UE4 Update

Phew its been a hectic few months and literally been **snowed** under 😀 I have learnt so much about UE4, about pipelines and of course, how useful coffee is! Learning about UE4 and its capabilities has definitely been the highlight, and the squished up time required to do this – the lowlight, of the past two months.

UE4 Experience & Challenges

I don’t think I will ever spend so much time worrying about how a snow builds up on a material, or how to get ice or snow realistically with snow on it, or spending a Saturday night figuring out a tutorial by taking a screenshot and blowing it up to 300% so I can read the blueprint node name! Finetuning my Youtube search words and being a ninja at selecting the best tutorial are skills I didn’t think I would ever acquire. But I think I have and I did. I have spent the last week and a half trying not to think about it.

UE4 – Math for Artists Webinar

But I know I will again, and I already watched the Maths for UE4 webinar – Math for Artists(notes here: https://epicgames.ent.box.com/v/MFASlideDeck)yesterday and loved it. I did get lost after the derivative slope.

UE4 Reference Material

But I checked out the reddit forum for UE4 on What Math Should I learn(as an engineer, its exciting but also a bit mad to be asking this; but using Maths in a fun way is really exciting and very much a “Yesssss!finally!” moment for me)and this book “3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development” was recommended as well as Jorge Rodriguez’s Youtube channel .

I will absolutely be checking out both.

UE4 Math in real terms

As part of the HDip we did cover Maths for Computer Graphics but the examples were very dry. Who really cares where the camera is with regard to the lighting?! or if the sphere touches a plane?

Mathematics for Computer Graphics by John Vince

The examples shown in the webinar were way cooler – the spheres rolling over Einsteins’ face; and the balls bouncing off the normals.

UE4 Youtube Channel; Accessed Dec 30th 2019
UE4 Youtube Channel; Accessed Dec 30th 2019

UE4 Learning Curve & Experience

That was one of the most frustrating things when learning UE4 under pressure. I was following tutorials but I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing. During the webinar, the question of Quaternions came up. I have never heard of this ever and nor do I want to.

In my opinion there is a huge gap between basic and advanced understanding of Blueprints and how UE4 works.

In previous posts Revising Blueprints and Days 21-26 of my Summer Unreal learning, I did get a false feeling of comfort of understanding what I was doing. Then again, the more you delve into a subject the more you realise what you don’t know. And I suppose that is exciting.

The huge gap is something I noticed with the material at Unreal Fest in London in November.

Luckily during this webinar, the main elements to get to know and love with Maths were dot product, slope and derivatives(at least that’s what I understood the three to be). I will be sleeping with a picture of a vector on my pillow for the next while to come 🙂

I learned about all these things with engineering maths but they were flat. They didn’t come alive graphically, wherease with UE4 and computer graphics; maths comes alive. While it doesn’t make sense at the moment; I hope it will be as enjoyable as the “flat” version.

Math for UE4 reference material; Accessed Dec 30th 2019