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Overview

Render Entities available in CRYENGINE give designers quick ways of introducing various effects and visuals.

Table of Contents
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Cloud

The cloud entity allows you to place clouds in the level. The cloud definition files (.xml) are built with the cloud tool. Unlike with skyboxes, 3D clouds can be move moved and players can fly though them.

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MTL: Shows the currently assigned material. Consider using a material from the folder Materials/clouds/ as a base and then modifying it.
Minimal Spec: Used for choosing the hardware configurations that should render the entity.
CloudFile: See Setting Up Weather Effects for more information.

Property

Description

CloudFile

Defines which cloud object should be displayed.

Scale

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Deprecated

AutoMove

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Defines if the cloud should move or not using the speed property (cloud can also be moved with the

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Trackview Editor).

FadeDistance

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The

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distance in meters when the cloud should fade in when moving from one side of the Space Loop Box to the other.

SpaceLoopBox

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Defines the box in which the cloud moves from one end to the outer (looping).

Speed

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Specifies the speed in

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X, Y, Z direction.

Flash

The entity flashes the users screen making it white for a few seconds. Very bright explosions can be simulated with the Flash Entity.

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SkyLightAtten: Specifies how the Sky Light Attenuation.
SkyLightColor: Trigger strikes through flow graph.

Property

Description

SkyHighlightAtten

Specifies attenuation amount on the sky highlighting.

SkyHighlightColor

Specifies in which color the skybox will be lit by the lightning effect.

SkyHighlightMultiplier

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Specifies how bright the skybox will be lit by the lightning effect.

Sound

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Specifies a sound to play when triggered.

FadeInTime

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Sets up the amount of time (in sec.) how long it takes to fade in the effect.

FadeOutTime

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Sets up the amount of time (in sec.) how long it takes to fade out the effect.

FadeDuration

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Sets up the amount of time (in sec.) fade in and out takes the effect.

Fog

The Fog entity is used to create a fog effect in specific areas. In indoor areas a subtle fog effect can be added to simulate a dusty area.

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AtmosphereHeightModifier: Specifies the height of the fog effect.
FadeTime: Sets up the time in which the fog takes to fade in.
GlobalDenstiyModifier: Specifies the density of the fog

FogVolume

RenderFog Volumes exhibit the same properties of a RenderFog Entity with the added benefit of locality. Currently supported volume types are boxes and ellipsoids (including spheres as a special case). The benefit of using a RenderFog Volume is that it is possible to define fog volumes that can be non-uniformly scaled along their major axes, rotated, and have an arbitrary fall-off direction (unlike global volumetric fog which defines the world space up-vector as its fall off direction).

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An ellipsoid fog volume

Use

Fog volumes are placed as entities. To place one open the RollupBar, select Entity, Render and then FogVolume in the tree view below. Drag the entity into the render view to place it. You should be see a white, spherical fog volume.

Translation and Rotation of a fog volume entity is performed via the move and rotate edit mode just like for any other object.

Scaling of a fog volume entity is done via its entity properties. Please do not use the usual scaling edit mode to perform scaling of the fog volume entity. Non-uniform scaling will distort the entity and produce incorrect rendering results.

Again, do not use Non-uniform Scaling for a FogVolume.

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Active: Select/deselect this box to enable or disable this fog volume entity.

Color: The fog color.

UseGlobalFogColor: During rendering the Color property is ignored. Instead the current global (volumetric) fog color is used. Please refer to the Global Volumetric Fog page for further information.

VolumeType: Specifies the volume type. The following types are currently supported:

  • 0 - Ellipsoid
  • 1 - Box

FallOffDirLati: This value controls the latitude of the world space fall off direction of the fog. A value of 90° lets the fall off direction point upwards in world space (respectively, -90° points downwards). All values in-between create a direction along the specified longitude. Modifying the fall off direction:

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longitude {{ 0°, latitude }} 90° (left) / longitude {{ 330°, latitude }} 45° (right)

FallOffDirLong: This value controls the longitude of the world space fall off direction of the fog. 0° represents East, rotation is counter-clockwise.

FallOffScale: This value scales the density distribution along the fall off direction. Higher values will make the fog fall off more rapidly and generate thicker fog layers along the negative fall off direction.

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Scale set to 0.5 and 2.0 (from left to right)

FallOffShift: This value controls how much to shift the fog density distribution along the fall off direction in world units (m). Positive values will move thicker fog layers along the fall off direction into the fog volume. Negative values will move thick layers along the negative fall off direction out of the fog volume.

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Shift set to -1.0 and 2.0 (from left to right)

GlobalDensity: This value controls the global density of the fog. The higher the value the more dense the fog and the less you'll be able to see objects behind or inside the fog volume.

SoftEdges: This value specifies a factor that is used to soften the edges of the fog volume when viewed from outside. A value of 0.0 produces hard edges. Increasing this value up to 1.0 will gradually soften the edges.

Note: This property currently has no effect on Box type Fog Volumes.

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Size: The height/width/depth of the fog volume in world units (m). Non-uniform scaling is possible so height, width and depth don't have to be the same.

