Hi! It's Geril.

Because Lussy is 120% preparing for her finals, Lemniscate's development is going slower than usual. But in the meantime, I've had time to try out a new technology that I've wanted to try for a long time. It's called NeoFur by Neoglyphic. Because all of OLP's player characters have fur and fluff, this plugin is perfect for us.

For now, only Cole the bobcat has a presentable coat of fur applied. It would be a lot better with a fur pattern map, but Lussy is busy so it'll have to wait.

As you can see on the comparison screenshots, the fluff and the beard improves the character's appearance greatly. We can control the fur's length, density, and how much gravity, wind and force fields affect it. It's fun to tinker with and makes things really interesting visually. For example, we can even make Cole's beard grow during the game.

so majestic
According to our experience with NeoFur, it really is the best when used as a fur effect (because, of course, we've tried to use it on other things, too, like hair). However, it also looks decent for things like fluffy carpets or grass.

The fur effect is very costly graphically, especially when using more shells (70<), but using proper LODs helps solve this problem.

We couldn't make animations work with NeoFur yet, but we're working on it. We can watch the animated meshes with fur in the editor frame by frame though. We're looking forward to solving this issue, because the preview looks promising.

We can only recommend the NeoFur plugin for anyone making fur-coated beings in Unreal 4. It's really worth it (it's only $20!).

Apart from this, there are lots of things going on, for example, we may begin to publish posts on other sites, too. Nothing is decided yet, but it feels like our work up to this point is finally going to pay off.

After Lussy's finals, we'll get back to working on Lemniscate again!


Dynamic facial normal maps!


We've been working on ideas for Lemniscate, and we were reminded of something we've wanted to try doing for a long time: dynamic facial normal maps tied to morph targets. You know: when a character pulls up an eyebrow and wrinkles appear on his forehead, and the like. It took us about a single workday to implement this using UE4 Blueprints (maybe eight hours including creating the normal maps).

We don't want to spoil anything of Lemniscate, so we've applied this technology to one of our characters from OLP, Beat. She hasn't had a singing video yet, so with this, all of the characters have lip-sync videos where they make fools of themselves.

This animation isn't final or fully detailed, the body animation is still in progress so this version is made of recycled, already existing animations. Oh, by the way, we've also made the texture based eyes work.

The quality of this gif isn't great, but you can hopefully see how the normal maps change. We should really make some older characters, this would look perfect on them.

If you're interested, we can probably make a quick tutorial on how to make dynamic normal maps (EDIT: here it is) and texture based eye movement work in UE4 Blueprints.
Just to make it clear, we're progressing with the development of Lemniscate. This is one of the rooms (the staff quarters):