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Thread: Retro Game [RType] and Retro Postprocess

  1. #1
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    Retro Game [RType] and Retro Postprocess

    Hello ,

    i created this effect based on this tutorial https://wiki.unrealengine.com/GameBoy_Post_Process_Effect_in_UE4

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    I have added a dithering effect to the post process material but its still work in progress.
    When this post process is final, i want to release a small game based on the retro gaming idea.

    As for now, it can look good for rendering stills, but its not that nice when in game.

    Greetings, Maternal

    Edit: Update on the Dithering, now in the right place inside the material nodes. Looks great on dark parts.

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    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 10-06-2014 at 12:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    This looks awesome! I love rType, hope to see more of your project. Are you going for an original game or a rType fangame?

    Keep it up!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunogruber View Post
    This looks awesome! I love rType, hope to see more of your project. Are you going for an original game or a rType fangame?

    Keep it up!
    For this technique, it will be a small demo level. It is based on the Rtype setting yes.
    I quess it will stay a demo for the postprocess material because i will work on an whole game like this after this is finished and it will be with the 2D sprite system. I just wanted to develop and research further on this post process to get the Unreal Engine to Render out these graphics with an easy set up just like the original tutorial and with 3D scenes.

    What i want to archive is that lowpoly 3D models and 2D sprites can share the same look and aesthetics so there will be allot of choices to design the levels without beeing limited to 3D or 2D objects.
    Greetings, Maternal

  4. #4
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    Hello again, today i will develop the full dithering effect.
    For now it was only in the ambient occlusion pass, which is okay but only for rendering stills out. So i came up with the solution how to dither pictures, and made this Photoshop example :

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    The image is taken from Wikipedia http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papageien#mediaviewer/File:Hellroter.jpg

    This is my only task i can do today, but i want to work on the game itself the next days.

    My Tasks today :

    • Develop Dithering effect for the Postprocess
    • Adding Custom Values to the effect like method of dithering ( random[wishlist] and linear) and amount of dithering
    • Filtering out meshes that don´t need dithering


    If its working i will explain how it works and maybe it gets added to the gameboy effect tutorial as well.

    Edit:
    Dither - Side by Side

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    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 10-07-2014 at 09:50 AM.

  5. #5
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    Samaritan
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    This has so much nostalgic charm for me it's not funny. Nice work.

  6. #6
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    Unreal Engine Support
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    WOW! This is awesome Maternal! Brings back a lot of memories. I am going to have to give this a go around immediately. Fantastic work!

  7. #7
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    Infiltrator
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    EXCELLENT WORK!

    Dither was the next thing I wanted to add to my Gameboy tutorial, but got diverted on to other projects.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing your implementation!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bino View Post
    This has so much nostalgic charm for me it's not funny. Nice work.
    Thank you

    Sean Gribbin
    WOW! This is awesome Maternal! Brings back a lot of memories. I am going to have to give this a go around immediately. Fantastic work!
    I hope you will like the game when its finished.

    Alan Noon
    EXCELLENT WORK!

    Dither was the next thing I wanted to add to my Gameboy tutorial, but got diverted on to other projects.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing your implementation!
    Thank you Alan, so its okay to merge it into your tutorial ? This will be awesome :P
    So i have worked on it , and its pretty good for now. It fully works with gradients and with every settings, for now its only for grayscale color information on the scene color material node, but i will update it to be able to render dithering in color.
    I have also build up a prototype of the game, but its very alpha.

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    Greetings ,

    Maternal

  9. #9
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    Hello again,

    i have a problem. I wanted to use the Impostor thing, but it does not work.

    Select the desired buffer targets under Capture Settings; Make sure the High resolution screenshot window is open and the Include buffer visualization option is enabled; Play the game in a New Window, bring up the console using the ~ key and type rendertextures at the console and hit enter.
    rendertextures does nothing.
    So what can i do ?

    Edit: Okay managed to get it working. The tutorial should be updated, because this console command above does not work anymore. I have not much time today, but i will show the workaround soon.

    So why impostors ? I want to test how impostors or even single rendered images can be used to make a 2D or 2.5 D game. While the Gameboy didn´t had this big screen and hardware, i will just reimagine the feel of playing old games.
    For now i will test this out further and decide what looks best for the Rtype demo.

