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Sobel Edge - Ruining Particle Effects with Translucency

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    Sobel Edge - Ruining Particle Effects with Translucency

    (SOLVED!!! READ ON FOR DETAILS FELLOW UDK NOOBS!)
    So I've been working on a project, that I would like to have a cartoon style look to it. I've redone all my textures in photoshop to be more cartoony. That I'm happy with.

    What's driving me crazy is an outline effect. I've been using sobel edge filter, and I got it too look pretty good. But every particle effect I have is translucent. Which result in the outline effect from sobel edge to pierce through it and make look horrible. As you can see here.


    I've tried other effects, so far, none of them do as good of a job as sobel edge...but how on earth do I make a good particle effect under these conditions? Sure I could just make it opaque but then every dot of blood would have an outline and look horrible!

    If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it, right now I'm out of ideas.

    SOLVED! 12-29-12
    There is a man so great and wise, so noble and courageous, so wonderful and pure. That upon me posting this problem for a third time in the last two months, he came to me and said these simple words...
    Originally posted by obihb View Post
    It seems that if you use the post process chain as given in the sobel UPK, you won't get the separate translucency working as is. The reason being that it requires the UberPostProcessEffect node to actually work. If you add this node to the end of the chain, it should work. The sobel effect also then seems to work as you wanted, behind translucent particles.
    And there in lies the great key to the mystery that tortured me for many moons!

    If any of you people out there finding this page via google search or by random link...here is all I have learned, thanks to many brave souls...none so wiser than "Obihb" a man who commented on my post once, at 3AM on a Saturday morning.

    Basically if you are trying to get a edge effect or outline on your map, download Sobel Edge detection and feel free to customize it, apply it to your map by adding it to a post process chain, and applying that chain in the world properties. If your edge effect now starts to have problems with EVERY TRANSLUCENT MATERIAL EVER....go to your translucent materials that are having problems, and check off "Enable Separate Translucency".

    Then go into your UDK folder, then Config folder and open up "UDKSystemSettings.ini" in notepad. Go down to the line that reads "bAllowSeparateTranslucency=False" and change it to "bAllowSeparateTranslucency=True".

    Then open UDK, and look at your translucency! Oh wait, it's invisible and not working at all...WTF! That's where the great and powerful Obihb comes in. You need to go to your post process chain and add another link in the chain, an "UberPostProcessEffect". This is something I was no where ready to use as it allows you to do things with depth of field and Bloom and a bunch of big words my noobie self just does not understand. (**** it man, I'm a Machinima Maker not a Coder!)

    Basically, adding this...makes a second round of rendering? I think? Or something? Well for whatever reason, it works. It will make your suddenly invisible Translucency now visible and appear in front of the material effect. So instead of the god awful blood effect you see up top, you'll see this.


    A translucency that isn't totally ruined by your awesome outline effect! Wooo!

    Also a huge amount of thanks goes to Westclif, who as you can see below, got me most of the way there. Thanks Westclif!

    --Update-- 8-27-13 - For some reason udk undid the change I made to the INI file, changing "bAllowSeparateTranslucency=True" back to false. I think this is due to an update or possibly a save error. Either way if this happens just open up the INI and change it again!

    #2
    You could play with the tansculency settings of your particle material and enable seperate tranculancy thingy... that one also helps with dof problems for a performance tradeoff...

    or the way i prefered was to alter the sobel edge effect... Normally you would draw black outlines on the edges but what if you just multiply the scenecolor with the scene color on those edges?

    Would make brighter areas brigther and darker ones dark.. you'll just get problems if your always using a gray tone for you scene

    And on my side i think that looks way better then the default sobel edge, with a similiar instruction count, And also helps you to solve these depth buffer problems...



    One other way i can think of is to build up a image based edge detection, but that normally gives very noisy results and is hard to control

    Comment


      #3
      We are making this just for cutscenes, so performance shouldn't be an issue. I'll try that separate translucency thing now.

      Comment


        #4
        As you can see, no success on that separate translucency.

        Comment


          #5
          I was wondering as well if there was a way to exclude particles from post processing but couldn't find a solution yet.
          Dungeon Defenders uses outlines as well and has no problem with their particles, though, so maybe taking a look at their example content provided in the showcase could help.

          Comment


            #6
            you need to enable the seperate translucency feature in one of the config files as well...

            just search for translucency...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by westclif View Post
              you need to enable the seperate translucency feature in one of the config files as well...

              just search for translucency...
              Okay so I changed the settings in the "defaultsystemsettings.ini" and "UDKSystemSettings.ini" to say True for anything saying "AllowSeparateTranslucency".

