Optimising 3D assets For Real-time Rendering in Unreal Engine
If you are looking to create visual effects such as live compositing or benefit from real-time animation and filmmaking, you’ll more than likely want to create sets and assets in a game engine like Unreal Engine. Here’s a quick run down of the things you can do to optimise your graphic assets and virtual sets.
UPADTE: time and time again we receive UE levels for on-set virtual production that are under-optimised, so we thought we’d try and keep this post updated with hints and tips on how to optimise UE levels for on-set rendering and production.
See what FPS you are running at
First thing to do, show your FPS on your stats as you design your virtual set, so when you fly around your level and watch the FPS change in realtime, this is vital as you’ll want to keep your level running at 120fps so that you have plenty of header room to insert video and mask packets into your set up. Even if you are shooting at 24fps or 30fps the extra frame rate is required to packet in your mixed media video information, especially if you want to reduce any lag in your system.
Here’s an example of a badly optimised unreal engine set, look at the RED fps stats displayed on the scene.
Here’s what the level runs when at 120fps the correct for virtual production, we found that the problem was an actor that was not optimised correctly, it was slowing the level right down, we deleted it, and boom back up to the minimum required FPS for virtual production.
Take a look at Simplygone
Following up on what Epic suggest on their documentation, Simplygone is used in the games industry for optimising 3D meshes and reducing polygon counts. It also has the ability to re-mesh and from the looks of things it does a tidy job of smoothing irregular vertex.
Follow what Epic Games Suggest, we advise anyone looking to get into real-time VFX to brush up on how game developers optimise their assets and levels.