Welcome to first News Corner! It’s time to show you what we were working on during last month.
Yes, I said we because dev team acquired new contributors but later about this.
Flax Engine now has even more great features like Screen Space Reflections, Spot Lights, Layered Materials, Parallax Occlusion Mapping and more.
Screen Space Reflections
Screen Space Reflections (shortly SSR) rendering is a new exciting feature in Flax. As the name says, they are based on screen (camera’s viewport) so they are actually limited to what camera can see. However, there is no doubt they greatly increase scenes look and feel experiences. Wet and polished surfaces just love it! Take a look at those:
Because SSR are in-build into Flax Engine they are incredibly fast (~1-2ms on mid laptop in 1080p). It was also possible to achieve the best quality and match SSR to our Physically Based Rendering pipeline. It makes them a great feature which is ready to use.
Another exciting new thing is layered materials system. If you’re familiar with UE4, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. Our materials editing system now allows to sample any materials and blend them easily. It may sound complicated but using it is super convenient, thrust me. Here is a sample material blending polished granite with rusty metal using texture mask. As you can see, it uses only a few nodes to create quite impressive surface which is great.
Using material layers is not only easy but dramatically reduces time spending on creating high quality materials for geometry. This means faster levels creating and shorter production time. And this is exactly what we always want to achieve. Creating games should be easy.
Parallax Occlusion Mapping (POM) is a technique applied to materials that allows to add additional depth to simple plain surfaces. Here you can see simple example of surface using POM technique:
Again you must agree that it’s incredibly easy to use. By adding simple node to your material surface that is using height map you can bring it to the next level. Height map is a texture which contains information about every pixel height so it can be used to add that depth feeling.
Flax Engine supports directional and point (omni) lights. But now also introduces Spot Lights. Their behavior is very similar to flash lights. By using Inner Angle and Outer Angle parameters artist can precisely control angle of spot light and fade factor to achieve desire look.
We have new Twitter account so please follow us on Twitter.
Finally, we have even more fixes and tweaks. Especially GI baking runs a few times faster and there is more parameters to control quality during Tech Demo production. As I said at the beginning, I have two friends who help me with creating more cool stuff for Flax. I really appreciate it.
I must say I’m very happy of current project state. This means you can expect more things coming soon. I hope we will be able to show you our new Tech Demo. This would be a great turning point and prove of current Flax potential.