Sachtberg in UE4: Update

I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to use C++ and UE4. So far, I managed to ruin my game and had to start from scratch, but now everything is working well. I got a walk/jump/crouch/flashlight system going. I also redid some of the textures and added new assets.

Here is a preview video:

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Sachtberg in Unreal Engine 4

Recently, my brother purchased a UE4 subscription and has allowed me to use it. I love it. Not to put Unity down, but I believe UE4 has many more useful features from the get-go, and is significantly cheaper than Unity. The only downside is that you need to know C++, but that isn’t too much of a problem.  It has been announced that Unreal’s developer Epic games are planning to help fund Blender’s FBX export features. Better export tools will streamline the blender to UE4 workflow, making it much more friendly for artists who can’t afford Maya or Max.

Because of the benefits, I’ve decided to switch Sachtberg from Unity to UE4. Only a few days, and I’ve already made substantial progress in blocking out a level.

ScreenShot00012 ScreenShot00014 ScreenShot00017 ScreenShot00018 ScreenShot00020 ScreenShot00021 ScreenShot00022 ScreenShot00023

Everything modeled in Blender, and textures made with Photoshop and dDo.

Too Much

I’ve been working on my character for too long it seems. I’m getting sick of working on this and I need to take a break but I don’t really feel like getting in to anything else. I also don’t want to forget to finish the character so it’s quite the dilemma.

What I’ve been doing:

I spent a lot of time learning how to make hair in Blender Cycles.

HAIR1

This was my first attempt. I think it looks like a fire aura. Someone else described it as “liquid gold”. Either way, it doesn’t work. The flatness of each hair clump is at the wrong angle on the top of the head, giving her “big Texas hair”

 

hair2_4

My second attempt yields better results, but the color is flat and boring. It is a good start, however.

 

hair_8

To add variety, I added a texture that defines subtle differences in color for each hair, a color-ramp that makes the hairs get more “orange” at the roots to match the fur color, and a mixer to brighten and intensify the highlights. There was something about the hair around where the “widow’s peak” would be that bothered me, and the frizzy hairs along the side were too uniform.

 

r2_1

After a lot of tweaking, researching, and obnoxiously long render times, I finally get something I’m pleased with. I have the displeasure of having lower-end computers to work with. I could either have a 12 hour render time, or have her look like she’s in the sparkle-verse. I can’t afford a $1500+ rig.

Next step is to do the fur. Considering how long it took to render the scalp-hair, I’m not too excited for this part. If you’re wondering why her tail is just a “stick” in the last image, it’s because I’m preparing it for the fur layer.

Can I take a break? I want to do some digital paintings of things that aren’t characters. We’ll see about that.