Engine Features Preview 5/29/2015

If you take that cloud/fog one step further, you could have it piling up accurately like this,


Thank you Captain.

How so? I thought Distance Fields didn’t even work in VR.

I wish I understood at least 25% of what was said and how these features work. Can anyone suggest background readings to understand the type of features explained here.

Amazing updates !

Only available via GitHub for the moment. They will be in 4.9 once that releases.

Am I correct in assuming that the new distanceto-nodes could be used to make materials like Vray Dirt? That is, a material that automatically puts grunge in crevices, sharp corners etc. Really nice new features all around.

All the awesomeness listed, and I think my favorite thing is the MultiplyBaseColor :slight_smile:

I have not thought about such method, but sounds like a great idea.
You could mask “AO” part with DF node in a first “pass”, then mask with another texture to add variation and apply another material to the final mask.
I don’t want to build 4rd copy of UE4 , but eh… Time to experiment!

very cool!

New features and improvments.
Thank you Epic :smiley:



The only down side is I/we have to wait until 4.9 (unless we compile from master on GitHub ;)).

We are actually working on a project at the moment which will be making use of 4.8’s large world improvements to build a decent sized city and due to its location we need a lot of snow simulation, which some of these features mentioned above should help with the realism of that rather nicely :smiley:

Awesome feature set guys, let it snow :slight_smile:

These changes for me EXTREMELY excited to use for Switch! The distance to nearest surface is something for translucent only I assume? Since you would otherwise always return your own surface as nearest, right? I have so many ideas that I want to try out, especially to replace the scenedepth trick to create outline highlights on colliding surfaces, this would be much nicer with DF as it doesn’t rely on the scenedepth which is incomplete from certain angles.

Awesome works guys! I’m super impressed with how far Distance Field has come!

Distance to nearest surface takes in a position, so you can sample it at any position, not just your WorldPosition. For example, sampling at WorldPosition+Normal*TestDistance and getting a value < TestDistance means you’re not the closest surface to that point.

[Edit] Well, in an ideal world that’s what it would mean, but of course the distance fields are only an approximation of world geometry, so take results with a grain of salt.

Michael Noland

Nice, looking forward to trying that node!!

So the new preview update is what it’s saying I have an update in my library but nothing is showing up as update? Also cool features.

Dynamic lighting in general is not a good fit for VR - you need GPU time to be as low as possible.

If you sample it on the surface of a shadow casting object, you will get more or less 0 (the distance field is fairly low res so there’s error). However if you disable bAffectsDistanceFieldLighting on that mesh, you will get the distance to other casters, regardless of whether the material is opaque or translucent. So in general, it’s most useful on translucent surfaces as they weren’t going to affect distance field lighting anyway.

The only problem with this is the low res nature of the global distance field. You can do fadeouts over a few meters, but not over a few centimeters.

In tests in larger maps I’ve noticed that using the distance field particle collision for snow will show some artifacts - the distance field is low res and rounds out corners, so often the snow will fall through instead of sitting above the surface. We might be able to improve this in the future as there are much higher resolution per-object distance fields that can be used.

“Preview engine features” posts like this one are are news of things checked into the main branch in the past week, not the release branch. The 4.8 preview 4 does not contain any of these features, they will be in 4.9. I admit that using the term preview in both contexts to mean different things can be a bit confusing.

Michael Noland

I think what he’s tried to say is that we got an update for the launcher today. My launcher, like his is saying that there is an update to some item in my unreal engine library. Well, I have no idea what it’s talking about since I can’t find anything that’s been updated except Unreal Tournaments editor!