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Denny's Research and Development

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  • started a topic Denny's Research and Development

    Denny's Research and Development

    This is my one stop shop for all future mini projects, which I will do to become more adept with UE4. I work as a character rigger and animator during weekdays and have worked a lot with Maya and UE3 prior to UE4. I am aiming to do personal projects with UE4, I do however need to learn the depths of the engine to avoid unpleasant surprises. Do not expect eye candy in this thread. The goal is to learn and understand the engine, not to amaze visitors with jaw dropping art.

    Whenever I create something new that I think is useful to remember, or just showing off what I have been up to, I will post it in this thread. My goal is to post something new every week, unless I have been too busy at work or when I finally end up working on a bigger personal project. With some of my findings I may post guides or tutorials to explain it in detail.

    For each category, the newest entry is at the bottom.

    Downloads


    Prototype content


    UE4 General Topics


    Character Rigging and Animation


    Unsorted


    Demo Reel 2015
    Last edited by Denny; 06-26-2017, 01:50 PM.

  • replied
    Student project - Small game with randomized rooms

    I recently finished a student project for a 3D course. I made an attempt at generating random rooms with different themes, but with the catch that all meshes in the room to be merged at runtime to reduce draw calls. The game features crude mobile style graphics. You can download the playable build below.

    Download playable build (.zip, 76 MB)


    The reason for me attempting this is because I have another top-down project in the making, where I want to generate rooms and reduce draw calls. The hope is that I can re-use this prototype to produce a proper system for merging content.

    I made all the models in Maya and the textures in MS Paint. Some textures were photo sourced because I couldn't be damned to hand paint such a huge area. I also created the materials, particle effects and fire/light effects. Apart from that everything is programmed or made in blueprint, even the animations are procedural. I didn't use any existing classes except Actor. The whole game is contained in a single level blueprint.

    I merge meshes during runtime when the room is spawned. I am quite happy with the system as I support a recursive structure. The floor, walls and ceiling are separate classes which return generated mesh data. I could potentially generate a whole level using recursion if I spent time building the content for it.
    Last edited by Denny; 06-26-2017, 01:49 PM.

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  • replied
    My latest demo reel. Has Unity 5, Unreal Engine 3 and Unreal Engine 4 content.

    Last edited by Denny; 07-07-2015, 03:32 PM.

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  • replied
    The reason why I haven't been so active here in this thread is because we just released our new game! Another thread already got started, so you can read about it below.

    Guardians of Valor (official thread)
    Last edited by Denny; 06-10-2015, 12:08 PM.

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  • replied
    Animated interpolation with bounce

    I created this video as a reply to this AnswerHub thread. It shows how to interpolate an object to follow another with a bounce. Might be useful to some of you.




    A candle stick

    In the video I happened to use a model I recently made to practice high poly modelling and then baking down to a low poly object. So I chose a very basic prop. I made the UVs so I could add any material I wanted to the mesh without distortion. The materials in the image below are default ones by Epic, but the mesh, LOD's and normal map by me. It was a great learning experience to get clean normal maps into unreal.

    I used Maya to create the models and Allegorithmic's tools, using the Maya scripts, to bake the normal map.

    Click image for larger version

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  • replied
    Naughty Dog and Bungie always do god-like things with character rigging and pipelines. Studying their methodology more would be fun, but making it look anywhere as good is going to take a lot of hard work. I would love to tackle such a project, but usually it falls short because there are no great character models to work with.

    Whenever I have free time I may look into Miquel's toolset. I personally don't like jumping into other frameworks if I am capable of creating a rig from scratch myself. I already have a lot of tools that I have created myself to streamline my workflow, specifically for games, so I don't know if Miquel's toolset will help me much. It seems great for movie production, hopefully it's good for games as well. In the end we're still in the same spot as with A.R.T.

    I believe that every game should have a custom workflow catered to it. Even if it may be tempting to use an existing solution, it is important to balance the pro's and con's before using it. There are so many technical aspects that need to be setup correctly for an engine.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Denny View Post
    Thanks Nicolas! I'm going to be honest and say that I will likely never touch ART. I think ART and the whole "default human skeleton" thing might have been one of Epic's worst decisions, because it locked away several workflows that was previously possible in UE3 and now is impossible. As an example, try sharing an animation blueprint with two characters of different skeleton assets and you'll see what I mean. I won't go on a longer rant than this, but if I ever am to make more Maya videos, it is going to be done using conventional methods in Maya.
    Well, this might interest you...Miquel Campos released today mGear, a rigging framework I used A LOT in Softimage...and its soooo gooodddd!!!!

    Try it, you wont be disappointed

    Honestly I'm really eager to see some tricks in Maya related to rigging ( with or without ART, doesn't really matters ), especially because I'm about to attempt in recreating Naughty Dog The Last of Us rigging style, for both facial animation ( combination of both blend shapes and joints ) and body rig setup ( proxy bones for wrists and clothes UE4-driven animation ), so some nice tricks will be highly appreciated

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  • replied
    Thanks Nicolas! I'm going to be honest and say that I will likely never touch ART. I think ART and the whole "default human skeleton" thing might have been one of Epic's worst decisions, because it locked away several workflows that was previously possible in UE3 and now is impossible. As an example, try sharing an animation blueprint with two characters of different skeleton assets and you'll see what I mean. I won't go on a longer rant than this, but if I ever am to make more Maya videos, it is going to be done using conventional methods in Maya.

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  • replied
    I would love to see some more in-depth Maya related unique content using ART or a custom solution

    Great stuff anyway, really nice RnD

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  • replied
    Thanks for the feedback fellas!

    Sorry for not doing any updates for a while, life has been super busy. I get my daily UE4-fix at work, so there's not much left to do when I get home. Hopefully I can show some interesting stuff in the future.

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  • replied
    Very useful, thanks for sharing!

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  • replied
    Originally posted by Denny View Post
    Blueprint Easing Function Library

    I could not resist spending a few hours implementing an easing library. I think I used pretty much every easing resource available on the web for reference. I don't take credit for the math, only the implementation.

    The functions use an input Alpha value, expecting a value between 0.0-1.0. Output is a value that starts/end at 0.0/1.0 with some overdrive as seen in the video. The only exception are the elastic functions which also has a parameter for frequency.



    The function library can be downloaded below for UE4 4.3.0. Instructions can be found inside the ReadMe file.
    http://dennylindberg.com/downloads/u...ionLibrary.zip
    Very nice man! I'll definitely find some use for this, visualization is sweet too

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  • replied
    Some really good stuff here Denny.
    Been fiddling with blending/overdriving poses based on your "Overgrowth Style" example above.
    Shows promise

    Thanks!

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  • replied
    Maya Tutorial - Using dynamic rotation pivots in your rigs

    Another Maya rigging tutorial. Showing how to work with dynamic pivots. I am just about to finish up some freelance tasks which has kept me busy for the last few months, so I can get back to UE4 now.


    (60 fps available when 720/1080 is finished processing)

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  • replied
    Maya Tutorial - Setting up an automated knee

    This is not exactly UE4, but it can very well be used for any characters for a game. If you're interested in rigging I recommend watching this tutorial for how to do a stable automated knee setup for IK legs.

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