Get an overview of how to work with geometry in Unreal.
- [Instructor] The first thing we're going to talk about is some geometry considerations we need to keep in mind when we're building assets to bring into Unreal. So here we are in Maya and we have this sort of basic little alter model here. What I want to talk about first is the fact that what we really want to make sure we do is we have our models as combined as possible. For example, something like this, you know, I could split it apart into the individually connected pieces and there might be 50 or more. It might even be like 100 little elements. And what we really don't want to do is make these FBX files or OBJ files that have tons of these little pieces and then bring them into Unreal.
Number one, it's a little unruly right 'cause then we've got to manage all these different pieces, but also just the way the real-time rendering engine works, the fewer meshes it has to think about and has to render, the more performance we're going to get. Especially when we're dealing with building complex stuff and then building VR pieces, we need to get as much performance out of our engine as possible. So starting from the basic asset level and making sure we're thinking about performance down the line is a really important thing to do. So right here you can see I'll click through the different elements that I kind of grouped this out based on some materials actually.
And you can see that we have, you know, some of these things are combined. Then obviously I click this top group, we have this whole thing combined as one mesh. And in this scenario like this where we have just one static object, if we can get it to this point where it can be one individual mesh, that's ideal. So let me go open our UV editor here and let's pull this up, close this UV toolkit. And you can see that with everything selected, all our UVs are cleanly and neatly laid out on one UV tile. If I click through these different elements, you can see that all the different components occupy a different bit of space and what that means is that I can export this as one contiguous model.
There's no overlapping UVs. We'll be able to shade it really cleanly in Unreal, and that's great. Obviously with certain more complex models or animations or things that have combinations of different pieces, we may have different pieces of a model and we may have you know UVs in different pieces that just correspond to a tile just for that piece. But this is just an illustration of a way to have a nice clean thing that's going to get into Unreal really smoothly. If you're coming from a game art development background, this is all very obvious to you because when you're building assets for games, these are the kinds of things that you are training in when you are learning how to do this stuff.
If you're coming from other disciplines, you may have not needed to sort of be as fastidious about certain elements of this process, so these are just things to think about and we're going to look at some different examples and some different software, but it's all based on this principle of having as few meshes as possible and having the cleanest UV as possible. Okay, so we've looked at this. So what we're going to do now is just export this as like one FBX. So I'm going to close the UV editor. Now here in Maya, I can go File, Game Exporter, and we get a Game Exporter window.
And this is really cool 'cause what this basically is is kind of a wrapper for their FDX exporter that allows us to ensure that we're going to get the results that we want out of Maya into Unreal. So there's a bunch of different settings. We're not going to go through every different one but the main thing is that we want to have the up axis set to Z. In Maya, the coordinate axis is Y up and in many pieces of 3D software it is, but then in Unreal it's Z up, and there's other architectural and construction software that uses a Z up axis as well.
So just something to think about. We just have to convert coordinate systems. I will leave the default smoothing groups on and the tangents and binormals on. Skinny and blunt shapes are off because no animation anyway. We don't to move to origin. There's no animation so that's clicked off. We can leave embed media checked on. That can embed the textures and the FBX file but that's not something we're doing right now. And there we go. I'm going to have it be a binary file. We're going to use the latest FBX version which is as of today 2018.
And so then we just need to set an export path and file name. And so I'm going to click on the folder here. And we're going to click on our FBX folder that's in our chapter one my folder, and say choose. And then under file name, I will just type alter_01 and say export. So it's export successful. And now we're just going to go check that FBX folder on the desktop. Alright, so now we're going to look in our FBX folder here that we've created, and we can see that we have our alter 01 FBX file.
The size looks right. Everything looks good. And next up we're going to show you how to import this into Unreal.
- Working with geometry
- Importing processed files into Unreal
- Using the Skeletal Mesh Editor
- Creating a material with textures
- Refining Substance material
- Assembling your scene in Unreal
- Working with cameras