Tim Hobson
Posted on September 16th, 2017

At the behest of Chris Murphy (Evangelist for Epic Games and discusser of all things Star Trek) asked me when my next update would be since I'm "killing [him] with anticipation." (Also, if you've not already, go and follow Chris on Twitter @HighlySpammable.)

Over the last 6-7 months, instead of working on updating my own site I've been working as part of the Learning Resources (aka documentation) Team at Epic Games and writing official documentation that includes new content pages or updates to existing ones.

Below is a non-comprehensive list of what I've added in my short time on the team and some of the ideas or areas I have to update sections in the future.

New Pages:
These are new pages that did not exist that were created for a new release feature, as a request from our developers (internal or external), or was part of our backlog that we wanted to address.
Updated/Restructured Pages:
These are pages that needed new information added but doesn't necessitate a completely new page. Often with this, since we improve our documentation Styles and Standards that we want to adhere to for consistency. Older pages (of which there are thousands) don't always fit with our latest standards so they must be updated in the process, which sometimes can lead to restructuring for readability, to make them more interesting, or to simply provide a clearer learning path making it easier for anyone to find the information they are looking for.

For the purpose of these, I'll explain a little bit about what was updated. Not that anyone is necessarily interested, but for those that are, I hope you enjoy. 
  • Fonts for UMG 
    Entire section was updated with multiple re-rewrites of older content pages and breaking the page up to be more organize and easily accessible.
  • Landscape Sculpt Mode
    This was a monolithic page that has been reorganized and largely rewritten. The individual features of Sculpt mode have been broken off into their own pages to quickly reference the features and select the one you'd like to review.
  • Bloom 
    Added the Convolution for Bloom and cleaned up and added a Dirt Mask Best Practices.
  • Distance Fields - In the review process now and should be live in the near future!
    Originally, Distance Field AO and RayTraced Shadows pages contained a lot of overlapping information. These have now been broken up to explain the Distance Fields Feature and then have the relevant information for each system. Also several how-to's covering each of the systems and some other uses for Distance Fields.
    • Overview
    • Distance Field Ambient Occlusion
    • RayTraced Distance Field Shadows
    • How-To's
      • Using DFAO and Settings
      • Using RTDF shadows and Settings
      • Using Distance Field Indirect Shadows
      • Setting up Particle Collision using Distance Fields
  • Vehicle User Guide
    Reworked and rewrote this page to be a multi-step guide instead of a monolithic wall of text.
  • Vehicle Content Creation Guide
    Cleaned up the page and broke it off into it's own page for easy reference.
  • Custom Stencil for Post Processing Materials
  • Mobile Rendering Previewer
    Rewrote the page to capture all the available changes and all the different renderers that can be enabled for preview. 
  • Performance Guidelines for Mobile Devices
    Cleaned this page up and reorganized some of the sections of information to be easier to read.
  • VR Editor improvement updates
  • ​Morph Target Debug View Mode
  • Material Slot Ordering Workflow
  • Curves Linked to Bones (Anim Curves)
  • Material Expressions -
    • Previous Frame Switch
    • Preskinned Local Normal
In-Progress:
These are pages that are currently being worked on in some manner. These are just a few that are in some form of completion in my queue. 
  • Mesh Paint User Guide
    This entire section has been cleaned up and rewritten in most cases since the UI has changed significantly with 4.16 and later versions. It's currently in the review process.
  • Auto Generating Lightmaps in UE4
  • Renderer Comparisons
    This page will break down the Forward, Differed, and Mobile Forward/Differed Renderers and the features that they support along with a high-level overview of how each one works and when they should be used over another renderer.
Wishlist/Soonish Backlog:
These are some pages/sections that are currently in my own list of things I want to update or add to existing docs. Some are requests that will be on my in-progress list soon. There are other sections I've not listed here for my wishlist, but these are the bigger ones that I've thought about.
  • Automation Section 
    • Build Operations for Cooking, Packaging, Running, and Deploying your projects
    • Debugging Packages from Visual Studio
    • Patching/DLC
    • Using the Project Launcher and Creating Custom Launch Profiles
  • FBX Content Pipeline
    This section needs to be more Artists-friendly and would benefit from restructuring how you find content for this section for Static and Skeletal Meshes. 
  • Landscape Outdoor Terrain
    Similar to the work done for the Landscape Sculpt mode should be done for the rest of this section. Lots of parts of this section should be cleaned up to quickly find the information you want.

Posted on February 23rd, 2017

Apologies for the lack of updates if anyone was continually monitoring. It's been a busy last 10 months! 

My wife and I had a kid, so free time went out the door outside of work. The good news is that I've recently been moved over to our Learning Resources Team full-time so I get to work on learning content and documentation quite a bit! 

Some of you who have followed my work on AnswerHub and the Forums may have noticed I started doing some of the Training Streams that are on Tuesdays @ 2 EST.

The first was on our Hierarchical Level of Detail (HLOD) system. You can hear me repeatedly fight with myself to not pronounce LOD incorrectly, at least by the majority consensus on it's pronunciation, anyway. :)

​https://youtu.be/WhcxGbKWdbI

Next up I did training stream on Lighting Techniques and Guides. It was some broad strokes overview of Lighting with UE4. I shot through a bunch of examples showing some things that maybe you are aware of or maybe not. I think it was a little bit for everyone kind of stream. 

​https://youtu.be/jCsrWzt9F28

Anyway, it's been a busy time over the last number of months and I look forward to continuing to help people learn features in UE4, whether that's via Training Streams, Documentation, or here on my site when I get time. 


Posted on April 30th, 2016

Continuing with exploring some of the new rendering features in 4.11 this post covers the  updates with Reflection Captures to add Capture Offset, a selected imported Cubemap for each reflection capture, and the ability to increase the resolution of reflections.

Take a look at the page here: 

Reflection Captures: New Features in 4.12!

Posted on April 29th, 2016

I've gotten around to adding a simple setup and use for Lighting Channels in UE4! Take a look on the tutorials page.

Posted on April 22nd, 2016

Added some new Comparison shots for the Console Variables section and a comparison of Indirect/Direct Capsule Shadows vs Direct Shadowing. 

There are a couple of other CVars that I need to get comparisons for, but the majority of them are there. 

More tutorials coming this week for Lighting Channels and a starting tutorial for using Planar Reflections that are coming with 4.12!

If you're daring you can use the Master Branch from GitHub to take an early sneak peak at this new rendering feature! 

Really digging the Planar Reflection actor coming in 4.12! :D pic.twitter.com/hh6V0Nrvaj

— Tim Hobson (@TimHobsonUE4) April 21, 2016

Posted on April 1st, 2016


Posted on March 29th, 2016

Started moving some of the How-to's and Projects over to this site in the Tutorials section. 

How-To'sProject

More coming soon!

Posted on March 28th, 2016

Added Precomputed Visibility Volumes page that covers technical information and how to use it for your game development.

Check it out in my Tutorials section under Precomputed Visibility Volumes.

While this feature is primarily used to provide occlusion culling on Mobile it can be used in games for other platforms as well. 

​Keep checking back for more updates coming soon in other sections! 

by Tim Hobson on March 27th, 2016


by Tim Hobson on March 26th, 2016

New Tutorials and Projects Added! 

I've updated some of the pages in my Tutorials section that are being converted from other sources. Keep checking back often as these are slowly being added.

Distance Field:
- How to Enable Distance Field Meshes
- How to use Distance Field Soft Shadows
- How to use Distance Fields with Particle Systems 

Projects: 
- Add a Destructible Settings Showcase that covers all settings with demo stands. (This is a standalone project and does not need Content Examples to open.)





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