GDC is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

View, browse and sort the ever-growing list of GDC sessions by pass type, track, format, and more! With Session Scheduler, create an account to build your own GDC schedule and access it anywhere, including on the GDC app, once live.

If you've registered for GDC, you can use the same login credentials. Adding a session to your schedule does not guarantee you a seat. Sessions do fill up, so please arrive early to sessions that you would like to attend.

Technical Artist Bootcamp: Distance Fields and Shader Simulation Tricks

Ryan Brucks  (Principal Technical Artist, Epic Games)

Location: Room 3004, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Tutorial

Tutorials: Technical Artist Bootcamp

Vault Recording: Video

Come learn powerful techniques for applying distance fields with shaders in UE4. This talk goes over various ways to source distance field data both from within UE4 and from external programs and demonstrates practical examples you can apply to any project. Examples range from simple material blending tricks to fully dynamic methods, such as artistically modeled fluid simulation. On the blending side, this session will go over how to achieve automated blending of objects such as rock meshes into terrain. On the simulation side, learn how to combine distance fields with flowmaps to make rivers flow around obstacles, creating white-water automatically, and learn how ocean waves can be made to crash against beach rocks while synchronizing related effects such as splashes.


This talk gives an overview of distance fields and demonstrates ways to use them inside of UE4. Learn how they can be a powerful tool for artists using a variety of techniques ranging from material blending to combining distance fields with flowmaps to have artistically controlled fluids.

Intended Audience

This talk is for developers looking to extend their knowledge of material based environmental effects. Demonstrated using UE4; techniques will be general enough to apply to other engines. Geared towards environment artists, tech artists and effects artists with an intermediate level understanding of materials/shading, although anyone can benefit.