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    [GAUGING INTEREST] Announcing IwSpline, from IceWare Inc.

    Hello Everyone,

    Getting ready to release a new product called IwSpline. It's for use with
    Epic Games UE4 of course!

    Supporting UE4 Versions 4.10 and now 4.11 (April 6, 2016)

    Using Triggers



    link to video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgKyooM96zA

    Building Walls and more on Roads (April 08, 2016)



    link to video for building Building Walls and more on Roads

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2L4oF5a2Rc


    Building Roads (April 7, 2016)



    Link to new video for Building Roads

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcjlLV5mtk





    Showing how to use IwSpline to generate foilage, as well as the new ability to create points
    on a spline during the Construction phase of a blueprint

    Generating Foilage (April 5, 2016)



    link to new video for Generating Foilage

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/BejakpAMt4s



    Here is a link to the demo video on YouTube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKRrqKD1y40

    The video is very "rough", in that I'm not a videograhper, but a programmer.



    What does it do?

    Spline (roads, walls, heck anything)

    1. Creates spline with as many points on the spline as you wish. Placing
    static meshes on each segment.

    2. Can place up to 3 meshes per segment of the spline, or a segment can
    be skipped as well. So one can set it to have a left and right guardrail
    as well as a central "road" perhaps. Anything else you can think of
    as well.

    3. Each segment can be set to be the exact size of the static mesh.

    4. Landscape can be adjusted to the spline segments, just click the button.

    5. Spline can be manipulated from controls (i.e. delete spline points, add,
    adjust X,Y,Z values for points). This is all done within the editor, and I don't
    mean by right clicking a spline point, and using the popup menu.

    Transiting

    1. Will move objects on the spline with a speed set for the entire spline,
    or each segment may have it's own speed as well.

    Decorations (Signs on roads, forests, vegetation, etc)

    Decorations are simply more Static Meshes, that can be set. These do not
    exist on the "segments" of the spline. Very useful for creating "forests"
    or any other vegetation you wish. Perhaps as signs on a road, simply any
    mesh you wish. These static meshes can be instanced, simply click a button.
    as well.

    Static Meshes

    Simply drag and drop the static mesh you wish to have on a segment, or
    as a Decoration or Collection.

    Static Meshes used for Decorations can be instanced, just click a button.

    All the Static Meshes for instancing, are shared across all IwSplines in a
    level, as they are maintained in a central cache, part of the C++ plugin.

    C++ Plugin Blueprint Libaray

    This is a blueprint library with well over 70 functions. Some of them are
    for convenience, such as setting one dimension of a vector, without altering
    the other 2. These really are designed to decrease the number of calls. Such
    as with the Add and Set node, where an integer or a float variable, has a value
    added to it, and set. Reducing the number of nodes in a blueprint.

    Price: 49.95


    What's in the package

    IwSpline - Main Blueprint

    IwCFD - A blueprint that must be in the level, and only one. It's designed
    to co-ordinate actions between multiple IwSpline's in a level. Basically
    just drop it anywhere in the level, and forget it if you wish.

    C++ Plugin: has 70+ blueprint callable functions. The C++ code is not provided.

    Supported versions of Epic Games UE - 4.10.x and 4.11.x


    Licensing Terms
    The Epic Games Marketplace Licensing. But there are 2 caveats.

    1. if the purchasing organization, has over 25 people (seats) using the product,
    then bulk licensing must be purchased.
    2. Initial purchase of the product comes with 1 year of support and all upgrades.
    After the initial one year, to continue maintenance and all upgrades. There is a
    charge of 25% of the then current price. If maintenance is not desired, the
    last version sent to the purchaser will still be maintained at no charge, till
    the version is sunsetted.


    Developed on

    Processor: Amd 965 quad core, no overclocking
    Memory: 16 GB
    Video Card: Nvidia 750 GTX (not a TI)
    Last edited by jayice; 04-11-2016, 03:08 PM. Reason: Added Video for building Walls and more on Roads

    #2
    Hi jayice

    Nice Spline Generator

    What happened with the river spline generator!

    this is possible? Spline plus terrain plus spline water surface!



    Regards
    luny
    lunybunny.com
    lunybunny.com

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Luny and thank you!

      I have not popped the "water material" from Epic games onto a static mesh, but will have to do that, as I need rivers coming down out of the mountains, running to an ocean. I see no reason why this wouldn't work. The "water" i just a material. I didn't show it in the video, I guess I should have (it's just hard to show in a short time, everything IwSpline can do), but if you look at the Firelands pack, that Epic Games released for use. If you want "lava" flowing down a Static mesh, just drag and drop. Actually there is one material in the Firelands pack, called m_fire_burnt_grass, that if you give IwSpline a wall static mesh, and then this material looks pretty darn good!

      But yes, Spline plus terrain plus static mesh plus water surface is definitely doable.

      Have a great day!

      Jay

      Comment


        #4
        Its pretty cool. Good luck with it.

