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    Winter Forest Environment

    Hello again you wonderfully helpful people! I thought that I would post some of the progress that I have been making lately!

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    I have made a bit of progress on my snow shader, the trees, rocks, and have done my first pass on the grass. I have also made my first foray into the cascade particle editor in an effort to make some falling snow. I am pleased with the results but still have a lot of work to do.

    Things on the To Do list are as follows:

    - Create a material that causes snow to settle on top of objects such as rocks in a realistic manner. Done
    - Create more rocks and vegetation with proper LOD's
    - make more realistic rock material
    - implement dynamic snowstorm intensity via blueprint
    - Apply grainy post-process effect
    - create Volumetric clouds (using cascade?)

    - Design level for student game project using assets created for this scene!

    Thoughts and critique are more than welcome
    Last edited by CupMcCakers; 01-03-2015, 01:36 PM.
    Work Tutorials

    #2
    Hi,

    Which reminds me, would anyone be able to tell me what is a physically accurate specular value for snow/ice?
    The best results should be achieved with some subsurface scattering.
    Depending on the thickness of the snow layer, it should give you different results. Through a thin layer of snow, the rock might "shine" through.
    It would also depend on the type of snow. Finer snow will have a much higher albedo. (Compare powdered sugar vs "normal" sugar. The powedered appears much brighter).
    Then again, snow that has been thawed at the surface and refrozen is different as well.
    So, there might not be a one snow shader that covers it all.

    Cheers,
    Klaus

    PS: I find the the right shader quite convincing at first glance.
    The gray area makes it actually believable. No rock is clean, why shoukd the snow be that sits on top of it.
    The snow further up is new=white... Just as I would expect.
    Last edited by KVogler; 11-22-2014, 09:21 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks a lot for the swift reply Klaus! I am aiming for a very thick "virgin snow". I'll look into subsurface scattering tonight, I did think about playing with that before but thought it might be a little too performance intensive.

      PS: Cheers, hmm, well, I'm not quite happy yet, so I'll keep tweaking, but maybe I do just have tunnel vision from looking at rocks and snow for too long!

      ---Initial Post-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      I recently began work on a project that involves creating a large, open and beautiful snow covered forest. I will try to keep this thread up to date, and would love to receive feedback on the work I have been doing. Some advice on how to technically achieve my vision would be much appreciated!

      So, here is what I have so far!


      When the environment is complete it will consist of trees/foliage/rocks which will all have PBR materials. Dynamic Wind. Particle effects for varying intensities of snowfall, and the player will be able to leave footprints behind them in snow.
      I am also considering having the foliage and tree's move when the player brushes past them, dynamic materials for foliage, so that when the player walks through it, the snow is "shaken" off.

      In the image below you can see an issue I am currently having with my tree's, the lighting reveals the hard edges on my leaves, I tried softening the normals of the mesh in maya but to no avail, I have also tried increasing the lightmap resolution and softening the shape of the leaf mesh. Does anyone have any suggestions for ways to "soften" the shadows?



      I am also unsure about the best way to tackle snow. I already know that I want snow to be dynamically placed on top of objects like rocks, so that I can orient the rock in any direction and still have the snow sit on top, but neither of the methods I have tried so far have really given me the most satisfactory results. Here are my two attempts:


      shader for left rock

      shader for right rock


      The left most shader is unsatisfactory because the normals from the rock carry over to the snow, but I want the snow to have it's own normal map.
      The second shader is based on Liaret's, I follow his tutorial online, but the results are unsatisfactory because of the way that the detail and colour information is lost as the snow blends into the rock texture. there is a very ugly grey area. I am also unhappy with this method because any physical accuracy in the materials is lost in the blend between them.

      Which reminds me, would anyone be able to tell me what is a physically accurate specular value for snow/ice?

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Last edited by CupMcCakers; 01-02-2015, 09:11 PM.
      Work Tutorials

      Comment


        #4
        Cheers for the reply Chariot! Your shader looks interesting, I'll play around with it tonight and see if it achieves the effect I am looking for. How do material parameter collections differ from creating material instances from one master material? I haven't heard the term before.
        Work Tutorials

        Comment


          #5
          Just updated the texture on the tree's, I think it looks much better now, although the snow still needs a lot of work to look more realistic!


          Work Tutorials

          Comment


            #6
            Hello again you wonderfully helpful people! I thought that I would post some of the progress that I have been making lately!

            Click image for larger version

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            I have made a bit of progress on my snow shader, the trees, rocks, and have done my first pass on the grass. I have also made my first foray into the cascade particle editor in an effort to make some falling snow. I am pleased with the results but still have a lot of work to do.


            Things on the To Do list are as follows:

            - Create a material that causes snow to settle on top of objects such as rocks in a realistic manner.
            - Create more rocks and vegetation with proper LOD's
            - make more realistic rock material
            - implement dynamic snowstorm intensity via blueprint
            - Apply grainy post-process effect
            - create Volumetric clouds (using cascade?)

            - Design level for student game project using assets created for this scene!

            Thoughts and critique are more than welcome
            Last edited by CupMcCakers; 01-02-2015, 08:59 PM.
            Work Tutorials

            Comment


              #7
              Hello all, just another quick update here! I've settled on a snow shader that I think will do the trick After a bit of research I decided to base my design off of Liarats and made a few alterations.



              I'm happy to go into more depth if people are interested!
              Last edited by CupMcCakers; 01-03-2015, 01:37 PM.
              Work Tutorials

              Comment


                #8
                I think the trees look too flat considering being covered with snow.

                Look at this real photo


                And some more with less snow:

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ah yes Ervald! Thanks for the heads up I did try to create more rounded snow clumps originally but I ran into some strange lighting issues. I'll certainly have a look at making the tree's more believable
                  Work Tutorials

                  Comment


                    #10
                    How do you achieve this specular sparkles?

                    Rocketeer

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                      #11
                      You just have to apply a specular texture/mask to the specular link -> then you will just see it in certain places on the texture

                      e.g
                      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YoFVD4lQjV...ecular+map.png (not for snow, but that's how a specular texture looks like ^^)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by fighter5347 View Post
                        You just have to apply a specular texture/mask to the specular link -> then you will just see it in certain places on the texture

                        e.g
                        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YoFVD4lQjV...ecular+map.png (not for snow, but that's how a specular texture looks like ^^)
                        Heh...

                        For now I'm trying to make snow with specular sparkles like this one - https://udn.epicgames.com/Three/Mate...ples.html#Snow


                        To achieve effect called "snow glistening"

                        In old render this was easy with Specular Power, but in new one I tried various combinations of specular/roughness/bloom tricks, and still not get desired results.

                        One on forest picture looks interesting and I just ask to explain how it works in that case.
                        Last edited by redbox; 01-06-2015, 02:12 PM.
                        Rocketeer

                        my portfolio
                        my youtube

                        Camera Volumes System
                        Instanced Plugin
                        Simple Portals
                        Water Flow For UDK
                        Setup Swarm

                        Comment

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