Oculus Rift: Gothic Cathedral

November 30, 2013
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A representation of a Gothic cathedral for the Oculus Rift using UDK, built as a project for an Art History course at the Art Institute Atlanta.

Lighting is one of my favorite things to do inside of UDK. The Unreal Engine has just made it really easy to take mediocre assets and, through decent lighting, create something that looks truly amazing. This was one of my first experiences attempting to create a stained glass lighting effect, and while I may have gone a tad overboard on rendering light shafts, I think it turned out really well overall. I enjoyed it so much that I’ll probably make a tutorial on how exactly I pulled this off.


The meshes and textures I used to build this cathedral were purchased from a user on TurboSquid, and they were not my favorite option. They were simply the cheapest route, and I guess you get what you pay for. Either way, at least as my first experience with TurboSquid, I managed to get those assets in a number of different formats and was actually able to use them (albeit with some modification to the textures). Sadly, that’s a pretty huge bonus compared to scraping the internet for free assets. Even with these meshes being low-quality, once they’re inside UDK you’re able to just do so much to improve their visual fidelity that the quality argument is much diminished.

This was also my first look at creating light functions in UDK, which I used to make the flickering lights emitted from the fires. I can see how this can be an incredibly powerful technique, as it was really simple to implement and can create a lot of really cool effects based on the textures you sample. Will need to do more experimentation with these to see what I can come up with.