Lack of Detail in Unreal

22 replies [Last post]
ChrisPerr's picture
Posts: 110

If been working hard doing the next-gen texturing vid and i'm slightly disappointed with the lack of detail in my mesh, this is the first time i've dealt with the unreal editor and im not sure if its a preference or something in the editor, or if there is actually something wrong with my maps.

i have followed riki almost exactly throughout the dvd, and granted im only just starting part II, his textures seem to have a much higher quality in the engine. just wondering if someone could shed some light on this. (i could also be delusional and pretending that riki's looks better than mine. Sticking out tongue)

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey Chris,

It could be a number of small things that might be adding up.

1.Sharpen your textures

Due to the compression that happens to textures when imported into an game engine, some detail is lost.
This can be overcome by using an Unsharp Mask on the textures before use.
I tend to find that sharpening them until it looks a little to much in Photoshop generally makes it look better in Unreal.

2.Textures size and pixel density

The larger a texture is, the larger amount detail can be shown.
If you are using a 1024x1024 texture there are 1048576 pixels in the image.
A 2048x2048 has 4194304 pixels and therefore has a much greater pixel density that can be applied to your model (at the cost of performance)

Be cautious of using textures larger than 2048x2048 (except in special cases, such as the wood on the texturing DVD) as this can really cause performance problems for many PC's and you would probably have to resize for production anyway (especially for consoles, where system memory is more of a problem)

Also its worth remembering that a 2048 texture is 4x the size of a 1024 not just 2X Sticking out tongue

3. LOD Bias

When making a show real or any situation where performance isn't going to be a problem, you can change the LOD Bias to -1 by double clicking on your texture in the generic browser.
This will make the texture retain its maximum and not use mipmaps.

4.Detail Textures

A detail texture is a tileable texture (diffuse or normal) that has high frequency information held within it that fades in to view as you get closer to the model as to appear that the texture is of a much higher resolution than it actually is.

Riki explains this process by using a detail normal map in the Old Pillar DVD which if you don't already own, i would recommend you buy as soon as you can...IMHO it is an invaluable tutorial Smiling

5.Anisotropic filtering

Here is quote from a post Riki made a while back on the same subject
The thread can be found HERE

Riki;1380 wrote:

Ill just throw this out there to add to the pile Sticking out tongue

... if you can go into the nvidia or ati control panel, you should see a place that mentions texture filtering.

There are options like Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotrophic. Anisotrphic is the best, if you crank that up, see if it helps. It would be best if you could only do this for unreal, and not globally, I think the nvidia control panel has an option for that. If you do have to do it globally, you might notice all your other games will run slower.

Give those all a try and let us know if they work!

Here are a few pics that i have taken from the other thread so you dont have to keep swapping between the two Smiling

Hope that helps and sorry for the long post Smiling

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

Wow, talk about comprehensive. I think Andy hit the nail on the head (and everything around the nail). Did any of that solve the problem?

-Riki

ChrisPerr's picture
Posts: 110

those answers help a lot

but, i figured out something else.. I decided to use the ps files provided in the dvd (Start PSDs) because i wasnt really interested in rendering out my own normals and ao maps. it appears that almost all of them are 1024 x 1024 where as the files riki is working with are 2048 x 2048.

im not upset cause the knowledge i have learned is phenomenal, i just feel a little mislead, cause the intro said i would be making large res maps. :eek:

but either way, thanks very much for the answers, and im looking forward to purchasing the vfx dvd when ive got some spare cash. Smiling

image attached has my unreal files on the left and rikis on the right.

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Hey Chris,

One of the reasons behind supplying 1k maps was the file size...currently the finished PSD's when uncompressed are 230mb where if they were the full size maps this would be more around the 850mb mark :O

Quote:

...i just feel a little mislead, cause the intro said i would be making large res maps.

Im sorry that you feel mislead mate,but you can still make your own 2k maps as you follow along with the tutorial as you are creating the textures....don't feel you have to stick with Riki's assets Smiling

I hope that helps Smiling

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

Ahh I see. Perhaps there should be more info in the readme.txt file and maybe even the product page. What I was thinking is just resize the start file before moving forward and it would work out fine. Andy is right with the filesize problem, it would hav been simply unbearable to have full 2048 PSDs in the download..

If you want to upgrade to the DVD version we can set that up for you. The DVD has 2048 becaue there wasnt the filesize issue.

Cheers Smiling

-Riki

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

Sorry for bumping this post, thought it was better than creating a new thread.

I'm struggling to maintain some of the detail of my textures when converted from 2048-->1024. Before you sigh and say "not again" I tried most suggestions & think the only way this will look good will be by using the 2048 textures.

I know this isn't an exact science:
which do you think would be better in terms of performance?

mesh 750 tris / 2048k texture or
mesh 2000tris / 1024k texture

2048k pic below
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_text_low.jpg
1024k pic below
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_text_high.jpg

I had a good laugh, someone told me to use MSPaint because downscaled textures in Photoshop blur too much despite me using Bicubic Sharper and an Unsharp mask before exporting

MSPaint, lol, imagine opening a 2k TGA in paint, I don't even think photoshop will open TGA files.

