Unreal and other engines
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  • I'm at a bit of a point where I am starting to lean more into Unreal as a solution for my work rather than dedicated renderers like Vray.

    I have spent the last few days learning and then applying Twinmotion to an old project and think it is brilliant. I have also been doing a fair bit of training in Unreal 4.

    Mentioned it a while back but I went to the Unreal Academy in London at the end of last year and I was totally sold on it as a solution for games but also beyond games and into architecture, movies, theme parks etc. I really believe there is something in this and it has been galvanized by the current situation we are in of lockdown. Realtime and particularly VR seems to me to be massive in its potential and ripe for getting people on board.

    So this I guess is a thread to discuss Unreal or Unity or Frostbite or whatever.

    I am mainly looking at a dev pointed view but gripes and praise are of course welcome. I have put this into Off Topic, that doesnt preclude games but I am looking at the broader potential including just games.

    Anyone have experience with these engines and what they offer?
  • Nina
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    This is the site of a company Bas had with a friend before we moved to the US. 
    https://naivi.nl/

    I helped with the two Louis Vuitton projects on there, both were done in Unreal as well. As you can see from the other projects, real-time graphics can be used for a lot of things!

    I'm not that deep into it myself, but I can use it if I need to. Once I'm done with slowly working through the Book of Shaders I should take another look. Curious to see what you're making in it Liv!

    And while not technically an engine, Houdini is some real powerful software as well for procedural design and creating a quick pipeline that works with Unreal and Unity.
  • Thanks Nina. Will check that link out when I'm on desktop.

    What I have done so far is nothing special at all but the speed is what is impressive. (Not my speed the software).

    Normally I provide stills (single renders) but with this stuff I can see how I could jump from that to fly throughs, add in humans, realtime interaction like it was a game environment and seemingly VR as well.

    My clients differ but my events clients will definitely benefit. If they survive.
  • The way I see it is the push Epic have done with Unreal and Twinmotion has shaken up the industry, it's just a slow shake.

    I'm seeing people showcase gorgeous interior renders on LinkedIn, everyday. They are obviously strong, and sell the space in a static image. But a static image is trumped by a walkthrough movie and a movie is trumped by realtime interaction and that is improved with VR.


    Unreal 4 isnt easy to learn but it is easy to grab hold of.
    Twinmotion is a piece of piss but limited.

    Hi Roujin, I can make your sketchup, Revit, Archicad sexy it is super difficult, you wont understand DM for day rate.;)
  • GooberTheHat
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    Does unreal have Ray tracing? I was looking at the digital foundry Minecraft video and thinking how amazing the tech would be when applied to an architectural design program in VR.
  • Very much so.
    When I was at the Unreal Acedemy I attended a lecture on lighting types and their application. I was in awe of it all but the more versed people attending where there for that specific stuff.
    I will try to link tomorrow, alot of the lectures are online.
  • GooberTheHat
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    The ability to bring what is essentially a model to life with real time ray tracing must feel revolutionary for your industry. Couple that with VR and I can see why you're so excited about it. I'm excited about the thought of it and I can't even do anything with it.
  • Ray tracing is a part of, a major part of what I have worked with for years. I have nearly always worked in what is referred to as PBR (physical based rendering), we take a light source, shoot light rays out of it, when that ray hits a surface it calculates the colour, reflection, roughness, texture etc, then leaves with that data until it hits the next surface until that calculation starts again.

    That is crazy heavy on computation power. What Unreal and similar have done is to minimize those aspects normally at a loss to detail but in a way where the designer can dictate those losses.

    That is about as simple as I can get but anyone who is interested and has even a halfway ok PC or laptop just download Unreal and have some fun. You can literally be in a fps within a few clicks.
  • GooberTheHat
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    Were you doing real time ray tracing previously, or was it pre rendered stuff?
  • Yeah the traditional renderers were/are ray traced.
    Ray tracing really is the default because it is based around physics of sun light. PBR (physical based rendering) is the default, the starting point. From there it is always an attempt to cut corners and trick the viewer. Which is fine, all balance.
  • PBR is or should be perfect.
    From there a texture artist needs to balance how it looks with the performance
  • Twinmotion is indeed the shit.
    Don't try and place me in a box, you cocks. If there's one thing I'm not, it's fucking tory scum.
  • I and my company have lots of Unity experience, but we're also branching into Unreal as their licensing terms means it's a big deal in US theme parks.

