, without just having an artist on team to do standard static meshes.
            For this use case, you probably wouldn't even need to do 'mesh exporting'. Cubiquity is able to be used simply to edit (in the editor) and render the extracted smooth mesh. You could use the standard Cubiquity system to create a volume (as many as you need theoretically) and carve/paint each one individually. Within UE4, it should be possible to add functionality to convert a Cubiquity mesh into a static mesh.

            After the first preview release I'll be starting an issue tracker/TODO list so remind me to put it on there.
            WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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              #21
              Update video

              I've posted an update on our blog to show off a video I've put together to demonstrate the current status. It shows off using the asset in the editor and linking it up with the Blueprint system.

              WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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                #22
                Any Update?

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by n00854180t View Post
                  One thing that would be really awesome is if you could take the mesh extracted from the voxel data and bake it into a static mesh along with UVs. That would allow you to use it as a level design tool ala BSP, but with the awesome quality and organic shapes that the smooth voxels give you.
                  +1 to this.

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                    #24
                    Looks awesome already. I'll gladly test it and provide feedback should you need to.

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                      #25
                      Will it stay fully dynamic in-game so that players can make their own levels without the UE4 editor? This is an important legal issue for me.

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                        #26
                        I've been working on this over the last week or two and have managed to fully integrate all the functionality of Cubiquity into the plugin. The work now comes from making the plugin itself provide easy access to the functionality to you, the end-user. I'm currently working towards a pre-alpha which will allow rudimentary in-game editing abilities.

                        Longer-term I am working towards an 1.0 release which will focus on in-game editing rather then within UnrealEd since editor integration is a harder problem to solve. I also expect the 1.0 release will have comprehensive Blueprint integration for flexibility. Before the 1.0 release, there are however a number of things which need to be changed or added to UE4 itself so to a certain extent it will have to wait on those.
                        WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by xXxFishAndChipsxXx View Post
                          Will it stay fully dynamic in-game so that players can make their own levels without the UE4 editor? This is an important legal issue for me.
                          There will absolutely be functionality available for you to allow in-game editing of any of the volumes. However, as the game creator it is very simple to disallow any editing entirely if you wish. How much control you give is entirely in your hands.
                          WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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                            #28
                            Hey Milliams -

                            Thanks for the update really excited for Cubiquity.



                            EDIT: Would it be possible to Post a video of the Colored Cubes demo in Unreal 4?

                            Just Curious

                            HeadClot

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by HeadClot View Post
                              Would it be possible to Post a video of the Colored Cubes demo in Unreal 4?
                              I do plan to do so. I'll need to implement a simple in-game editing interface (add/remove blocks and choose colour) but I'll probably try to show how that would be written using Blueprints as part of the video. It's something that I'll need to create for the first release anyway. I'm not sure when I'll get round to the video, it depends on time but I'll put it on my list
                              WIP: Cubiquity for UE4 - A voxel terrain plugin

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                                #30
                                Originally posted by milliams View Post
                                Before the 1.0 release, there are however a number of things which need to be changed or added to UE4 itself so to a certain extent it will have to wait on those.
                                What sort of things are we talking about here? Are the on the official roadmap i.e. do you know they're going to be added?

                                I'm looking forward to trying this out, could definitely see it being useful for cave systems with copious amounts of static meshes to roughen it up.
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