I recently saw some impressive Arch Vis videos here ( done in realtime )
Link: forums.unrealengine.com --- showthread
Link: www.ronenbekerman.com --- unreal-engine-4-and-archviz-by-koola
Those already look better than anything I got in Cinema 4D with Vray.. though mostly because it crashed all the tim, came with nothing correctly setup by default, and was insanely slow on my machine.
And yes this was achieved with UE4 ( Unreal Engine 4 ) Which is a very very impressive bit of kit if your machine can run it and you don't mind C++ A discussion on the pros and cons of that is a lengthy one, each to their own.
As a huge fan of Unity 3D, things like this inevitably annoys the hell out of me. As far as Unity has come over the years, Unity 4 cannot get even close to UE4 in terms of graphical amaze balls.
But Unity 5 I hear you cry! is coming soon!
And we have been promised all sorts of amazing newness like PBR ( Physically Based Rendering ) in Linear Gamma colour space with HDR Lighting. Even Realtime GI ( Global Illumination ) at long last, I have waited for this for half a decade after seeing the first Enlighten demo.
So can it compete now? kinda... almost.. so close
And getting close in of itself is a huge achievement from where Unity began.
Lets see how close I got
And this is all done in the beta version, things will change, things are being fixed and added still
FYI There is more on this here:
Link: www.shadowood.uk --- Y2014-Mo09-Unity5
So far not impressed as light seems to leak in / bounce way too much. But this may be configuration woes, saying that as soon as you Bake the GI instead of using realtime it looks way better in terms of having truly dark areas where they should be. And already annoyed as you cannot use Area lights with the realtime GI ( yet ) but also Point lights cannot be USED! ( though this appears to be a limit that will be fixed by release )
You can cast nice Shadows with the baked GI, but that is not possible with the realtime
You can mix the realtime GI with baked though so all is good.. well that is if baked lighting ever behaved properly.
Problem is with the baked GI it HATES you, and it hates UV seams even more, which is bad given it is often impossible to not have UV seams.
I find it hard to believe the new GI suffers just as bad with seams as the old Turtle Beast powered one. Surely this is a basic thing to solve with math and cleverness.
As if UV mapping isn't torturous enough, but now you have to UV map really really well. If your UV faces are not perfectly joined together it will result in terrible glitchy ugly baked lighting.
It is so bad and so crippling I MUST be doing something wrong.
OH GOD THE HUMANITY:
And where things overlap sometimes you can an impossible ( for me ) to solve problem:
And whoever wrote the UV spacing code should be violently eviscerated:
Event the worlds most naive implementation could do a better job of space use. Key take away is to never have long thin sections of UV, say you have a really wide but narrow cylinder. Break the UV into separate pieces, but this creates seams in the lighting!!!! so better break the model up into separate pieces and pretend it was some kind of building limitation say they can't make pieces of walkway bigger than 8 meters
Oh screw you, how can it be that bad. No I do not have any weird overlapping polygons, or bad UV's
This is what happens with lots of long thin UV's this is the built in Uv mappers idea of how to do the job:
Worst part is that UV map is out of your hands, as it is a combination of every object in the scene and you cannot manually edit that.
Trying to make surfaces reflective with cube maps / reflection probes is a joke. They are only suitable for very very vague reflections on large areas like walls and floors. I tried having multiple probes but it just makes things worse and Unity doesn't interpolate / blend between probes so if an object moves around the scene the reflection just jumps from one probe to another suddenly.
2 blow are UE4's example scene for reflections. Mind is blown
Then I discover Candela for Unity, Screen Space Reflections woo ( graphics card screams in the background )
Next up some nice bloom and lens dirt, made famous by battlefield, which does it famously bad below:
My attempt using Sonic Ethers Bloom in Unity, keeping it subtle
Also note my attempt at replicated an IES type light effect using multiple realtime ( no GI or bounce ) point lights with a light cookie
Note Cookies and 3D Cube cookies fail to bake ( they used to work in beast ) but I heard they are adding that to Unity at some point
So I have an area light for the GI and then several realtime only lights with cookies on over the top.
I tried adding some floating dust particles in the air that you can walk thru but it failed to composite properly with the screen space reflections. It does work if I put it on a separate camera and compose those 2 together though, but setting the layer masks was broken in the beta so I removed it:
Even the floor is nice to look at now, if you can ignore the fact that the Light Probes seem to be ignored for the normal map / diffuse lighting so you can only see the tiles bump when the sun light moves over it
Getting serious now with the addition of the plastic chair!
Even more serious now with artistic angle and liberal depth of field
And now to make a more complex scene than just cubes
But I get a bit carried away as I do
Rendered in Cinema 4D
Got carried away trying to make some modern art and failing:
And now over to Unity, ugly at first but give it a moment
Adding some walk ways and coolness
Getting better, also added bonus you get treated to random abstract art by the post effects:
And from underneath, if you see this, it is the last thing you will see as I have no code to reset your player position:
Decided to make this place his home:
Turns out using deformers to bend basic primitives is a sweet way to do things
So I can add more steps if needed without having to remodel anything
And at Low GI
Getting fed up battling low resolution shadows even at max settings. So only solution is to break the largest pieces up into smaller ones even more.
I'm sure braking this up into even more models and polygons could only yield better results.. or more spectacular failures, place your bets...
Realtime GI below.. looks better, fancy that: