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AAA+ Procedural Pine Forest | Breakdown

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    [WIP] AAA+ Procedural Pine Forest | Breakdown

    Hello everyone,

    we are currently working on a Pine Forest Environment for the Unreal 4 Marketplace.
    As one of our most ambitious Marketplace project to date, we decided to take a different approach by sharing the whole development process of the project.
    We hope that it will help people to get an insight into what to expect and maybe serve as a guide for fellow content creators who are interested in environments and photogrammetry.

    Key features will be:

    - A detailed terrain model (2x2 km) generated from airborne LIDAR data.
    - Photo scanned landscape materials and 3d models
    - Procedural foliage placement (Procedural Foliage Spawner)
    - Pivot-based foliage animation
    - Spline-based road tool

    I will edit this post in the future by including the final images and a long description.

    We will release more info and progress over time. The next post will contain the first WIP images.
    Please feel free to leave questions, comments or requests.
    Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

    #2

    I am looking forward !!
    GOOD JUMP PAD | GOOD Particle : Projectile / GOOD Particle : Status
    GOOD UI ICON TRAIL / GOOD Rain / GOOD Particle : Beam And Ray
    GOOD Wing

    Comment


      #3
      Here are some photo references we took at the nearby forest.

      ​​


      The high poly model (12,000,000 faces) of the root was generated with Agisoft PhotoScan. I used 30 Images (16 bit Tif) in total, which I processed previously in Lightroom. From my experiences and according to the recommendations of other artists, I suggest to disable sharpening and also to remove highlights and shadows on the raw images.

      ​​


      I used TopoGun to create the low poly version of the root.

      ​​


      Diffuse, normal, ambient occlusion and displacement maps were baked in Xnormal and served as input textures in Substance Designer. Here is the graph which we use as a template on almost all of our assets.

      ​​


      The final maps. Still not packed.

      ​​


      Low poly model with displacement material | Unreal Engine 4.

      ​​
      Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

      Comment


        #4
        The Landscape was created in combination with airborne LIDAR data and WorldMachine. The height map, generated from the LIDAR data, was used as a basis for WM.

        LIDAR point clouds (.las/.laz format) can be downloaded from opentopography.org. We usually use CloudCompare to edit the point clouds and to convert them into 3D meshes.
        It should be kept in mind, that those point clouds are often recorded in feet and should therefore be converted into meters. (scale by 0.3048)

        Point cloud inside CloudCompare.
        Point cloud inside CloudCompare.

        If the point cloud data contains a classification for vegetation, trees can be easily removed.
        If the point cloud data contains a classification for vegetation, trees can be easily removed.


        I used xNormal, to bake the height information and vertex colors into textures. The generated height map served as an input in WorldMachine. At this point, it's important to state the elevation range and X-Y dimensions of the height map, otherwise, the landscape in UE4 will be different than the original.
        WorldMachine was also used to remove the noise of some leftover trees and to create the necessary splat maps. Note: WorldMachine provides a "Splatmap Converter" example file, which extremely useful.
        Testing the height map inside Unreal Engine 4.
        Testing the height map inside Unreal Engine 4.
        Last edited by Stefan Öztürk; 08-22-2018, 08:54 AM.
        Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

        Comment


          #5
          For the last few weeks, we have been doing all vegetation textures over again.
          The reason is that the normal maps we created earlier, looked very flat. After some digging, we discovered that it's possible to create more accurate textures (especially normal maps), by constructing them from photographs which are taken under different lighting conditions. Soon we will share the details of this new approach.
          Here is a normal map comparison of a pine needle upfront:



          Another point that we were not fully satisfied with, was the wind motion on our vegetation assets, which resembled that of underwater grass. Therefore, we decided to replace the "Simple Grass Wind" function with the new Pivot Painter 2 function on all our vegetation materials.
          This comparison video shows the difference between the two techniques:

          Last edited by Stefan Öztürk; 12-09-2018, 02:00 PM.
          Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Stefan Öztürk View Post
            Please feel free to leave questions, comments or requests.
            It all looks very nice! One question I would have is: What textures sizes are you doing? I hope texture sizes will be 8K, since I think it happens way too often that people talk about "AAA" or super detailed things and then only use 2K or 4K textures - since UE4 generates mip maps anyways, performance is no reason for not using 8K textures, and up-close 8K is needed for it to look great.
            Easy to use UMG Mini Map on the UE4 Marketplace.
            Forum thread: https://forums.unrealengine.com/show...-Plug-and-Play

