tagged voxels

Good news! Work!

About a month and a half ago i was hired by RetroRonin to help build their wonderful voxelMMO calle Voxelnauts! you can see the project website here: voxelnauts.com

Anyways, this is my day job from now on for i dont know how long, but either way im loving it! here're some of the things i've modeled and animated recently. hope you enjoy it!

SO last night after i made Protoman i decided to continue and make both Zero from Megaman X and Captain Falcon.

Zero was a bit tricky for the top of his helmet since i didn't want to make it feel too fat in the front. Captain falcon was a lot simpler to design and I had more fun making him due to all the falcon punch puns i was making in my head but overall i feel Protoman was my best design from last night. I nailed the shading on that a lot more. Although Captain Falcon is great as well!

At the end of the night i started to try out Unreal Engine 4 to see how to get it working with my voxel models. I found many ups and downs as i played around with it.

First off in the first image we can see a setup i made using a Turn based game blueprint. The blueprint system made by Unreal is actually really easy to comprehend and is relatively straight forward at the surface. The dialogues make sense and Unreal is nice enough to implement a help system/tutorial that guides you in each new section you encounter. Overall the entrance to Unreal wasn't as overwhelming as i expected.

Once i started the blueprint system i decided to start importing assets. I figured that of all things, importing assets should be known to me first since i create them all the time and this is most likely what i'll run into most often in the future.

The second image shows the 2 assets i made within Qubicle for testing in Unreal. The cherry blossom tree and an octagonal tile. Knowing that the OBJ exporter in Qubicle 2.0 is much more refined i decided to make my assets in Qubicle 1.6 (as i normally do) and then use Qubicle 2.0 as the middle man when transferring assets. Originally i was doing this strictly for the mesh exporting, later i found out i'd be using Q2 for many more reasons.

The Third and Fourth images are what happened when i transfered the models from Qubicle 2.0 to Unreal Engine as OBJ files. As you can see, the Cherry blossom is rotated along the Y axis while the Platform looks completely fine. The cherry blossom tree was my first try at importing assets. Since the tree was a random prop i figured having it rotated like that isn't much of a big deal since i can rotate the object in Unreal no problem. However, this was a no go for the tiled platform. The tiled platform originally imported rotated like the tree and that couldn't be something i would keep or else i'd have to take into consideration the rotation of the object when writing a tiling system (which in this case already exists within the blueprint). What i noticed and what you can see in the fourth photo is that the pivot location of the tiled platform is actually on the left hand side of the model, why is that? Is it ok?

It turns out that the pivot location within Unreal 4 is completely different to Qubicle 2.0, both in its orientation and value. The fifth image is what i had to do to the tile piece in Qubicle 2.0 for it to come out the way it did in Unreal 4. Not only did i have to rotate the model in Qubicle but i had to relocate the pivot point on the model (and in the end it still didn't come out centered in Unreal, c'mon!).

In the end i managed to get both files in and working with the tiling script written within the blueprint. I exported the Qubicle models as OBJ with all export functions on and as a single mesh. When importing into Unreal i had to increase the Unit value to 5 for it to scale as it seems in the last image. (i think it's still a tad too small, will go through further testing).

Unreal Engine 4 was fun to use for the first time. Some tweaks were annoying and now knowing what i had to adjust makes me feel a lot better with the tool. Next would be for me to actually start implementing the functions on the objects and replace the player models with something more fitting to my style. I'd also like to go and try out the animation system considering they support FBX in these newer builds. The lighting system in Unreal is a lot of fun to play with and looks fantastic, even with voxel models at the resolution of the cherry tree! The camera controls are a lot more fluid and usable that the ones from Unity and i feel like i can get a lot more done in here. All in all i like what I see and will continue working with the tool. Maybe i'll eventually be able to make something on my own within unreal, who knows.