Modeling Assets in 3ds Max for Unreal Engine 4

What is this post all about ?

First of all, this is going to be a rather long post split into six parts. The reason for the lengthy size is that we will take a look at the whole workflow. This workflow means starting in 3ds Max and ending with our model inside Unreal Engine 4. Alright then lets start !

Modeling the Custom Chair

The first thing that we need to create is going to be the HP ( high poly ) model. This is a given if we want to have a good quality model when we later bring it into UE4. For this case i decided to go with a custom chair. If you read the FB group you will know that i kinda messed up with a NDA issue. This meant that i had to rerecord everything from scratch. So to make it safe i decided to go with something that doesn’t exist. The modeling of the said chair will show you how to use couple of different techniques. These techniques are like box modeling, modifier stacking, cloth simulation and a few others. Anyways you can see all of this in the video below so go check it out.

Creating the Low Poly

The second video will cover the creation of the LP ( Low Poly ) model. In the past i have created a few videos that were about retopology. Well this time around it was more of a simplification rather then retopology. This is because when you have a HP model that was created with proper box modeling it’s faster and easier. In the video below you can check out the whole creation of the LP model.

UVW Unwrapping

This is where it starts getting interesting. A lot of people for some reason find this complicated and hard. For this phase i wanted to show you two ways for UVW Unwrapping. In the first video i decided to go ahead and do the UVW Unwrapping inside 3ds Max. You can see how i did it in the video below.

Now if you watched the video above you heard me saying that i hate doing unwrapping in 3ds max. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s simply tedious if you ask me. This is why i decided to throw in a bonus video about Unfold3D. This is a piece of software that is used only for one thing, and that is UVW unwrapping. So if you want to see how that worked out, check out the video below.

Texturing the chair with Substance Painter

For the texturing phase i decided to go with Substance Painter. If you have never seen or used Substance Painter you are missing out. It’s an amazing software that makes texturing assets an easy task. Since i haven’t made any prior videos with the software i will stick to the basics. This means we will use already existing materials that come with the Substance Painter. So if you want to see how i did it, check out the video below.

Exporting the model to Unreal Engine 4

In the last part of the mini series we will see how to get the model to Unreal Engine 4. We will also see how we can prepare the model so we have no issues with the transformations. How to prepare the model for use of multiple materials in UE4. How to compile the materials so we can use the textures from Substance Painter. In short all the things that you have to do to your model to get it working inside Unreal. Again, if you want to see that check the video below.

 Is that all ?

Well with this we covered the whole process of preparing an asset to go from Max to UE4. If you followed the videos you will have an idea of the steps you need to do. So i do hope you guys found this entertaining and educational. You guys learned the workflow, and i learned the importance of an NDA 🙂

In any case, if you liked the post like and comment on the videos and help spread the word around.

Blocking out a Scene and Materials in Unreal Engine 4

After the last post about the Installing and Introduction to Unreal Engine 4. We are going to take a look at the process of Blocking out as well as Materials in Unreal Engine.

Scene Blockout

   In the first video we are going to take a look at the process of blocking out the scene. This is rather helpful when you are starting out a scene and don’t really know how everything will fit together. For this we will be using the basic Geometry, as well as the BSP Brushes. More importantly we will see the difference between both of them, and when to use them. We’ll get to see how to change the viewports, as well as use operations equal to boolean in Max. As an added bonus we will take a look at stacking multiple assets together and moving them around. And at the end we will see touch a bit on basic lighting before finishing the video. So all in all an interesting topic, and if you agree check the video below.

Materials in Unreal Engine 4

   First of all i want to note that materials in UE4 is actually a pretty big topic. There after saying that, what you will see in the following two videos here will be the sheer basics. When creating these videos i had the average 3ds Max user in mind. I tried to make a comparison between Max and UE4, and explain how both of them can be similar. Now the very first thing that you should know is that UE4 uses PBR Material workflow. This means that opposed to the workflow we use in VRay the maps for UE4 will be a bit different. I didn’t want to make a whole video about PBR materials as there already is a solid number of those. So if you have checked out anything in the past you will know the basic differences. So for now back to the videos at hand.

