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Contact Shadows in Unreal

In real-time interactive content like video games, objects often seem to be floating.

As objects come in contact to the ground, they seem to “not touch” or float above the ground.

So why does this matter?  If you were trying to achieve realism this is an instant reality-breaker that we are hard-wired to spot in an instant. If you see the feet of a chair not attached to the ground, it's an immediate queue saying  “what you see is not real”. 

On the other hand, however if this small shadow is present, our eyes are fooled into believing that the object is actually here.

This effect is especially pronounced when in VR goggles. You truly believe the chair is actually in front of you, it’s quite staggering.

So here are three ways to deal with this issue.

  • Static GI
    • Bake Lightmass
    • Bake GPU lightmass
    • AO texture Baking
  • Dynamic GI 
    • Distance field AO
    • Ambient Occlusion
    • Raytracing
  • Hybrid 
    • Vertex Baked AO
    • 3DSmax
    • AO baker
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Working with Unreal is mind blowing - Interview with Vince Gagliardi

I met Vince Gagliardi at an SOA event Venice in 2018 and he showed me his latest movie beautifully done in Vray and Corona. 26 minutes long. 


Click above to watch the interview

I remember thinking "Gosh that's a lot of rendering, I'm sure he could get this quality in Unreal " and I urged him to try it.

Well as he says in this interview one year and a bit later... here we are ! He emailed me last week with this movie and i couldn't resist trying this interview format out. Please share your thoughts and comments if you have any, I really enjoyed doing this so I feel very excited to help share it with the world.


Click above to watch his original movie Neither

Vince created this whole show in Unreal and opened the prestigious Lunchmeat Festival at the National Gallery of Prague in October 2019.

The film isn't actually released yet., but Vince is about to release the music in early 2020 and the film shortly after so this is definitely a huge...

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Unreal Tutorial Realistic metal : Chrome

chrome materials ue4 Dec 12, 2019

In this Unreal engine tutorial, I explain how to create a very realistic chrome material.

The benefits of this method are twofold: 1- you can easily give a patina, a sort of ageing effect. 2 - you can go extremely detailed by using 8K textures.

Depending on the size of the texture in the scene, or if you used 16k images, the level of detail you are then working at is literally microscopic ! In the video below, I show you how doing this in real time gives you incredible amount of control over the fine tweaking.

 

 

In order to achieve this material just do the following :

  1. Create a material
  2. Set Metallic on 1
  3. Add an 8k "imperfection" texture map as Roughness
    The texture should be uneven mid grey like a grunge map, but avoid high contrast with extreme blacks and whites.
  4. Create a multiply node and a Scalar Node and multiply the texture to be able to tweak it in realtime

    to zoom in the image, right click + open the image in new tab
  5. Optionally, you...
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How to create a custom HDRI Skydome in UE4

materials photorealism Aug 20, 2019
 

In this video I'll show you how to create a skydome in Unreal so you can :

  • Load any High resolution HDRI as a viewport background
  • Change the intensity 
  • Rotate the background image
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