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Orbit: Weather & Seasons Suite

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What is Orbit?


Orbit is an entirely blueprint-driven environment editing suite that allows control over time of day, weather, and the passing of seasons. Through a carefully organized central blueprint controller containing over 150 exposed, editable parameters, developers can easily set a multitude of options to create their exact outdoor lighting vision, or allow the scripts to set parameters automatically at runtime to simulate the passage of time on multiple scales. Whether you're looking to quickly create a dramatic skyline to accentuate your scene, or you want to build an environment that is constantly changing to keep your players on their toes, this system is flexible and performative to meet your every need.

Time of Day

Easy to use parameters let you set the exact time of day, affecting sunlight intensity, ambient lighting levels, fog parameters, stars visibility, night lighting levels, the position of the moon (mesh based, on rotation cycles) and horizon/zenith colors, all of which can be automated when the system is allowed to control the time. Temperature is also calculated based on all factors of this system, and can be exposed as a float parameter for use in-game, such as in a survival game/simulator.

Weather

-Clouds

A series of sliders and drop-down selection boxes makes it easy to control things like cloud density, height, and lighting levels. Clouds simulate a cast-shadow (optional) that scales with the cloud density to properly affect overall lighting in any cloud-coverage situation. Options for panning speed, differential edge shaping and even pre-set weather patterns are right at your finger-tips, all from the same central drop-in blueprint. In "clear" conditions, there are also options for sprawling, "skyplanes," that visualize high-altitude cirrus cloud wisps, with several texture-group options for different visuals, or the option for no wisps at all. All of these options can be set manually, or automatically based on interdependent probabilities that can be scaled to control variance, intensity, and mood.

-Rain and Snow

To capture the full effect, weather particles are included, and can be manually activated or set to automatically activate, the probability of which can also be manually scaled. Wetness from rain or melting snow can be easily applied to any material using a custom material function, and rainfall/snowfall culling for interiors happens on the fly, with no need to set up culling volumes or triggers. Snow buildup can also be applied along the z-axis on gradual faces, which can also be applied through a custom material function with little setup in any material you want snow to build up on. Footprints can be placed and displace snow accordingly, with very little extra setup.

-Lightning and Thunder

Lightning cues are randomly generated and placed within the confines of your worldspace, spawning visualized lightning strikes with smart collision detection, which accurately prevents the bolt from passing through any roof/overhang. Thunder audio cues are properly delayed and filtered to simulate the sound having to travel from the strike location to the players ears.

-Volumetric Light/Fog

I'm also integrating my volumetric lighting system with some enhanced features directly into Orbit, to allow for selectable fog visuals and dust particles with simulated fog shadows for extra atmosphere in your scenes.

-Wind

Wind controls can be individually set, manually or automatically, and include wind direction, strength and speed, and have several pattern types to choose from. Wind affecting foliage can be easily implemented with a material function, and applied to your planar based foliage or cloth actors, and directional wind parameters are also set to properly mimic the direction, strength and speed of the global wind settings.

Seasons

The Seasons section of this system offers a wide variety of quick-and-easy options. Seasons can be completely deactivated, manually set, or set to pass automatically. Using sliders and drop-down-boxes, you can set the desired length (in days) of each season, how strongly each season affects the probabilities in the automatic weather patterns, and even have color palette shifts per-season, the intensity of which can be individually controlled. By default, Spring is set to increase the temperature scale set by winter, decrease the likelihood of snowfall, and increase the likelihood of rainfall. Summer is set to increase the temperature scale set by spring, and decrease the likelihood of rainfall.


Full feature list here:
https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?111650-Orbit-Weather-amp-Seasons-BP

Official Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2la2j_IU7Ac

Getting Started:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s886SNtNtF4

Compiled Demo:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5s8n8vaqu5dvfd4/OrbitFlightDemo.7z?dl=0   


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  • You'll get access to Orbit: Weather & Seasons Suite for UE4 version 4.12 and 4.13

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