UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

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Shadow
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UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Shadow » Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:50 pm

Dear All,

as some of you might have noticed, I'm back at development. My central motivation since last year was to finally develope a stable and reliable SDK release.
With this motivation in mind, among others, I've focussed on Static Meshes (SM) first, since most people would benefit from it.

The new SM System that is currently being developed and now considered final was completely rewritten and is enterily different from the old system back in 2013/14.
While trying to develope a new mesh system from scratch I completely turned the SDK's structure upside down and also implemented an Unreal Engine 4 inspired actor component system. It really was the next logical step I had to take that even turned out to simplify further development once it was stable.

sm render_visualfinal.jpg

Why am I posting this?

- Providing a preview of the new system's capabilities and reliability, and discussing the new system as a whole
- I kindly ask for 2-3 testers soon, that'll play around with static meshes and report ANY bug/inconvenience they possibly still encounter then


Of all times - Why right now?

- I want a stable, reliable, efficient and rather final release after all these years
- Some others and me are working on an indie game/TC that is based on the SDK


Main Features
  • Alternative and efficient way of rendering 3D models with minimum (or almost none) reprocessing, using the standard Mesh and LOD Mesh format
  • Show/Hide/Render toggle and Detail Level options for Editor and Game
  • Wireframe, zone-color poly, unlit texture poly and lit texture poly and vertex lighting only rendering
  • Vertex Buffer accelerated data management and rendering: Minimizes reprocessing, accelerates lighting and allows for hundreds of static meshes to be displayed in a single scene by distributing data of a prototype among actors with the same mesh
  • 3 x 2 lighting models: Poly Flat Shaded, Vertex Flat Shaded and Gouraud Shaded Lighting - /w additional choice of Light Hit Point: Per Vertex or Per Location
  • sopisticated Vertex lighting system: filter static and dynamic lights, how and when and IF they're updated (allows from full dynamic to full static lighting and everything in between)
  • Global or Skin-based lighting options
  • in-Actor component loading: quickly change the appearance of your current static mesh actor by simply loading a component as the actor's new default component
  • Multiskin support, /w Default skin support, U/V scaling, mirror U/V
  • Complex Material and Detail Texture support /w LODs
  • Box, Sphere, Brush per-poly and (probably) kDOP auto collision
  • Drawscale, Drawscale3D, Brightness (even overbrightening), custom dynamic Color support (even blended with dynamic lighting) - I'm also working on vertex color painting (see blow: Editor tools)
  • Two-sided lighting support (for translucent meshes)
  • 3D Mirror Axis support
  • LOD Support in subclass sdkLODStaticMesh
  • Group/Merge/Split support for complex structures (houses, bridges, trees.. you get the idea)
  • RenderVisibility, MainUpdateVisibility, VertexFrameUpdateVisibility, TexUpdateVisibility and LightUpdateVisibility to tweak reprocessing for both Editor and Game based in the standardized struct FVisibilityCheckTemplate, /w the following options: Line Check, Radius Check, Distance Check, Zone Check, Volume Check, Tag Check and FOV Check
  • Copy/Paste/Duplicate support
  • Vector and Rotation gizmo Editor widgets
  • Component analysis features: debugging/logging - Does my Mesh have relevant flags for rendering? Which components are there in the map? Which components are associated with my mesh? How many lights does it have? etc.
  • Other minor options: Indicate relevant lights, Vertex/Poly count info, display Vertices, display Vertex Normals, max Lights, rebuild light (Component) list

Editor Tools
  • Implemented - Component System: as said above, was a logical and crucial step in making things possible and even easier to implement than without
  • Implemented - Vertex Buffer: manages 3D data in the background and accelerates overall rendering and lighting
  • Implemented - Vector/Rotation gizmos: displays current rotation and vector orientation planes as editor widgets when selected
  • Implemented - Static Mesh Lights: a subclass of standard light component used to correctly buffer and display smooth vertex lighting - users can even readout vertex light data on Unreal Script level..
  • Implemented - Brush Painter: paint multiple static mesh instance on your map (for vegetation, walls etc.)
  • Implemented - Line Painter: paint static meshes along drawn lines similar to spline meshes (for fences, walls, roads, pipes etc.)
  • WIP - New Mover system, with unlimited interpolation node movement (instead of keyframe based limitations)
  • Planned - Vertex Color Painter: directly paint a custom color on the polys of your mesh to customize the skin(s)

Future Development Perspective

Advancements in the component and static mesh system allowed for further advanced 3D systems:
  • WIP - Procedural Meshes and Dynamic Fluid Surfaces
  • WIP - Terrain rendering and in-Editor creation/manipulation

What's still missing?
  • Unsure - Static & dynamic shadow casting
  • Unsure - Support for Decals/Texture projection
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Last edited by papercoffee on Sun Jan 30, 2022 4:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Link has changed of the picture...
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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by papercoffee » Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:57 pm

fixed your picture.

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Feralidragon » Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:55 am

I am going to be very real with you, because I think you deserve someone to be upfront with you from the start.

Would you have posted this 10 years ago, you would get dozens of people on your doorstep begging to be those testers (maybe myself included).

Nowadays the scene is a bit more grim though, and a lot of people left from the community over the years, and only a small fraction of those who remain are still doing stuff for the game, and those are doing in a "whenever I have the time and whenever I feel like it, and only simple stuff" basis, so even simple maps often take months to years to release for most, if they get released at all.

