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Post Processing Effects Inside Unreal Engine 4

Create Photo-Realistic Post Processing Effects Directly Inside UE4

Get the power of Photoshop’s Adjustment Layers for setting the mood of your UE4 scene using the ‘Post Process Volume’. Like the name suggests, it is a simple volume actor that covers a specified area, within which you have total control over the aesthetic look.

For best results, we’ll use a photographic reference to help us set the right colors in the scene. The biggest difference between Unity and UE4 is arguably the post processing volume, which can help you achieve marvellous results. To begin, just drag ‘n’ drop this volume into your scene. You can either confine the effects within the boundaries or make it a global effect.

The Possibilities

Let’s discuss all the features at your disposal:

  1. First up are the Color Grading controls, giving you the ability to adjust the White Balance, Contrast, Saturation, Gamma, LUT, and more using intuitive color wheels.
  2. You can even tweak the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights individually just like Photoshop for fine control. It’s better to play with these in the end after you’re done making major post processing edits.
  3. Next is the Tonemapper. In gaming terminology, tonemapping is used to simulate High Dynamic Range. Think of it as a Curves and Levels adjustment layer as in Photoshop.
  4. Lens Effects are an absolute must if you want create photographic effects such as bloom, DoF, flares, etc.
  5. Chromatic Abberation is creatively used to simulate the slight imperfections in a lens when it separates the red, green, and blue channel a little bit.
  6. Vignetting helps brings the viewer’s focus to the center of the image and most commonly happens in wide angle lenses.
  7. Grain is simply a film grain emulation setting that mimics old cameras that used chemical films to capture the image and left behind a natural grain effect.
  8. The Bloom effect is what some people consider glow. Whenever a light source is too bright, it starts spilling around it and forms a soft halo. It works just like V-Ray’s effect.
  9. Another useful setting is the Auto Exposure, letting you set the upper and lower limits for the exposure. You can simply shift/bias the exposure based on what looks best.
  10. Now we come to the Lens Flares. You get immense control over this effect, which is noticeable when you look at the sun in the viewport. Play around with it.
  11. With the Ambient Occlusion setting, you can interactively set the precise balance by using its advanced controls. You can simulate dirty and dark corners which look very realistic.
  12. There are so many other settings as well like Motion Blur, GI levels, and Reflection Quality. Finally, explore all these options to create that perfect look based on your reference image. Just don’t overdo it. 🙂

The Future

Also, here’s an video that demonstrates the sheer power of Unreal Engine 4:

Hope you liked this tutorial, and if you are willing to learn more, check out our UNREAL ENGINE INTERIOR WORKSHOP

Don’t forget to share!

Talk soon,
Alex

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