              Now, when you said "May cause some performance issues" did you mean to say "will cause UDK to crash whenever you try to play a matinee or view the particle effect?"

              UPDATE
              I take that back. The crashing was something else, minor issue. Now the particle just won't be seen. It won't render at all. what do I do?

              Comment


                #8
                I am about to completely give up on this quest for outlines. Any translucent material I make does not tint or effect the outline from Sobel Edge at all. Also, I've found that no translucent object works with another translucent objects. If I have a tinted window that's obviously translucent, it should tint the translucent blood on the other side of that window!

                I've tried, as Westclif suggested, setting the material's translucency to "SeparateTranslucency" to let it render that translucency separate from everything else...but all it does it make my translucency completely invisible. I have to assume I'm rendering things wrong, or I have some kind of setting wrong. I did, as he also suggested, tell the UDKSystemSettings.ini to allow separatetranslucency but that just made the translucency invisible.

                So either I did something wrong, I am not doing something I need to do, or it is not possible?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Have you tried all of the other translucency settings, their are 2 more one for helping out with tranculency blending on the hair.

                  Another solution would be like i wrote to alter the sobel edge effect,
                  One more would be to change the particle effects material to opaque and to work with meshes or blended scenecolor materials (but that would give you ugly outlines for the particles as well)

                  if all of your particles are in front of the scene you could change their renderdepth to foreground, and set your sobel edge effect to just intrract with the world.

                  Or you could clone each one of your mehes and give those specific ones an outline material (there is one hanging around here on the forum, just search for sperate outline effect) this material draws outlines by inverting the faces of your copied mesh, it upscales them a bit and then draws those faces black..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've tried every translucency settings, none of them seem to work. I've also dabbled with Translucency Sorting which is good and seems to have "some" effect on everything EXCEPT particle effects and the sobel edge! (Which is also a transparency). I even tried "Scene Texture Render Behind Translucency" which should make it so that all other translucency's render AFTER the one I have selected....this did nothing.

                    Your suggestion to alter the sobel edge does not do what I want, which is to give a comic book look.

                    Yeaaaaahhhh....making the particles opaque is not an option, god it looks so bad!

                    I have dabled with the renderdepth, worse case scenario I could use that, but that means lots of juggling between layers when a particle effect should be partially covered by something. A lot more work for something that should be simple....if I have to do that, I might just not bother with Sobel Edge at all.

                    The cloning meshes thing I have tried. I found the outline material you speak of here, which does work pretty well, but it has several drawbacks. First, I need to re-model every skeletal mesh to have a copy of itself behind it to provide the effect, second, I need twice as many objects on my map for static meshes. This seems like way too much to be worried about, when Sobel Edge is doing a fine job...however you are correct, this does not have the translucency that Sobel does....Sorry if I seem dismissive, but I've been wracking my brain on this for weeks, and as you can see I've done some research into the other methods of getting the effect I want.


                    What I'd truly like to know is why the "Separate Translucency" option you offered did not work?!?! I've looked up posts on this, and multiple people have posted questions about it with ZERO responses.

                    ALSO! IMPORTANT OBSERVATION!!! Part of the problem may be that sobel edge is in fact itself, a translucent material. However it does not respond to render depths or translucency sorting, and seems to have no problem with "Separate Translucency" like every other translucency in my map.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Mhm i thought i got sobeld edge working with seperate transculency in an older project... but i lost this one :/

                      Yeaaaaahhhh....making the particles opaque is not an option, god it looks so bad!
                      You misunderstood me, you can make an opaque material that seems transparent, this opaque material is just rendering everything right behind it and blends up you "real" particle effect as an overlay..


                      btw have you tried your particles with a masked material?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by westclif View Post
                        Mhm i thought i got sobeld edge working with seperate transculency in an older project... but i lost this one :/



                        You misunderstood me, you can make an opaque material that seems transparent, this opaque material is just rendering everything right behind it and blends up you "real" particle effect as an overlay..


                        btw have you tried your particles with a masked material?
                        I really really really wish you...or SOMEONE would find out why Separate Translucency isn't working. That would solve everything, it just isn't working!!!!

                        I haven't tried that no, but being these are particle effects and are seen from every direction, plus the nasty black outline would still be there!

                        I have tried masking the material...again, nastly black outline on these tiny particles.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          can you send upload the sobel edge detection effect you made as an *.upk, i try to alter it the way you want it to be

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sure, Here you go.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              arghh **** which version of udk are you using? november 2012 patched? cause i cant open up your upk :d

                              Comment

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