UE4 High Res Screenshot Custom Depth Mask Clipping
Within this post, I am going to go through different camera types that are found within video games, and the properties within them. First Person Camera Within unreal engine 4, I created a first person controller for use within a first person game, an example of this could be a first person shooter. In order to create my first person camera format for use on my character controller, within the view port of my blueprint, I imported a camera component, which can be seen in the screenshot below to the left, this was where the camera was set up upon initial addition of the camera.
This type of camera is used in order to immerse the player effectively, putting them within the shoes of the character in the game.
Here you can see a demonstration of how this camera will look within the game itself. Third Person Camera Using the same player controller that I created previously, I am going to explain how to create a third person character controller. I then pulled the camera back from the initial position of the camera, as well as adding a mesh to the center position. Here you can see I have just added BSP to the view port of the blueprint.
Here you can see the preview in a testing preview, where you can now see that the camera will follow behind the mesh, and the mesh is visible in the field of view of the camera also. Here you can see the default layout within the third person template view port, where the player, character collision, and the camera position are visible.
In order to make our camera have a top-down field of view on the character, the simplest way to achieve this effect would be to rotate and position the camera, so that it is above the character, and faces down towards the character. As seen to the left. In order to create a side view of our character, we can take the same principles from the creation of a top-down camera, but instead we can apply this format to the side of the character, as seen in the preview to the left.
This was done by using angle snap in order to allow me to accurately rotate and shift the position of my camera, so that it effectively portrays a side view. Below, you can see a preview of what the camera angle actually looks in-game. Context Sensitive Camera With a context sensitive camera, this camera is only activated with a context to initially activate it, such as a trigger that the player will need to activate in order to allow the camera to work effectively. For this example, I am going to be using the third person template within UE4, as seen above.
Here you can see that I have created a trigger box volume, that will be used in order to detect if the player is within this area, then the camera as seen to the left of it will activate. Here you can see an example of a perspective left camera compared directly against a Orthographic right camera projection mode, even though the two cameras are in the same position, the orthographic camera setting will make things appear 2D and flat, getting rid of any depth that the image, as you can see in the 1st image, the character is in between the two cubes, however, in the 2nd image it appears that the character is in front of each of the boxes, when in reality he is in the same position.
Clipping Planes Clipping planes are two planes that are used within a digital rendering platform, or software, such as a game engine, or 3D software application such as 3DsMax.
What I'm not doing : separate body and arms In a separate system, the two arms of the character are independent and attached directly to the camera.
This allows to directly animate the arms in any situations while being sure it follows the camera rotation and position at all time. The rest of the body is usually an independent mesh that has its own set of animations. One of the problem of this setup is performing full body animations like a fall reception as it requires to synchronize properly the two separate animations both when authoring the animation and playing them in-engine. Sometimes games use a body mesh that is only visible to the player, while a full body version is used for drawing the shadows on the ground and visible to other players in multiplayer, this is the cas in recent Call of Duty games.
This can be appropriate in order to optimize further, however if fidelity is the goal I wouldn't recommend it. I won't go in details about this method as it wasn't what I was looking for.
Also there is already tons of tutorials on this kind of setup out there. Full-body mesh setup As a full-body mesh suggests we use only one mesh to represent the character.
The camera is attached to the head, which means the body animation drives it. We never modify the camera position or rotation directly. The Character has a mesh, here a skeletal mesh of the body, which has an AnimBlueprint to manage the various animations and blending. Finally we have the camera, which is attached to the mesh in the constructor. So the Camera is attached to the mesh, are we done? Of course not. This is done by creating additive animation 1 frame animation that will be used as offsets from a base animation 1 frame as well.
In total I use 10 animations. You can add more poses if you want the character to look behind itself but I found it wasn't necessary in the end. In my case I rotate the body when the player camera look at his left or right like in the Mirror's Edge gif above.
