Water Shaders & Mobile Compatibility - Project Viz - Dev Blog

Project Viz is a bit tricky as not only should everything look the best it can, but it needs to run smoothly and be compatible with mobile and tablet devices. This has not been more difficult than on the water shader.

 Fig 1: Mobile Compatible Open Ocean World

Fig 1: Mobile Compatible Open Ocean World

Typically, a water shader might make use of planar reflections coupled with tesselation to give a nice moving water effect. However for mobile this simply is not an option, working within the limitations of mobile can be difficult at times but nonetheless, perseverance pays off.

 Fig 2: Water Shader UE4 Blueprint

Fig 2: Water Shader UE4 Blueprint

The final result is fairly small in size, this is to reduce the total number of instructions for the device to compute. We make use of cheaper alternatives to Fresnel effects and tiling.

It is also important to note that on a mobile device the number of texture samples is much lower than what you might find on a desktop machine, so it was important to make multiple uses of the textures wherever possible. For example, the roughness channel is entirely calculated from the normal texture and fresnel effects, removing the need for a dedicated texture channel.

 Fig 3: Water Shader Colour, Roughness & Normal Map

Fig 3: Water Shader Colour, Roughness & Normal Map

The bulk of the work takes place above in the colour, roughness and normal calculations, this is what determines the colour of the water as well as the surface reflections and the height of the waves.

The secondary work takes place in the vertex tiling section of the shader, this efficiently tiles the textures using the meshes vertices instead of the pixels, massively improving the shaders performance across all platforms.

 Fig4: Water Shader Vertex Tiling

Fig4: Water Shader Vertex Tiling

Overall we are happy with the final result and we have discovered a large amount of limitations and information on mobile compatibility that we can take forward within the remainder of the project and ofcourse any techniques developed during the course of this project can be used in future releases of Project Viz.


Project Viz - A Big Nasty Sales Tool - Dev Blog #2

We have begun adding new features as and when they are developed and the build we are currently working on is getting closer and closer to a more complete build.

A few of the major changes we have added to the app are largely to do with customization (mainly materials) allowing the ability to completely change the look of your assets within the viewport without having to go back through the art pipeline or having duplicates of the same assets using different materials.


Speaking of materials, we have also added a dynamic material editor which will allows you to edit the parameters of your currently selected material, giving you more control over how your product looks within the app.


We will continue to add more environments as the development  of Project Viz progresses. One of the new additions to the environment is the “Shop Interior” seen below.

We have also begun development on a shop exterior which is close to completion as seen below. There will be a selection of environments included with the application but of course if any bespoke environments are required, we can build them in house.


Big Nasty News #3

In the near future we will be posting a research paper written by the Lead Designer here at Big Nasty Studios who recently completed his masters degree with a distinction (Congratulations again!). The paper will go into detail around the different kinds of simulated destruction within game engines, this includes;

  • Procedural Destruction
  • Destruction using rigid bodies
  • Destruction using skeletal meshes
  • Softbody Destruction
  • Destruction using fracture meshes

Bellissimi Beauty Studios

We are currently still in the midst of editing the YouTube tutorial videos for our friend over at Bellissimi Beauty Studios, the first of 6 videos so far will be uploaded within the next day or two, you can check out the tutorials @Bellissimi Beauty on YouTube or @BellissimiBeauty over on Facebook. Alternatively, you can find all of the information you need by visiting their website at www.bellissimibeauty.co.uk


Don’t forget to follow us on instagram @bignastystudios to keep up to date with everything in and out of the office for the Big Nasty Team! We post regularly and often images of our development work such as the examples below.


Project Viz - A Big Nasty Sales Tool - Dev Blog #1

It’s been a busy year for us since becoming incorporated last year, and we have attended and given many sales pitches. It has quickly become apparent that there are aspects of sales and promotion materials that are somewhat lacking.

We’ve met companies who were looking to show off their products, but these have been too large to carry around and show to their prospects exactly what they would wish to demonstrate. We’ve met companies with high-value products; companies with products that have a high level of customisation; and companies with products that are really difficult to “get” even through an informative PowerPoint presentation. We’ve also met companies that make products or provide services that are simply stunning in their design, and their true majesty simply can’t be realized through images alone.
This is why we’re developing our first sales tool “Project Viz” (Figure 1). Viz is a core application for Android, iOS and PC that will become equal to, if not exceed the best weapons in any salesman or marketer’s arsenal.