    By the way, Impostors would work great to reproduce this grafics :
    https://www.google.de/search?q=Virtualboy&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=963&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=yHA1VIm0OYW-PYXmgdAC&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ

    Greetings, Maternal

    Maternal
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 10-08-2014 at 02:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Hello again,

    in case you are waiting i planned to work on this project this weekend. It will probably reach "beta". So to bump this thread a little up here is what i have so far
    http://youtu.be/rPHyYpTIWhc
    http://youtu.be/a6s_VE9wN2g

    I will also use Famitracker to make sounds for the game, so it will be very retro. But because i am not a sound artist, it might not be the correct sound for the simulated mashine. I really like the Amiga and Amstrad Music and Sound, so even if you have the Gameboy effect on it will sound like the Amiga/Amstrad unless (!) someone want to jump in and create music or sound for this.
    This would be interesting, because then this would then be a community project/tutorial, and i really like that. What would be a great idea is that you can change the simulated mashine at every time (during pause menu), this would technically be possible by now.

    And after i thought a little about it, i guess i want to release this demo to be full available to the community. But i need then polish it out and rename and name everything correctly this might take some time.
    Greetings,

    Maternal

  11. #11
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    Champion
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    I want to play Rtype remake
    You are using UE4 engine rendering and shaders to have a beautifull image , and you add another process to downgrade the image to gameboy color. Does it makes sense to use so much post process to get simple graphics at final ?
    Last edited by Galeon; 10-11-2014 at 08:16 AM.

  12. #12
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    looks awesome, can't wait to see more man.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galeon View Post
    I want to play Rtype remake
    You are using UE4 engine rendering and shaders to have a beautifull image , and you add another process to downgrade the image to gameboy color. Does it makes sense to use so much post process to get simple graphics at final ?
    Well not so much. Personally i would now draw sprites myself, after i have learned so much through this. But what will be covered and what i try to do is that i render out the final image from the post process and the scene to sprites. So the Unreal engine is used like a Render program for this. It can´t replace an 2D Artist, but it can look good to be happy with it - that is the goal for this. Just to get creative with everything.
    On the other hand, what can look good is a 3D hybrid but then we are close to snes grafics and amiga. It would be possible that it looks like F-Zero even if they are 3D meshes.I also tested out impostors, it has the right look - it looks like the snes mario kart or what they used in Doom.

    Okay, i am ready to work now See you

    Greetings,
    Maternal

  14. #14
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    Hello again, weekend is over (for me ) and i can share the newest WIP with you.

    http://youtu.be/A2vg2hwJ49U

    It was a very experimental work- it didn´t worked as i thought it would. There are a lot more things that would need to be done on another way and in a better way.
    So its somehow a drawback and some development for me. Everything you see here is rendered with to Unreal Engine - to sprite sheets. So with this setup, everything that was produced by the post process is baked into the texture. This is the actual drawback for me, because i wanted to have it more dynamic (change the colors or the bit-rate).

    So i have to take more time to research better solutions, however it is a result for now.
    On the other hand, building real spritesheet blueprints would be much more efficient. I guess this retro postproduction thing will be more for the fun than that its actually a solution to the retro gaming setup.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Maternal

  15. #15
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    Your work here looks so good! Though I have to admit I was hoping to see more of a 3D take on the gameplay due to your first few screenshots.

    Did you still plan to share your dither updates on Alan Noon's original wiki post?

    Hope to see more!

  16. #16
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    Hello @acatalept ,

    @finiteBytes asked about this effect too. I found some spare time and archieved this for now :





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    I am in a hurry so i will share more informations later.
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 05-17-2016 at 06:41 AM.

  17. #17
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    Incredible. Great job.
    Latest Company Showreel
    https://vimeo.com/outpostvfx/spring17

  18. #18
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    Luminary


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    This is pretty neat. I'd love to know how you achieved it

  19. #19
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    Currently adjusting values and shader nodes

    Dither and Pixelization on :


    And off:


  20. #20
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    Okay - i have tested this through alot. I found the best way ( and perhaps the right way also ) to do this. This is from the Feature Demo





    My plans of releasing this is using Gumroad and make it available for 0+ ( so its free but if someone wants to donate its possible )
    Hope thats fair / okay .
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 05-18-2016 at 05:06 AM.