There is an additional animation for the idle as well, which is applied on top of all these poses. For me it looks like this : Once those animations are imported into Unreal we have to setup a few things.
Be sure sure to name the base pose animation properly to find it back easily later. Then for the other poses I opened the animation and changed a few properties under the "Additive Settings" section. Finally in the asset slot underneath I loaded my base pose animation. Repeat this process for every pose. Now that the animations are ready, it is time to create an "Aim Offset". An Aim Offset is an asset that store references to multiple animations and allow to easily blend between them based on input parameters.
The resulting animation is then added on top of existing animation in the Animation graph such as running, walking, etc. For more more details take a look at the documentation : Aim Offset. Once combined, here is what the animation blending looks like : My Aim Offset takes two parameters as input : the Pitch and the Yaw. These values are driven by variables updated in the game code. See below for the details Updating the animation blending To update the animation, you have to convert the inputs made the player into a value that is understandable by the Aim Offset.
I do it in three specific steps : Converting the input into a rotation value in the PlayerController class Converting the rotation which is world based into a local rotation amount in the Character class.
Updating the AnimBlueprint based on the local rotation values. I take into account the GetActorTimeDilation so that the camera rotation is not slowed down when using the "slomo" console command. Yaw ; NewRotation. Pitch, Yaw, I retrieve the local rotation variable with the "Event Blueprint Update Animation" node and feed it to the AnimBlueprint which has the Aim Offset : Avoiding frame lag I didn't mention it yet but an issue may appear. If you follow my guidelines and are not familiar with how Tick functions operate in Unreal Engine, you will encounter a specific problem : a 1 frame delay.
It is quite ugly and very annoying to play with, potentially creating strong discomfort. Basically the camera update will always be done with data from the previous frame so late from the player point of view. It means that if you move your point of view quickly and then suddenly stop, you will stop only during the next frame. It will create discontinuities, no matter the framerate in your game, and will always be visible more or less consciously.
It took me a while to figure out but there is a solution. To solve the issue you have to understand the order in which the Tick function or each class is called. As you can see the Character class updates after the AnimInstance which is basically the AnimBlueprint. This means the local camera rotation will only be taken into account at the next global Tick, so the AnimBlueprint use old values.
This way I ensure that my rotation is up to date before the Mesh and its Animation are updated. Playing montages The base of the system should work now. The next step is to be able to play specific animations that can be applied over the whole body. AnimMontages are great for that. The idea is to play an animation that override the current AnimBlueprint.
So in my case I wanted to play a fall reception animation when hitting the ground after falling a certain amount of time. I set a Timer to re-enable the inputs at the end of the animation. If you just do that, here is the result : No exactly what I wanted.
What happens here is that my anim slot is setup before the Aim Offset node in my AnimBlueprint. Therefor when the full body animation is played the anim Offset is added after on top. So if I look at the ground and then play an animation where the head of the character look down as well, it doubles the amount of rotation applied to the head Why doing the aim offset after?
Simply because it allows me to blend in and out very nicely the camera rotation. If I applied the animation after, the blend in time of the Montage would have been too harsh. It would have been very hard to balance between quickly blending the body movement and doing a smooth fade on the head to not make the player sick. So the trick here is to also reset the camera rotation in the code while a Montage is being played. We can do that because the montage is disabling the player inputs.
So it is safe to override the camera rotation. What it does is that it simply resets the pitch to 0 over time with the "RInterpConstantTo " function. If you do that, here is the result : Much better! However in my case it wasn't necessary for this animation. Animation tip to avoid motion sickness Last thing to mention. When authoring fullbody animations it is important to be careful with the movements that happen to the head.
Head bobbing, quick turns and other kind of fast animations can make people sick when playing. So running, walking animations should be as steady as possible. Even if in real-life people move, looking at a screen is different. This si similar to the kind of motion sickness that can arise with Virtual Reality. It is usually related to the dissonance between what the human body feel versus what we see.