    The real-time stuff they've been doing/showing in the Virtual Production hub is incredible - which is what you get when Kim Libreri (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0508912/) has been CTO for 5 years and been constantly pushing real-time:

    https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/programs/virtual-production
  • Does unreal have Ray tracing? I was looking at the digital foundry Minecraft video and thinking how amazing the tech would be when applied to an architectural design program in VR.
    UE and Frostbite have very much lead the way for real-time ray-tracing. One of the first big demos was running in UE:



    Of course, at the time it was running on a DGX-1, which cost $70,000 and had 4 Tesla V100 (top end NVIDIA quadro) GPUs.
    UE, the DXR team and NVIDIA Turing cards (with the RT cores) later optimised things so it would eventually run on a single RTX 2080 TI, which is still a beast of a card but shows you how quickly tech is moving in the sector.
    The next year they also got this demo running real-time on an RTX 2080t Ti:



    RT is now fully officially supported in UE since 4.24, while Unity are still lagging behind a little as they've got lots of engine changes in flight for the new render pipelines so haven't gone at it full bore:  https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/Engine/Rendering/RayTracing/index.html

    PS, if you want to mess about with UE ray-tracing you don't need an RTX card - it works okay if you have a decent GPU, just obviously not as fast as RTX, so the viewport is laggier and the image takes a little while to refine the noise away. Just about tolerable to have a look at the demo scene on my GTX 1070, but you wouldn't want to work with it all day.
  • Nina wrote:
    This is the site of a company Bas had with a friend before we moved to the US.  https://naivi.nl/ ...
    I love those kinds of large scale installs - these are my current heroes, would love if anyone knows of more firms/devs like them:

    https://nohlab.com/
    https://www.teamlab.art/
    https://vimeo.com/vincenthouze
  • Skerret
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    My people work with Unreal almost exclusively and have a sort of partnership with Unreal and therefore have access to GPUs like those listed, doing virtual production stuff, all realtime. Unreal is moving ahead pretty quickly. I was using it with Hololens to do some vis of Solidworks models, passthrough stuff using real-time ray tracing, s'good.
    Skerret's posting is ok to trip balls to and read just to experience the ambience but don't expect any content.
    "I'm jealous of sucking major dick!"~ Kernowgaz
  • I am enjoying the dabbling I am doing with it, but I don't like environment modelling as much as character stuff it seems. Still plodding on. I downloaded the Kite Open World Asset Pack to texture my environment with, I still need to learn how to use all this stuff properly. Half my Masters seems to involve throwing myself into a program I don't understand and desperately trying to get results out of it.
  • Almost at a point where I am happy to call it done - some texturing and one or two more assets to do - some weird effects when i stand in certain places that I will have to troubleshoot too.

    unknown.png
  • That looks great Tempy, nice work.
    I wouldnt worry about not enjoying it as much as character stuff, you have to try to know.

    Personally I am happiest making small rigid body props. If it can fit in a table and has some detail I can indulge I am a happy boy. I made a traditional SLR a few years back which was my perfect task.
  • That looks really good, Temps.
  • Cross post
    LivDiv wrote:
    This has on and off taken me most of lockdown to do. I was trying to work out if Twinmotion was a reasonable tool for pitch presentation in events. The answer is inconclusive. It has some limitations that can be worked around but is a bitch to export from. Having a huge amount of drag and drop assets helps with time. I think I am going to explore the more powerful but more complex Unreal Engine instead.
  • I'm going to start learning Unity and get back into some basic game development jazz. Thought you would all want to know.

    I wish all this shit had been around when I was learning to make Dink Smallwood modules in the early 2000's! Man.
  • I have nothing but bloody adoration for you Proper Computer Folk. Mad skills. So jealous.
  • I downloaded Unity and GameMaker recently. Really wanna make something.
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • Yeah, same. Haven't done anything similar in about 15 years now... :/
  • hylian_elf wrote:
    I downloaded Unity and GameMaker recently. Really wanna make something.

    Oooh, nice. I have been tinkering with the same combo. You mainly looking at visual coding? Or actual nuts and bolts codey-code?
  • Codey-code. I can’t do visuals or sound! Actual code is more my thing. Or at least it was 20 years ago!
    I am a FREE. I am not MAN. A NUMBER.
  • I never gave it much time, but Project Spark was a fucking brilliant little thing.

    What sort of game would you want to make, Elf?
  • I did look, to be fair...
  • hylian_elf wrote:
    Codey-code. I can’t do visuals or sound! Actual code is more my thing. Or at least it was 20 years ago!

    Coolio.

    Bolt is now free in Unity, so it’s got a pretty fantastic setup for beginners. If you know C# (or are happy to learn) then Bolt is super powerful, it seems.
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