Lightning

Lightning entities simulate Lightning effects

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Active: Turns the effect on or off
Distance: See Fog for more information.

FogVolume

See Fog for more information.

Lightning

Lightning entities simulate Thunder/Lightning effects, with lightning strikes, large scale lights and thunder sounds which can be delayed.

Property

Description

Active

Activate/Deactivate the lightning entity.

Distance

Specifies how far away from point where the

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entity was placed that the lighting effect should happen.

DistanceVariation

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Adds a random value to the distance, for example 20 means +-20% if the Distance is set to 100.

RelativeToPlayer

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Sets the effect relative to the player so always with the same distance from the players current position.

Effects

 

LightIntensity

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Specifies how bright the light should be.

LightRadius

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Within this radius objects will be lit.

ParticleEffect

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Specifies the lightning bolt effect.

ParticleScale

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Specifies the scale of the lightning bolt effect.

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ParticleScaleVariation

Varies the scale

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of the lightning bolt effect.

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SkyHighlightAtten

Attenuate the SkyHighlight effect.

SkyHighlightColor

Specifies which color the skybox will be lit by the lightning effect.

SkyHighlightMultiplier

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Specifies how bright the skybox will be lit by the lightning effect.

SkyHighlightVerticalOffset

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Offsets the SkyHighlightColor effect vertically. '50' will raise the effect 50m above the entity position.

Sound

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Sets up a sound effect that should be played when

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PrismObject

TODO

ViewDist

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each lightning strike occurs. This would typically be a thunder sound.

Timing

 

Delay

Frequency of the lightning strikes, measured in seconds.

DelayVariation

Varies the frequency of the lightning strikes.

LightningDuration

Defines how long the visual effect of the lightning strike should last, in seconds.
If set to '5' there will be 5 seconds of lightning, then 5 seconds of no lightning. Does not effect PFX, only the light.

ThunderDelay

Delay time, in seconds, for the thunder sound to reach the player. This is the sound that is defined just above the Timing section.

ThunderDelayVariation

Varies the delay time for the ThunderDelay sound.

ViewDist

The ViewDist entity limits how far the player can see. Using the ViewDistance Entity entity can significantly increase the frame rate in specific areas.

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FadeTime: .

This entity can be used in two ways, by linking it to an area shape or triggered through flow graph.

Property

Description

FadeTime

Specifies the amount of time it takes to fade from the current

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level ViewDistance settings to

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the MaxViewDist setting in the entity.

MaxViewDist

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Sets up the rendering View Distance in meters.

VolumeObject

Volume objects in CRYENGINE offer the possibility to render volumetric effects of density fields (clouds, smoke, etc) in a realistic way. A volume description is converted into a 3D density field (texture) at load this. This density field is then used to calculate self shadowing, surface extraction, and shading at runtime. Currently the density field cannot be dynamically changed. Unlike 3D clouds volume objects are rendered in a single pass (no imposters needed). The pixel shader computes the final shading result by tracing the density field and density and shadow information at each sample point. Samples are blended using the "Under Operator". Additionally, back lighting and soft intersections with opaque scene geometry is supported.

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Volume objects in CryENGINE.

Unlike the Cloud Object, the Volume Object renders 3D Volume objects with correct shading (shadows on the darker parts). The benefit of using a Volume Object is that it can be used to place realistic clouds in the level or for building irregular fog areas with varying heights.

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Sandbox Usage

Follow these steps to place volume objects in a new level.

  • On the RollupBar, select the Objects tab and click on the Entity button.
  • Select the Render folder and drag a VolumeObject entity inside the level.
  • The VolumeObject requires the VolumeObject shader in order to render. A basic example material can be found in materials/clouds/volumeobject.mtl or you can create one with your own settings.

The Entity Properties section provides several options (for the most part these are equivalent to the entity properties for 3D clouds).

Property

Description

VolumeObjectFile

Specifies the .xml file containing the description of the volume object. It is compatible with the description file for 3D clouds. The description will be used to voxelize a 3D volume that will be used for rendering.

AutoMove

Defines if the cloud should move or not using the speed property (cloud can also be moved with the

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Trackview Editor).

FadeDistance

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The

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distance in

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meters when the cloud should fade in when moving from one side of the Space Loop Box to the other.

SpaceLoopBox

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Defines the box in which the cloud moves from one end to the outer (looping).

Speed

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Specifies the speed in

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X, Y, Z direction.

Tip
titleTips
  • To save texture memory and shader cost the resolution of the 3d volume texture is fixed and limited (64x64x64). Therefore you should make sure your volume description doesn't contain too many high frequency details. They would otherwise get lost during voxelization and/or rendering (aliasing)!
  • To improve speed on lower spec configs less samples are taken when computing ray tracing results -> higher chance of aliasing.
  • To save texture space reuse a given volume description file as much as possible and rotate volume objects when placing them into the scene to create the illusion of variation. Volume descriptions (and their associated textures are shared) so instances only need individual textures to bake shadow information.