Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Textures and details in VR, part of Unreal: Virtual Reality for Architectural & Industrial Visualization.
- [Instructor] There are certain tricks utilized in the game and film space to present a beautiful image. Texture maps are an excellent way to display more data than is actually there. For virtual reality, these tricks don't work as well, and this can present a real challenge for content creation. Let's tour around the virtual reality space here, and look at some examples of how we can work with texture maps. So here we are within our virtual reality space, and if we move around and we take a look at some of the textures, it's worth noting that our geometry needs to be light to help with the performance, and our textures do need to help carry that detail as best we can.
The things that we could normally take for granted in the games world or the visual effects or film effects world don't necessarily apply here. Now here's a prime example. We have this countertop and we can see that we have, on the surface, some little indentations. That is being driven by a normal map, and this is an example of where a normal map works well for that effect. Something really subtle, just like this, works out fine. But if we have some large details, for example, if we come across this space here, and let's just actually move right over towards this fireplace area here, we'll see that these bricks, most of them that are popping out, are actually built to be popping out, while trying to keep everything low resolution as well.
And the reason for that is because normal maps are not going to give that depth that we have over there. If we start putting normal maps on, it's just simply going to look the same, much like just a cube with some normal maps on it. So these are some of the challenges that are faced with displacement on normal mapping within a virtual reality space. As you can see, that countertop, those little undulations there, those little areas on the countertop work fine within the light. Up close, I mean, really all a normal map is is simply a camera trick. So if we were to get really close to that, we would see that that isn't actually there.
Odds are, we're not going to be getting that close to a detail like that, so that's about the extent that you'd want to push normal maps or even displacement within a virtual reality world. Anything else that's major details, I'd advise you build that in, but filled with the challenge of trying to keep it as low resolution for performance reasons as best as you can. So that's just a quick overview of one of the challenges faced in virtual reality with carrying details forward with texture maps and normal mapping.
- Considering VR as a presentation tool and a design tool
- Selecting your VR gear
- Migrating projects
- VR scene adjustment tips
- Real-world scale in VR
- Textures, details, and navigation in VR
- Dealing with motion and VR sickness