First things first, a MASSIVE thank you to Eat3D, who continue to help me expand my Unreal knowledge. All the videos on this post are based on the rather spiffy free tutorials they have at their website here. Their stuff is awesome. I followed the tutorials, tweaked and blended them for my needs and now have some more interesting videos and Unreal knowledge.
I have a plan for a level and, without giving too much away whilst it is in the planning stage, I wanted a couple of features and particle effects that I hadn’t really seen in the Unreal content browser. Fortunately (coincidentally, serendipitously) Eat3D based a couple of free vids around these features. First was a convincing local smoke effect, the type you would see around a small fire.
I was really pleased with how this ended up. It looks great, it has a nice swirly quality and is really multi-purpose. I can imagine this as dense fog coming out of a wet grate on a hot day, or as the smoke coming from a little fire, Going through the tutorial I learnt a lot about the complexity of the materials system, but also how powerful it is.
In my mind I have a scene where the player is approaching a door but, before they can reach it, it explodes off its hinges, with enemies spilingl out of the detritus and into the room. The following video and tutorial shows off a couple of effects which might be really handy: fracture meshes and a widely dispersed dust particle.
Laid out as two separate tutorials by Eat3D, I combined them into one video. The dust effect gives the room a distinct atmosphere, evocative of an underground temple, recently disturbed, or of a war-torn building, with particulates slowly floating to the ground. It looks cool, and there are clearly a number of situations where it could be used. Once such situation might be if the player uses a fracture mesh, for example a door, which is blown up so the player can enter a room. The dust effect could be triggered after the door is blown up to show that the room has been effected by the player’s actions. This is a very immersive effect, giving the illusion that the player is having a real impact on the world. Equally it could be used in my earlier example, where the enemy spills into the room occupied by the player.
The next design step has to be experimenting with different particles effects and starting to hash out the sort of sequences which would be interesting in a longer, original level.
Again, many thanks to Eat3D. http://eat3d.com/free