It’s been such a long time since I have even looked at my website, and I plan to change that this year with at least a monthly update on the many things I’ve learned since my last contributions. It’s been quite a up hill climb for us at uForis VR since late 2018 and early 2019, as we are poised to make a big splash this year in architectural visualization in VR for student housing. I’m the kind of person who always prefers the climb up rather than the climb down, so it has been a really exciting start to the new year, with so many new challenges emerging as we surpass each milestone.
We decided this year that we needed to embark on the journey towards ironing out a real time rendering pipeline for our small studio. We made this decision for several reasons, mostly because we know some great tether-less VR headsets from Occulus and HTC are on the way, and because of the advent of real time ray tracing. So we took a dive into the deep end of researching UE4 to start of 2019, and after two weeks of development we are getting really excited about the results, and feel the path forward for our pipeline is very close to being 100% real time.
I’ve learned a lot of creating large scale environments as I’ve slogged through endless documentation, innumerable software and plugin options, and brute force trial and error. From generating large scale terrains, to creating vertex blending shaders for UE4, to simulating wind, water and fog effects, to generating optimized assets with functioning levels of detail, to coming to the right lighting conditions for the scene from a technical and artist perspective, the task of creating a convincing environment is daunting. As I gain more experience working with large environments, through some great mentorship and daily meetings, we are gradually filing in the knowledge gaps and setting ourselves up with a solid pipeline that champions reference and feeling when it comes to creating these environments.
There were so many failures and frustrations along the way, and there is still so much room to improve and gaps to fill, but we feel so happy with the progress that comes out of it.
When I started my website and blog, I set a very high bar for myself when it comes to pushing my creativity and technical ability, as I was sizing up the remarkable work created by the master Koolala. And while I’m still light years away from that level of mastery, as I gain more experience, it’s feels close, and that’s such a breakthrough for me. I’ve spent a long time feeling anxiety from the knowledge gaps that exist between me and creating the kind of 3D artwork I really want to make, and that gap is closing rapidly, and I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve got in store for 2019!