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    Material: Need feedback on lava

    Hi everyone,
    Let me start off with this is my first ever experience with building, texture and material generation - I'm normally busy coding. So please be gentle.

    After having studied a few tutorials on this subject I decided to give this part (or rather science, heh) of game creation a stab, just for kicks while working on a design doc. My first experiment was creating a lava/volcano-ish zone with the terrain generator (please disregard the physical impossible layout in the screens), all materials are custom made.

    http://i41.tinypic.com/afc6j8.jpg
    http://i41.tinypic.com/2ew32ir.jpg
    edit: ugh, horrible format - img tag removed to save the thread

    Thoughts on how to improve them? I think they look too flat - this is an issue with my normal map most likely, right? Am I too old school, or should lava rather be made as a liquid you can interact with, somewhat?

    #2
    The viscosity of lava defines how liquid like it is. Don't worry about that. It looks good in that sense. But you could make some parts of the material emissive.

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      #3
      Not bad, much better then I can do yet ^.^.Try adding it to a fluid surface actor, that would help with the interactiveness. Also is there any animation to the material? Some movement would look pretty sweet.

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        #4
        Thanks for your response.

        I'll try playing with the viscosity and emissive, adding a few ponds of fluid surface actors sounds like a plan - great ideas! There's no animation on the material yet, but when I learn more I'll give it a stab - however, would it be better (both in display and/or performance) to simply let the animation be 'faked' by toying with the reflections/emissivness(sp?) on the materials?

        Something regarding lightning, I've only been able to generate lights that cycle at sine and cosine intervals - how do you guys go about adding nice to give it a little more random and realistic feel? (apologies if it's covered in a tutorial, I'm currently at work and typing this in my break)

        Finally, I must say my respect for level designers have grown exponential as I dig more and more into this subject - I'm used to being a 100% code cuddler (in terms of game coding - Quake 1-3 mods mostly), so I wasn't aware how much work this aspect really is.

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          #5
          Well, I don't know much about making materials yet so im just spouting out ideas :P You could add some panning or rotating textures or something to help make the lava look like its moving around a bit, which will make it look more fluid. Some emissivness would be pretty cool as well.

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            #6
            The game in my sig has a Lava Material.
            Looks good up close but obviously tiles when viewed at distance.
            I modified the green bio-gun material to make it red and then I added a severely cracked road texture with a alpha channel to use for creating a crusty top.
            I created a slow pan for each part in different directions for the movement.
            Then I tweaked it and tweaked it and tweaked it etc.

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              #7
              10/10 for Deadmau5

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                #8
                Looks good, they had a tutorial on how to do lava material in the first Mastering Unreal 3 books.

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