 Figure 1

Figure 1

“That’s a big sell, guys,” you say, and we agree, but that just shows our belief in this product, and here’s why:
Project Viz is a showcasing, interactive app that enables the display of 3-dimensional files of your products. You are able to zoom in, zoom out, rotate and pan around your products to your heart’s content. It acts as an interactive catalog, enabling you to cycle through products simply with a touch of a screen or the movement of a cursor (Figure 2).
We create bespoke environments to display your products in the environment and lighting of your choice: in a warehouse, at home, in a simple lit studio or even in outer space. It’s entirely up to you (Figure 3).

 Figure 2

Figure 2

 Figure 3

Figure 3

You can tap on any of the data points related to the product model you are demonstrating, and a little bubble will pop up that can explain or inform – whatever information you would like your customer to know. If you need to show individual components in closer detail, we can “blow apart” your product and focus on the individual aspects and the specs (Figure 4).
Need to demonstrate how it actually works? We can create simple animations to explain or show different functionalities at the tap of a button. Imagine a new table that also collapses into a chair – the animation could demonstrate the ease of use and dual functionality (Figure 5).

 Figure 4

Figure 4

 Figure 5

Figure 5

Do you provide your products in a range of colours or materials? A simple gesture on the screen will cycle through the options available. We specialize in bespoke photo-realistic material creation, ensuring that the lighting bounces from the materials as they would in reality.



There’s one more thing that we’re really excited about. We’re also building the app to allow us to customise the interface with your branding. We can ensure that the combination of your product, your brand and our app will set you apart from your competitors and give a massive boost to your sales.
Sounds brilliant right? You can use it to make direct sales in person or you can stream it to a projector or a screen for a larger audience, you can take it to trade shows and other exhibitions. The apps easy to use interface will enable your customers to play with your products on the spot.

Currently we are working with some exciting companies to build a demo version of the app, so sign up to our mailing list for a free code as soon as it becomes available.
Furthermore, we will also be selling this as an integrated product as well as in standalone form. You can purchase a tablet and a variety of optional stands pre-installed with your branded and ready version of the app. We’ll remove all the stock apps you don’t want as well as personalise the tablet’s operating system so that your branding shows through. Now we are a while away from making this aspect of our product a reality and are looking to set up our supply chain, please get in contact if your business can facilitate this.

A few things that we are still developing and will release footage of in the near future include:

-Dynamic Materials

-Application Brand Implementation

-UI/UX Polish

-Multi-Asset Scenes

-Environment Toolset

-Dynamic Lighting

Well that’s all from us about Project Viz. Please get in touch if there are any questions or you require further information

– The Big Nasty Team!

Big Nasty News #2

Hi all and welcome to the second instalment of Big Nasty News! We have had a lot going on over the past fortnight and we are excited to share it with you!

Bellissimi Beauty Make-Up Studios

We are currently in the midst of developing video graphics for our friends over at Bellissimi Beauty, the aim of the graphics is to increase brand awareness on the beauty tutorial videos they provide.

Find more information on Bellissimi Beauty here: http://www.bellissimibeauty.co.uk/


Big Nasty Viewer

We have been working tirelessly on completing the Alpha build of our new application, the Big Nasty Viewer (Working Title). Later on in the week we will be posting a full announcement of this app which will contain all of the information you need so be on the lookout for that!

Office News!

As this update is coming to an end we would just like to express a huge congratulations to our Lead Designer, Jack Fletcher for completing his Masters Degree!

If you would like to see more of what we have been up to, don’t hesitate to follow us on Instagram @bignastystudios

Big Nasty News #1

Welcome to the first post of a new edition to our website, Big Nasty News! We will be creating a post similar to this one on a bi-monthly basis along with our thought leadership posts and our RnD posts. Although not as informative as our other posts, this is a great way to include you in the goings on over at Big Nasty Studios. This will be the new place to find out how things are going in the office, in our projects and even get an inside look at some of our projects and our workflow.

