My UE4 Project Progress from Ezmyreld's blog

I am so happy to announce that it will be 3 months before I finally graduate from Full Sail University with my Bachelor's degree in Game Art. While working hard, for the past 3 years; I have to put some solitary effort to push things forward and progress towards my goal of starting my own Anime Gaming Company. These past few years, I have learned more than I can sum up in one blog. Anywhere from character design, programming, to level design; my artwork has far exceeded above what I ever thought it could. I have gone from traditional 2D art to full-blown hyper-realistic game art that will knock your socks off.

This month I have learned how to set up a level in Unreal Game Engine 4. For those of you who do not know what it is, UE4 is a game compiler and engine that will allow you to create your own video games. You can import meshes you created in your chosen 3D software, add detailed maps to them, and create your own materials to make look any way you want them to.

Software I used: 

1) UE4

2) Maya

3) Substance Designer

4) Bitmap

Think of a level as an old-fashioned tileset created in the Legend of Zelda (not the new games, the old ones). Each level was created by what we know as repeating tilesets. Building a level in Unreal Game Engine is no different, except that you work with 3D meshes instead of tilesets. You model walls, pillars, trim, doors, floors, and ceilings and any other props that will also be needed.

You first model each piece in Maya/Blender/3D Max and UV map them.

You use the snap-to-grid built into the software. Once you snap it to the middle in your 3D software, you can import the meshes into the UE4 engine and use them with the snap-to-grid already applied. 

Secondly, you must design your own substances in substance designer. You do this through outputs and nodes. First, you choose a reference. Then you must choose a Uniform Color, Normals (height information), Metallic, roughness, hight, and Ambient Occlusion. Here are the examples of my work.


Wood 1

Wood 2


Wall Plaster

Sheet Rock

There are many different nodes you can utilize within Substance Designer to get it to look the way you want. Creating these and applying these to the meshes will create a hyper-realistic environment. 

Once you import these meshes you created in your 3d software, you can reuse meshes or multiple purposes. Here you also apply the maps you created in substance designer. Within Substance, you must first publish your material you create. Then you must apply the tiling ability to your meshes. 

You simply drag and drop onto the meshes into your environment and use your pieces to build your level. It's that simple! You also create emissive glow for the lights and doors. There are certain settings you can tweak within UE4.

This also brings us to lighting. There are different types of lights you can use in UE4. You drag and drop them into the scene where ever you need them. You can do the same with atmospheric fog and skylights.

We also need to build the lighting to keep it up to date. Here I scattered the light and also used a combination of emissive glow and point lights on the lanterns. Likewise with the glass doors!

Creating materials also means we have to deal with some programming. Here we import the materials and tweak them in UE4.

You simply import the SBS file that was published from your substance designer software and you will have one of these balls that show your substance you created. You also have an option to only import the maps instead of making them into materials. Here we work with a master material, and from that parent material, we generate the other materials. It is a complicated process.

This month, I have also learned how to apply wear and tear to your material to make it look like it has some history to it. After all, in real life, things don't always appear new. We did this through photoshop and tweaking real photos. We used an alpha channel to achieve this! 

The glow from a distance was also applied using the optional effects built in as well as the particles! 

Well, this sums it up! I hope to create some beautiful masterpeices in the near future. You'll be seeing more of my work in the futrue, so don't go away!

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By Ezmyreld
Added Dec 16 '18


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