You may have some interested people in the upcoming days, but don't expect the same level of excitement the community had 10 years ago, that's pretty much gone, likely for good, even with the latest game patches.

Having that said, I understand very well the feeling of at least wanting a project like this to be finished properly, so I wish you the best of luck with this. :)

papercoffee wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:57 pm
fixed your picture.
I think you broke it instead... :noidea

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by papercoffee » Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:07 am

Feralidragon wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:55 am
papercoffee wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:57 pm
fixed your picture.
I think you broke it instead... :noidea
:noidea yesterday it wasn't visible and then I set the link "correctly" ...now it's not visible again.
must be a changing address behind that picture.
Shadow wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:50 pm
...
Sorry I messed up your picture ...but it wasn't visible. :sad2:

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Shadow
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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Shadow » Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:59 am

Feralidragon wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:55 am
I am going to be very real with you, because I think you deserve someone to be upfront with you from the start.

Would you have posted this 10 years ago, you would get dozens of people on your doorstep begging to be those testers (maybe myself included).

Nowadays the scene is a bit more grim though, and a lot of people left from the community over the years, and only a small fraction of those who remain are still doing stuff for the game, and those are doing in a "whenever I have the time and whenever I feel like it, and only simple stuff" basis, so even simple maps often take months to years to release for most, if they get released at all.

You may have some interested people in the upcoming days, but don't expect the same level of excitement the community had 10 years ago, that's pretty much gone, likely for good, even with the latest game patches.

Having that said, I understand very well the feeling of at least wanting a project like this to be finished properly, so I wish you the best of luck with this. :)

papercoffee wrote:
Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:57 pm
fixed your picture.
I think you broke it instead... :noidea
Thank you for your honest post.^^

Nevertheless this will be released this year, all grimness and stuff aside - everyone would benefit from it. :)
There're still mods, TCs and patches coming out even for Doom Engine games. Other than that I have more motivation factors than just providing a sophisticated, reliable SDK itself.^^
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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by SilverSound » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:28 pm

Features like this highly interest me. I've been trying to treat UT like 2k4. Using skeletals and wanting to use static meshes.
IF you need someone to test and help out I'm all for it.
"Woah what?! I wish I was recording that...."

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Phorce » Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:59 pm

Shadow wrote:
Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:59 am
Nevertheless this will be released this year, all grimness and stuff aside - everyone would benefit from it. :)
There're still mods, TCs and patches coming out even for Doom Engine games. Other than that I have more motivation factors than just providing a sophisticated, reliable SDK itself.^^
Now that's the attitude that drew me back to this site :tu: :lol2:
"Weapons! ... for all occasions." Bill Hicks

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by UnrealGGecko » Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:36 pm

Uuuh Phorce, look at the date... Bit of a necrobump there

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by fudgonaut » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:15 pm

I had contemplated responding to this thread recently, I'm interested to know the status of UTSDK 2.0...

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by SteadZ » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:58 pm

coming Q3 of 2022 according to the ModDB page
"The problem with dreams is... you never know when you're gonna wake up"

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by fudgonaut » Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:07 pm

SteadZ wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:58 pm
coming Q3 of 2022 according to the ModDB page
Thanks! I totally missed that last time I looked there

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Berserker » Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:07 am

im hyped for this
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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Shadow » Sun Feb 06, 2022 3:41 pm

Hey guys, nice to see your recent interest in the revamped version of the SDK :o

Since Q1 / 2021 I was working almost every day on it. The coming HUGE update doesnt only focus on static meshes, but will be a completely new version featuring an internally new data structure based on a component system as seen in Unreal Engine 4, and it has it's own new render engine. I planned a release for Q4 / 2021 but this mountain of work turned out to be that complex that I needed at least +1/2 year of additional time, ensuring it will be a very polished and stable version.

I'm also sorry for delayed answers on the ut99 forums, because I'm not the most active person here. I would offer my personal telegram contact details for everyone who really needs direct support in the future.

In recent days I was working on light component and primitive component (interaction) mechanics. The static mesh system is about 75 % finished and will undergo heavy testing this month, and might also feature an LOD system similar to Unreal Engine 5's Nanite virtualized geometry. If both systems (static meshes and light interaction) work out well all new mechanics and insights will be adopted on other sub component systems like the particle engine, landscape system, animation mesh system, sprite components and so on.
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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by fudgonaut » Sun Feb 06, 2022 6:00 pm

Shadow wrote:
Sun Feb 06, 2022 3:41 pm
Hey guys, nice to see your recent interest in the revamped version of the SDK :o
Thank you for the update! I would click the thumbs-up/thank you button, but for some reason it is disabled in this thread...? so here you go:

:thuup:

I'm looking forward to what people do with the new & improved SDK, thank you for your hard work!

Will UTSDK 2.0 accomodate normal/bump mapping?

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Re: UTSDK Static Mesh System 2.0

Post by Shadow » Sun Feb 06, 2022 7:39 pm

Well yeah, bump and normal mapping (among dynamic shadows) are often discussed features. With the new render engine there shouldn't be much of a problem with that, but I want to ensure that the SDK's new core features are working first, before I add additional, special features like normal mapping or dynamic shadows. But it is planned, yes.
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