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8. April 2020


In the face of the Covid-19 outbreak, several tech companies have stepped up in their attempt to make life a little bit easier, including Pluralsight.  Pluralsight are running a promo called Stay Home Skill Up #FreeApril, which makes all 7000+ of their courses available for free.  You do not need a credit card to sign up, simply an email address.  The free account is valid during the month of April, expiring May 1st.

Click here to sign up.  You can learn more about the promotion and Pluralsight in general in the video below.

GameDev News


10. March 2020


This quick tutorial will walk you through the process of exporting 3D models and more importantly textures from the Unreal game engine for use in other engines or in content creation tools such as Blender.  There is a complete step by step video included below.

The first part is identifying the model to export.  In the Content Browser, find the mesh object you want to export, then right click and in the menu select Asset Actions->Export…

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A dialog will pop up, first asking where you want to export the asset to.  Pick an appropriate directory.  You will then be prompted for export details.

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The default settings should be fine in most cases.  If you have trouble opening the generated file you may want to try a different compatibility mode.  You will get a low polygon “cage” mesh if you select Collision for the Static Mesh, uncheck that option if you do not want this collision mesh generate.  Finally click export.


And done…


Well, unfortunately not quite.  We still need to get textures out.  The easiest way I have found to to this is via baking.  In the Asset viewer window, with the mesh open look for the Bake Out Materials button

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First let’s set the texture size for our baked textures:

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Next click the + icon in Properties for each texture channel you want to export.  In this case we will do color, normal and roughness.

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Now define each channel you want baked.

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Once complete click Confirm and your textures will be baked.  The textures will appear in the same folder as the Mesh (as will new materials).  You will have 3 textures for each material channel on the object ( 2x materials x 3 textures in this case for a total of 6 generated textures ).  Unfortunately CONTENT BROWSER DOES NOT REFRESH automatically, so navigate to a different directory and back to see the generated textures.

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Now right click each new texture and export it exactly the same way you did the FBX file earlier on.  You are now ready to use your model and textures in your application of choice.  In the video below we continue to show how to recreate the materials in Blender.

Art GameDev News


21. February 2020


Global Illumination describes several algorithms used to calculate non-direct lights in game engines.  In Godot, it’s implemented using the GIProbe node, which can calculate emissive lights and secondary reflections, giving you more accurate lighting in your scene at the cost of performance.  In this tutorial we will go step by step through the process of setting up a GIProbe.  You can learn more in the video embedded below.


The first step for setting up global illumination is to go through the scene, select each model that will participate in the calculations and select Use in Baked Lighting in the Geometry Instance section.

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Once you have your models set to participate, it’s time to create a GIProbe node.  Add a new Node to the Scene (doesn’t matter who it is parented to) of type GIProbe.

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Now size the GIProbe box using the red/pink control handles, so that it envelops your scene.  You can have multiple GIProbes per scene and having them overlap serves no purpose.

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Now with at least one light source in the scene, with GIProbe selected, click Bake GI Probe in the menubar.

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This will calculate the indirect lights in your scene.  You can also have a GIProbe calculate the effects of emissive lights in your scene.  Emissive lights are lights that are projected from textures.  In a SpatialMaterial you can turn emissive on in the Emission tab by selecting Enabled.  Emission is the color of the light emitted, while energy is the strength of the energy emitted.

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Emissive lights will only be shown after being baked by a GIProbe.  Emissive lights cannot move without baking the scene again.  You can cause a GIProbe to bake lights in code using the following code:

	get_node("../GIProbe").bake()

This is an expensive operation and should not be performed lightly.

There are a couple of ways to control the quality of the lighting generated by a GIProbe.  The first is by setting the Subdiv property in the GIProbe.

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The higher the resolution, the better the results but more expensive the calculations.  You can also change the quality of lighting in Project Settings by enabling High Quality in Voxel Cone Tracing. 

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Once again, this is a trade off between quality and performance.  Finally I should point out that GIProbe only works with the OpenGL ES3 renderer, not in ES2.  On ES2 you are instead stuck with traditional Light Baking, which takes less processing power, but produces inferior and less dynamic results.

Another thing to be aware of is dealing with the GIProbe inside the Godot Editor.  The GIProbe, as shown above, is a giant green lattice, which can make viewing your scene somewhat difficulty.  You may be tempted to hide the GIProbe like so:

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Unfortunately this turns the GI off completely!  If instead you want to hide the GIProbe in the viewport, you turn it off in the viewport menu.  In the viewport, select View->Gizmoes->GIProbe.

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This value is a toggle and controls ALL GIProbes in the scene.

You can learn more about Global Illumination and GI Probes in the video below.

Programming Design


6. January 2020


3DBuzz is one of the original online learning resources for computer graphics, programming and game development, first launching way back in 2002.  Until recently the site was completely commercial, with prices set on a per course basis or available under a monthly subscription.  They announced they will be shutting down, for the most unfortunate of reasons, and have released all of their content for free download.

Details from 3dbuzz.com:

Hello everyone,

The 3D Buzz community has been amazing and inspirational for 2 decades. However, all good things...

3D Buzz, Inc has closed its doors. Subscription and recurring payments have already been suspended. This page is our final gift to such a wonderful community. Below you will find download links to all of our available material, free of charge.

Thank you for so many years of support. You are all, truly, the best community anyone could hope for. May we see each other again somewhere in the ether...

From all of us to all of you,

Remember to always look, listen, and learn.

Goodbye, good health, and good luck.

If you visit 3DBuzz.com you may get a security warning, this seems to be linked to an invalid SSL certificate and can be ignored.  The entire content of the site add up to over 200+GB in size.  As a result, some readers over on Reddit have been working to set up torrents, so if you are interested in grabbing the entire archive of video tutorials, be sure to check out that thread.  Otherwise you can download each video one by one in zip format.

Thank you for your generous gift 3DBuzz and our condolences on your loss.

GameDev News


27. June 2019


Back in April Unity launched Unity Learn, a completely free online learning portal for learning various aspects of using the Unity game engine.  Today they have announced Unity Premium, a paid expansion of Unity learn.  Unity Learn Premium costs 15$ a month, and is included in current Unity Pro subscriptions.  There is a 30 day free trial available.

Details of Unity Learn Premium from the Unity blog:

We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality, free learning resources for Unity, and we will continue to add to and maintain the free courses, projects, and tutorials on Unity Learn. More in-depth and advanced resources for serious hobbyists and professionals who want to specialize in an industry or get direct guidance will be available through Unity Learn Premium.

If you have a Unity Plus or Unity Pro license, you can access Unity Learn Premium for free with your current subscription. Just log in with your Unity ID and go to Unity Learn Premium to start learning!

Otherwise, you can try Unity Learn Premium for 30 days, free. After that, you can continue accessing all the great resources and interactive learning on Unity Learn Premium for $15 a month. 

In addition to content from Unity, Learn Premium also includes courses from partners such as Udemy and Pluralsight.  They are also offering bi-weekly online interactive sessions as well as Streaming Labs, quick start courses in a web hosted Unity Editor.

Check out the contents of Unity Premium in the video below.

GameDev News


AppGameKit Studio

See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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