JackyBoy's UDK Lighting & Post Processing DVD
As I am currently working on my portfolio I decided to get this dvd to give me a better understanding of lighting and presenting in the UDK. Overall I really liked the dvd. I think lighting is one of the most important aspects in a game because if the lighting is rubbish then your model will look crap, or it won't have the right mood to the scene.
First, what was good!
I really enjoyed the post processing part, I always think these kind of things are great, were you can use little tricks to fake stuff, or just learning how things are rendered (like the black outline for a toon shader for example). I would like to have had a longer video on this, to go more in depth, but I think that is just because I am interested in how graphics is actually rendered and I hope to properly learn how it is all done soon. Rather than just post processing materials, I hope to learn the actual rendering techniques and maths behind it But this section was very fun to go through.
Learning about the general lighting was also fantastic. It helped so much knowing when to use each light and what the settings are able to do and how you can also nearly get away with no lights at all! I now also know how to make my shadows look great for portfolio shots too. I like the fact that Dave goes through pretty much all the settings on lights and shadows to give you an idea of what they do.
And finally the last part about lighting the whole scene I thought was great. Like I said I am currently working on a portfolio, and this last section alone is priceless information. It shows how you can easily get a great looking scene. By "easily" I don't mean it is a one click option and it looks great, it's iterative. But at least now I know how to do it, where as before I would hit "bake" and just be disappointed at how rubbish it looked!
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dvd and will possibly contact the instructors (if the don't mind) for more information on certain things, as these are subjects I would love to learn more about. I also would like to say that the instructors are very good to listen to (like all eat3d productions) but they are clear and focused on what they are saying, they don't sit there going "you..errr....click.....this?...no wait...errr". This makes it much easier to concentrate and follow.
There isn't very much wrong with this dvd, but there are a couple of annoyances. (I won't go in to detail with them, but if you would like me to Riki, I can send a list of what I found if it would help?)
It's things such as the map the instructor is using isn't named the same as what you are given, so it can be hard sometimes to find the exact one (not VERY hard, just takes a couple of minutes ). Also things like when you open the map, it is often saved at the end of the lesson, if you get what I mean. So you open it and the settings are already there so you have to default a lot of settings before you can start. Or you won't find out you need to turn a setting on until the very end, so you have had it on all video and this is the reason yours looks so different to the instructors. But going over the video again I would know this and it wouldn't really be a problem.
So in short: Epic dvds, definitely glad I have them. The information is priceless, and it was also so easy to learn from the instructors. Just the documentation, I suppose, needs to be a bit better. Telling you what map you need to open with what video etc.
Now go buy it too