Welcome back to another instalment of my development blog series. Today will be short and sweet, I just want to talk about a few things to do with Unreal Engine 4 and some of the research I have been doing looking into ways to achieve better environmental effects to help develop my skills and better showcase my work.
First off, for one of my projects I am looking into ways to create effective clouds. I want to find ways to create them that aren’t too system intensive but still look good. The term “volumetric” gets thrown around a lot when I started researching this. From what I have been able to gather one of the best ways to achieve this is to create a particle system that has “lit translucency” and “translucent particle shadows”. In short, a system where the shallower parts are more see-through and cast lighter shadows. This should help give the system the appearance of more volume.
When I think about how I would undergo the process of generating a cloud I think of what a cloud really is, a mass of airborne water particles. With this in mind the idea of generating it from a particle system makes more sense than modelling a “solid” cloud. However to achieve this I would need a platform in which I can manipulate the properties of the particle system effectively, which leads me to unreal engine 4. Although some 3D modelling packages have particle effects built into them I think that UE4 has a more powerful potential once the software is learnt.
After briefly looking into the ways I can achieve my goals in UE4 I found that there is so much that needs learning. Blueprints, for instance, seem like a very powerful tool which can be used to sort of ‘meld’ the processes of texturing and programming to achieve a more dynamic and enhanced result. But again it’s another thing that I have to learn on top of their particle system to begin with.
To this effect I have been reading up on the UE4 Documentation regarding its features, which is mercifully very detailed and thorough and enjoying their tutorial platforms.
Below is a list of some of the resources I have been looking into (including a procedural forest generator that I though could be a nice way to generate dynamic cloud systems).
Thank you and as always,
Till next time.
James Day – 1002467