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Author Topic: Creating Realistic Environments for your VR Experience  (Read 8280 times)


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Creating Realistic Environments for your VR Experience
« on: October 20, 2016, 02:44:43 AM »
Just a quick preface to this all.

Hi there! I'm Dash;D I have quite a bit of experience making and working with environments in the Unreal Engine. I started back with Unreal Engine 3, and I'm currently developing under a studio with Unreal Engine 4.

Just so you know who I am. Let's get into it!

Creating Realistic Environments for your VR Experience
With every good pair of titties, has to be the body attached. And the chair she's sitting on. And the room she's sitting in. And the building the room is part of.
See where I'm getting here?

Without a good environment, the "player" so to speak, won't believe what they are seeing. (We all like to pretend that the girl we are virtua-boneing is real, I know I do.)

So, I decided today, to help you all create some amazing looking environments!

Now UE4 comes with some awesome free assets, right off the bat. So you can create some basic rooms, with a little lighting flair. It's alot easier to create rooms that look fucking fantastic with these assets than you think. So we are going to make on!

Now, understandably, all the focus in a VR pornography is going to most likely be focused on the actual model of the girl/guy, So you don't want the room/environment this is all taking place in isn't too overbearing. Nothing to bright, nothing to dark. If a room is too dark, it becomes more of a horror game. (That might get some people off, but not me!  ;) )

Designing your level
This entire tutorial is based on the assumption that you know the basics of whatever engine you are working with. This is sort of a multi-engine tutorial. Weither you are UE4 Master Race, a Unity pleb or Cryengine babby. (Nah, just kidding... Cryengine is for overly rich people.  ;))

When firstly designing your level, you want to get the rough size of the room, or rooms. The work that I'll be showing off with be based around a Static VR experience, one where the player doesn't move, and all the good stuff happens around him. Understand? Good.

Create the rough size of the floor. I suggest working out how big your player model is, or how much space your player is supposed to take up. For example:

Here, I added, one box, roughly the size of the player, and expanded the floor by 400 units. So the floor panel is 600 x 600. I then replaced it with the proper chair model from the default Unreal Engine 4 package.

Now, we want to know where the player can operate in. We do this, by running the VR test shortly and looking all around us. I'm running an Oculus Thrift made from Google Cardboard, a Samsung Note 3 and Kinoni Screen Broadcaster. So obviously I can't test it now. but hopefully you can read this and understand why I can't show any screenshots of the test. Whoops.

Visualizing Your Room
After you have run it, you have to use a little bit of logic here. Imagine yourself in that environment, and picture the use for the area.
Is it a brothel?
Is it an apartment?
Is it a workplace?
Is it a lounge?
Is it the inside of a robot's mind?

Now it's time to plan that area out. Mine will be a Stone walled castle. A little bit dungeon style.

Make the walls that will surround the player and texture them accordingly. Should be a pretty easy task.

Skylights and World Lighting
Here's where things get interesting, and start to look so much better.

Delete any lights that you have in your scene, and under the Sample Blueprints, you should find BP_LightStudio. It's an amazing tool created by Unreal for lighting maps. I don't know how it's done in other engines, so all you other engine users will have to conduct your own research on lighting.

When you drag and drop it into your world. It should look like this:

Then, using the rotate tool, tilt it downwards. You should notice the light it brighter and more like the sun in the middle of the day. The amazing part of this Blueprint is that the light colour and angle of emission is based on the angle that the arrows are. The arrows are the visible part of the BP, so be sure to hide it under the map.

If all goes well, it should look like this:

Adding a Purpose to Your Environment

So about half way through making the next phase. I decided on a design shift. I will now create a stylish bright apartment.

Now the lighting may look cool, but it doesn't have any life to it. It still looks like a game. That's where the detail phase comes in. This section is where we make the area have a purpose. Take a look:

Now, you can see that I have added quite a few things, they all currently have the default white texture. Let's list them off, and the reason why I added them.
- Square support pillars: There we added to show that the structure that you are in has strength, and wouldn't fall over easy.
- Edging on floor and roof: This is to fill in the room slightly more and show that it does need support to keep the roof up. (Note, the roof isn't visible on this screenshot just so you can see into the room.)
-Extra Chairs and A Sofa: This is to show that the room has a use by more than one person, giving the illusion and the comfort to a player that he is in a populated environment.
-Plantlife in containers: This shows to the player that they are in a living world, not a industrial world.
-Sculpture: This is to show that there is a focus on art, so a focus on looking good. It's not something at first noticed, but after you run a simulation a few times, you start to notice detail.

Making Your Map Work For Your Model

Now, you may have noticed that there are some awkward blank spots on the walls. This does have a reason, and I can explain it with a simple graph! Take a look:

So, if you are sitting in the center of a room. Looking at one wall. You don't want your player focused on the wall, you want them looking at the model. That's why the wall directly infront of the player is blank. So you see this...

Understand now? It makes sense!

Now get out there, and make some VR PORN!

And if anyone is interested in more tutorials, I am more than happy to keep making them! Just tell me!  ;D
Unreal Engine Developer / 5 Years Experience / Level Environment Artist / VR Enthusiast / Professional Idiot


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