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by John Alcatraz View Post

              It all looks very nice! One question I would have is: What textures sizes are you doing? I hope texture sizes will be 8K, since I think it happens way too often that people talk about "AAA" or super detailed things and then only use 2K or 4K textures - since UE4 generates mip maps anyways, performance is no reason for not using 8K textures, and up-close 8K is needed for it to look great.
              Thank you John! We are doing 4K textures but are using the UV spaces very wisely.
              Performance may not be a reason while playing with 8K textures but the demand for labor, disk space, and computing power to generate those are extreme.
              Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

              Comment


                #8

                Looks like photometry (different than photogrammetry, less accurate) in the right image. Of course you have to be careful with the light attenuation making a big round shape across your normal map. I'd recommend instead going the photogrammetry route; Buy a license of Reality Capture and retaking those photos of the branches since you likely have them under a controlled environment anyway.

                Looking good! Good luck!

                Originally posted by Stefan Öztürk View Post
                For the last few weeks, we have been doing all vegetation textures over again.
                The reason is that the normal maps we created earlier, looked very flat. After some digging, we discovered that it's possible to create more accurate textures (especially normal maps), by constructing them from photographs which are taken under different lighting conditions. Soon we will share the details of this new approach.
                Here is a normal map comparison of a pine needle upfront:



                Another point that we were not fully satisfied with, was the wind motion on our vegetation assets, which resembled that of underwater grass. Therefore, we decided to replace the "Simple Grass Wind" function with the new Pivot Painter 2 function on all our vegetation materials.
                This comparison video shows the difference between the two techniques:

                Comment


                  #9
                  Short video of our latest update.
                  We implemented dynamic lighting with LPV, distance field shadows and ambient occlusion (DFAO). Therefore the mobility of the directional light as well of the skylight had to be set to movable.

                  Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

                  Comment


                    #10
                    good job!!!!!
                    Tcimage3d Studio
                    Unreal Artist & Developer in archi & interior Visual
                    Real Estate VR Tutor: http://tcimage3d.wixsite.com/3dvr

                    Request a quote today:tcimage3d@gmail.com
                    Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCimage/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Quantum Theory View Post
                      Looks like photometry (different than photogrammetry, less accurate) in the right image. Of course you have to be careful with the light attenuation making a big round shape across your normal map. I'd recommend instead going the photogrammetry route; Buy a license of Reality Capture and retaking those photos of the branches since you likely have them under a controlled environment anyway.

                      Looking good! Good luck!
                      Thank you for the advice. Much appreciated.
                      I should have mentioned that the effect around the normal map was added later on with the Flaming Pear solidify plugin, to provide good MIP's at distance. We do this on all our vegetation textures.
                      We tried the photogrammetry approach on needles before. Unfortunately, this is extremely time-consuming and has almost no contribution to the final texture.

                      By the way... I am a great admirer of your work!
                      Website | Marketplace | ArtStation

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hey man send me an mp or a email adrian@a1studio.es would like to ask you a few things :P

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It looks awesome Great work!
                          Game frameworks on Unreal Marketplace:

                          Third Person Shooter Kit - February 2017 Community Pick! - https://www.unrealengine.com/marketp...on-shooter-kit

                          Side Scroller Shooter Kit - https://www.unrealengine.com/marketp...er-shooter-kit

                          Support Discord channel: https://discord.gg/6rgv5Tj

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Amazing!
                            Can you please share lighting settings?
                            Last edited by Vrender; 03-03-2019, 02:58 AM.
                            Maxim S.
                            Architectural Rendering
                            Vrender Company

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Stefan Öztürk View Post
                              Short video of our latest update.
                              We implemented dynamic lighting with LPV, distance field shadows and ambient occlusion (DFAO). Therefore the mobility of the directional light as well of the skylight had to be set to movable.

                              This looks VERY good! Keeping an eye out for it the final results =D

                              Comment

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