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How to achieve a Nintendo Wii -Wiiu feeling with UE4 Materials and baked Lighting?

Hi, I will try to resume my question. We are making a 2.5d sidescroller game Kitty Cat Land.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ToUGalu7_tw

long story short we have tried different combinations of materials, lighting ( we are using baked only) to try to get a feeling like nintendo games as

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-q6WAgBNJ8
or Kirby

We have tried using NPR material but we can not achieve the same look.

https://forums.unrealengine.com/international/japan/60160-アンリアルエンジン4でノンフォトリアル描画しよう!?88581=

When we try to look most time points out to this thread or Cel Shading that is not what are looking for.

I check every video and sometimes i suspect that they are using unlit materials and fake shadows but some scenarios look shaded so i am really lost.There could be so many variables that i don’t know where is our problem or where begin.

Hey.

I’m not sure there is anything very special going on in the videos you’ve shown. The look is quite old school…in a bad way (to my eyes at least).

Regardless of taste, what I see there looks like 5 factors.

  1. Nicely painted diffuse/color/albiedo textures that include baked in lighting.
  2. No spec/gloss/reflection in shader.
  3. Subtle fresnel/edge lighting.
  4. Fairly bright lighting that doesn’t let the shadows get too dark (It’s possible there is a small amount of diffuse going into the emissive to soften shadows).
  5. A lot of older games used vertex lighting where you set it up in Max/Maya then bake lighting directly to each mesh’s vertices. On “Burn Zombie Burn!” we used it extensively for level lighting and AO bakes of props.

Hope that’s of some use - all the best.
D

HI Thank you for the response!
we are modeling in Maya and painting textures in photoshop. All the things that you have mentioned are made in substance? except the 5 of course

The materials and lighting are not really the issues. Mario Kart 8 has reflections, fresnel, metals, and appears to be much more physically based than their other games, but it still looks like a Nintendo game.

The problem is with the assets themselves. Assets from Nintendo games are skewed, funky, colorful, bright. Your’s looks flat, ridged, dull, repetitive.

How can we solve those problems without balancing performance?

Hi InMind!

We followed your advice so in substance we used Baked Lighting in the texture.

then we connected the baked texture to the emissive input. Nor Roughness Metallic and Specular =0. Material Unit.(Left). The right is the same texture non baked in a NPR material.

This is new to me. I didn’t know that you could bake shadows in textures but looks like it is better.

About the environment meshes, should i bake textures using the same process? or should i used baked lighting for characters and build Lighting in Ue4 for static meshes UV?

Looking something like this

The details for the flowers we are using a procedural blueprint that changes the material of the flowers when we extrude the floor in editor. Flowers are meshes included in the platform that contain the material. It is the cheaper version of Houdini I guess.

About the dots and put details like texture of fruits on trees we have two choices. Or using a layered material or meshes that could have a materials with fruits.
According to docs layered materials are expensive, but a tree with a lot of material for the fruits is expensive too so we are going to try what works better.

I would say that you are close to the result you’re looking for. You need some color correction treatment though. Maybe changing your filter type and even reducing your texture and resolution sizes depending on what platform you’re aiming for. The background that you see is pretty much flat painted boards. So my guess, as I said; color correction to srgb and apply your custom gamma to textures.
Considering that you don’t want as much AO and shadow in the scene, as in Kirby. You might also want to calculate your own shadow solver. Capsules do a pretty great job for Nintendo, right? :stuck_out_tongue:

To be honest, it’s not really any special trick or anything, it’s just really good art directing on the Nintendo projects. There’s a lot of special attention that goes into style guides, color palettes, and hand made art for those games. I have colleagues that work for Nintendo and they’re amazing artists; they are very picky about hiring and only hire artists that can meet their distinct art styles.
I think sometimes when you’re on the outside it’s easy to get into a train of thought where you’re trying to figure out “the secret sauce”, but there really isn’t- it’s just really talented folks under really skilled art direction, doing what they do best.

I understand what do you mean. We are a new and a small company and Most of our learning comes from different sources on Internet. That is why we are exposing our work from the point of view of “we dont know”.
So i believe that the secret sauce is simply to analize games and ask to the experts. In this case you guys!
In this single thread we have learned a lot like that you can cook lighting in textures, srgb and more.
My point is when you say “this looks bad to my eyes.you should work most in …” that help us a lot and we are grateful for it!

This polycount thread is probably going to be a huge help. Really it comes down to just really good art direction and hand painted textures though, since systems like the Wii didn’t have a ton of horsepower behind them. A lot of the tricks used in those games aren’t really relevant in Unreal. Things that may help get you going in the direction of something newer like Super Mario Odyssey would be really pumping up fresnel and getting a lot of high contrast color, but at a certain point it’s really not about tech and just the artistic execution.

Great thanks!we were checking the whole thread and page. There is a lot of useful information.
we are going to work harder and as soon as we can we will share new images son you can give us feedback if you can.
thank you!

Hi Again, we have been following your advices.
Now we have been achieved some things i would like to share.
First we are using baked textures in most of our models. And because of it he are using mostly unlit materials. This have increased the performance of our game on mobile devices and solved the shadow problem of using unlit models.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weNiXQ-EajU

We are using No lights at all (no skylight no directional light) and the most we are trying to implement fake directional lights using materials with Material collections and a blueprint actor that changes the color based on the Normal dot forward vector of the fake light controller.
It doesn’t work so well but looks like is the right address.

Our problem is that in the scene of the video the plains have instanced meshes using foliage. When we use it in mobile the game slows down. I have checked it and in the base pass appears Dynamic with the higher count (slate is the ui for the controls on screen)

Is this normal?

Besides the extreme green any opinions or advice?

I would love to do fangame with Sonic the Hedgehog like Super Mario Odyssey,but within 3D graphics and 2D level sections(such gameplay fusion)with exception of 16-bit sega mega drive/genesis songs(original sonic 1 sprites-running and jumping fast),including boss fights with Zeti,unlockable Station Square,spinning animations similar to Sonic Adventure gameplay mechanics,collecting something similar to emblems,costumes changing…etc.as unlockable level map instead of nes songs and 8-bit pixelart sprites(jumping a lot) boss fights with Broodals,making sommersalts animations similar to Super Mario 64…etc. But how can I do such a Sonic fangame?