        Comment


          #5
          Jack,

          Thank you Sir! I'll be putting up a video of how to use it to for vegetation, forest, rivers, etc. I have hang gliders in my game, so it was a good way to have "air currents" and "water currents" for the boats in the game

          Have a great day!

          jay

          Comment


            #6
            Very nice!! just what i need for my prototype!
            Great work!
            One question, is there support for intersections? splines intersecting and merging the meshes seamlessly?

            Comment


              #7
              hello Juan!

              yes, in terms of the intersection. It's a simple thing to put in, and I need it as well. What you will have is, for that "segment" of the spline for the meshes, will be a check box, that means "skip mesh for segment", which will then not put a mesh there. Because when you give a mesh to IwSpline, it continues to use that mesh until there is another mesh assigned to the segment. So back to your question...

              You would lay down a mesh, that had the "street" between the intersections, then lay down the mesh for the intersection. and then another IwSpline, that was perpendicular if you will, that was nothing but the street mesh, when it came to the intersection, just tell it "skip mesh", and that allows you to "merge" the meshes using the control points, and not have meshes overlaying each other.

              The part I need to put in, is just the check for "skip mesh", so it's like an hour, to put in test it, have something to eat, and test it some more! lol

              Now if you are thinking of moving the "transiting" part of the product, to say move some cars that are really nothing more than static meshes, to give your roadways life. There will need to be another check to say, don't "transit" as well.

              The reason I say this, is that multiple IwSpline blueprints can be in a level, and "cross" each other, and transiting, which can give one some nice random affects, when you want say "monsters" to be roaming around. I'm not for sure that would work so well for vehicles.

              Thank you for your kind words, and have a great day!

              Jay

              Comment


                #8
                I don't know why I was tagged in this thread, but I like this.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hello Allar!

                  I don't know either!!! as to the tagging that is.

                  Thank you as well!

                  Jay

                  Comment


                    #10
                    What I'm looking for is the ability to use splines to create field boundary hedgerows from several foliage bushes/small trees/rocks/bits of fencing now and then etc, all placed with control of randomness of spacing/density/rotation etc and having the ability to control the width of the spline points to make the hedgerows flow organically.

                    I've watched your video and am I right in observing you can place only one SM per spline section? Is there a way to get the above with the decorations you mentioned, or would I need multiple splines following the same path each with a different SM?

                    Otherwise looks good, especially the terrain matching. I'm still waiting for either UE4 to provide better spline facility or a 3rd party developer to make as comprehensive a spline system as possible to make it an essential purchase.

                    Regards

                    Slinky

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hello Slinky,

                      Thank you for your questions

                      Short answers
                      Q: "I've watched your video and am I right in observing you can place only one SM per spline section?"
                      A: Correct
                      Q: "Is there a way to get the above with the decorations you mentioned, or would I need multiple splines following the same path each with a different SM?"
                      A: Correct, you can use the decorations to do what your talking about, and correct you can still use multiple splines.

                      Long Answers

                      Note: Nothing that I say below that may seem to be "disparaging" of Epic Games or the UE4 Engine is meant to be,
                      it's just acknowledgement of fact.

                      Q: "I've watched your video and am I right in observing you can place only one SM per spline section?"

                      That is correct, I have played with, putting more than one mesh per segment, and yet I ran into issues doing this.
                      Such that the Splmc (Spline Mesh Component) would appear to warp back on itself. Until the the next spline
                      point (i.e. we start at N, so spline point N+1) was a distance from the spline point N, such that
                      the distance was an integral of the static mesh size, in terms of X (X for a forward vector if you will).
                      I cannot say that I spent a lot of time looking into this, so do not totally understand the issue.

                      What I was after, was that a customer, could drag and drop a SM for that segment of the spline.
                      IwSpline would then query the X length of the static mesh through the plugin, and "replicate"
                      the SM along the segment so there was no "scaling" going on, doing a "best fit", with the
                      remainder evenly distributed among all the Splmc's along that segment. Again though
                      I found I had the "warping" issues with that. But I dropped looking into this, because,
                      one may as well just create another point on the Spline, and allow that to
                      control the scaling. I have some code to finish, that will allow far more
                      automated generation of spline points. This is kind of a minefield as well, as UE4 engine
                      is very very touchy about having the spline messed with programatically.

                      I have no doubt, that I will be going back to look at the issue again, because of the
                      "transiting" portion of the product along the spline.

                      But your correct in stating what you saw, right now, it's one static mesh per segment.


                      Q: "Is there a way to get the above with the decorations you mentioned, or would
                      I need multiple splines following the same path each with a different SM?"

                      I think this would work well for you (assuming I have in my head, what is in yours, in terms of your usage!).
                      Reason being, the Splmc, are being scaled, and deformed. Now for many things this is exactly what
                      we want. Yet, when I was thinking about it's usage to generate Streets. If I'm say wanting a
                      Street Light at each intersection, or a street name sign. I don't wish that really to be
                      scaled by anything to do with the spline. Hence, if we put in "decorations" (admittedly not the best name for this)
                      Those will just be your standard static mesh (or instanced), that I can have some rudimentary
                      controls for, such as rotation scaling, etc. Which for my example here, gives the desired affect.

