Saturday, December 14, 2013

Infinity Blade III

This past summer I had the opportunity to work in the Infinity Blade Universe again.  I find working in the mobile arena to be really rewarding, couple this with a fantasy setting and I am a pretty happy guy.  
There are a multitude of restrictions one may not encounter when working on FX for PC or Console, but I think at times those restrictions offer a unique set a parameters to work within.  I liken it to painting with a limited palette, sometimes having those restrictions creates a more unified result.

The puzzles and problems are a bit trickier to work around, but I often times find solving some of those problems can be really rewarding when you see the final result in the palm of your hand.

One of the toughest tasks was helping out with the Dragon Sequence.  Tasked with helping create a wall of flame and smoke, on a mobile device...pretty tricky.  In this video, around 1:28 there's quite a big chunk of FX work going on.  I was able to help RnD and provided fireball materials, meshes, and particle systems. Fire meshes for the terrain, burning bushes, and falling flame bursts etc.  All of this along with initial setups was handed off to Chair for final implementation, and tweaking via art direction there.


For the rest of the game there were a ton of FX I had the opportunity to help with, quite a bit of water related work, plenty of fire, torches, lens flares, and atmosphere FX.  You might see butterflies, fireflies, dragonflies etc. etc. buzzing around the world, or some misc god rays, dust, blowing smoke...In general I love doing atmosphere work and Chair let me go crazy with it.

I was also able to help contribute to many of the cinematic sequences in the game, including leveraging the incredible Mobile MIC system in UE3 to animate all of the screens etc. etc. the Worker of Secrets interacts with during the first encounters of IB3, a tree rune which grows out of the earth...this one was especially tricky involving a ton of different MIC parameter tracks and 2 separate UV sets to control the whole thing...

Another fun addition centered on the ending cinematics for IB3.  Again for the rocket launching sequence I assisted Chair and provided a wide range of assets for use in the Cinematic.  Rocket booster FX, fireball materials, meshes, particle systems, fires, a full range of assets and FX for the "Ascension Event" when Siris and Isa are caught in the boosters of the launching rocket.  In addition I managed all of the water and environment/fire FX for the second half of the ending sequence on the beach.


What's the point of this entry?

Prior to my time at Epic, I always took time at the end of a project to put together a quick reel of the work involved in that project.  I honestly have been so busy helping on a multitude of efforts that I just plain never got a chance to do something for Gears of War 3, Gears DLC, Gears Judgment, Infiltrator, or any of the efforts from Infinity Blade Dungeons.

I thought I might at least try and summarize here, for my own documentation at least, the work that went into IB3 while it's still fairly fresh.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Infiltrator VFX: Inside Unreal Part 2

The second part of the two part Inside Unreal video is available on YouTube.

Inside Unreal Visual Effects - Part 2

There is a bit more information in this video.  We get into specifics with the Depth Buffer Module in Cascade, a quick high level look into an ambient water effect, and then show the multiple layers of translucency involved in getting our world ambience all tied together.

I am really excited about all of the new features in Cascade, and Epic is working hard to make the experience of making Visual Effects in UE4 as polished as possible.