1. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    #1

    Unreal Engine Project - Exploring foliage and lighting

    Hello, guys.

    I'm sharing some pictures and a video of a UE4 I've been working for quite a while. There are different vegetation and moods that I've tested in the same scene. C&C are most welcome and feel free to ask anything. Hope you like it =)



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    Backyard Grass: I've put a lot of effort on creating a nice 3D grass for real time archviz in UE4. The asset is just a cluster of planes created in SpeedTree. The major contributor for the look is the UE4 material. Size and color variations are all changeable via material instance parameters.



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    Tall Grass: Same thing here.. A lot of effort to recreate realistic tall grass to fill out the environment of my archviz projects. For that one I went deeper and created the textures from scratch with real grass samples from the neighborhood =)



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    Ficus Tree: Real-time SpeedTree model of a Ficus Tree that I've created to learn ways of improve performance while maintaining good looking visuals for big trees in UE4.



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    Tabebuia Tree: This one is not so complex like the Ficus tree, but it let me test some UE4 material programming like random colors (between two options) for each foliage instance. Yellow and purple Tabebuia usually share similar flower periods.



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  2. Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    14
    #2

    Hi, awesome images. You have some kick ass vegetation skills. I've been trying to achieve nice looking results but couldn't reach your quality so far.
    May I ask how you manage lighting in big scenes? Is everything dynamic?
    Have you done a tutorial about this? It would be really nice to learn something from you.

    Great work, keep it up
  3. Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    18
    #3

    Hi,

    Obviously the best photo realistic environment I have seen made in UE! Congrats!

    Looks like you have solved a problem with modeling trees in speedtree would love to see tutorial on modeling.I have never managed to solve the unatural look of positioning leaves in the algorith.

    Love to see more of you work !
  4. Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2
    #4

    Hi,

    Have you ever considered releasing your scenes for sale? Or a paid tutorial series purepolygons' style? Because seriously, I would pay really good money for this

    Amazing work, keep it up!
  5. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    #5

    Quote:
    Originally posted by: totinguis
    Hi, awesome images. You have some kick ass vegetation skills. I've been trying to achieve nice looking results but couldn't reach your quality so far.
    May I ask how you manage lighting in big scenes? Is everything dynamic?
    Have you done a tutorial about this? It would be really nice to learn something from you.

    Great work, keep it up
    Thanks!

    The lighting setup consistis of a stationary sun light and a stationary skylight. Lightmass quality is set to default Production mode. Importance lightmass volume around the main building. Only the terrain and the buildings are static, all the foliage is dynamic. I'm not using any sort of dynamic GI for the foliage... I'm relying on AO only to give the vegetation some depth.

    I'll be finishing some tutorials soon. I just need more time to give it the quality I want =)

    Quote:
    Originally posted by: Nikolay Atanasov
    Hi,

    Obviously the best photo realistic environment I have seen made in UE! Congrats!

    Looks like you have solved a problem with modeling trees in speedtree would love to see tutorial on modeling.I have never managed to solve the unatural look of positioning leaves in the algorith.

    Love to see more of you work !
    Thank you.

    Yeah, SpeedTree is not intuitive when you wish to create foliage from scratch instead of just modifying existing ones... Leaves positioning is definitely the worst part of it indeed and I still struggle with it even after months of practicing. I end up getting a good result after hours of trials and errors and most of the time I'm not sure how I got there to replicate it again in the next project =P. The tree graph is also limited with no node instances and and node sharing support which can add a lot of unnecessary complexity to some assets.


