Javert's VFX & Hobbies Superthread | UE4 Contest Entry

JavertValbarr
JavertValbarr StaffAdministrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff
edited June 6 in General

Hey everyone!

Tom and I will be setting up superthreads here on the Forum, to keep you guys up to date on projects we're working on both inside (figuratively speaking, as we're all home at the moment) and outside of work.

Let me know if you have any questions, HitFilm or otherwise!

Instagram: @javert.valbarr

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Comments

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

    @JavertValbarr Looking forward to reading those posts.  Sounds like a fun idea.

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff
    edited March 2020

    Thanks @tddavis! Here's the first.

    About a week ago I took an interest in Unreal Engine, after seeing some impressive renders of realistic environments. I've never been too interested in creating video games, and that is still the case, but the ability to craft a scene and customize the lighting/textures with the freedom to get it just right really appealed to me.

    So I downloaded the engine (it's free) and have begun the process of learning a new software program. This involves watching tutorials + trying to make my own scenes, encountering an issue, then looking it up. Basically the same as what I did with HitFilm, 9 years ago.

    Here's what I've made so far.

    Forest

    Attic

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator
    edited March 2020

    @JavertValbarr Both are nice.  I played with the engine for a minute trying to work out a texture issue on a model HeySiri was having but I never progressed to the tutorials or level you have here. I may need to reload it (It never got reinstalled after I went to SSD) and give it some serious attention after seeing these.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,586 Ambassador

    As I said in Tom's thread, "?" 

     

    ?

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,051 Ambassador

    Pretty cool @JavertValbarr ,

    Good start. :)

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,092 Ambassador

    Nice reminded me of one of the levels from the first crysis game. 

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,538 Enthusiast
    edited March 2020

    Pretty cool indeed. Look forward to your progress. ?

    I've been dabbling myself with landscape scenes in Unreal 4. I also absolutely love the fact the Quixel and Megascans will give you access to all of Megascan assets for free. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Hence the  impressive renders of realistic environments that Javert shared.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iQJkSpOoOQ

    Big caveat to using stunning environments of that caliber in anything but Unreal though. ONLY for use in the Unreal Engine ?

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff
    edited May 2020

    The UE4 learning continues.

    Rather than building environments from scratch, I'm now attempting to enhance already-existing projects by refreshing the materials and lighting to give it a new look.

    This is a level called "Detective Office", which anyone can download from the UE4 tutorial section:

    I wasn't a huge fan of the way it looked, so I learned how to replace the Diffuse textures with PBR materials from Megascans. This involved opening the FBX mesh in Blender, separating the faces/vertices, and assigning new materials to them. I also deleted all of the lighting/post-processing effects and started over.

    The next scene I'm working on is a temple. I'm taking inspiration from BioShock Infinite's opening level, which takes place in a church, for ideas on how to enhance it. The other day I learned how to use Niagra in UE to create ground fog/smoke.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

    @JavertValbarr That ground fog looks really sweet! The office looks a lot better too, but the amount of light oot the window sort of puzzles me as to what might be causing it.  Something seems just a little out of place there.

  • JonnyMac
    JonnyMac Website User Posts: 11

    @JavertValbarr Perhaps a tutorial on using UE to build virtual sets is in the future? 

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff
    edited June 2020

    My latest UE4 endeavors have to do with creating cinematics!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CB0kiP0j9yP/

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CB_EMkDDh77/

    Environments were pre-built demo projects. I tweaked the lighting and colors as needed but definitely didn't build these from scratch. In the latest cinematic I did extend the hallway behind our Hero a bit since it prematurely ended in the demo build.

    Animations came from a free MCO Mocap Basics pack on the Epic Games Marketplace.

    For the camera movement, I used the official app Unreal Remote 2 to link my iPhone to my computer and capture the camera as the scene played in real-time.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

     @JavertValbarr Both of those look fabulous!  I saw nothing amiss...at all. I'd happily watch a 10hr screen cap of your process putting one of those together.

  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,051 Ambassador
  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,159 Ambassador

     Holy smoke!  Friggin' awesome.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,538 Enthusiast

    Very kool! ?

    The "official app URemote" - is that Unreal Remote 2?

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff

    @GrayMotion Yes, have changed the name in the post- thanks!

  • zobo1942
    zobo1942 Website User Posts: 46 Just Starting Out*

    I am absolutely floored with the virtual production which can be done withUnreal Engine. I joined a facebook group which talks about using cameras, virtual reality equipment, and Unreal Engine to create live composites in virtual environments, and there are a lot of impressive videos about people using these and LED walls to create entire projected environments for actors to perform in, and eliminating the need to chromakey anything. It was how they shot most of 'The Mandalorian'. 