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257
leakingpaint wrote:

I know this isn't an exact science:
which do you think would be better in terms of performance?

mesh 750 tris / 2048k texture or
mesh 2000tris / 1024k texture

2048k pic below
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_text_low.jpg
1024k pic below
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_text_high.jpg

there is always a performance/memory struggle. In this case it would be a memory issue more than anything, 2048s eat up a ton of memory which is mainly important when dealing with the consoles.
In your case it looks like you could get away with a 1024 fine but the solution would be to tile the diffuse more to get more out of it. If you are just playing this on PC a 2048 would probably be fine, you dont have a whole lot going on in the scene. Is this a mod, personal portfolio, or an actual game?

-Riki

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for the reply

It's a Map for UT3 (deathmatch) which I will use towards my portfolio but I'd also like to make it public.

I'll try tile the diffuse even more and rather than design a very detailed texture I'll use smaller meshes (mushrooms / rocks) to place on the walls.

I think I'm trying to cram too much into the texture. I'll get to work on a higher tile for the diffuse and keep you updated.

Thanks again

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

Thanks for the reply

It's a Map for UT3 (deathmatch) which I will use towards my portfolio but I'd also like to make it public.

I'll try tile the diffuse even more and rather than design a very detailed texture I'll use smaller meshes (mushrooms / rocks) to place on the walls.

I think I'm trying to cram too much into the texture. I'll get to work on a higher tile for the diffuse and keep you updated.

Thanks again

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

lol and lol again...paint resized the 2k image great and it looks great in the editor as well.

So what was the problem?-->nearest neighbour algorithm

I was using  Bicubic Sharper when resizing my textures to 1k which doesn't seem to work as well as nearest neighbour in this case.

Well in my case I think this is solved. In your experience have you ever run into an issue such as this? I find it very interesting.

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

very interesting, could you post a before and after so we can see?

Ive never heard of this being a solution. Normally I would import the 2048 into Unreal and just set the LOD Bias to make it a 1024.

-Riki

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Yea this would be really interesting to check out.

I just did a quick test and the nearest neighbour algorithm does seem like a good solution for downsizing as you don't get the pseudo anti-aliasing which would be great for crisp details and 1px lines Smiling

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

No idea what's happening here -

before leaving the editor - full rebuild / map and package saved:

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_b4leave.jpg

After starting editor up from scratch:

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/help_afterleave.jpg

Setting the LOD Bias to -1 does help but is this a good practice when building a map for people to play, doesn't this slow the map down?

Riki is right bicubic sharper and nearest neighbour, paint or photoshop, this has no major difference within the editor. When I first did it I though there was, but as soon as I load up the editor again the texture looks like...poop

huh?

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

I think you set the LOD Bias to 1 on a 2048 texture which uses the unreal method of downsampling the texture. When you cook the maps it will be a 1024 either way. There were some tests on this done a long time ago but I never got to the bottom on which was better. Normally I would downsample it to 1024 in PS and do an additional sharpen if needed.

It does sound like you are putting too much into this one texture though, can we see a 256 version of your diffuse?

-Riki

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

This is a another texture I'm using which does the same thing.

256

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/tex_256.jpg

1024

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/tex_1024.jpg

I'm going to create a basic level with the same mesh and texture.

Import the 2048 TGA

Set the LOD Bias to 1

Publish the package and see what it looks like.

I'll let you know what it looks like.

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

leakingpaint's picture
Posts: 70

Some updated screens:

I decided to drop the amount of detail in the texture and increase the size of the detail which seems to hold up ok when down sampled.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/tex_mush.jpg

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/tex_mushwall.jpg

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f355/leakingpaint/tex_mushwall02.jpg

I also decided to rather  make mushrooms rather than trying to build them into the texture.

Received interesting feedback from DGUnreal, stuff you probably already know but here's the link anyway

http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=690055&page=2

 

...waht do you maen I tlak fnuny?

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Well that looks loads better!

That thread has some interesting stuff in there and as always its the final result that matters Smiling

westmeadow's picture
Posts: 19

Hey Guys,

Sorry to hijack the thread, but I thought it'd be better than starting a whole new one because I have a very similar problem! In the image below, the map in photoshop is shown (actual size) and the right is the result I get in unreal. There is obvious compression going on I feel.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/arron/nextgentexts/texttureblur.jpg

I have tried all the suggestions in this thread and don't seem to be able to fix it. The image below shows the setting available to me in the nvidia control panel. I think this is just changing the setting for the Unreal Tournament game, so shall I try global setiings?

img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/arron/nextgentexts/settings.jpg

Thanks for reading, any help will be greatly appreciated.

Arron

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

You will be happy to know that its an easy fix, though not great for performance if its going to be in a a level.

 

In the texture properties in unreal (double click the texture in the generic browser), set the LODGroup to something like TEXTUREGROUP_UI and they will show as uncompressed.

Its no good for anything that is going to be in game, but for portfolio shots its great Smiling

You can change the texturegroup to anything you like but performance may be an issue.

 

Hope that helps Smiling

Riki's picture
Posts: 1257

I havent tried it yet, but is this also an issue with UDK?

-Riki

westmeadow's picture
Posts: 19

Wow, that really is an easy fix, thank you.

So, for production you'd be stuck with the horrible blurry textures from before?

Thanks again for your help

 

Arron

metalliandy's picture
Posts: 3188

Yea UDK still has this from what i can tell Riki.

 

@Aaron, looks that way :S

I guess using tillable detail and normal textures is the best way to gain some pseudo detail.

 

Glad you got it looking nice for now though Smiling