  21. #21
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    Its available ! https://gumroad.com/l/OXpG

    If you take it for free please credit me - Its my first released product ever so please let me now what i have to improve. I am working on the documentation but its easy to use with the standart settings. Just plugin the DitherInstance.material into the blend from your postprocess volume. It can be merged with the 8Bit Pixellize tutorial - i only use gumroad so someone can support my work even if its just 1 dollar so its hosting and donation at the same time.

    Its for 4.11.2

    Greetings, Maternal
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 05-18-2016 at 03:55 PM.

  22. #22

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glutamatkrieger View Post
    Its available ! https://gumroad.com/l/OXpG

    If you take it for free please credit me - Its my first released product ever so please let me now what i have to improve. I am working on the documentation but its easy to use with the standart settings. Just plugin the DitherInstance.material into the blend from your postprocess volume. It can be merged with the 8Bit Pixellize tutorial - i only use gumroad so someone can support my work even if its just 1 dollar so its hosting and donation at the same time.

    Its for 4.11.2

    Greetings, Maternal
    Sorry for bringing this back from the dead, but is there any chance you might update this for 4.13? Or at the very least provide a tutorial? If so I'd gladly contribute / donate to learn.

    Cheers,

    Jonathan

  24. #24
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    yes please make update ir to the newest ue4 version. would love to insert it in my game ;-)

  25. #25
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    Hi, I am working on it. Update should be there soon.

  26. #26
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    Hi, its now ported to Unreal Engine 4.13 and 4.15. However, i decided to place it on Unreal Marketplace once and for all. I thought it was a good idea to release it for 0+ so that people can decide how much they like to spend for this item.A few spend a lot but most spend nothing. Also there was not much feedback given which was needed so that i can improve it. So even if its bought for free i awaited some feedback in return. This was my first public release after all and it was used for measurement. I have no idea or control in which way this postprocess is used since this release. I am so much interested in which games / projects it is used.

    I don´t want so sound bitter, but i can´t keep up fast enough with all the development happening for the Unreal Engine. And i am very nervous before i try to release something. While I am unsure if my work has some value, others will win the race and place their products on the marketplace. So in order to fight this problem i need to push all my work to the marketplace/ to the public so that i am able develop things far further. Even if this is just to build up courage for myself.

    For the ones that bought this asset ( and therefore donated my work), many many thanks. I will send you a very special asset pack and the converted project soon.

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  27. #27
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    Samaritan
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    Hey Glutamatkrieger, just wanted to chime in and say I took a peek at this a long while back, since I'm such a sucker for that retro look. I had intended to use it for a personal project relating to a cyber-punk story, sort of a short to introduce a world that I might build up in my spare time. At any rate, I fully intend to utilize your asset there, especially after having scratched my head a lot trying to figure out how to achieve it. You did a very good job. Keep it up!

  28. #28
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    Hey Derjyn, thanks for your motivating words

    Iam very busy working on this retro filtering project. For me its very important to build an easy to setup and maintain solution. For now you can drag and drop this effect right into any existing scene and then setup the values on the details panels.

    A new effect, mainly used in cutscene rendering for old games like War Wind 2 and Command and Conquer is the newest filtering option.

    Reference Material : https://youtu.be/QMER7bHye90

    Quick screenshot with demo scene inside the pack :

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    The next days its all about the documentation part and bug fixing. I have never created a documentation on this project but this is the most important part. You can easily create all kind of effects so this needs to be explained in detail.

    Cheers,

    Mathias

  29. #29
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    Hi, iam getting closer to the final product. But its so much to do for now. There are problems with brightness so that is the biggest task for now.

    Screenshot update

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    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 02-22-2017 at 09:45 AM.

  30. #30
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    I am getting closer to the finish line! ( And another work in progress screenshot)

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  31. #31
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    Samaritan
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    That last one is awesome...

    You mentioned brightness issues, which made me think of something. Are your running this in 4.15? Just curious, because if you are fine tuning colors and brightness, you'll probably want to hop into 4.15 to make sure it looks good against the default tonemapper. Sure, you can set the filmic tonemapper off, but I personally feel it looks good and it's better to work with it, than against it :P

    Anyhow, looking good, keep it up!

