ANI210 ANIMATION STUDIO BLOG POST 1: Introduction to Unreal Engine 4 and Features

Overview of the Road Ahead in Trimester 2

Unreal Engine 4 Logo

A new Trimester brings about yet another uniquely interesting yet challenging program to familiarize myself with, the Unreal Engine 4 program by Epic Games, (2017). Within the Trimester the task of the studio unit is to produce a walking game simulator with a high quality visual environment that the player can engage with. My tasks within my group include Environment Building, Level Designing Asset Building, Animation, Concept Artist and Texturing, in addition to the above my role will include working in Unreal Engine 4 to ensure the trigger events are executed as we desire them to. That being said, let me break down some of the features that will be relevant to my team with the project we will be working on.

Unreal Engine 4 Features

The most interesting feature that I have been introduced to in Unreal Engine 4 is The Visual Blueprint Scripting, Epic Games, (2017).

Unreal’s Blueprint Visual Scripting

This tool will allow my team to monitor all the trigger events that have been placed in the game and monitor their functionality in real time. This is essentially brilliant as it allows us to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with any one of the trigger events not functioning, identify where the problem is, and figure out how to fix the hiccup where it has occurred.

The feature allowing a High-Performance Virtual Reality Experience running at a whopping 90FPS will be very useful for the simulation my team will create, Epic Games, (2017). This will allow the player to have a high quality in-game experience visually without compromising the performance of the engine, which is exactly what we want. Epic Games has also included a feature that will allow us to edit anything as needed in VR, so as we are testing the simulator within the VR experience and we see something not working as expected Unreal Engine 4 has the capacity to edit whatever it may be right through VR as needed.

The Physics Driven Animation is probably one of my favorite features yet, this allows us to trigger events that occur within the game without necessarily having to do any coding, Epic Games, (2017).

Unreal Engine 4 Physics Driven Animation

This will allow my team to do things effectively and within the required time. With the event interactivity within our simulation which will include, flickering lights, steam pipes with steam bursting out of them, opening doors and fuses that light up. All these should be relatively easy enough to create and edit in the simulator.

The Photorealistic Lighting Capabilities within Unreal Engine 4 are also very useful, with the added rendering capabilities in addition to the above, most of the things we need for the simulation including rendering will be done in Unreal Engine, Epic Games, (2017).

Unreal Engine 4 Lighting Capabilities

Being able to do a lighting bake within Unreal itself will prove to be very useful as it will allow us to avoid having to use different platforms to do lighting bakes and rendering.

All the above features will prove to be very useful within Unreal Engine 4 and will allow my team to effectively execute the walking game simulation we are working on.

References:

  1. Epic Games (2017). Unreal engine features. Retrieved from: https://www.unrealengine.com/features

Images:

  1. Unreal Engine 4 Logo. Retrieved from: https://forums.unrealengine.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=113269&d=1476130951
  2. Unreal’s Blueprint Visual Scripting. Retrieved from: http://www.dreambotstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/blueprint_gamemode.png
  3. Unreal Engine 4 Physics Driven Animation. Retrieved from: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/images/Engine/Animation/PhysicallyDrivenAnimation/PhysicsBlend.jpg
  4. Unreal Engine 4 Lighting Capabilities. Retrieved from: https://shaderforge.userecho.com/s/attachments/10417/1/338/ac4fc5761aa6d5f3d391f589d007170c.jpg