Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gears of War 3: Crescendo

This is by far my favorite GOW3 video to date.

You can really see how we make use of the non-directional lighting in GOW3 with many of our effects. So much to look at, and the whole game is dripping with effects work in general. I am very proud of this work and the team I am now a part of.

Epic has been amazing so far.

Speaking of the non-directional lighting, I intend to take some time and do a quick blog entry on this. I realized quickly once I started writing about effects optimization that the topic was too big for a single blog entry, and honestly UDN is the best place for me to be sharing that info, especially for the benefit of our licensees.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VFX Optimization in UE3

UDN has been updated with a bunch of information relating to effects performance issues.

You can find links to the main VFX Optimization page here...

The documents branch out from the main VFX Optimization page, and I made concerted efforts to link back and forth between topics.

There is a bunch of information there, as well as two new pages for Particle Parameters/Instance Parameters, and the new Collision Actor module which let's you specify per Actor collisions (kismet/matinee spawned effects where you know the actors locations in the scene)

To get into the nitty gritty of diagnosing game thread, render thread, and gpu issues dig into the Core Concepts page. For solutions to issues relating to those threads follow the I am having trouble links.

Core Concepts - diagnose issues

Getting Results - how to fix the issue once it is diagnosed

This information essentially overviews the processes we go through here at Epic when troubleshooting and getting frame rate in line.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


As promised in my previous post I have finally completed documentation of how Epic goes about performance analysis and optimization for effects. These documents outline multiple systems and tools within UE3 some of which are newer to UE3.

The docs are currently in the hands of the UDN/UDK editors and I hope to have them back and reviewed in the coming week. The documents are fairly long and cover core effects creation concepts, in addition to optimizations for the Game Thread, Render Thread, and GPU. I have made best attempts to cover topics and use language/descriptions which are artist friendly, while maintaining the level of technical accuracy effects work requires.

I also wrote up 2 quick tutorials outlining ParticleParameter/InstanceParameter setups, and setting up a new CollisionActor Module with an InstanceParameter on the EmitterActor placed in the scene, which allows us to reduce collision calculation costs.

Sorry for the long wait on this information, I have been busy working on Gears 3. Watch UDN, UDK, or this blog for an update very soon.