Well the good news is that the camera works! I looked up the blueprint documentation and managed to get each camera corresponding to a number on the keyboard. I did want the user to be able to use the camera to move around 360, but I was still able to move it like a FPS game. In the end I decided to limit it to no movement.
Unfortunately my laptop freezes every time I try to package or do a lighting building. I am hoping to do this tomorrow at university.
Using the procedural foliage tool, I placed forests on different mountain ranges. Again, like the grass tool, the trees only appear if the camera is close. I set up lots of procdeural boxes around the level in order to create a more accurate looking terrain.
Another tool that came with the unreal update is the procedural foliage tool, which is designed to allow rapid painting of hundreds of meshes onto a surface with randomized ranges for scale, orientation etc. The other advantage that the foliage system offers is that it uses instanced static meshes, which are automatically grouped into clusters, saving rendering time.
As the surrounding Machu Picchu is surrounded by trees and foliage, I would like to try and learn how to use this tool.
The new release of unreal engine 4.8 comes with the grass tool, which allows users to create, setup, and spawn static meshes that covers the landscape in what appears to be dense grass, flowers and other foliage. This tool only works with the Landscape Terrain Actor.
I believe that learning and implementing this tool will be of great use to me in this project. I would like the terrain to be covered with grass and trees near the tops of the mountain, and rocks on the bottom. I will also need to create a merge layer to blend the grass and rock textures together in a more natural fashion.
Better known by his username “evilmrfranks” on YouTube, Ben Burkart is capable of designing landscapes in Unreal quickly and efficiently. He has been a part of the games industry since 2007 and from his Youtube videos, I can tell that he has a strong understanding of architecture, composition, and visual flow.
He also seems to be well experienced in making concepts and floor plans. I consider him to be at the forefront simply because of how quickly he can make levels from scratch.
Take a look at some of his speed level design below:
This first demo appeared in the marketplace and showcases a snowy, mountainous terrain. There are tall peaks, valleys, frozen lakes and forests. Whilst exploring the demo, I took note of features that I liked, such as fog to hide the terrain in the distance, away from the camera. The textures were also tiled, although the snow and blend tools were used to reduce the appearance of tiling in the distance.
The heightmap and layer masks in this scene were created using World Machine, a procedural terrain generation program that can simulate erosion, snowfall and various other effects to help produce a realistic-looking environment.
The textures for the terrain’s heightmap and layers were imported into the editor via UE4’s Landscape system. Then, additional sculpting and layer painting was completed using the Landscape tools to adjust certain areas.
The Landscape Mountains material was set up to blend between sets of rock, grass and snow textures using Landscape’s layer masks.
The techniques that the artist used for this marketplace submission will be extremely useful for me. I learnt quite a lot from examining the demo.