Friday, January 31, 2014

Matrix Code UDK Material

I want to have some cool extras in my Oculus demo.

This Matrix scene is one of them.

This is my weekend project and I have been putting a bit of thought into it. I have watched this 5 second clip dozens of times trying to figure out what makes it tick.

The closest UDK material I've seen on the web is this one:

He did a really nice job for only 3 hours of work. I think it is a good starting point. Creds go out to him for taking the time to explain how it works. It looks good when used as a material but it doesn't look the same as the movie. There are a variety of reasons for this.

I downloaded the screensaver he recommended. It differs from this scene. As characters "fall" in this scene, random characters change values too. To the screensaver's credit, I think it matches the monitors in the movie. This last scene just got a bit more polish because it was done by a special effect company.

To really replicate the look of the movie, the following need to be taken into consideration:
1. The room has a variety of details where the matrix code flows in different ways. It flows up AND down along the wall. It flows in narrow strips along the floor. It flows along the contours of objects such as dangling wires.
2. The matrix code is pixelated as if on an analog monitor. If you look at the left and right edges you will see this.
3. The scene is lit. There is varying brightness of the matrix code based on where light would fall across it.
4. Matrix code does not pan up and down. Each character position stays in place and the code value moves into adjacent vertical positions.
5. The matrix code is a lot more dense than in his material.

I think the primary difficulty is going to be the fact that the code doesn't actually pan. If I want to make this look right, a panner node within the material is likely not the solution. This means I will probably have to swap between a series of images. I may be able to use a series of flip books to accomplish this. That is my first thought.

Before doing that I would to duplicate his material. Once I have that in place then I will create a new material that uses a non-panning solution. I will post updates here as I progress.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Infographics for "The Stacks"

Info Graphics for the Demo

I've leave it to your imagination on what they do :)

Another Sneak Peak

Stacks Sneak Peak

Here is a another snapshot from my upcoming Oculus Demo.

I learned a ton about lighting in UDK this weekend especially lightmaps. If you are going for a specific look in a controlled lighting situation, a lightmap channel is essential.

As usual, my designs always gets scaled back as I build them out.

This area was not initially supposed to have wood paneled walls or cut outs. They were inspirations that came as I built it and the result turned out rather well. The lamps are not behaving naturally but I like the surreal effect of the emmesive lighting casting a shadow.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Valve VR Tech Demo

January 22nd, 2014

There is a revolution going on and the mainstream has no idea. Secretly in a wing of Valve's offices they have been developing VR tech. Tech that is way beyond the Oculus Rift "toy" that some of us have. A headset that has such a high resolution and perfect positional tracking that you can't tell you are in a virtual world.

Stop and think about that for a moment. VR is here. In all its glory. In the hands of one of the most capable game development companies on planet Earth.

A hand picked set of developers from around the world got their first taste of it last week at the "Steam Developer Conference". I just read one such experience and I just had to share it.

Before I do, lets look at the tidbits of the Valve tech demo room:

Here is a snapshot of the last demo they give people:

You can watch the video of the last demo here:

Here is the article:

Additional article here:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Portal Hell

January 20th, 2014

Tonight's exercise was to enable teleports that worked similar to the game Portal.

Funny thing is, I got it working after following this tutorial:

Problem is, it doesn't work inside of the Rift. Only the left eye works. The right eye is all wonky. Shame really. It would have been awesome. This was the same issue with Portal when Valve had it enabled for the Rift. Only one eye worked and the other was dark.

This left me with an alternative of drawing a camera 2d actor onto a surface and move the camera in sync with the head. The results were less than perfect but psuedo simulated a moving viewport. Problem is, the camera renders the Oculus distortion causing the texture to bow and have a non-rendered border.

I guess I'll scratch this feature off the feature list...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ready Player One : The Stacks Rift Demo Screenshots


This game is available now. 

You can download it here:

If you do not have an Oculus Rift you can still play it. There are instructions on how to do this on the download page. There are also instructions for unlocking the whole game there as well.


A quick look at my upcoming demo for the Oculus Rift.

It is a simulation of the Stacks from Ready Player One.

I've been working on this since June. When it is finished I'll provide a free download for you.

I've built it using Blender and UDK. It has some cool features that I'll save for the final release.

Update (5/19/2014) : Trailer for the game:

Old Photos of the stacks section of the game:

Video Preview of hub area:

Hub Tech Demo (this has changed a lot, but it is fun to run around it):

I know I haven't released a demo of the game, but I don't want to spoil anything. I'm working as fast as I can to get this out, but these things take time...