After watching the movie "Drive" I started listening to songs by Kavinsky and Power Glove with which I immediately fell in love.
If you haven't heard any of them, they are basically 80s style synths with electronic swing (or something like that, I'm not a musician).
Only after playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and making the "80s Grid" in After Effects I decided I need to make something in Unreal Engine 4.
Here is how I made itMy plan was to create the glowing neon grid with some neon lighted buildings in the background.
I started off in Maya LT to create said building (At least 1 for now, for testing purposes).
First off I made a tall cube and a few small ones to use with the boolean which made the main cube look as if it had pillars.
Here is the end result after using the boolean.
After that I used the Cut Tool to make a checkers kinda top which allowed me to make a roof.
With the Extrusion Tool I extruded the faces which resulted in a towery kinda roof.
As a final step I cut a few faces and changed their material. These faces act as neon lights in the engine.
After opening Unreal Engine I created a simple material for the 80s grid with the help from the UE forums.
Here I created the material used for neon lights on the buildings.
I then colored the building with a pure black material and the aforementioned neon blue light.
After placing the buildings and grid I started working on lighting. First off I used Exponential Height Fog for the background purple effect. It looks odd, doesn't it? Let's try adding Post Process Volume.
In the Post Process Volume I made slight lens adjustments as seen below in the image. I changed the Chromatic Aberation which created the 3D 80s effect, Vignette to make the image look slightly worn on the edges and Grain to make the special pixely effect. I used Bloom to make the neons appear brighter.
Now the image looks a lot better, well, some might argue it doesn't and that there's way too much bloom. But it does make it look more retrowavey.
Now I just had to set the camera correctly and voila, 80s themed image created using Unreal Engine 4.
ConclusionI had a lot of fun making this image and learned a lot, from Post Process tricks to how to do lighting in an enviroment without single proper light source.
The most problematic thing I encountered were the lines, because in low resolution they would flicker like crazy. As evident in this tweet:
Other than that I had no other major problems since I already kinda knew what exactly I had to do.
In the future I'd like to expand this project to a playable game of some sorts since I really like the aesthetics.