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Cloudscape Seasons - v1.2d

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    #16
    Looks lovely! Will you make it available on itchio or other places besides MP? As it might take a while.
    Youtube Channel

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      #17
      Originally posted by BoredEngineer View Post
      Looks lovely! Will you make it available on itchio or other places besides MP? As it might take a while.
      The MP process has just changed... Im going to give a two week wait on the release, otherwise I will might try Gumroad for selling.
      Nilson Lima
      Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
      Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

      UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
      supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

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        #18
        It is submitted for MP approval.

        Check first post and for the documentation link released as a video with tech details and hands on here:
        Last edited by NilsonLima; 02-07-2018, 02:11 PM.
        Nilson Lima
        Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
        Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

        UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
        supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

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          #19
          Not released yet by the MP, but I'm already cooking the next release with few extra features, more materials, ready to use cloud types modeled, more demo maps, a complete scene with terrain, trees, grass and few assets, and even a cloud in a heart shape to show the strength and artistic orientation this package provides. Stay tunned for new screenshots and videos.
          Nilson Lima
          Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
          Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

          UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
          supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

          Comment


            #20
            Hey, thank you for your indepth reply, that's very interesting. And I just saw your last video you posted, the clouds look so much better and much more realistic already. I am really looking forward to this, since I am disappointed by all the other cloud packs so far. (:

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              #21
              I had to update the package today for the reviewing crew at MP and already applied some changes and improvements into it, mostly appointed from a company testing it already. Hope you guys enjoyed. I will try to post a more complete video on how to model clouds that actually canonically dont exist, but you keep seem into games, cartoons and anime...

              for now I have created this small video (coff 10min >.<) showing some variations you can easily achieve just with parameters you can drive anytime:


              spacegojira, thanks for the interest, I hope I can achieve even better results in the next updates to the product.
              Last edited by NilsonLima; 02-07-2018, 02:11 PM.
              Nilson Lima
              Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
              Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

              UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
              supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

              Comment


                #22
                Update:

                the package is under final revision at MP, but I have to sent with low quality Moon textures (hand painted) because of issues with authoring rights on the original ones. Im going to privide an update on this soon, since Im going after another set of textures. Also, I have to send the Maps with low settings, because there is a sort of performance goal for demo maps, and all you need to do is to increase RayMarchSteps parameter in steps of 8 each time until the performance is ok for your target environment and also increase Coverage values and Density values to increase the cloud population and volume. The real performance you will not see while inside editor, you need to run the map as Standalone Game and keep the editor with viewport setting Realtime turned off.
                Nilson Lima
                Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                Comment


                  #23
                  FAQ:


                  Q: I added the package to my project and when I put the BP_CloudscapeSeasons into my level I see no clouds, why is that?
                  A: Try first open any demo level inside the Maps folder and wait for the shaders to compile for the 1st time (it may take a while since there are lots of them (~5-8min)). After that you will be able to see clouds when you place the blueprint and follow the tech details video to know which parameters you need to set in order to see the clouds with correct appearance since they depends on at least one directional light to act as Sun and also needs information regarding wind that you can set with BP_WindSeasons and set them inside BP_CloudscapeSeasons. As of v.1.1, whenever you open your project in editor, you need to click on the Update checkbox in order to be able to see the clouds, or just click on the Play button in the editor interface.

                  Q: How to decrease the turbulence at clouds?
                  A: Four different things are related to turbulence. One is wind strength at BP_WindSeasons you are using at the layer, which if increased influence in the turbulence movement along with cloud displacement over x and y axis. Second is Turbulence Amount at BP_CloudscapeSeasons which increase the amount of turbulence (how much crispy) you can see at clouds. Third is the Turbulence Minimum Density near Turbulence Amount, which is responsible to show the turbulence effect at certain densities of you cloud, so a 1 value will make all areas of your clouds crispy while lower values will move the crispyness to the edges where the density is lower. Fourth is Cloud Wind Turbulence Influence, which reduces the influence of the wind on the turbulence, so default value is 1, a value lower will make the turbulence speed reduce as the wind would be reduced, but does not affect the cloud displacement over x and y axis.

