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Thread: [TUTORIALS] Photons Be Free: Mini-tutorials and other curiosities

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hobson View Post
    Lighting is definitely something I would like to dedicate more time to do for any tutorials or discussions, but I've not had the time as of late to really get anything out there.

    As far as Light Functions go, this is just a gray-scale material that is applied to your light. Not exactly sure what the usage would be to make it appear as multiple lights. If you could clarify with an example or some more in-depth explanation I can possibly help.
    A very good example of that would be car headlights. So instead of placing two spotlights, maybe it's possible to just use one spotlight with the light function, and it appears as if we are using two spotlights.

  2. #82
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    Hi Tim,

    I'm running into a bit of a bottleneck issue. I was hitting the cap of 2000, and so tried to introduce further depth levels to my destructable mesh.
    Initially, I used a fracture map to fracture a wall in to large chunks which outline some of the stones in my stone pattern. I end up with say 20 islands. I then have to add those to a fracture group to enable me to voronoi fracture those islands into smaller groups. My plan is that when extended structures are enabled and a dm takes damage, it will limit the number of awake chunks. The problem is, if I try to import any physx object which has used fracture groups, the editor crashes.

    Is there anything I can do about this?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFoolsGuild View Post
    The problem is, if I try to import any physx object which has used fracture groups, the editor crashes.

    Is there anything I can do about this?
    If you're getting a crash it's best to make a post on the AnswerHub. You can see more information in my signature for this.

    I'm not aware of any fracture group issues, but then again, I've not really used it so I can't say for certain. Make the AH post with steps to reproduce, include your call stack along with the Machine ID and Epic ID and I'll assign myself once it's in.

    My plan is that when extended structures are enabled and a dm takes damage, it will limit the number of awake chunks
    Whether the chunk is awake or sleeping it will still be a bottleneck for performance, thus why there is the limit of 2000 chunks per scene. When the fracture mesh is loaded it will load all the chunks and collision bodies, whether the chunk has broken free or not. You can use PXVIS Collision console command to view these collision hulls.
    Last edited by Tim Hobson; 12-14-2015 at 11:02 AM.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  4. #84
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    Hi Tim. Thank you so much for the indepth tutorials and tidbits of information. It's so much user friendly then the standard documentation you have no idea how much this is appreciated. Thank you, really....

  5. #85
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    Many Thanks for the quick reply, Tim. Typically, it seemed to be a physx version issue. We updated the latest binaries, and I seem to be able to get everything importing now.

    Thanks also for the insight on the bottleneck. So, if a dm has a 0-solid, 1-islands, 2-brick chunks, and I damage that, and in doing so the damage radius causes neighbouring dms to wake, each one of those will wake as a depth 2, effectively?

    Also, have you had much luck with fracture maps? I've managed to get my level 1 chunks to break nicely, but afaik there's no way to run a separate fracture for deeper levels.

    Best wishes ( and great tutorials vids, btw),

    Jack.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFoolsGuild View Post
    So, if a dm has a 0-solid, 1-islands, 2-brick chunks, and I damage that, and in doing so the damage radius causes neighbouring dms to wake, each one of those will wake as a depth 2, effectively?

    Yes, If the DM any of the levels has received enough damage to fracture any part of that depth it will go ahead and break the chunk off and even though the others appear to be a single solid piece they will already switch to that depth.

    So your example is spot on. Think about it as just switching out the mesh to another one when enough damage has been received. On the Trello board for the UE4 Road map there is a Wishlist/Backlog item for dynamic fracturing that may allow something like this. Hopefully one day that can be worked on and added.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFoolsGuild View Post
    Also, have you had much luck with fracture maps? I've managed to get my level 1 chunks to break nicely, but afaik there's no way to run a separate fracture for deeper levels.
    I've not really used them, but I did a quick test in PhysXLabs and I'm able to use a Fracture Map with the base mesh and get Depth 1. Then it will dump back to Slice mode. I'm not sure you can use more than one fracture map or use the voronoi method on any of the fracture groups for other depths. This is my initial reaction while doing simple tests. There could be something else there that I'm missing, but I'm not 100% sure since I've not used this part of PXL extensively.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  7. #87
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    Occlusion Culling Overview now available to stream on YouTube.