These posts will be released every 2 weeks starting from today!

Business News!


From the 11th to 13th of July, we went to our first Develop Conference in Brighton. Develop brings together Game Devs from all around the world – from the megastars to the micro-indies to network, have business meetings, play around with each other’s new products and generally have fun while hopefully building some strong connections. This year we had the opportunity to meet with lots of types of people, including people from the BBC, Sony, Jagex, Ubisoft and Amazon Games Studio as well as lots of other smaller developers and publishers with years of experience and know-how to draw from at many of our impromptu meetings.

The highlight of the week was by far being able to attend the Special Effect party, which was a relaxed opportunity to wind down from a rather hectic week and really solidify the new friendships that we had made. Special Effect is a charity that is rather near and dear to our hearts as they are dedicated to helping people with disabilities to enjoy video games as we do. They even have a version of Fifa that they have programmed to work with only facial movement. An absolutely incredible charity – you can find out more information at – http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/

Develop at Brighton was fantastic, and we can’t wait to go back next year to meet some new faces as well as catch up with some familiar ones!


Over the last few weeks, we at Big Nasty have also been busy becoming a member of the BNI – Business Network International is the most successful networking group in the world. The motto at BNI is “givers gain”. Every week we meet to drink copious amounts of coffee, talk business and to pass as many strong referrals for work as we possibly can to other members. In return, they pass work to us as we all constantly work to demonstrate to each other our expertise and practice our networking skills. We were introduced to BNI by David Porter from Surge Marketing Solutions and Andrew Dunning from Andrew Dunning Photography, and so far it has been excellent. We’ve made a lot of new friends and have already passed and have been passed a handful of referrals.

Enterprise Made Simple

If you follow any of our social media accounts you will already know that recent weeks have been extremely useful for us as we have had the opportunity to take part in a selection of workshops that have provided extensive information on topics such as increasing our reach across social media, identifying and planning new routes to market, blogging for business growth, information on business chassis and business tendering.

Over the course of around 2 months, we have all attended these workshops and gained level 3 qualifications in business growth. We spent a weekend at The Hawkhills in York attending this course which was a welcome change from being stuck in an office to being surrounded by nothing but trees and wildlife.

Project News!

Sky City

To show off some of our skills in different areas we have begun working on a selection of projects for our portfolio, the first of these is a futuristic sky city, see how it is coming along below.


Hogney Castle

Another of our projects is Hogney Castle, we are aiming to create this castle using elements from Hogwarts and Disney’s enchanted castle.



Since our last sneak peek of SpaceCakes a lot has changed, we are making huge progress with this project and it is something we are extremely excited about. Although we cannot make as much progress as we like due to other projects taking priority, we can show you what has been happening since the test footage we released a few weeks back.


Some of the new additions include:

  • Animated Customers
  • Diner Environment
  • Diner Lighting
  • Updated Props
  • Teleport Function
  • Customer AI
  • Recipe/Ingredient Datatables
  • Game Music

The Future!

We are also brushing up on our digital drawing skills (images below) if you would like to see more of our development work then let us know!


Germany Needs Interactive Computer Graphics Solutions!

Recently we took the opportunity to attend a trade mission with the Department of International Trade which took Big Nasty Studios to Dusseldorf, Germany! We were able to learn vital information on how we can sell our interactive digital solutions to the German market. It turns out the German economy would benefit from our skills in computer graphics design to help with customer engagement as most of their economy has been built up through cars, mechanical engineering and chemical manufacturing.

Efficiency and precision is vital to the German economy and it is clear through their work culture, for example their primary focus is on quality rather than price, they are long term oriented (and don't mind sending wordy emails to make sure the point is made clear) and they are big on data protection, many German citizens go as far as not using their name or personal photo on social media.

 Economic Development Agency of the German State of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.

Economic Development Agency of the German State of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.


What can we do to help and how it will benefit Big Nasty Studios?

For us as a business there is a lot of potential opportunity in computer graphics development or visualisations for the optimisation of production within the German Car, Machinery and Chemical Manufacture industries. Due to the lack of business likes ours in this country we also have the opportunity to help a range of other businesses engage with their customers.

