In today’s entry I am going to talk about post processing effects used in the games and why they are used.. There are many of them so I am not going to list every single one of them so I shall focus on these that I have used in my scene. Many post processing effects have originated in the world of cinema industry. These are used in order to bring certain mood to scenes, or enhance the visuals. As mentioned earlier there are many of these, from bloom and lens flare effects to the colour grading and chromatic aberration. These cannot be just rendered, they quite often need to be added separately or added as filter, overlay or simulated. Traditionally they were used in cinematography into pre-rendered scenes in some composition packages as Adobe After Effects or Nuke. However these days game engines became so powerful that these effects can be simulated in real-time as well.
Motion blur is used in games and movies in order to make scenes much more dynamic and give sense of speed. Today it’s commonly used in all sorts of games, shooters, racing and many more.
Lens flare is a an special post processing effect meant to simulate artefacts created by the bright light due imperfections of the camera lenses. It’s commonly used. to add more cinematic look to the game or scnes. Which is very interesting as this is incurring commonly in the cameras of many types but not in human eyes and quite often in many games players are observing the game from the perspective of the protagonist. Making these effects unreal and out of place.
Vignette is a simple phenomena of darkening in lenses in real life camera lenses. While in real world we try to remove that effect in gaming it’s often used on purpose to make scenes look more dramatic and interesting.
Bloom is a real world phenomena which can be seen with naked eye. It can be seen when viewing bright objects against the dark background.. This cannot be rendered in game engines and it’s simulated instead. This effect helps to add realism to the scenes not using HDR. It is also possible to add tint to the bloom in order to colour lights or stylise the look of the game.
So in this week I had to present my progress so far and explain what will change before finalizing my scene . I have showed and explained what my scene was, how it have progressed from previous and what I have left to do still in order to complete my level.
Received feedback was highly appreciated and useful as well. Most important element of the feedback was to adjust my camera movement to expose my focal point better, than it is right now. Second thing was to re-adjust materials of the billboard in order to make it more readable. I was also advised to to improve the look of my focal point in the scene.
This was fruitful presentation and it have went much better than I’ve expected. I have managed to spend much less time on it than previously and I have finished before time limit. Next post should have more information about my post processing effects used in the scene and general inf
Right now my project is entering alpha stage. I have to present what else I have to do and what i have done so far. For this task I have decided to create a presentation featuring comparison images and newest version of cinematic.
I have added majority of props and materials so far, but it still needs some work till it be finished.
The mentioned cinematic can be seen here :
I still need to do following :
Add missing materials
Re-mapping uv’s in order to fix texturing and light map issues
Moving materials to the PBR standard
Applying and adjusting post processing effects
I have managed to do some more work on the scene. I have finally completed some of my key assets and imported them into the scene. By this I mean skulls and phone booth. I have also completed my ground shadders and implemented it on the ground of the scene.
In development of this scene I have encountered certain problems with the rendering inside Unreal 4. I have learned recently that I was following wrong shadder development pipeline, as renderer inside Unreal 4 is using different rendering principles. This engine utilizes something PBR which means Physics Based Rendering. This means, that maps which I have created for some of the objects are invalid and they won’t look properly. For now I am not going to change this, but if I will have a time I will attempt to improve my texture maps to use PBR properly.
Right now I have to prepare several more missing shadders into my scene, like missing glass shadders on hone booth. I need to just finish few more assets like, actual phone for the phone booth. I believe that I am rather on target with this assignment. In fact I was considering creating and including several more assets, like crows and grass. I could use both as the alpha maps, flat images on a plane. I would do it in that way as it’s quick, and it is not interactive environment. So the viewers won;t be able to come up close and investigate them. I might also include small plant life in form of bushy desert trees. I have also modelled some back ground props, but I did not implemented them yet.
This week was a presentation week.
I have created a simple presentation to explain what I want to do and how I will do it. Also I have created a simple preview animation showing idea behind my scene and basic camera movement.
Possible asset list:
– Small pile of skulls
– Medium Pile of skulls
– Large pile of skulls
– Several variations of spare skulls and bones
– 4 to 5 versions of dry desert trees/bushes
– Several variations of rocks
– Phone booth
– Public phone
– Ruined cars
– Low Poly ruins
– 4 to 5 different textures of sand for the terrain
– Texture for each of the models together with their specular and normal map
– Stylized tillable wall textures
I have started my work from looking for inspirations and references which I could use in creation of the animatic. I have considered my skills and interest and analyzed what I could do best for this assignment. So here will be brief research over the topics I have considered to create.
I have considered that I’ll combine several inspirations together to generate the final outcome. My main inspirations, are Apotheosis of War and Road of the War Prisoners.
These two are oil paintings from 1871 and 1878 respectively, created by ever great Russian artist Vasily Vasilyevich. I really wished to turn Apotheosis of war into a interesting scene within game engine and pay a homage to the classical master of art. Originally I have selected Apotheosis of war, due reproduction of said painting done by Russian artist Alexi S.Vitaly for his web-comic. I have learned about this painting thanks to this web comic several years ago. A cropped excerpt from original comic can be seen below.
So I am planing to create stylized post apocalyptic scene. I am planing to keep it in bright colors like the original painting. I want to convey the feel of dread using stylized scene. Also I want to use this as showcase of my various skills. I can show my ability to create high quality props and materials. My skills to create environments for games. So this scene is great opportunity to show them. I did researched other scenes and images as well.
Early concept art work of Kirov airships for game called: “Command & Conquer Red Alert2”. I have found these while I was looking for various inspirations. I was considering them, to add up to my scene to make it more interesting, however then I have realized that over-stylized Zeppelins would be out of place in my scene. Also making such high-detailed animated model would take me too much time and it could be a focus of the scene of it self. If I would included it in the scene it would de-centralized whole scene, which is not a good thing. Simple as that, it just didn’t fit the scene.
I have also considered re-creating town images from this classic game. These two towns are my favorite from aesthetic stand point. I wanted to pay a homage to one of my most favorite games of all times and also I wanted to see how these towns could look like in the modern engine. However I had to cast this idea aside due high amount of work I would need to invest into them. Even if I would change plenty of the buildings, and removed some features it still would need to create countless individual shadders for whole scene. The amount of work would be also increase amount of the work for such limited time frame. So I wasn’t sure of my skills and if I would managed to complete them on time.
Next on my consideration list were screen-shoots from another good old games. “Spyro the Dragon” and “Spyro year of the Dragon”, whole series was large part of my childhood. I wanted to again pay a tribute and re-create a level from that game using modern technologies. However I have decided not to, partially because of lack of the good reference images, but most importantly I wanted to create something that viewers could easier associate with. I believe I could re-create a chunk of the level using slightly less stylized graphics. As the game is a opened spaced platformer , it’s environments are quite empty without game entities and instead just coping a game level I wanted to create some of my layout by my self. I did looked on more examples however I did not included them to stop this post from bloating.
And finally, my last set of possible inspirations and considerations, is a collection of peculiar and surreal painting by Zdzisaw Beksiski. A Polish artists, painter and a sculptor of surreal art. It is important that he have never gave any title or even meaning to his pieces of work, there was nothing behind them , they just exist. I was really interested by a concept of including such bizarre and sinister environment a game. An environment that fully alienates the player and brings chill to the skin. that’s very important part of horror games.
I really appreciate dark color schemes and sinister nature of theese paintings and also their potential in the video games. However I have passed on them, due fact theese are not the best entries as key elements in the portfolio. As final result would be hard to tell if it was good or bad. Still, I am considering making thees in a future for some other project.