    Someone had requested this from my old Twitch stream that was expired.

    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  8. #88
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    Lighting Sample: Simple Backlighting

    PROJECT DOWNLOAD LINK


    This is two simple examples of Backlighting for a Logo Mesh against a wall. This method can be used for different types of meshes.

    Method 1: This uses a Static mesh that has no backface with static lights recessed inside the mesh. The lights use a low radius and low light intensity. Because the lights are static there isn't any real overhead for using so many to get a nice backlit glow around the mesh against the wall.

    Name:  BL_StaticLights.png
Views: 1525
Size:  404.1 KB


    Method 2: This uses Emissive Static lighting to generate static lighting from the emissive color of the material. For this one, I used the same mesh as before, except it was capped on the back to close the mesh. I used two materials on this asset. The base color on the front for the text, and the back is using the emissive color that is multiplied by a scalar value. This scalar value determines how bright the emissive color will be and ultimately how bright it will be when you build lighting.

    In order to use Emissive static lighting you will need to select the mesh in your scene, then in the Details panel you can enable the option "Use Emissive for Static Lighting." Then when you rebuild the lighting you should see the results. If you notice any artifacts or blockiness with the emissive static lighting you will need to increase the Lightmap Resolution of the mesh the light is being cast onto, in this project, the back walls lightmap resolution was raised.

    Name:  BL_EmissiveStatic.png
Views: 1531
Size:  462.3 KB


    There's really nothing special about this project, but since it was created for another user and is probably something someone else may like to use or test in their own project, it's here for all interested parties.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  9. #89
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    Hello Tim.

    i ran into a small problem using DM's in our maps: Once i destroyed all chunks - and nothing visible is left,
    the DM is still active in the World Outliner and got some random left-over collisions.

    It prevents a player from digging a tunnel and just flying through because the invisible DM collisions stops it.
    Any idea how to destroy the actor, once all chunks are gone?


    Best,
    Tobias
    Last edited by Kajisan; 02-14-2016 at 01:55 PM.
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    Tobias Löffler
    Senior 3D Artist
    Descendent Studios

  10. #90
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    Hey Tobias,

    I saw your post on the AnswerHub here: https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/375873/destructibleactor-leftovers.html

    I've assigned myself to look into, hopefully, at some point this week.

    Tim
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  11. #91
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    Hi Tim, that's awesome!! Yeah no rush, just if you get time for it.
    Last edited by Kajisan; 02-16-2016 at 02:11 PM.
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    Tobias Löffler
    Senior 3D Artist
    Descendent Studios

  12. #92
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    Useful Software: Path Length Checker

    So, I've recently been doing a lot more packaging for some test projects and knowing the length of the file path cannot exceed 165 characters while cooking the build I have had to clean up a few things in my process. In an effort to see where my problem files were without having to dig into logs from the cook I found this little diddy of a program that is FREE and simple to use! It can be a real time saver if you need!

    Path Length Checker

    Name:  Path Length Checker.png
Views: 1392
Size:  95.1 KB
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  13. #93
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    Distance Field How-To's

    Basic how-to's to help you setup and use Mesh Distance Fields with your project. Includes break down of settings and some helpful console variables.

    Distance Field How-To's:
    1. How to Enable Mesh Distance Fields for your project.
    2. How to use Distance Field Ambient Occlusion
    3. How to use Distance Field Soft Shadows
    4. How to use Distance Fields for Particle Collision
    5. How to use Distance Field Global Illumination


    Culling: Precomputed Visibility Volume

    This techinical page will cover the use of Precomputed Visibility Volumes and various stats and settings to make them work well in your scenes.

    Precomputed Visibility Culling



    Destructible Settings Showcase

    Name:  dmshowcase.png
Views: 1277
Size:  343.8 KB

    This is a standalone project that is in the vein of Content Examples with it's setup. This project covers all the available settings from the Destrucitble Mesh Editor in (hopefully) a clear and concise manner.

    You can find out more about it on my site below and download the project.

    Destructible Settings Showcase
    Last edited by Tim Hobson; 03-29-2016 at 02:30 PM.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  14. #94
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    I've been adding some Tutorials and Setup pages to my personal site over here at TimHobsonUE4.snappages.com if anyone is interested.

