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Unreal Engine 4 at GDC

Epic Games has already indicated it will unveil the Unreal Engine 4 to the public later this year, and now we have word that they will be showing it off behind closed doors at the Game Developers Conference next week in San Francisco, CA. Don't expect to hear much about this at the time, however, as word is non-disclosure agreements must be signed to view this presentation.

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37. Re: Unreal Engine 4 at GDC Feb 28, 2012, 15:13 Kitkoan
Creston wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 11:43:
eRe4s3r wrote on Feb 28, 2012, 05:54:
Actually, you don't need more or better artists, you just need better tools. Sculpting is still a terrible chore and normal map generation for sculpts requires complex unwrapping and messing around.

What we actually need is procedural shaders for primary materials, like wood, stone, plants, ground material (sand/stone/etc.) as well as any kind of metal compound with paint simulation. A dirt simulation, AO in-engine baking etc.

The solution to better graphics is not more artists or more art. It is quite literally to automate stupid processes in art creation. Something that requires infinitely more GPU power than we have now, procedural stuff is still at least 20 times slower than baked stuff, that is why EPIC said that. The future is not better shaders, the future is that you do not need to design shaders anymore, you set the material type, paint type, dirt/wear is simulated according to model and you are done. At that point, you can do high-poly objects outside of sculpting, and once sculpting, baking, unwrapping is gone from art-work flow you can finally see some decent graphics in indy games, and superb graphics (photo-real, actually) in AAA games.

Procedural shaders are still years away though. Someone would have to do some insane R&D on that, but once that is done the possibilities are endless.

Interesting. If you do it that way, however, wouldn't that mean that all games made with the engine LITERALLY would look the same? Since they'd all use the auto-shader?


Not really, at that point its like an air brush. The paint is applied in the same manner since its completely controlled by is engine. But the artist gets to still choose things like " paint" density, concentration, angles, tones, shapes, etc... Grass can have different heights, colors, patches. Tees can have different leaves, colors, branches length and density, bark color or lack of bark. The tools can help but at the end your still left with the artists vision. If the artist doesn't understand how to use the tools to their fullest or is lazy, then yes, everything looks the same.

Think of a meadow. For the most part, they all run on the same basics. Grass, maybe a few trees, sky, etc... But each meadow can look very different even though the same basic principles are used and reused.
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