                  Q: How to decrease the size of the turbulence?
                  A: You will need to change the material instance (or create another copy preferebly) MI_2DTexture01 and decrease the value for Curl_1stOctaveScale. Even the smallest changes brings great results, the default at the instance is 0.05 and you should try 0.025 or 0.0125 and check the differences. The value for Curl_2ndOctaveScale refers to the 1st one, and its default value at the instance is 0.25 which means 0.25 * Curl_1stOctaveScale. Also, to improve performance, the main material is rendered with just half the cube, but this causes the system to cut in half the height of the modeled clouds. That said, you can change the value for Mesh Vertical Position Adjustment from 0.5 to 0. This will cause the cube to have its bottom aligned with landscape and use the full cloud heights.

                  Q: How to decrease the shadow strength below the clouds?
                  A: The 1st and foremost important element contributing to the strength is the cloud density. You always want to model your cloudscape to a reference, so 1st thing would choose which type of clouds (you can check the video of technical details where I explain each type of clouds) you want to model, second is to increase the density for the cloud layer and the overall density until you have a balance of darkness areas below the cloud. After this if it is still too dark, you will play with Cloud Self Shadow Density, lower the value untill it get the look you want, but a value of 0 will make your cloud plain white and without any shadow! The parameter Cloud Self Shadow Distance will displace the position of this shadow moving from the cloud's edge to the cloud's bottom as a falloff effect. Sometimes it is not what you want play with the darkness but instead you should try play with Cloud Extinction Color, which will give the desired color to the shadow gradient and you would also play with Sky Color For Ambient Lighting, to give the areas where there is no shadows the color for the environment, for example: noon would be blueish, while at sunset would go orange or red or even pink color.

                  Q: Which parameters should I care for performance settings?
                  A: The main material which uses raymarching to form the clouds does three things: determine which point there will have density or not, apply a texture to give the cloud shape and work with shadow and color for that density. To search for density there is a loop inside the material which is based on the Ray March Steps parameter (default is 128) and this means that for each pixel in the display area we will have 128 iterations. To sample the shadows, there is another parameter which creates a loop inside the previous loop, and it is Cloud Self Shadow Steps (default is 6), so this means that for each pixel in the display area we will have 128 iterations * 6 iterations. Increasing any of these values at certain point greatly improves the smooth and details for the clouds. You will need to play with these two when planning your scene and when defining the Low-end, Mid-end and High-end settings for your game and to provide the end-user the equipment requirements to play the game smoothly. Actually, low-end machines will not be able to make use of this package, because they would lack enough GPU memory 1st. Mid-end machines will be able to play with the lowest settings at 45-60 FPS (RayMarchSteps=128 and ShadowSteps=6) and high-end machines with higher settings will be able to play at 60+ FPS (RayMarchSteps=256 and ShadowSteps=10). Im not sure which framerate a high-end dual-gpu would produce. If your game have flying capabilities, when you are gaing altitude you need to increase the RayMarchSteps to improve quality (this does not affect performance because most of your cloudscape are culled off while inside the clouds, and if you are flying above cruiser speed you might need to set Jitter parameter to 1 to reduce artifacts, changing it back to 0 when speed goes slow again. Few high altitude clouds will cost more than lots of low altitude clouds, because when density reaches 1 I just dont care evaluating the further distance from the point where density reached 1... making evaluation during the step leaving faster.