    I am really fascinated with what it can do - the 'desktop studio' is truly becoming a creative production juggernaut.

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff

    My latest cinematic involved recreating an environment from IT (2017) using Quixel Megascans. I've also put together another thread as a Starter Guide for anyone interested in creating these kinds of things with UE4.

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,254 Ambassador

    That is outstanding, Javert! You gotta be careful showing stuff that cool. Some studio is going to see it and snatch you up, which will make Josh sad. And you don't want to make Josh sad. ;)

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

     @JavertValbarr Excellent cinematic!  I recognized that well instantly and started clinching up in case a clown popped out :)  Soon as I put this Baby Yoda cake to bed Saturday, I hope to dig into your Starter Guide and finally make use of the program a little.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,159 Ambassador

    That is way awesome!  Are holodecks far behind?

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff

    If you follow FXhome on social, you might've seen that I've been working on a cave environment in UE4 since July. It's finally finished- I ended up turning it into another first-person POV cinematic. I find this viewpoint really grounds me in the scene and, hopefully, makes it feel like you're experiencing the world as the character.

    A progression of the build. Blocking out the environment first really helps establish the scale and composition.

    On to the next one! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,951 Ambassador

    @JavertValbarr That's great! I love the lens dirt and flares. So nice!

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Moderator Las Vegas, NVModerator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 3,254 Ambassador

    Awesome! The environment looks gorgeous, and I agree that the first-person POV does help sell things a bit better than a camera that's just drifting through the space. However, I must admit that I'm not a fan of high FPS video, and from the moment it started I found myself wondering how it would feel at 30fps, or maybe 24. I downloaded and converted it to 30fps, and I like the feeling better, though I just used Handbrake's default settings and the quality in the shadows got absolutely destroyed.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

    @JavertValbarr Absolutely gorgeous! I really, really must force myself to start learning this. The time is never going to magically be there unless I do. My problem with game footage like this though; you fall into a hole and wake up and prowl around and run into a shadowy figure of some strange creature that may be a statue and maybe not and you still approach it? Uh, huh, not this guy. I turn and beat feet the other way just in case it opens its eyes 😂

  • Marshall2000_uk
    Marshall2000_uk Website User Posts: 176 Enthusiast
    edited November 2020

    @JavertValbarr Looking good. Be interesting to see how realistic these become as u get more used to the software. The background for the storm trooper did look really good though. I was tempted to start to learn UE4 but have started with Blender instead which it seems might have been a good choice with u not been able to create models in UE. Seems more plug and play which I love but u need the models firstly (correct me if I’m wrong).Hopefully get to it in the future.

  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,538 Enthusiast
  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Administrator, Website User Posts: 336 Staff

    Last week I decided to buy a tablet (specifically, a Wacom One) to practice drawing. It wasn't expensive- only £35, in case I didn't end up liking it.

    I haven't really drawn since I was a kid, literally 15 years ago or so. I gravitated towards digital VFX/filmmaking and so ended up rarely needing to pick up a pen and paper, other than to quickly sketch out a storyboard. There's been a definite learning curve with using the tablet the last few days: applying pressure with the pen, trying to make the same exact stroke multiple times, my hand muscles quickly getting tired.

    But it's a different creative process to try to draw a face than it is to do what I normally do, i.e. energy VFX or creating a title sequence. I've got the workflow in a good place and now need to work on proportions/drawing face elements at different angles, something I've never needed to do before.


  • tddavis
    tddavis Moderator, Website User Posts: 4,807 Moderator

    You are far, far better t drawing freehand than I will ever be! Tablet or pencil. Good job!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,586 Ambassador
    edited January 20

    The Wacom One isn't a bad choice (and it can also function as a secondary/tertiary display).

    You're an Ipad guy right? I'd almost recommend returning the Wacom and getting Procreate for iPad. It's more natural to draw on an iPad - same size as a notebook and you can hold it like a sketchpad - except, for £35 the Wacom is more than worth keeping, even if you only use it as a secondary display!

    Nice sketch! You'll find Imerge work a bit nicer, too. Also, I recommend taking a look at Krita (it's free). Krita is more geared towards DRAWING than photomanipulation (Photoshop/Affinity/GIMP, etc). For photomanipulation/composting I'll shift between OnOne PhotoRaw, Affinity, Imerge and Hitfilm. For drawing I go right to Krita, every time.

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