Hermann Simon coined the phrase "Hidden Champion", this describes a small but successful company hidden by a curtain of inconspicuousness - Something we aspire to be

Statistics & What they mean for us.

The digital/marketing/creative industry in Germany is one of the biggest in Europe with 800,000+ employees worth a total of 145 billion in euros. From these figures there is only 13 million in hardware and 160 million in software development and production and although the future of Virtual Reality is unclear, current estimates show the industry growing to 1 billion by 2020.

This shows us that there is only a very small portion of the German market that is dedicated to software and hardware development/production which means an even smaller portion that provides the services we offer.

Why so serious?

It was not all business and statistics during our stay in Dusseldorf, after all the hard business-manning had been done, we had the opportunity to spend a bit of free time in the hotel and the city. The food at the Dusseldorf Sheraton wasn’t half bad, and the Thyme Creme Brulee with goats cheese and blackcurrant sorbet sounded absolutely disgusting but turned out to be the best course eaten throughout the trip. On our first evening, we had the opportunity to go and watch the England vs Dortmund football match surrounded by German fans. After our loss, a few of the German people we met were rather enthusiastic in buying commiseration drinks to make us feel better.

The Block House steak restaurant in Dusseldorf was excellent; sirloin steaks and glasses of Merlot were a perfect start to a great night experiencing the city’s bars and clubs, which ranged from twee cocktail bars to heavy metal bars and EDM clubs. All in all, a great trip!


Some of the things to take from this trip is that there are gaps in the German market that Big Nasty fit right into, the services we provide are scarce and not many other companies provide interactive visualisations or computer graphics solutions.

 The gaps are there because a fairly large amount of the economy is built on the Car, Machinery and Chemical Manufacture industries. We learned a lot about the digital/creative/marketing industry and that we can provide a well needed service to improve customer engagement... also, the nightlife wasn't half bad either.

New Equipment? New Brand? New Office? New Projects!

New Equipment?

So things have been crazy around the office lately! due to the funding we were awarded we have managed to get our hands on some quality equipment which is going to give us the best chance we have at making the highest quality content possible.


So... this is just the first batch of new equipment we have got coming into the office..

  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Touch DK with Prototype Controllers
  • Josh's PRSSE Standard Guitar (Roxanne) and Amp
  • Josh's M-AUDIO Keyboard Controller

All of these fancy new toys have opened up a lot of doors for us and we plan on taking full advantage! We now have the ability to develop across more powerful Virtual Reality platforms and with the high quality music hardware we have acquired we can have a lot more fun when it comes to creating the music for our projects.

New Brand?

Our friends over at The Creative Alchemist have been working hard on creating a fantastic new brand to represent us here at Big Nasty and we have brought it down from multiple designs to one we think is awesome and we feel it represents us and what we do very well.

It feels both professional and clean but also playful and exciting! There are a lot of things we can manipulate and use with this brand and we are super happy with how it turned out. Unfortunately it has not made its way across all of our social media platforms as of yet as the designs are still being worked on but for now, here is a closer look at the design! Pretty cool right?


New Office?

As you all know we are members of the Launchpad based in the heart of Teesside University and we have been in a shared office named "The Fishpond" for around 6 months but as with everything, it is time to move onto bigger and better things! 
So we are super excited to announce we will be moving into our own office space on April 1st! This creates a lot of exciting opportunities to do with the new VR equipment we have acquired, the larger space will allow us to be more ambitious with the projects we are working on.

New Projects!

Obviously with the new equipment we have a ton of ideas up in the air that we are ready to start developing, not much can be announced right now but we can tell you what we are working on is being developed on the HTC Vive and hopefully will be available on Oculus VR also.

More information is still to come over the couple of weeks so keep an eye out for everything Big and Nasty :)




Due to it becoming more and more important to us i decided that i would sit down and try my hand at "sequencer" within UE4, this is part of the unreal engine that replaced Matinee (Thank the lord right?)

After watching a couple of dev diaries and reading some of the Unreal Engine help documents, i managed to come out of it with a little example, its far from perfect but it was super fun to work with (albeit stressful at times).


Feedback is welcome!


