Textures to Ultra for the Masses: Conan Exiles

Room Reykjavik
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We’ll tell the story of why we integrated Granite into Conan, how we did it very late in development, what issues we encountered, how we finally applied virtual texturing and what the eventual the benefits were. Conan uses a landscape material that blends many hi-res (4K) tiling textures. Memory usage can become an issue, especially on consoles. So we investigated virtual texturing to automatically optimise memory. Since the project was far into development, we needed an easy way in Unreal to convert textures to a tiled streaming format. We accelerated the development of an experimental import workflow using nodes in the material graph of UE4. We also experimented with multiple approaches to integrate the Granite toolset into the production workflow, and settled on a nightly import server. In the end, sampling many tiling textures with VT still proved to be to computationally expensive on consoles, though VT did optimise all non-terrain textures, freeing up memory for the terrain. Texture quality improved significantly on graphics cards with limited memory (1GB).

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