                  Q: Is there a way to extract a bit more of performance from the package without reducing the amount of clouds and their shadowing/colors?
                  A: Yes, but this might cause loss of definition or give aliasing into the scene. You can set SeparateTranslucencyScreenPercentage to a lower value if your scene does not use too many transparent materials (the cloudscape already is), the default value is 100 and from our experimentation this value can go as low as 50 with almost unnoticiable aliasing at Full HD resolution, but I think that if the intention is to make the solution work for mid to low-end machines with at least 4GB RAM at GPU, that would do it. Another parameter, but this one is hardly as good as the previous one, which works similarly, is the ScreenPercentage, with its default value at 100 and from our experimentation this value can go as low as 75 to avoid aliasing issues. This one is recommended if you are using a lot of transparent materials and its effect hits all materials regarding their type. All the values does not take into account the use of postprocessing effects, which might require different settings or maybe even not allow the changes at these parameters.

                  Q: Can I use the package with mobile?
                  A: Since the mobile has a very small area for display, it might be possible to achieve good performance, but besides flying simulators, it is hard to imagine a mobile game making good use for this solution, as most of great titles for Android offer an isometric view from the top, so, no clouds can be seen. Tests on emulators are working fine, but on real devices are showing high temperature generated when playing with too many clouds and high raymarch counting.

                  Q: Can I use the package with Playstation or XBoxOne?
                  A: We didn't test the shaders with these two platforms still. There is nothing up to our knowledge that tell us it will not work. We are lacking the developer kits on both platforms to acomplish an in-depth test, including performance tweaks. Try to reach us and we might cut a deal if it is the case you want to test it. Im not sure you can buy it knowing that it not recommended for these platforms still and ask for refund based on MP policies, so by any means send me a private message if you want to try before buy.

                  Q: Can the package work for versions previous 4.17?
                  A: We can provide, for an extra-cost, the package working for versions 4.16, 4.15, 4.14 and 4.13. The package should be recriated in those versions, because copying the files just don't work. Our opinion about it though, is that you should try to use it from 4.17 and above since some engine fixes reduced memory overhead, garbage collection, and errors with Render Targets that produced crashes in the editor for those versions. You can replicate all materials and blueprints yourself at previous versions if you don't want the extra-cost, but that will not work for versions previous 4.13.
                  Last edited by NilsonLima; 05-10-2018, 12:24 PM.
                  Nilson Lima
                  Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                  Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                  UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                  supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Q: Is it possible to add lighting effects that will ilumminate the clouds?
                    A: It is possible, it requires a lot of understanding on how the main material works and including knowledge of HLSL. We will add this feature in the future updates without any change on its pricing!

                    Q: Is it possible to change the turbulence effect for a spiral to make a tornado storm?
                    A: We are looking to add this feature in the package in future updates, it will require a little more time because the performance shoud stay at least compatible with the needs for cinematics. One could do it by himself, but it require a lot of understanding on how the main material works and also knowledge of HLSL. We will try to add this feature in the second update for this package and also try to not change its pricing. Possibly sell it as an add-on material.

                    Q: Does the package works with VR? Does it have enough performance for VR?
                    A: It works with VR with high-end machines in order to produce 90+ FPS. We don't have numbers, but as soon we have the results we will made them available in this post. We will try with GTX 1080TI, TitanXp, dual GTX 1080 and dual GTX 1080 TI. I guess, no one will try VR on low or mid-end machines, because the requirements for VR demands too much, not to mention the VR gear costs that should ofc scale with proper gaming rig.

                    Q: Does the Cloudscape produce reflection over water surfaces?
                    A: It does, it reflects on every reflectable surface including water, even better with a Planar Reflection add to the water material. I have provided a video showing how it works... check the 1st post.

                    Q: Why does my framerate can't go higher 60 FPS regardless the settings I use?
                    A: The most cloud crowded with lowest settings in a high-end machine should give more than 120 FPS. This might be the project settings limiting the framerate. Go to Project Settings, then to the section at left called Engine->General Settings and check if at the Framerate topic at right panel and look for the Smoothed Framerate Range. There are two fields one for Min and the other for Max. You can let the default 22 for Min and use the combo at right from the Max field and select Open. You will start to see higher framerates now.

