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rdLODtools Tutorial 2 – Getting Complex Shaders to work with rdLODtools

Optical Effects Some mesh materials can use tricky optical effects that involve the pixels position and the camera position/rotation. The Billboard LOD can’t really do those calculations as it’s a 2D plane and has vertex offsets of it’s own, but it’s not really an issue as any of those types of calculations fade off into a 0.0 or 1.0 when at the kind of distance the Billboard LOD will be.

Here is a tutorial on how to fix a Fresnel effect in Epics Vista buildings from the Shooter Game example:

Vista Building Optical Effect Fix Tutorial:

The Shooter Game by Epic in the Examples Tab uses a very cool Windows shader that employs a Fresnel Node to give a nice reflective shade of cyan to the windows. When you create a Billboard or Planar LOD from this mesh, you will notice that the windows are almost fully cyan – the Fresnel Node is giving a result based on an orthographic projection.

To fix this it’s as simple as passing in a constant value (0.0 in this case) to the Fresnel Node – when you look at the Vista building from a distance you’ll notice that it’s 0.0 anyway.

Follow the steps below to clean the material up.

  1. Open the Windows material (it’s in the materials list in the Mesh Editor) and locate the Fresnel Node in the Blueprint.
  1. Replace the link to the Lerp from the Fresnel node with a Constant Float that has a value of 0.0.
  1. That’s it – now you can create your Billboard LOD and then plug the Fresnel back into the material. Job done!

With a couple of small adjustments this is the final result:

And on the left you see LOD 0, on the right is the Billboard LOD.