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UE3 - UT3 Unreal Jungle environment

Discussion in 'Modeling & Skinning' started by easterislandnick, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. easterislandnick

    easterislandnick New Member

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    HI, I'm creating a jungle environment for Unreal 3 set in the dry season and have hit a few roadbumps. Currently the map is just a small test bed to see if I can get foliage and plants working efficiently before I add more focal points such as statures and ruins.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    On my list to still create and work on are -

    Mountains in the background
    Add more ground foliage
    Rework the canopies of the trees so they look more voluminous
    Work on the bamboo and bush models so they don't look like a collection of planes
    Re work Most of the normal maps (most are crazy bump placeholders)
    Add focal points such statues based on Angkor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor)

    My main issues are shadows for the plants. Currently most of the trees and yuccas are dynamically casting shadows which looks great but is not viable in a real time map. Is it still possible to use something like projectors as in Unreal 2004 to do cheap dappled shade? Most of my other plants such as the cheese plants currently are using shadow maps which don't take into account the alpha map on planes and so they have very square shadows. I figure I can model around this so that the geometry matches the shape of the alpha mapped leaf more closely. Does that seem like a good idea? Is there a better way?

    I am trying to get this map running in Unreals highest world detail settings on quite an old computer (single core 2.8 with an AGP Geforce 7800 and 2 gig of ram). I figure that this is a good way of showing employers that I can optimize well and understand the limits of current gen systems. The problem I'm having is on the long stretches down the map, even after turning off Dynamic shadows my frame rate dips below 15! If I set it to a lower detail setting It copes a lot better so I'm guessing post processing is to blame and not polycount or texture size (I don't get an improved frame rate if I decrease texture size). Polycount wise the cheese plants are 640 faces, the large trees are 990 faces, the rocks between 500 and 700 faces and the ground based palm shrubs are 380 faces. Does that sound too high for current gen games, thinking about it it seems too high to me! Post processing on the map includes depth of field and an overall hue shift to tie the colours together, which I guess are quite expensive.

    Any way, let me know what you think. I didn't mean to write this much, sorry if there's too much waffle!
     
  2. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    Looks pretty cool :)
     
  3. Luv_Studd

    Luv_Studd Member

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    Looks very nice! :)

    Aren't their settings in the meshes' properties that allow for gradual adjustments in the level of detail as you move closer or further away? I know that you can adjust the cull distances on meshes such that when they are not in view, they are not rendered by the engine. There's also a cull distance volume, but not sure how it works yet.

    I haven't played much with these forms of optimization, sorry.

    I know that UT3 is a hungry beast on higher settings and having a poopy PC, such as you and I do, don't fair well under all that stress.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  4. JohnDoe641

    JohnDoe641 Killer Fools Pro Staff Member

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    I want to play this map! D:
     
  5. Anuxinamoon

    Anuxinamoon New Member

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    This is really good!

    Did you do all this yourself? All the textures and models?
    Are you working in the industry at the moment?
     
  6. UTNOVA

    UTNOVA French cat under acid

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    easterislandnick: Is it still possible to use something like projectors as in Unreal 2004 to do cheap dappled shade?

    Yes but I think it's not a good idea according to you optimisation goal.
    As far I know, many decals would eat a lots of resources.

    As for why the shadow is not projected according to the alpha layer, I'm also very curious to know why, because in the previous engine, we can allow light to pass across the alpha and project shadow according to the texture shape (for ex, if you use a plane sheet mesh with a wire netting material on it, put a light in front of it, and set a low value of lightmap resolution surface setting, we obtained the shadow of the wire netting and not a black sheet shape shadow).
    But in this engine, I never obtain that stuff... Seems the shadow are projected from the mesh shape and not take account of the alpha layer...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  7. The_Head

    The_Head JB Mapper

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    Very nice work. Check your Private Messages in a few minutes.


    Edit - To help you out with a few of your questions:

    The normal maps done within crazybump seem to do a good job to me - I'm not sure doing them the hard way using projection mapping within max or using zbrush/mudbox would really add a huge amount. Having not created any plants myself I can't say that with 100% confidence - only referring to my experience on other stuff.

    Polycount wise I would say that is perfectly acceptable - many of the meshes are far higher than that within unreal. What you could do for a better use of polycount is make lower versions of the plants to place further away from the player - I imagine the ingame LOD would handle this quite well itself, but there is certainly no harm in doing it manually.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with the main focal point of the level :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  8. Creavion

    Creavion New Member

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    I always wondered about those tree giants in Neoducks WAR-Tropico. And I see you use them, too. They simply don`t fit, they look more "European forest like" not very tropical. But the rest looks really cool, I am also a fan of jungle themed maps :)
     
  9. Anuxinamoon

    Anuxinamoon New Member

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    If it helps, using more polys and less texture can be better sometimes as the real bottleneck is always textures.

    One thing I have noticed on an art level is the transition between the dirt and the grass. Perhaps having a dried leafier/twiggy/dead long grass ground map where the grass it, and making more of the grass more varied in texture colour and size will help. Perhaps making them more brown at the edge of the road with the odd green bushy part will make it transition better to the shrubbery :)
     
  10. easterislandnick

    easterislandnick New Member

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    Sorry but they are all my meshes! Nothing from the Unreal 3 packs. Im not too happy with them, will do more research...
     
  11. MualamaAlien

    MualamaAlien Giggity Giggity

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    Wow! That looks awesome!
     

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