Project 80s

80s Sci-Fi Themed Project

Project 80s

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 it

My 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. building1

Here is the end result after using the boolean. building2

After that I used the Cut Tool to make a checkers kinda top which allowed me to make a roof. building3

With the Extrusion Tool I extruded the faces which resulted in a towery kinda roof. building4

As a final step I cut a few faces and changed their material. These faces act as neon lights in the engine. building5

After opening Unreal Engine I created a simple material for the 80s grid with the help from the UE forums. GridMat

Here I created the material used for neon lights on the buildings. Emmisive

I then colored the building with a pure black material and the aforementioned neon blue light. TowerColor

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. FirstLook

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. PostProc

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. SecondLook

Now I just had to set the camera correctly and voila, 80s themed image created using Unreal Engine 4. Finished


I 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:

I fixed that by using the built in High Resolution Screenshot tool which allowed me to take screenshots in higher resolution than my screen (One even being 15328x7384).
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.