• Graeme Devine

Ship of the Dead - Part 2

I realized I’ve been offline since the Ides of March and a lot of you may of thought I had gone the way of Caesar. No such luck. I’ve been working on Ship of the Dead, which I realize a lot of you don’t know a lot about the actual project. The prototype consists of three scenes in AR that we’re doing, one in a hut, one at a shoreline, and one on a path high on a cliff. I’m making a rough draft of an overall world for us to use for all these scenes in Unreal as Naomi is working on textures and UI. Progress has been good and learnings have been abundant. So how do you make a world. Well, it turns out there’s a tool for that called “World Creator” which allows you to create terrain maps as height maps and import them into Unreal. These height maps are made by pushing and pulling the little diamonds in the picture below and by adding weights and filters to them (more erosion here, more fractal stuff here, more ridge like stuff here) and eventually you end up with something that could well be the real template for Earth 2.0. This exports as a 2 dimensional PNG file into Unreal which can use it’s terrain system to make a heightfield based terrain from that. All sorts of fabulous performance warnings here about endless worlds and so forth but actually we’re only using a single 2k X 2k texture for the heightfield and using textures and shaders to fill in the rest of the detail. The unlit picture shows how simple our terrain actually is, and then the “turn on the AI shaders” lit view shows just how much extra detail you can add CLOSE TO THE CAMERA ONLY when you want to make the terrain seem highly detailed. Add this all in with the Unreal weather system and water system? And we’re starting to get towards something pretty compelling. And just for Andy I included the video where I run to the shore instead of starting next to it, I like to set the time to pass quickly in the Unreal scene so I can look at how the clouds progress over the sky and not all of that needs to be by the ocean but it’s cool to just run around and jump. Graeme.