Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Content creation: External applications, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- When creating assets for Unreal Engine 4 it really doesn't matter which package you prefer to work in if you're working outside of Unreal. But there are a couple basic principles that you're going to want to keep in mind when you're assembling those assets. So, this video is just a really quick, short overview of some things to keep in mind when you're creating your assets. So, here we have Autodesk Maya. Now, within Maya there is a basic workflow that we're following that you can follow in just about any application that you may be working with. You'll find it's typically easier to model or create your assets with quads.
For a game, triangles is kind of king for the engine there. But Unreal will take care of that for you as well. So, you can go ahead and actually work with the quad version and bring that out. Or you can triangulate it within your package to have it in triangles to begin with. But a couple of things to keep in mind, sometimes when building assets we may want a nice reference blocked out level. Like we have, in this case for our island landscape and our lighthouse landscape, we have a nice island landscape that we've brought over, and then we have proxy models that we can use as references for placement and scale of objects.
But that works fine for composition of a scene, specifically, if you need to work in context to cameras. For creation of assets, sometimes it may not even matter what the scale is that you're working with. So, in this case here, you know we may have some scaling issues here. That lantern's obviously giant and huge. But for the purpose of modeling, and laying out the UV's, and working with Unreal within a model structure, a model directory from your content browser, it doesn't typically matter really if you're going to have different scaled objects where you can have them in your directory and then drag them in the scene, and adjust it there live in Unreal.
So, in this case here, it may not really matter that our objects are different scales or maybe not too proper scale to each other. But what does matter is some of the basics as to how they're going to respond to things like materials, especially texture-based materials. So, you'll see that we have, here in Maya I'm just spliting the viewport so that we can show a UV view, and you can see that I have this lantern for example, it's nicely packed. And the UV's are laid out in a very efficient manner here so that all the different aspects of it can receive a good coverage of texture.
And this is important for minimizing overlapping UV's, and also maximizing the amount of texture or image from the texture so that you can really take advantage of that inside Unreal. And the same thing with the car, of course. You can see this is nicely packed together so that if we want to apply any kind of texture mapping to this it will take advantage of a good layout for UV's. And that's important to keep in mind especially when you're going to be utilizing textures that utilize UV coordinates in Unreal Engine.
The last thing that I wanted to point out here is it doesn't matter where you build your content. Just follow some basic principles of keeping your objects somewhat light. You don't want to go too dense because anything that's overly dense is going to really bog down your scene. Keep your texture coordinates laid out nicely, compact them and really pack them in and to utilize all those pixel within the image, as we've seen in these assets here. And then keep them in a nice, easy, portable export format. You'll find most typical across the industry are things like .fbx and also .obj is still actually an excellent format to utilize to transfer assets back and forth.
The nice thing about FBX is if you choose to you can actually imbed materials or imbed textures with that file format as well. These assets for the project that we're doing, most of the material application, the material creation is happening live within the Unreal Engine 4, a material editor. So, we'll take a look at how that's built. But keep in mind that, regardless of how you build it, good, efficient geometry and good efficient coordinates for UVs are key.
- Customizing the Unreal UI
- Creating a new project
- Creating landscapes
- Blocking out levels
- Assembling a scene
- Working with materials and lights
- Adding post-processing effects
- Defining bodies of water
- Adding atmospherics, foliage, and wind
- Working with the Blueprint editor
- Creating cinematics
- Monitoring performance
- Packaging a game for distribution