Updates :>

Well here it is... the 3rd? 4th? "weekly update"

Clearly we have a lot to update you on seeing as we are terrible at this "weekly" situation we have found ourselves in.

Well first off... MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR from the Big Nasty team :)

Next on the list is something huge for us and if you follow us on social media then you will already have heard about it but we created a concept for Virtual Reality and it locked down some funding for us, this will allow us to get our mits on some higher quality VR platforms (Oculus/Vive) which is super cool as it means we can jump straight into developing this concept further.

We have already started planning out the project and more updates will be available shortly, a video will be posted below if you would like to see the concept that nailed us the funding!

We have also started a daily post on our Facebook and Twitter called "MunchMusic" this started because we take a lot of inspiration from music and it is something that we play around with during our lunch times, we figured some of our audience may be interested in game music so we decided to start posting what we come up with each day! However that is a lot of random music we expect you to listen to so we are actually thinking of moving it here to our website and dedicating an entire page to just music as there is a lot of ideas flying around and it would be nice if we could have everything in one place for people to listen to

We will still be posting these on our social media pages but only once or twice a week, the full daily updates can still be found on our SoundCloud page  or here on the website once we add the new section if you are into it :) 

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/bignastyltd 


Actually... this is all of the updates i can think of at the moment and i feel you lot don't want to read me waffling on about the smaller details so.... STAY TUNED FOR MORE SOON! :D


Busy, Busy... BUSY!

Hey everyone!

So much for the weekly updates right? 

Apologies for that, it has been pretty hectic around the office these past few weeks and here is a couple of reasons why!

Well first of all we have been following up on a few things that were set in motion at the "if we can you can challenge" event, this has included creating a VR demo which turned out to be so much fun that we are working on it for a full release as well as using it as our demo.

A huge chunk of our time has been spent working on a pitch, as we are currently in the running to receive some funding of up to £18,000 and although it is not set in stone we feel we are definitely a strong contender! so wish us all of the luck for that one :D

As some of you will know, it was GameBridge yesterday! and for those of you that don't know, GameBridge is a quarterly networking event for students and industry professionals. Its a really great place to hang out, play some games, have some drinks and network with people interested and passionate about the same things as you!

We met some great people, played some fantastic games, caught up with some old friends and maybe even got a little inebriated! Our fellow start up "Silhouette Wolf" were showcasing their game "The Mimic" there, a brilliant little puzzle game that Jack and I play tested.

Well for now that is all we can share! but hopefully in the next week or so we will have some super duper exciting things to show and discuss with you ;]


Just kidding....

-Adam :)

If We Can You Can

Well we've got some good news for you! Recently our company was one of the finalist in the "If We Can You Can Challenge" event in Gateshead. The competition was to recognise all of the best new startups of the North East and 2016, we are extremely grateful for our nomination by the digital city.

We had to compete against fourteen startup businesses delivering a one minute pitch to fifteen tables of ten about our start up venture, then votes were cast by the entire room to decide a winner.

While we did not win, we are delighted to have been able to attend such an event, and happily concede the win to tumbles and grumbles, a great startup aimed at teaching parents how to properly use first aid on infants.

It was a great opportunity for networking and we all made quite a few new friends and had a good time with some older ones. It's also given us something exciting that we will be working on over the nest couple of weeks so look forward to updates soon!


If We Can You Can Frame.jpg

Hello World... again!

Hello there guys, we're pleased to announce that we have finally got our website up and running - again. Now those of you who have been following us for a while will obviously know we've been though quite a few of this website, going though several different web platforms. we'll hopefully this one is here to stay, our new provider seems to be a lot easier for us to manage and update.

So here we are, portfolio peices will be on here soon, and hopefully some great new content to show you guys.


Welcome to the Big Nasty Blog!

Hi all!

Welcome to our blog, this is a very relaxed place where we will be posting weekly updates about the goings on of Big Nasty! you can expect posts regarding;

  • Progress we have made professionally

  • Updates from the directors, this could be anything from a new game to a new pair of socks

  • Office shenanigans

  • Things to do/not to when trying to start up a business (Personal experiences)

  • Plugs for our fellow startups and links to their websites/social media

Pretty much anything we think that will interest others we shall be posting!