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Quick questions for advanced users / environnement artist.

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    Quick questions for advanced users / environnement artist.

    Hi guys,
    First a quick background, i've been an ArchViz 3D Artist with an initial Video-Games training for 8 years now, so transitioning into Unreal content creation feel kind of natural and tricky at the same time.
    Feeling more and more involved in this community i'd like to bring my contribution to this wonderfull project, but unlike a few years ago i don't have time / energy / motivation to learn advanced modelling / unwraping UWs in another software.
    I've been through the basic tutorials and run some quick tests but i still have some questions, so before going further here they are :
    1. Can i create my whole level in 3ds Max with standard materials / mappings / unwrapings, export it all at once, import it all at once in UTE and finish the job (lighting, UE materials, spawns, weapons etc) ?
    2. If i can, what scale should i work with and are there modeling constraints i should be aware of ?
    3. Being a 3D artist and not a Level designer, i'm highly tempted to first ""remake"" a well known 2k4 map, keeping the structure / gameplay intact with an up-to-date 2015 improved look. What would be the correct workflow to do that ?
      1. UT4-converter --> UTE --> Max --> UTE ?
      2. If so, wich convert scale should i use ?
      3. Anything i should know about.

    4. I'm used to work with Max / Vray, ""can i / do i need to" bake my Global Illumination / Ambient Occlusion or is UE in charge of that ?


    Thanks for reading and for your answers !
    Ps : I watched "The evolution of Outpost 23", and honestly congrats to the team, awesome work, almost making me want to switch back to R.T

    #2
    You could make a map in 3ds max and then import it into UE, but that would take a lot of trial and error. The general consensus is that the best way to build a map is to first block it out using BSP and get the scale/design/shape/flow of your map all setup. Once that is done then go back through it and start converting things into static meshes and making pretty versions in 3ds. Replace it piece by piece until done.
    PayBack

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      #3
      All right so i managed to import a 2k4 map in UTE with UT4 converter (default 2.2 scaling seems fine), build it and export so i have a basic map all setup and don't have to worry about level design / modeling in UTE for now.
      However i couldn't get a clean export, if i "export all" the geometry is welded in a single mesh, and if i select all the brush and "export selected" it gives me strange results, welding a floor with near walls, stuff like that. I don't really mind as everything will be recreated and imported in UTE piece by piece, just wondering how i works.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Fulca View Post
        All right so i managed to import a 2k4 map in UTE with UT4 converter (default 2.2 scaling seems fine), build it and export so i have a basic map all setup and don't have to worry about level design / modeling in UTE for now.
        However i couldn't get a clean export, if i "export all" the geometry is welded in a single mesh, and if i select all the brush and "export selected" it gives me strange results, welding a floor with near walls, stuff like that. I don't really mind as everything will be recreated and imported in UTE piece by piece, just wondering how i works.
        If it used any meshes / brushes, I suspect the problem you may have (hard to know) is the 'brush ordering'. This is when the original map designer placed something to render last instead of first and vice versa - this can be an issue of finding all affected planes/cubes/faces and manually asking UET to flip the ordering.

        https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Converting_UT_Maps

        "The order in which brushes are created is another important consideration: during a conversion, you need to make sure that the additive brush is added before you import the T3D, otherwise you’ll be adding the brush on top the existing level and filling holes rather than creating a space for holes to be carved out from. You can always re-order your brush after the fact (ordering is in the Details Panel in UE4), but I thought it was worth pointing it out since it can throw you for a loop if you’re not familiar with the process."

        The best way to figure this out for real, is to open the map in UT3 Editor first and have a look under the hood for anything that could trip you up, and especially whether the map was built using subtractive or additive brushes.

        In regards to exporting from UET, flipping everything into a static mesh is fine, and is there so people can create an FBX pipeline of sorts for modular pieces, and finally deleting that which is no longer needed. Personally, I'd recommend exporting an FBX at the same scale in pieces and replacing the level chunk by chunk and importing back in by the same rinse repeat method.

        Another thing down the road is lighting - I would recommend replacing all lights, every single one of them, with a new lighting system.

        Finally, do NOT forget about the navigation mesh, it can and will cause UET to crash if it is missing and doesn't surround the map like a sleeping pillow. Same with other large volumes, and the nomenclature of the level and level/game settings. It's al gotta be the same or it'll crash, hard, and won't let you reopen it!
        Maps:

        DM-PSi ; DM-Genku ; DM-Untold Storage ; DM-Station (WIP) ; DM-HeatRay Physx (WIP)

        DM/TSD-Formidable (WIP)

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          #5
          Originally posted by Mitch Mitchell View Post
          In regards to exporting from UET, flipping everything into a static mesh is fine, and is there so people can create an FBX pipeline of sorts for modular pieces, and finally deleting that which is no longer needed. Personally, I'd recommend exporting an FBX at the same scale in pieces and replacing the level chunk by chunk and importing back in by the same rinse repeat method.

          Another thing down the road is lighting - I would recommend replacing all lights, every single one of them, with a new lighting system.
          Yeah after 2 days testing / investigating / tutorials, that's pretty much my conclusion. Importing everything again from Max doesn't looks like a good idea (technically and visually), so i'm gonna take the long way, go for a piece by piece "UT4 Converter --> Max remodeling --> Substance suite --> UE4 reconstructing" pipeline and start with a small part of the map.

          Glad to see i was pointing at the right direction and thanks for the lighting / nav tips

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Fulca View Post
            Yeah after 2 days testing / investigating / tutorials, that's pretty much my conclusion. Importing everything again from Max doesn't looks like a good idea (technically and visually), so i'm gonna take the long way, go for a piece by piece "UT4 Converter --> Max remodeling --> Substance suite --> UE4 reconstructing" pipeline and start with a small part of the map.

            Glad to see I was pointing at the right direction and thanks for the lighting / nav tips
            That's the idea - start with something small and see how long it takes and run the numbers. Only then can you decide if its a job bigger than you want it to be. And I mean literally time it with a stopwatch off your phone or something, and take the process through. Each step is gonna cost you time, and, only you can calculate whether you have enough time to do it.

            Just to give you an approximate, it can take me over 30 hours to convert a map using a 'simple' method, and that's from UT3 to UT4. You can add another 5 hours for 'fixing' stuff, blueprints, matinees, material shader language, so roughly a working week.

            Biggest issue I have is scaling and size differences when doing this, as movement speed is different, as are grid sizes. So a map can look fine and great, but each room is the size of a shoebox, or the opposite where players are walking into an ammo room the size of a football stadium.

            Good luck!
            Maps:

            DM-PSi ; DM-Genku ; DM-Untold Storage ; DM-Station (WIP) ; DM-HeatRay Physx (WIP)

            DM/TSD-Formidable (WIP)

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the input !

              Indeed it takes times ! It took me nearly a week to make a simple corridor (yet unfinished), but mainly because i had to learn Substance to reach my expectations .
              At this point i'm gonna need to take a few month brake because i'm moving to a foreign country next week (berlin, here i come !), but for sure i'll go on as soon as i can.
              However so far my Unreal Engine quick tests were inconclusive, as i couldn't manage to reach the same level of detail in UE with a basic material (base color, normal, metalic, roughness, height) than in Substance.
              This is the kind of things i've been working on (Substance close screenshots combined in photoshop):



              I'll work on getting this result in UE when i return to the project
              Attached Files

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