Hi, I'm Roy, Cosmogonia's co-founder and Lead TA in BitUp. I’m taking control of today’s post (we are still keeping Martin out of this hehe) I want to talk about the visual aspect of the game, some tip for starters and and finally show a sneak peak of how the game is looking.
First I want to talk about the change from Unity to UE4, as Gabriel said, one of the main reasons for the change was that we were more used to work whit UE than Unity but from the artistic point of view, UE4 became incredibly easy to use.
We use custom shaders, making those in unity (for an artist like me) can be a road block when you want to iterate faster, this because you need to code every custom shader, and if you don’t have shader coding knowledge, the process can be very painful. There are some 3rd party plug-ins used to create shaders with nodes, but since those are 3rd party, those plugins don’t work well when you are working for console, since consoles have some custom instructions or different variables names, in the end you need to go to the shader code, and modify it, every single time you make a change in the node editor… WHY!
In UE4 this is no longer a problem, you have the material editor and almost everything there work perfectly in consoles, without the need of modifying the code or using external tools… WIN!
The custom shader that we built let us control a lot of different features, like a color interpolation measured by the height of the objects, starting point of color transitions, textures size, Fresnel and even the color of the faces depending on the direction they are facing to.
I’m not using anything special about lighting but here are some tips that may be useful for some of you:
1) Start lighting you scene until you have all your materials working properly, UE4 works with PBR and for this reason the look of the essence can be affected drastically by your material. Create a test scene where you can test the material in different lighting situations, once you are comfortable with, then you can star lighting you final scene.
2) When you are lighting your scene, you want to get rid of the default environment color because you don’t want this light to affect your lighting (can be done in the world setting, make it black), then start by the smallest light, doing this you can easily see how that light affects the ambience, check this with every light, then go for the next bigger one and go on until you reach the main light.