Through researching the signage of the period, it became clear that signs used to advertise and promote businesses where hand painted, often perhaps by the owner of the business the sign was above.
To try and recreate this feel for our signage I and others who worked on the project sketched the lettering onto paper and photographed the results. Then through a little manipulation in Photoshop were able to produce some good authentic looking signs that didn’t rely upon computer generated fonts.
Here are two of the signs that I created.
In our western environment, we wanted to try to achieve the look of a real western town. During our research we noticed that large hanging canvass signage was a major way of advertising and promoting of businesses and such. Although I had used cloth before in previous projects, the move to UE4 meant that I had to download the Nvidia PhysX plugin and learn how to use it with 3DS Max, as this is the only way to achieve real time cloth physics that react to wind and gravity in the UE4 engine.
This is the general appearance that is achieved with the cloth modifier, the Apex clothing modifier is added to a mesh which is then weight painted in order to determine the scale of movement that the forces of wind and gravity will have upon the mesh in the UE4 game engine.
Here is the three textures that were used to create the material for the sign, opacity mask to give the appearance of rips and tears in the fabric, the normal or bump texture and the diffuse texture.
Perhaps the main feature of the Last Resort is the TV wall that is situated on the back wall. I felt that having this playing a video in real time would look really good. Originally I intended to have the actual video that featured on the screens in the movie to be playing, but I have been unable to determine what these videos were. I may create a video montage of my development work to be playing during game play.
This is my TV wall asset rendered in 3DS Max, to achieve the look of the one in the movie I created it as a multi-sub object with two material channels; this allows me to place an image or in this case an .avi movie clip on one channel to represent the screens and a gloss black on the other to represent the boarder space between the sets.
Upon my decision to build up the area directly outside of the Last Resort, I have gathered some images that show limited views of this space. Through these photos I have been able to roughly determine what some of the small stall type buildings and other structures look like and where they are situated.
Here is a render of a few of these structures that I assembled in 3DS Max.
And this picture shows the development of this area in the game engine itself.
For the bar area of The Last Resort, I have gathered some images from the internet that are not shown in the movie itself. Some of these have allowed me to see some items such as bottles and drinking cups closer, this in-turn will hopefully assist me in recreating accurate models and textures for use in UE4.
Adding some form of interactivity will give our environment a feel of what could be expected from a game of this type. It will also enable the group to experiment and push our creativity to further develop our skill sets.
To start with, I added a lift type platform which is triggered to ascend when the ‘F’ key is pressed through the use of ‘Matinee’ and ‘Blueprints’.
This could be a good way of accessing upper floors of the exterior of buildings.
I also wanted to look at introducing hazards to the western town.
To demonstrate this I thought that a collapsable floor that is controlled via a trigger would give an element of danger and surprise to some of the buildings and walkways.
The game engine I initially chose to build my project in was UDK, but I have now chosen to move over to UE4. This will allow me to create a more realistic looking environment as the materials and lighting effects in UE4 are a lot better than in UDK. The way that the materials are put together are a little different in UE4 and allow more control over the types of effects and finishes that are possible. This has led me to do quite a bit of research in to the use of the Roughness and Metallic nodes in the material editor as well as the use of RGB Roughness Masks which allow the roughness control of different areas of the same texture sample.