                    Q: Volumetric Fog is not showing up properly or there is a box artifact being shown, how could I fix it?
                    A: If you are seen a box artifact when looking above of the sides, you need to setup Fog Height Falloff, Start Distance and Fog Cuttoff Distance to values that will include the effect around the box used to receive the main material for Cloudscape. The default cube dimensions are 100x100x100 and the default scale applied to it is 20000 = this means the cube is 2millin units in each direction. Experimental values, performance wise, should be tried each scene you are composing in order to guarantee the artifact is not seen. You could always use a Cloud Layer modeled as Fog to replace the volumetric fog, though the volumetric fog is cheapest in terms of performance, but if you can't gt rid of the artifacts it is a good idea. You want also to consider if when you have fog you need dense clouds (check the theory of fog and cloud formation). We have experienced changes in behavior between versions 4.17 and 4.18, so the same values for one will not work on the other version. Another way to fix the artifact is open the M_Cloudscape material and set the property Apply Fogging to false (default is true) at the Translucency section. As of v1.2 there are maps showing the proper way to activate the engine's Volumetric Fog in a scene.

                    Q: All I want is white clouds with no shadows. How do I set this?
                    A: Just set Cloud Shadow Density to 0. You can also set Overall Color setting to give it a color you white, even dark colors or even grayish ones.

                    Q: Is there a way to implement a Weather system or does the system has this feature?
                    A: For a good weather system you have two choices: implement a simulation system which will also drive the cloud shapes for you OR a presset system where you define each weather condition and also the transition between each one. It is possible to implement the 2nd case with our cloudscape. We have at our roadmap a future implementation where we will have small factor simulation and the presset system altogether. The simulation must occur in the CPU to not cause more GPU overhead, and we are still trying to not use C++ code in a plugin format, to keep the package more stable in the future engine changes, not requiring source code updates with API changes, so we will try to relly on compiled blueprints (nativization) as much as we can on other assets to support future simulation implemantation.

                    Q: After update 1.1 my cloudscapes are having issues, they don't seen to work anymore. What to do?
                    A: The only difference that may sound like this behavior from version 1.0 to 1.1 is that BP_CloudscapeSeasons and BP_CloudscapeViewer don't support blueprint nativization anymore. There is a bug in nativization that makes the solution to not work. We are still trying to figure an example on how to duplicate the issue to create a ticket to the Engine dev team to evaluate the issue, but this issue is a trick one. All the remaining blueprints can be nativized without issues, but as they don't are bottlenecks to the system at all, they can also be left without nativization. As of v1.2 the blueprint nativization works flawless.

                    Q: I have issues with other assets for clouds/sky not being shown at water reflection. Does your asset have similar issues?
                    A: I have tested with the free Water Planes asset from Epic, and works fine, keeping good performance... there is also a small video showing this at 1st post. I have also tested with the free Community Ocean Project running at 4.17.x, but you really need to tweak your scene because both assets are GPU intensive, and the reflections in this case (almost a mirror at calm water) demands too many draw calls. Turning on the Shader Complexity shows the Ocean Project as white (Ocean Ultra). I donĀ“t have other ocean assets from the MP to do a more extensive test. Im working on one alternative ocean, just for cinematics purpose, which if it feels right, I might take a look on another improvements to get both on performance level together at least.

                    Q: Depending on the camera view position the cloudscape is being cut off the scene against the ocean. How to fix this?
                    A: If the ocean is using a transparent material, you need uncheck the setting: "Render after DOF", this way the sorting for the transparent material will be correctly figured the correct pass to render as the cloudscape material is not using the automatic deph check and handles it through the composite material. There is a video showing the case here: - As of v1.2 you don't need to do anything else for the clouds to show properly and the Render after DoF can stay checked.
                    Last edited by NilsonLima; 05-10-2018, 12:30 PM.
                    Nilson Lima
                    Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                    Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                    UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                    supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Q: How to get even more fluffy clouds without changing the turbulence movement and without changing the wind strength too?

