Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another UE4 environment run video

Here is another video of Voxel Farm in UE4. This time we are lost somewhere in space:

This is using an Alien Biome we have available as an example. If curious, you can see how this terrain was built here. The biome and tutorial were created by one of our artists, Bohan Sun.

The biome is meant as an example. For this reason it is intentionally simple, but it holds pretty well for exploration as you can see in the video.

I took some time to create a blueprint for the little drone that lights the way for the character. I really enjoyed the experience. I wonder if we could write blueprints for real things, like asking your Roomba to fetch your slippers. There is some serious intelligence you could create with this system, once you have means to feed nav meshes and other actors into it, but I digress.

I hope you liked the video. More Unreal stuff coming later...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Announcing Unreal Engine 4 support

We got Voxel Farm running in UE4. It s not a plugin yet, but we have included an example project that does all the tricky work. More development is required, but I believe this is at a state where others can benefit from it.

I'm already loving how nicely and quicly the voxel content renders. Here you can see the unreal dude on top of our alien biome:

I was thrilled when it took only a couple of clicks to get a good behaving character. Setting up lighting and atmospherics was also very easy. We are not fully exploiting the shading and many other toys in UE4 so it is bound to get much, mucher better.

Been able to just link to our C++ code makes the collaboration between the two engines a breeze. Thanks to that we can run on ARM platforms like iOS.

I leave you with a rather long run of a character over a Voxel Farm terrain. This is a work-in-pogress biome by a new artist that joined our team, Mr. Bohan Sun. You will also note this is only the bare voxel geometry, it is lacking all instanced meshes like grass, shrubs, smaller stones, etc.

I want to thank Alexander Ostman for donating his Voxel Farm/UE4 integration. This became the base of what we are offering today. Drop me a line if you want to get in contact with him.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Riding voxels into the sunset

For creative sandboxes, one recurrent favorite topic is starships, airships and ships in general. It would be very cool if you could actually fly or sail them and, while you do so, continue to build and destroy them.

The clipmap system currently in Voxel Farm sees the entire world as a single monolithic entity. While fragments may be detached from the voxel world, they are kept as meshes and optionally voxelized back into the world when they stop moving.

We are working on a new system that breaks the scene in not only one clipmap, but as many clipmaps as necessary. Here is a video showing the basics of how this works:

The video uses spheres for simplicity. The key here is that each sphere is an object that lives in a different clipmap.

Just like with a single clipmap, portions closer to the camera will get greater resolution, but very unlike the single clipmap, these entities now can be moved around and placed at any arbitrary position, scale or rotation.

Even if the camera is not moving, a given entity may be moving respective to the camera. If the entity approaches it will get higher resolution representation.

I look forward to building a castle, lifting it with massive zeppelin-like devices and exploring the world while comfortably sitting next to a fireplace. Pretty much like Pixar's Up, but with siege weapons.