A little trick I use in my animations, mostly for my looping animation like running, is to apply a constraint on the character head to always look at a specific point very far away.
This way the head focus on a point that doesn't move and, being far away, stabilize the camera. I used an Aim constraint on the head controller in Maya You can then apply additional rotations on top to simulate a bit the body motion. The advantage is that it's easier to go back and tweak in case people become sick.
You can even imaging adding these rotations in-game via code instead, so it can become an option that people disable. That's all!
True First Person Camera in Unreal Engine 4
Using Json in Unreal Engine 4 — Part 1. Documentation for this Package is provided as links to the Json. Later updates to Visual Studio also updated its Newtonsoft. To help you work with them quickly, we've included the widely-used MiniJson as part of our distribution; see its documentation for further details.
Hope this tutorial will useful, Happy Coding! It has also been largely requested by the Unity Community.
Oh Unreal Engine…
Build It. There is reader and writer method of the Json Parsing to read and write the data. GetTiles will return all of the tiles JSON is used to handle data in an easy way, you can parse it in Unity 3D to store and display the data in your Game or Application. NET 4. It has a low memory limit.
The UTF-8 support is built-in. NET Framework. On successful conversion, the JSON file will be like following. The JsonDocument. First I have covered Newton json and then Json Utility class.
However if you want to represent this data with C classes it would be tricky. This is a Unity package for Newtonsoft Json and corresponds to Newtonsoft. I use the following code to parse a JSON file hosted on my server and use the information to render prefabs within my scene: My JSON file can contain information of 3 "asset" types text, image or videoeach asset type renders I probably should, sadly I found the other JSON method before I found out it was integrated into unity now, so I spent a lot of time writing code that I dont want to rewrite.
In JSON, array values must be of type string, number, object, array, boolean or null. I should also add this is my first time writing Json. Json package to deserialize the project. Create Object of RootObject class and get data whatever you want. Gson parses JSON arrays as members without difficulty if they are non-root objects.
See Setting Up a Request Queue for an example. Json version Json Serialization Support for Unity. NET Documentation. If you get errors, change. Use at your own risk. JSON Test. This file contains bidirectional Unicode text that may be interpreted or compiled differently than what appears below. Viewed 13k times 6 1. Here you can see the preview in a testing preview, where you can now see that the camera will follow behind the mesh, and the mesh is visible in the field of view of the camera also.
Here you can see the default layout within the third person template view port, where the player, character collision, and the camera position are visible.
In order to make our camera have a top-down field of view on the character, the simplest way to achieve this effect would be to rotate and position the camera, so that it is above the character, and faces down towards the character.
As seen to the left. In order to create a side view of our character, we can take the same principles from the creation of a top-down camera, but instead we can apply this format to the side of the character, as seen in the preview to the left. This was done by using angle snap in order to allow me to accurately rotate and shift the position of my camera, so that it effectively portrays a side view. But nothing seemed to work. I then moved on to the next place that seemed logical to me, the place where the view matrices get passed to objects for rendering.
I confirmed multiple times over that the changes I made to the view matrix was correctly being passed on to the shader… And it was.
At this time I had spent 4 days working full days trying to figure this out as our time is running out and this was one of the big bangs we had planned. I decided at this point to just mess around with the shaders and introduce a shader-based approach to scaling the world, considering that this would be the one place to ensure it gets pushed to the GPU right? Until I tried to just scale one axis. This was it! Whatever I just did fixed it!
Unreal Engine 4 Brief Work – Task 4: Camera Properties
You scale in two out of three axes, and the effect will actually work perfectly fine. But once you scale the third axis, the effect negates. Causing the output to be identical to the input. My big mistake had been that I never tried to scale non-uniformly. As my goal was to scale the world up through the view matrix I had not used a non-uniform scale. I tried a bunch of different ways of scaling hoping to find a way that proved useful for a cool effect.
But at this point I had spent the vast majority of the week on this issue, so I decided to lay it off. A week of failure and what feels like wasted time.