UE4 – Movement Controller Progress

Pitch Rotation to match Vertical Movement

My focus today was to iterate on my movement controller based on my evaluation in my previous post. Firstly, I wanted to make the Pitch of the Actor rotate based on vertical movement. So, when Weedy swims downwards his nose will point forward and vice versa, to increase the feeling of realistic swimming movement. Otherwise, it appears as if he is just hovering up and down. I found the solution to this very simple.

Tilt_BP

In the Movement Sequence Blueprint, I have highlighted the edits I made to achieve this. The script already did a similar action for MoveRight and Roll and I used this to figure out how to do the same for MoveUp and Pitch.My basic understanding of this is:

  • When Weedy Moves Up
  • A (Input value of movement axis) * B (Y Pitch Value) =
  • Create Rotation on the Y axis (Pitch) to tilt using that value
  • Return this value to the target

Although this was successful and it functions in the way I wanted, I do feel like I need a better understanding of exactly why. I have a rough idea of how the nodes work, as outlined above, but I’m not entirely confident in it. I think the main focus for me right now should be to continue learning Blueprints and improve my knowledge much more, so I can more confidently make changes and understand how to create the desired functionality for my prototype.

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The above Gif shows the above in action. When I move Weedy vertically, his body tilts in the right direction, giving more realism and life to the movement.

What I have noticed, though, is that in the above graph, the nodes to tilt the Pawn in the direction of Forward movement are disconnected. This is something I need to look into and may have happened accidentally when editing the BP. This is another reason why I need to improve my BP knowledge, so I can quickly understand and fix details like this.

Otherwise though, I am pleased with the progress and will simply keep working on various details of the script in order to refine both my understanding and the functionality of the prototype.

Collision

Another area that needs improvement is how the script handles collisions. There is an area of the graph which deals with what happens when the actor collides above a certain velocity, in order to release particles and carry out other behaviour. Right now, the collision can be a little extreme and I feel this makes sense in terms of a spaceship or plane, but not an animal swimming through water. When Weedy collides with the wall, I would like to achieve a much softer impact.

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As you can see above, the collision sometimes can be quite buggy and unstable, causing clipping with the camera and the player to go spinning off. My end goal will be to soften the collision, possibly by having the actor absorb most of the impact and simple gently rotate him away from the wall. Upon colliding, I would like to have small clouds of dust and bubbles emit in the form of particles, instead of the mechanical sparks the controller initially had. I have very briefly begun looking into particle systems, which was—understandably—much more complicated than the simplicity of Unity 2D, so I need to decide whether this is realistic for me to create from scratch or whether I can find some starter assets to download and make use of.

Update camera to follow vertical pitch movement

Currently, when moving vertically, the camera remains looking at the back of the Pawn. Instead, I would like to test out how it feels if the camera rotates towards the direction that Weedy is facing when he moves vertically up and down (LMB/RMB). I feel like this may be helpful for the player if they can see where they are going when rising up or down through tunnels within a level. I did some research into this and begun playing around with the script. I did make some minor progress but struggled to achieve much. I found a helpful answer that broke down the necessary steps to achieve something like this (below), so I can use this as a starting point, but as I have said before – I need a better understanding of Blueprints first, so I think it’s wise I take a few steps back before attempting too much at once.

Pitch_Camera_Answer

I think a good idea might be to see if I can attend some extra UE4 Drop-in sessions while also going back and trying some more BP tutorials before I progress.


(Extra Ref for later) Underwater Scene Tutorial

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