    Quote:
    Originally posted by: Dworakowsky
    Hi,

    Have you ever considered releasing your scenes for sale? Or a paid tutorial series purepolygons' style? Because seriously, I would pay really good money for this

    Amazing work, keep it up!
    Yes, I have considered that. Problem is that any UE4 project that contains assets created in SpeedTree will be restricted by their EULA limitations. I'm talking to them and trying to get any sort of agreement but it's probably not going to happen. So I'm working on some tutorials as it seems to be the only option.
    Last edited by rabellogp; 2016-07-05 at 05:21 PM.
  6. Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    243
    #6

    woowww!!! the most realistic environment ever seen. waiting for this tutorial anyway can you tell us about your machine? do we need a powerful one to achive this one? thanks
  7. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    #7

    Quote:
    Originally posted by: jeyd
    woowww!!! the most realistic environment ever seen. waiting for this tutorial anyway can you tell us about your machine? do we need a powerful one to achive this one? thanks
    I use a Core i7 3770, 16gb and a GTX 980Ti. With that setup I can get something around 50fps at 1080p on that specific project. The GPU is the most important player here, but it only matters if you are aiming for an interactive experience. If you are using the engine to generate still pictures and videos then you don't need to care about viewport FPS, unless it's so low that makes it impossible to work with =P. But for that, a GTX 970 will be more than enough.
  8. Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    243
    #8

    Quote:
    Originally posted by: rabellogp
    I use a Core i7 3770, 16gb and a GTX 980Ti. With that setup I can get something around 50fps at 1080p on that specific project. The GPU is the most important player here, but it only matters if you are aiming for an interactive experience. If you are using the engine to generate still pictures and videos then you don't need to care about viewport FPS, unless it's so low that makes it impossible to work with =P. But for that, a GTX 970 will be more than enough.
    thanks for that info atleast i have GTX 970
  9. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1
    #9

    Nice work! I loved it!
  10. Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1
    #10

    Hi rabellogp, I have been following your posts here and there.. It's been great help for my project..many thanks. bytheway can you give us little more details on lighting when you say "Only the terrain and the buildings are static, all the foliage is dynamic. I'm not using any sort of dynamic GI for the foliage... I'm relying on AO only to give the vegetation some depth." Where exactly can we disable dynamic GI for the foliage and only use AO? Sorry for the dumb question but I can't find these info elsewhere..
  11. Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    20
    #11

    Quote:
    Originally posted by: rufas
    Hi rabellogp, I have been following your posts here and there.. It's been great help for my project..many thanks. bytheway can you give us little more details on lighting when you say "Only the terrain and the buildings are static, all the foliage is dynamic. I'm not using any sort of dynamic GI for the foliage... I'm relying on AO only to give the vegetation some depth." Where exactly can we disable dynamic GI for the foliage and only use AO? Sorry for the dumb question but I can't find these info elsewhere..
    Hello, Rufas.

    Sorry for the delay on answering this. I didn't come back to this forum for a while.

    First of all I'm talking about the lightmass GI here. I'm not using any kind of dynamic GI (you'd need to manually activate dynamic GI btw since it's not activated by default). Considering this, if you set an static mesh to be "movable" it won't receive static GI.

    So my dynamic foliage will be receiving just direct light from sun and sky, and also PP AO. I also like to use the vertex color of SpeedTree models to multiply the AO in the foliage's material AO node.

    If you have Lightmass Importance Volumes in your scene, movable meshes inside it will receive a "sort of" indirect light from lighting cash. Sometimes this can cause the foliage inside this volume to have different light from the foliage outside (they'll look lighter probably). Than I turn lighting cash off via console command "r.IndirectLightingCache 0"

    I hope it helps =)
  12. Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    23
    #12

    woowww!!! Spur raelizm !!
  13. Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    1
    #13

    Hello rabbellogp,

    Do you have any update on a tutorial to produce grass etc to the same quality that you do? I wold love to see how you get to that level of detail. I would download and use existing ones but I would prefer to learn how to make them myself.

    Are you willing to upload your ue4 project so we could explore it ourselves and look through your materials etc or do you want to keep those close to your chest.

    Thanks. Fantastic work btw. I realise that it was your work that got me into UE4 in the first place.

    Cheers,

    Ford_Origin
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