Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing final assets into Unreal, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- Once we have our assets exported from our external content creation packages, we now want to look at how we can import those assets effectively into Unreal. So this is a very simple process here. In your content browser, you have of course, all of your directories as built for your project and each directory contains assets that are important to the creation of your project. In this case here, we're working with the models directory and actually saving our assets in FBX format to this same directory.
Now if we want to import these directly within our content browser to have the ability to utilize these within our scene, we can simple be inside the folder that we want to work with, in this case here, I'm under models, and I'm going to go to the little import icon. Now we can bring in assets from anywhere that we'd want to. For this case here, if I wanted to bring in this simple rowboat, I'll click rowboat.fbx and I'll click Open. It's going to bring up here some import options. Now this is the main part here as to what we want to look at.
By default, the settings that are in here are typically pretty good for what you need for static mesh. There are some things to keep in mind. So in here, if you ever have a specific level of detail groupings defined within your project, this is where you can actually define this and be able to set specific static mesh groupings if you needed to do that. In this case, we're not going to, we're going to leave that as is, but everything else is typically what you'll leave alone, for static mesh especially. In this case here though what we do want to look at is down here in the material.
Now we talked about the ability to export assets from third party content creation applications, for example, Maya, and we talked about how FBX has the option to embed media. Now if you embed media on there and if you want that asset to come over with all those materials and textures, you're going to want to make sure you turn on Import Materials and Textures. It will find those and bring them right in on that asset as well. But as I mentioned, the smartest way to typically work with that, keep them seperate. Export your textures to your texture directory and you'll be fine.
So you bring in your objects and then you'll assign your textures by assigning the material to your object so that you have that power and that control to kind of define materials based off the Unreal Engine architecture. So in this case here, we're not going to change anything different in here and I can simply hit Import and you can see that we have our rowboat in here. Now this is telling me up here, this is a typical message log, it's going to give you any errors in here. So for this asset here, as I mentioned before, you want to make sure you're working with smoothing groups. The Enable Smoothing Group option was not on in the export here.
It's actually not a big deal for this asset, so we can just turn that off and take a look at it. So that's basically how we bring it in before we even look at what we can do with the viewport because the main area to work with with importing assets into your game is going to be your content browser. This is where you're going to organize everything. This is where you're going to bring your models in, work with any texture maps that exist and then assign any materials to any of your objects as well. But for now this is fine for what we have. We now we have the rowboat in there if we wanted to.
We could even drag that and organize it into, for example, the props directory if we wanted to do that. In this case, I already have the rowboat in there, so we can just ignore that and leave it out on this one here. I was just using that as a simple example and that's fine. So what we want here now is to make sure that our content directory for our project is populated with the assets that we need for our game. And this is the interesting thing about the Unreal Engine 4 environment is the content browser is king. This is where everything is stored in relation to the project. So at this point here, anything that we see in here isn't necessarily in the viewport because this is looking at the existing architecture or structure of our project directory.
So there's a brief overview of how we want to import assets into Unreal and organize our project directory and what we're looking for in those import settings, especially when dealing with FBX.
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