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    [ASSETS] Level Designer Art Tools

    Hey!

    I'm working on small utility blueprints (and API in form of blueprint functions library with almost the same functionality) for level designers. I'm working on this in my spare time and starting this thread to gather some feedback and show my progress. My intention is to release this in Marketplace for small price at some point.

    Overview

    Instancer
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    Procedurally places (spawns) meshes or actors in a predefined shapes adjustable with parameters. Supported shapes are stack and circle.

    Stack parameters: number of instances on each axis, distance between instances on each axis
    Circle parameters: number of instances, axis (XY, XZ, YZ), radius, distance from the center, theta(degrees between instances) rotation application, forced rotation application(works in conjunction with theta rotation)

    Meshes utilize instancing technology to save up on the performance. Instancer can spawn meshes that simulate physics, in this case they will not use instancing (this is possible, but requires engine source code changes). Instancer supports tracing for actors/mesh placement, identical to pressing "End" in editor viewport

    Some features yet to implement: mesh variations support; start, middle, end meshes support; random rotation & location offsets within set range

    Spline-driven instancer
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    Evenly distributes meshes/actors across the spline path. Instances count and distance between the instances can be automatically set and calculated of spline length and instances count and distance itself. Supports all features of Instancer as well, such as rotation defined by spline, custom rotation, trace-before-place, etc.

    Spline deformable mesh
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    Nothing fancy here. Simply mesh that is deformed along the spline. Possibilities only limited by your imagination.


    Features list insn't final, I will be adding planned features upon their requirement for any of my ongoing projects.

    I'd like to hear any feedback on it, if it will be useful, what should i add or change and everything else. Thank you
    Last edited by BiggestSmile; 12-18-2015, 02:18 PM.
    Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

    #2
    This looks really useful!

    Something I've been wondering about is the sort of object deformation you can see in this Hellblade dev diary (I mean the one that's shown at roughly 01:20):
    https://youtu.be/GvpD3eM9rJo?t=77

    According to the video, it's done entirely in Blueprints. I assume it's also using splines somehow but I wouldn't have a clue how to go about creating something like this. Either way, it looks like it'd be really useful for organic environments.

    Comment


      #3
      Looks interesting. Love the name of the blueprint - CrapSpawner

      This is probably just a basic spline mesh component scaled at the end, which results in this pretty deformation I'll try to check it on some of the rocks provided by Epic in their examples.



      This is what it looks like on the same cylinder.
      Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

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        #4
        This looks awesome, definitely useful. I'll be keeping an eye on this one. =)


        Project Reverie Game | SEJonF.com | Twitter | ArtStation | WIP | UE4 SciFi Assets - Season 1 & Season 2 Discount Bundles Free Asset Demo | Ice Shader

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          #5
          @BiggestSmile: That's awesome ! And yeah, looks like that's exactly what it's doing, along with blending the object's material with the respective ground material.

          Comment


            #6
            It just deforms vertices, and actually looks like it could be done in material, and the blueprints part he were talking about is pretty much the CrapSpawner, not the rock itself, might be wrong though.
            Will look into it once i have some spare time.

            Meshes intersection could be easily calculated in materials, and you can do whatever transformations you want with WorldPositionOffset. Edit: I was a little wrong, meshes intersection (calculated from depth) is only available in pixel shader and in translucent materials, in other words can't be used for this.

            After some investigation i came to conclusion that it's not trivial to do, at least not with my knowledge. The problem with spline here is that it scales mesh evenly, not just the part that is inside other mesh. And I don't really know how to blend different meshes materials.
            Last edited by BiggestSmile; 12-16-2015, 08:47 AM.
            Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

            Comment


              #7
              ^Ah, no worries. It's awesome that you even just took the time to look into it .

              Comment


                #8
                I'm planning to finish my currently planned blueprints next (working on spline-driven instancer at the moment, then will add missing features to my existing "tools") and then will look into this kind of stuff.
                Any other suggestions in the mean time?
                Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

                Comment


                  #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Spline-driven instancer. Evenly distributes meshes/actors across the spline path. Instances count and distance between the instances can be automatically set and calculated of spline length and instances count and distance itself. Supports all features of Instancer as well.
                  Will make a small video demonstrating them either by the weekend or later next week

                  What I'm thinking is would splitting blueprints in two parts - mesh instancing & actor instancing, make it more convenient?
                  Last edited by BiggestSmile; 12-18-2015, 02:06 PM.
                  Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Holy **** this would go really well with the greyboxing kit I made for my project. Can't wait to try it out sometime!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This needs an Mirror / Symmetry tool.

                      Just saying

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Added symmetry to spline-driven instancer as HeadClot suggested, this is the single spline actor, meshes on the left are spawned on the spline, meshes on the right are mirrored; it could be mirror on any axis Also added "random" shape to shape-driven instancer which defines square with set width, actors/meshes then spawned at random positions within the square.

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                        Added symmetry to spline deformable mesh

                        Next I'm going to work on is:
                        • add symmetry to spline deformable mesh - done
                        • make meshes fully align the underlying surface if trace is used - done
                        • add location, rotation and scale offsets for instancers
                        Last edited by BiggestSmile; 01-19-2016, 04:37 PM.
                        Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sorry for no updates for a long time, have been really busy lately, university and other projects take a lot of time
                          I want to make a small public test of what I've got at the moment to see if I'm going in right direction and if anything should be added or removed. So, if you're a level-designer and able to give a constructive feedback, let me know. I'd highly appreciate your help
                          Alone: The Untold - a story driven horror game

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi, I am a level designer for over 10 years and you asked for feedback.
                            Well, before I would work on something that level-designers ought to find usefull, you should talk to several of them, what they really need.
                            The wrong approach is to think up something that YOU think might be usefull for THEM.
                            So my advice is you make sort of survey and then sort the answers (most wanted on top) in a list.
                            Then you look from the top of that list down each topic and estimate the work you need for it to be done.
                            With youre available time, you come to a end what you can archieve in a certain amount of time...thats what you should work on.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Definitely must have. Following : )
                              SUMFX.net

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