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Under Construction
Unreal Engine Hair Groom problem with shallow Depth of Field (UE 5.2.1/5.3)

UPDATE OCTOBER 2023: Matt Workman (@cinedatabase) posted to Twitter on October 8 and said that 3Lateral/Cubic used a “unique workaround to get DOF around grooms that included a CVAR and then a transparent card with some blur”. He linked to the live Youtube recording of the session at Unreal Fest 2023, but I watched it and there was no mention of this workaround. Perhaps it was in the Q&A section after the talk?

 

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2023: You can make this a bit better, to a degree, by changing the width of the hair and other things. So open up your hair groom, and make sure:

  • USE HAIR RAYTRACING GEOMETRY is enabled.
  • HAIR ROOT SCALE is enabled and set to “3”.
  • HAIR TIP SCALE is enabled and set to “7”.
  • HAIR SHADOW DENSITY is enabled and set to “1.5”.

Then, in Movie Render Queue, the anti aliasing settings should be set to be:

  • Spatial Sample Count 7
  • Temporal Sample Count 1
  • Override Anti Aliasing disabled

The hair looks good, but the edge of her face is a bit grainy/noisy. So I then tried this:

  • Spatial Sample Count 24
  • Temporal Sample Count 1
  • Override Anti Aliasing disabled (ignore the yellow triangle ! warning)

This is about 4 seconds per frame to render and the skin looks good.

[ You might be tempted to turn on OVERRIDE ANTI ALIASING, the hair starts shimmering. There might be a way around that? Not sure. Maybe it needs massive amount of spatial sample count and temporal sample count to fix that. Although, if you go temporal sample count above 1 the groom jumps around I’m assuming. ]

 

 

 

 

As of august 2023, hair grooms in unreal still have a big problem when it comes to really shallow depth of field. As you can see in this short example, there is a shimmering area around the edge of the hair strands.

 

This problem is written about on the official site, but I found the explanation and the workarounds it suggests a bit confusing so I wanted to make this video to clarify the options.

 

 

 

it’s written about on the official site, on this page.

 

 

 

 

So how do you actually do the workarounds that are available?

 

Well they come down to a few options, so let’s talk about them in relation to this short clip. You can see that

 

four options.

 

Option 1 is to render with path tracing. But that takes a very long time to render, like several days to render a couple minutes of animation.

 

Option 2 is to use stencil layers. Which means you select the characters in your scene with grooms and you assign them to a special layer, which you then get rendered out separately. You can then combine them in a compositing program like nuke or after effects.

 

Option 3 is to use something called object id, otherwise known as crytomatte, which outputs a version of your movie as this colored image, and each object has a different color. Then you can use that to separate the objects in a compositing program.

 

Option 4 is to output a world depth map of your movie, which is a greyscale image that represents the z depth of objects in the scene. Then you use that z depth image in a compositing program to blur different parts of the image.

 

 

 

 

Well first you need to go into your plug-ins menu and enable xxx then restart.

 

Then in movie render queue

 

 

 

Useful YouTube videos on these topics:





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