You can make an entire cinematic universe out of just Batman characters and In this video I’m going to prove it. 23 movies and three phases which span 14 years of movies which is entirely focused on the Bat family and Batman related characters.
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It’s been a while since I posted the last video of this project here and there have been numerous major and minor changes since then, so I’ll just go through them in a completely arbitrary order based on which ones I thought of first lol (I might move this bit into a dedicated blogpost soon, since there’s quite a lot to talk about this time):
*Engine Post Processing Modifications:* I’ve added my own custom film stock emulation to the engine’s tonemapping pass, which I’m using to create a more unique looking result. It behaves unlike any of the existing colour grading tools and is modelled after the response curves of traditional analog film stocks (including various parameters that allow me to control its behaviour in-engine), so this is why pretty much everything looks somewhat different in terms of colours when compared to the last video. I’ve also expanded the custom bloom solution to include film halation, which gives everything even more of an authentic and very filmic look. This is basically just continuing my motivation of getting as far away from the typical stock-Unreal Engine look as possible, and those two effect also make everything look a lot nicer in general. I might make a dedicated follow-up video and blogpost that also includes comparisions about this later on, as its a pretty extensive topic.
*Cape Physics Improvements:* I spent some time trying to figure out ways to increase the control over the cape physics during combat animations, which resulted in me experimenting with pre-baking physics into the animations, which in turn “art-direct” the runtime physics to give some more stylised and consistent results. Natually I’ve gone crazy with that discovery and baked physics for almost every combat animation, resulting in a massive increase in physics stability and consistency without loosing any of that dynamic flow that the realtime physics produce. This means no more floaty cape poses during difficult combat animations and also a lot less odd behaviour during twists and turns.
*The Art of Sculpting:* As I’ve teased in the recent community post, I finally got around to trying some 3d sculpting with the Batman Begins suit as my practice piece (finishing it really was long overdue). So this is now the first skin that I’ve made almost entirely from scratch (only Cowl, Face, Gauntlets, Belt and Boots are from an existing model) and I think it turned out pretty good so far, though the version you’re now seeing on-screen is like the third iteration of it (the first one got lost in a blender crash, the second one was meh, so third time’s the charm ig). I’m still thinking about what model I’ll make next, though complicated models made from many individual pieces like the Pattinson Batsuit are out of the question for now, since thats still a bit above my skills but I might get there with some more sculpting experience.
*Iceberg Lounge and the Long Halloween- and Knightfall-Skins:* These three things have once again been made by @The-IceMage and have turned out pretty damn good once more, even though the Iceberg Lounge level isn’t quite finished yet. Now I finally have a proper combat challenge level for combat showcases instead of my barren combat test box, for some reason I keep making new predator maps but no proper combat environments lol.
*Various minor changes and behind the scenes stuff:* I’ve been poking around the engine source code more and more as of late, which has resulted in the aforementioned post processing changes but also in a handful fixes that might be of interest for some of you. Specifically my fix for the completely broken HDR UI composition of UE4 (and 5 afaik) might be of interest, so if anyone wants to know about that hmu on my discord server.
I’ve also been constantly refining the gameplay code, so its kinda hard to keep track of all the changes there, but a lot of it isn’t really that noticeable in gameplay as it involves a ton of maintainance and code cleanup, which goes hand in hand with my never-ending shift to more and more C++ logic.
The ingame debug OSD also made its return now as you can see.
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00:26 Batman Begins Skin
01:18 Knightfall Skin
01:56 The Long Halloween Skin
02:40 Updated Test Map and Debug OSD Showcase
06:02 Iceberg Lounge Combat with the Batman Begins Skin
09:50 Intensive Treatment Lobby Predator with the Long Halloween Skin
12:26 Botanical Gardens Predator with the Knightfall Skin
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Idk why I haven’t done these shorter uploads that focus on a single thing for a while now, but since I did some big improvements on the enemy ragdolls and fixed the strangely skinny legs of the Batman Begins suit I might as well showcase these two things now. The legs thing was also mostly the product of me being a bit too laser-focused on the upper body, so I’ve also used the opportunity to add some minor extra detail there. I’ve also done some adjustments to the cape physics with the Begins suit specifically (yes, the cape physics parameters vary on a per-skin basis thanks to me having made a bunch of different physics assets that produce different behaviours depending on what I want for that skin).
Also for those that havent’t seen my community post about the Begins suit: I wasn’t going for 100% accuracy (that’d be boring lol, always more fun to do my own spin on something), so most of the differences are intentional to make this more of a refit-version of the Begins suit, since I felt like some things just make it look better/more interesting than the original.
Btw. excuse the fact that there might be a rare instance of missing animations on (floor-)takedowns in this video, this is because I’m kinda in the middle of overhauling the enemy pawn class and am replacing a lot of the systems behind takedowns and their animations to clear the way for different playable characters, so naturally things like to break in the current state.
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