    Latest additions are:

    Reflection Capture's new features for 4.12
    - Increased Texture Resolution for Cubemaps of Reflection Captures
    - Cubemap Offset Values
    - Custom Cubemap assignment for Reflection Captures

    Lighting Channels (New Feature in 4.11)
    - Covers basic setup and general practices with using these

    Capsule Shadows (New Feature in 4.11)
    - Covers setup and adjustment of settings
    - Comparison of Console Variable settings to adjust the look of your Capsule Shadows

    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 for the latest updates and if you have any requests within my area of expertise I'm happy to add it to the list.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  15. #95
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    Hey Tim, great tutorials!<br><br>can you explain why only the Apply Radius Damage BP node seems to work, while the Apply Damage node does nothing? Does it require some specific setup to work? <br><br>Also I have noticed that setting fracture Chunk limits only works in APEX lab but not in UE4 (at least not for apex lab meshes), also reimporting destructible meshes still crashes the Engine most of the time (4.12).

  16. #96
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    Was watching Star Trek voyager during a lighting build, and, oh how life imitates art

  17. #97
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    Hey Tim,

    Question for you...if I have a tree mesh that I want to be destructible but i only want the lower third to fracture and have the upper two thirds be just one solid chunk...is that possible?

    The reason I want the top to be just one chunk is that I want to make the bottom have as many small chunks as possible so I want to focus to detailed small chunks to the very bottom of the tree...

    Thanks in advance!

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizly32 View Post
    Hey Tim,

    Question for you...if I have a tree mesh that I want to be destructible but i only want the lower third to fracture and have the upper two thirds be just one solid chunk...is that possible?

    The reason I want the top to be just one chunk is that I want to make the bottom have as many small chunks as possible so I want to focus to detailed small chunks to the very bottom of the tree...

    Thanks in advance!
    In this instance Destructible Meshes would not be the best path to persue. For something like a tree where you want a very specific set of things to happen when you cut the tree down this system won't give the best results for that, especially if you're just using the in-editor Destructible Mesh Editor since you only get a single depth of destruction.

    For something like this I would actually set up all the individual fractures of the mesh as their own separate mesh and import those into UE4. I would then use Blueprint to control how the fracture through some logic and swap out the meshes as needed. My description is kind of vague, but it's really the best route when you need that kind of control and especially dealing with foliage of any sort. The DM system in UE4 works really well for hard surface kinds of materials where a fracture looks more natural. When using wood you don't get the splintering effect that would look more natural unless using PhysX Labs, but even still the setup you're looking for wouldn't look natural.
    Tim Hobson | Learning Resources | Epic Games
    UE4 Documentation
    Wiki Troubleshooting Guides: Lighting | Swarm Agent | Destructibles |
    _____________________________________________
    Follow me on Twitter @TimHobsonUE4 | My Personal Website
    Photons Be Free: Mini-Tutorials and other Curiosities

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hobson View Post
    In this instance Destructible Meshes would not be the best path to persue. For something like a tree where you want a very specific set of things to happen when you cut the tree down this system won't give the best results for that, especially if you're just using the in-editor Destructible Mesh Editor since you only get a single depth of destruction.

    For something like this I would actually set up all the individual fractures of the mesh as their own separate mesh and import those into UE4. I would then use Blueprint to control how the fracture through some logic and swap out the meshes as needed. My description is kind of vague, but it's really the best route when you need that kind of control and especially dealing with foliage of any sort. The DM system in UE4 works really well for hard surface kinds of materials where a fracture looks more natural. When using wood you don't get the splintering effect that would look more natural unless using PhysX Labs, but even still the setup you're looking for wouldn't look natural.
    Gotcha, I actually started with a few swapped out meshes but then thought about using DMs instead...guess I will stick with the mesh swap

    Thanks for the help!!

  20. #100
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    I have a few question how can i control how fast or slow this day/night changes. Plus could you make some kind of clock connection with day/night cycle and make it smart too so if i changed how fast the day/night cycle the clock will follow the time? Also if i were to press a button near the clock i can choose the time on it and it would set the time in the game?

  21. #101
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    hey there
    how do you make and export LODs for an animated object
    as a test i made a sphere and several LODs and attached them to a node that simply spins 360
    but just exporting from max explodes and crashes out every single time
    is there some extra step ?

    cheers

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