  32. #32
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    Thanks Derjyn

    Edit for @Derjyn : Jeah its used with 4.15. And the brightness problem is fixed and you the brightness from the tonemapper / eye adaptation can be changed to nearly fixed values.

    The polishing and documentation part is the most time consuming thing right now. Its crazy, trust me. But that makes a huge impact on how this effect can be used. This Post Process can be used in conjunction with Post Process Volumes and it even saves and reads Templates!

    That´s so convenient. Its a simple trick with the construction script but that will make you soooo happy, i promise. It reads and writes values from the Retro Rendering Postprocess and from the Post Process Volume. But this is just a service, you can also use this Post Process Materials within the regular workflow. Its all blueprint stuff no c++ code.

    The reason why this is still filed under this Retro Game thread is that it will be used in my own projects. This makes sure, that there is a use for it in a real content creation workflow. It doesn't replace real pixel art but it can be used to render out Art assets that have a specific look. Combined with a render blueprint, this can be used to create isometric art like seen in many old isometric games. I don´t know if this can be applied to this sidescroller game type yet so that needs to be tested.

    There is also another reason why i really like using Unreal Engine for rendering instead of non real time rendering, and that is the openness of the art creation workflow. You can use every program to make 3D Models for the Unreal engine and than render out your asset with this Retro Effect applied with so much customization on effects and on materials in real time. No need to to use any other Render engine if you can have PBR rendering in realtime for this task. This will be a very creative workflow and i can hardly wait to use it for my own projects.

    And for all who downloaded or bought my Gumroad version, this pack is now a much more polished and fixed version. Its not comparable anymore.
    One more Teaser on how this can be used for retro looking cutscenes :


    Cheers,

    Mathias
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 02-25-2017 at 12:09 PM.

  33. #33
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    Thanks for keeping this up to date! Wish I could see more examples of what others are doing with this, but I'm just as guilty... I found it very easy to use, but since it was your Infiltrator screenshot that sold me on the plugin, right after buying it from Gumroad, I downloaded the latest Infiltrator, added the plugin, and did a complete flythrough of the level, letting my imagination wander with all the retro cyberpunk possibilities. I proceeded to try the plugin in several of the other Epic example projects, as well as all of my own current ones at the time, and it worked flawlessly and looked great in every case. So in my case at least, not sure I could give you any constructive feedback aside from: job well done!

    Not sure when I'll have a finished project that might include this, but I'll very definitely give you credit. Hope to see more of your creative work using this effect!

  34. #34
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    Not sure when I'll have a finished project that might include this, but I'll very definitely give you credit. Hope to see more of your creative work using this effect!
    It felt very close to be done two days ago. But then i did some in depth field test and it didn´t work as flawless as i wanted it to be. Beside that, i am currently very occupied inside a half time job.
    The current state feels actually very polished. The Visuals are good, the implementation is easier then before and it is easier to use in regular workflows. The newest step was to combine the Postprocess Volume with this Effect so that it doesn´t break any standard workflow. This actor injects into any referenced Volume and writes and reads values from it. So that is a bonus feature inside the package which i hope it feels as much convenient to use for you as it does to me. I have to admit though, it is some kind of overthinking. There is a risk that this feature wasn´t needed in the first place. I really want to finish it as fast as i can or my own desire of reaching perfection might cause me alot of more unnecessary pain and wasted time.

    The most interesting feature is to change the dither Methods. I don´t like to use standart routines, so i found 4 artistic interesting methods.
    The newest one looks very good for 12+ Color Steps and the second one is a very harsh method to simulate old 4+ color steps which looks perfect with desaturation or single color effects.

    Like always, another work in progress screenshot with the newest method :



    Cheers,

    Mathias
    Last edited by Glutamatkrieger; 02-28-2017 at 08:08 PM.

  35. #35
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    Hi, I have to delay the development for a week. Iam assigned to a full time job and my part time job. However, Iam working on it whenever I can. The post process template thing was too much work - that really blew up the whole thing. It worked, but it wasn´t stable enough. So this feature is thrown out and i am back to basic again. The dither detection reached a very stable and polished state as shown in this picture :

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    While this is close to be final enough but there are a few things needed to be done. I hope you have patience left for the next update (i guess there will be two updates left to show before the official release)

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