                      For your hedgerows, it may not be such a big difference if a rock is scaled a little bit,
                      yet by using the decorations, it's not a worry, because if you want it scaled, you can,
                      if not just don't scale it. There are controls for each "decoration" to set the offset location from
                      the spline point for it's generation, scaling, etc.

                      Now there is somehting I think you might like to be automatic? and it's not...

                      Assume you have your hedgerow made of bushes, and now you decided that you want to pop in
                      a Rock, or rubble, or whatever. So you pop that in as a decoration, IwSpline, generates it, alls well and wonderful!
                      Until you grab that end spline point, and hold down the alt key, and duplicate the point, dragging it out.
                      IwSpline will then generate the static mesh, again, and it's partially going to overlay the rock.
                      Can you control this? yes, by giving that Splcm for the segment a offset from the spline point to start at
                      where it's not overlaying the rock. One can work around it, but to me it would be better
                      to be able to click a box, for say "automatic offset" for that segment. Letting IwSpline
                      look at the "farthest" decoration, and adjust the starting offset of the Splmc on the
                      following segment, such that there was no overlap. Even this might not be good enough in
                      your case, because we really do not ever see a hedgerow in real life, where by the "hedge"
                      runs right up to each and every rock, and instantly stops on both sides, such that the hedge
                      isn't overlaying the rock in some fashion.

                      The decorations though are a extremely powerful part of the product, in that you can
                      control exacty where the decorations are generated relative to the spline point
                      they are set up for. So to push the hedgerow farther, you have the "hedge" and
                      "rocks", but let's say you want to add "flowers" per say? You could drag over a few little flowers
                      control the generation point, etc.

                      Decorations allow the random generation of the location of the SM's within a "cube" relative to
                      the spline point as well. This is how I create a "forest". I assign rocks, debris, trees, flowers,
                      etc. then all those static meshes get generated at each spline point. Which allows me to make more
                      "dense" areas by just moving the spline points closer, or less dense by moving them farther away.

                      One of the fantastic things, about working withe splines, is that, when you wish to say move
                      your hedgerow, for whatever reason, it's just a matter of selecting the entire spline,
                      and dragging it to where ever you want it. So for like me, that can save 10 minutes easy of
                      having to select all the assets, and then moving them. I also put in a check box, that you
                      can use, to tell IwSpline "no construction generation", hence when your dragging around
                      500 spline meshs, your not getting lag, because UE4 engine is calling the
                      construction script on the blueprint, for each pixel (not exactly but it's close), that the
                      blueprint is moved.

                      I'm shooting to make IwSpline, the essential purchase you spoke of. While I would readily
                      agree, that IwSpline will not do everything that one may wish right now.
                      Some things that I know I'm going to do,

                      1. I know I will have to make a new slate interface to use it. There is just no other way,
                      and right now, having all the "controls" essentially being nothing more than controlling variables
                      in the blueprint, is cumbersome at best.

                      2. I would like to have IwSpline, allow for the generation of two (or N) additional splines, one
                      to the right and left, of the main spline. Such that those two new splines, could be treated
                      independently, or the spline points could be locked to the "central" spline, hence one
                      could then start laying in "sidewalks" for a urban road. Or say you have a dirtroad, for your
                      game, then your "hedgerows" could be generated and locked to the dirtroad spline.

                      3. A seperate plugin, for working with the UE4 Editor, such that one can select, a decoration,
                      or actor that has been created, and drag it around directly, and have that selected at the same
                      time in the Slate interface, such that you have draggable movement, yet can still get right at
                      for specific input if you wish. With the biggest reason being, so that the customer has better control
                      of the generated decorations, and to keep the addition of new features, from feeling "clumsy" to use.

                      This is just 3 items, there are a ton of little things.

                      As it sounds like you are doing some of the same things in your game that I am. I definitly
                      appreciate your questions.

                      I hope I have answered your questions, and not further confused the issue!

                      Have a great day!

                      Jay Ice
                      IceWare Inc

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you for such an interesting and detailed response. I would certainly like to see more video of the tool in use, with the decorators etc, how you make you're forests with it as well would be useful. I don't mind detailed and rambling videos!

                        Regards
                        Slinky

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Slinky,

                          More than welcome for the detail. I never know how much information to give out, so I just did the short and long answer format. lol
                          I should be able to make another video tomorrow (Monday), and have it up for viewing. Which will have the forest, etc. as well as more of a "road" structure.

                          Thank you for your interest,

                          Have a great day,

                          Jay Ice
                          IceWare Inc

                          Comment


                            #14
                            My Apologies to everyone, have the flue, so haven't been able to get the next two videos done.

                            Jay

                            IceWare Inc.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              FINALLY, about ready to put up a new video for creating, Forests, Walls, Hedges, or just basically working with large numbers of Static Meshes, to have on a spline.

                              I had to find a wall, to be able to alter the number of spline points on a spline from the blueprint construction script, and a few other little things. In order to get large scale generation to be very fast to use.

                              Thank you,

                              Jay

                              IceWare Inc.

                              Comment

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