It has been two years since vr-on GmbH hosted the first Unreal Meetup and we have been proudly organizing successive meetups ever since. 5th March, 2020 added to the extensive list of successful Unreal events. Around 30 Unreal enthusiasts graced the event with their presence, sharing insights on their experiences with the game engine, which allowed the event to become a great learning experience for everyone involved. Here we would like to mention our hosts, Albert Bauer, whose incredible hospitality and help in coordinating the event made it the success it eventually became.
The event began amidst pretzels, beer and other drinks of all sorts while our attendees exchanged ideas and technical know-how. Half an hour was dedicated to this informal networking session, after which began a series of interesting, diverse lectures. The first presentation was delivered by Marina Bieber from Albert Bauer. She discussed “Automotive Visualization with Ray tracing in Unreal - a Workflow using the example of Cinematic and Application". Starting with high-quality cinematic highlights of the vehicle in an attractive environment, Marina went on to explain various concepts and tests in Unreal. The data preparation process involves the three aspects of ‘cinematic’, ‘interactive application’ and shading/lighting, which would eventually lead to a dynamic process, quick design decisions, and uncomplicated coordination. Ray tracing includes certain challenges with transparent materials, and continuous adjustments to the variable during the entire production process. Marina also mentioned aspects of the interactive application like fixed camera movements and no unlimited mobility, and programming the functionality. Finally, we learned how to optimize performance by focusing on three factors, namely lights, geometry and materials. While being quietly engrossed during the presentation, it was clear that the audience was brimming with curiosity once the Q&A session began. Marina patiently and comprehensively answered all queries while also maintaining an interactive discussion, at the end of which, we found ourselves much more educated on automotive visualization in Unreal.
Mathias Wochnig, the CEO of vr-on GmbH was the second to present. His topic was “Creating a Multi-user Application for Oculus Quest”. Starting with an introduction about our company and how it has successfully brought effective VR collaboration solutions to the industry in the last few years, Mathias discussed the latest addition to our range of services: STAGE Consulting! Focused on game engineering and XR development, our consultants aim to help you with game engine competence (programmatic model preparation and adaptation, user experience/interaction concepts), consulting and hardware selection for projects and use cases, and development of architecture and cloud services. Mathias then went on to explain current challenges, in terms of remote teams working on multi-user projects and the need to . With STAGE Cloud, users get to instantly create, deploy and access these projects, while being assured of data privacy and security, according to the GDPR. This multi-user application can now be created for the Oculus Quest, to give our users greater flexibility and convenience in their use and movement with the headset. This was the essence of Mathias’s presentation. He went through all prerequisites, including having a STAGE account and client, the Unreal Editor, Stage Creator, Android Works NVPack and Quest in Dev Mode. This followed all steps, from creating a UE4 project to publishing it in STAGE Cloud and finally deploying it to Quest. You may watch the whole process visually in the video below:
After an interesting discussion with Mathias about his lecture and the use cases of STAGE in various industrial sectors, our audience proceeded to the networking area for a short break. After enjoying a live Jazz performance by the lovely and talented Polina Manelis, and exchanging more ideas with drinks and snacks, everyone seemed more energetic for the final formal session of the day.
Andreas Suika, a technical evangelist from Epic Games, hosted the third session; a virtual presentation on “Causing Chaos”! Discussing new destruction in UE4, Andreas explained how chaos is a system which can be triggered and queried. Planned chaos might be a random geo, random fracture, random forces or a random user. Andreas then discussed at length, each key concept related to chaos. These included geometry collections, fracturing, clustering, connection graphs, fields, cached simulations, niagara integration and gameplay events. Around forty minutes of detailed demonstrations kept all Unreal enthusiasts highly absorbed. The Q&A session also brought other interesting aspects of chaos being a first class citizen of UE4, and was the perfect ending to a series of exciting lectures revolving around the Unreal Engine. In case you would like to watch the virtual presentation yourself, you may follow the link below:
We hope that our account took you down the memory lane if you were present, and also summarized the event effectively for all those who missed it. We intend to keep hosting upcoming Unreal meetups in the months to come and are already excited about the Spring one. In case you have ideas for the theme, or would like to present, feel free to post on our Meetup page and keep following it for updates! :)