There a lot of different effects and things, and the quick ones I tend not to type up, but here are a few that I’ve done over the past couple of weeks.
I’ve added leaves falling from trees. This uses a mesh-emitter. I was not able to control the fall of the leaves as I would have liked using UDK’s Cascade editor, so instead I made the material offset the leaf as it falls.
I’ve tone-balanced all the shaders to look correct during the day and night. I also started work on the postprocessing effect. It colourises the scene slightly based on time of day and time of year so that day is warmer, night is colder, spring is greener, summer is yellower, autumn is oranger and winter is bluer. These are obviously “fakes”, but help to give a bit of atmosphere.
The postprocessing effect also now adds fog in the morning, which is particularly dense during winter. For the moment this effect is entirely in postprocessing, but I’d like to add ground mist throughout the level to compliment the depth-based whiting.
Also in postprocessing now is heat haze. This essentially offsets the position of pixels based on depth and height. Although I couldn’t get actual world height, I’m using screen position to fudge it, and I don’t think most people will notice. To get the rippling effect I’m just using the same normal map as my water texture, panning upwards, and it is the red and green channels which drive the offset.
Relying entirely on the sun to cast the light makes interesting lighting quite difficult, so I decided to add torches to the level. I’m partway through making the torch and bracket model, but I’ve started placing warm, flickering lights throughout the level and they really help to add interest, particularly at night, and they contrast nicely with the cool night-time tones. I’ll obviously need to make a flame visual effect, which I’m looking forward to. I’m hoping to add a cool visual effect for the torchlight bouncing off the rain if I have time to add rain, but rain is starting to look like a low priority with all the stuff that *needs* to be done.