We’re excited to announce that starting today all Unreal Engine 4 subscribers can download free from the Marketplace the new Stylized demo content. Created by Epic senior environment artist Kendall Tucker, this Stylized demo showcases a colorful hand-painted, illustrated environment reminiscent of classic cartoons.
“When I first started on this project, I did some research,” explains Tucker. “I was instantly attracted to the hand painted backgrounds of cartoons such as Yogi the Bear, The Flintstones, Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner, and Ren & Stimpy.”
Tucker began to notice that certain key patterns emerged that defined the hand-drawn style, including the rough individual brush strokes of the grass, the simple faded silhouettes of the background, and the squiggly lines drawn over the foliage. All of these elements, he explains, contributed to the overall softness, warmth, and feelings of happiness these works invoked.
In the Stylized demo, nearly every surface has been created to bring that same classic hand-illustrated look to life. The grass, stone, leaves, and stippled tree trunks all use a mask texture that resembles brush strokes on canvas, while the unlit cloud meshes are actually “lit” with a Material Parameter Collection that uses multiple vectors for the fake lighting direction.
“The thing that really pulls this style all together is the Post Process Blendable materials, “says Tucker. “To put it in a simplified way; the inked-style outline drawn over some objects is created by sampling the scene depth multiple times and slightly offsetting each one in different directions. You then compare the offset scene depth to the original depth, and you get the "outlines.”
A second post process effect with a blendable material draws last, adding a rough paper texture over the entire scene. The edges of the screen are masked out to make it look as though the scene has been painted on actual paper. The end result is a lot of fun.
We’d love to hear what you think so please be sure to let us know below!
UPDATE: This sample project and many others now exist in the "Learn" tab.