                      A: The fluffiness can still be achieved without changing the noise textures which erode the depth and shapes, once you make the scale of the curly noise used to distort the edges of the cloud which the turbulence acts.
                      To do it change the material MI_2DTexture_01 with the following values:
                      > Curl_1stOctaveScale = 0.0001
                      > Curl_2ndOctaveScale = 0.2
                      > Curl_2ndOctaveStrength = 1.1
                      It is necessary to hit the checkbox Update at the BP_CloudscapeSeasons for it to update the whole cloudscape


                      Q: I am having constant crashed when I try to open the project once I updated it from version (4.17, 4.18, 4.19, 4.20) to engine 4.21. How to recover from the error?
                      A: We have found the cause, but not why it is causing the issue, since it was not present previously. It looks for some reason the editor can't load a map containing the asset when you startup the editor, but once you have the editor loaded you can open the level without problems, meaning it is a regression issue of some sort.

                      The steps to get out of the crashing projects is to follow the steps below:
                      - Save your project Config folder elsewhere
                      - At your current Config folder, edit the file DefaultEngine.ini
                      - Locate the configuration section: [/Script/EngineSettings.GameMapsSettings]
                      - search inside the section above, the line with the parameter "EditorStartupMap"
                      - you can remove the entire line or make the parameter be equal to None
                      - now you can open again the project

                      As of December 2018 this issue is already solved and available to all UE versions the product supports.

                      Q:
                      A:
                      Last edited by NilsonLima; 12-29-2018, 03:46 PM.
                      Nilson Lima
                      Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                      Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                      UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                      supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                      Comment


                        #26
                        New video showing the cloudscape reflection over water using the Epic's free asset : Water Planes.

                        Last edited by NilsonLima; 02-07-2018, 02:12 PM.
                        Nilson Lima
                        Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                        Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                        UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                        supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                        Comment


                          #27
                          It's nice, but it's not Nubis!
                          http://advances.realtimerendering.co...20Final%20.pdf
                          George Rolfe.
                          Technical Coordinator at Orbit Solutions Pty Ltd.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by duke22 View Post
                            I based my work on the same material as Nubis, but Nubis works on Decima Engine (used by Guerilla in their game Horizon: Zero Dawn) and not on Unreal Engine 4. Nubis has a weather control built-in, mine don't, because Im not worried about weather simulation (actually I'm working on a system with weather control, but thats another project), but Im worried about artistic control on what to show and also "freedom" for the artist to shape the clouds the way they like (Do you want a rabbit shaped cloud? You can do it with my system). My system is only done with blueprints and materials, not a single plugin or C++ code, its been in development for more than a year and I have tried everything: Houdini, particles, etc as most of ppl do when studying the matter, to finally reach this product that will sell for only $40!! Isnt it a deal or what?

                            I hope this satisfies artists and technicians, because I'm using it to build my game and as soon my artists finish their cloudscape models (there are 35 different ones), I will release the materials in an update for this product: Cloudscape Seasons, for no extra-cost. Also, read above FAQ about lightning storm and tornadoes.
                            Last edited by NilsonLima; 10-27-2017, 08:29 AM.
                            Nilson Lima
                            Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                            Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                            UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                            supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Its is released! Thanks for your support and please share here what you have created with this asset!
                              Nilson Lima
                              Technical Director @ Rigel Studios Ltda - twitter: @RigelStudios
                              Join us at Discord: https://discord.gg/uFFSEXY

                              UE4 Marketplace: Cloudscape Seasons
                              supporting: Community FREE Ocean plugin

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by NilsonLima View Post
                                Its is released! Thanks for your support and please share here what you have created with this asset!
                                Congrats!
                                Youtube Channel

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