Creating Realistic Characters with Unreal Engine 4
Today we’re doing another deep dive on Unreal Engine 4’s new material pipeline. This time, we’re taking a look at how Epic’s artists utilized the new tools and capabilities to customize the look of characters and maintain a consistent art style in the Infiltrator real-time demo:
Since materials can now be mapped at the per-pixel level, artists have the ability to change that mapping at runtime. This technique yields materials that are inherently simpler because they can be created faster and are easier to edit down the pipeline, if necessary.
Lastly, the mask that defines each material layer’s placement can itself be modified and animated during gameplay. The potential applications that take advantage of this perk are limitless: Consider torn fabric exposing the skin beneath, or streaming liquid across a character’s flesh.
Artists can even simulate character morphing by switching to a completely new type of material, such as shifting skin to steel or chrome – all changing at runtime, and all while maintaining fast and efficient editability for artists.
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