Material Creation

   In the first video about the materials in UE4 we will see how to create a material. After this how we can change the color, monochrome or RGB. We will see what are constants and how to create a simple material. We will see why it’s important to save your material, and what does the save actually do. On top of this we will see how to add textures and how to link them to the material. So if this is something that you are interested in check the video below.

   In the second video we will continue where we ended in the first one. In this one we will take a look at material instancing and what is the advantage of using it. We will see how Converting a node to Parameter will affect the Material Instance.  Also, see why we should convert to parameter, and which nodes to convert. We will go over how to create a interchangeable texture node, and how to control tiling. At the end we will briefly go over the different material modes and blending modes. So if you want to see how this was done check the video below.

Summary

With all of the things mentioned here we have to bare basics covered. My idea here was to do a few videos that will be an intro for things to come. And with this covered i have the door opened for more interesting videos. Anyways that would be all for today, and if you enjoyed the videos leave a comment and a like. And like always i’ll see you all in the next one.

 

Introduction to Unreal Engine 4

After a rather long break here we are again with another tutorial. This time around we are kicking it off with a new topic to the channel, namely Unreal Engine.

Why Unreal Engine ?

The answer to this question would be simply because it’s the best. But before i continue let me explain why i think Unreal is the best. As things are progressing in the visualization business everything is pushing more towards real time. With this in mind we have VRay RT, Octane, iRay, FStorm and a bunch of other render engines. The issue here is that these renders are great for quick preview of the work, not really for walkthrough. So when you want a solution for free walkthrough and VR that is when you look at game engines. Here we have some choices where the biggest ones are Unreal, Unity and Cryengine. I’ve seen people make amazing work in all three game engines. When it comes to Archviz Unreal Engine seems to be the leading one in the field.

Ok Unreal Engine it is, how do I start ?

Well this is where it gets interesting. Seeing as how Unreal Engine has been years in development, it has a pretty good support and forums section. This means that for anything that you get stuck on there will be a solution on the forums. I will try to cover the basics that you will need in order to transition to working with Unreal Engine. In today’s videos i will go over the sheer basics of the matter.

The first video will cover how you can download, install and register for Unreal Engine. As an added bonus you will understand how you can use some of the features of the Epic Games launcher. And even if you have used UE4 before check out the Unreal Tournament portion of the video.

After that brief video about the installation of the Launcher, in the second video we go over the basics. You will learn about the UI basics, and how to move around in Unreal Engine. You will also get an explanation of the menus and options. All in all these two videos should help you get UE4 installed and prepared for use.

So what to expect in the future?

As i said in the Facebook group, for those of you that read it. I would like a make a few more videos about the basic concepts of working with UE4. So in the future all the modeling videos i do, i can make a transition video. This means take the high poly model, do the retopology, unwrapping, baking, texturing and combine it all in UE4. By doing that you will see the whole process from start to finish.

One more thing that i would like to add, and this is something that i’m glad about. With the introduction of Game Engines to Interior Designers and 3D artists you will basically expand your career choices. Namely if you have been doing Archviz for a while and have the experience, then you can translate as an environment artist.

So for now that would be it for this post. If you liked what you saw here leave a like, comment or share the post so it can reach more people. That all for today and i’ll see you all in the next post.

Creating the Brookhaven Wooden Chair in 3ds Max

Why this model?

Today’s post comes as a direct request from a reader.The request was to model an interesting looking wooden chair. Initially when i saw the model i thought it was a simple 50$ chair. But as you will see it ended up being a whooping 9500$ piece. When i saw that i simply knew i had to make the model so this is how it all started. Just so i covered everything i decided to split this into two videos. In the first phase i go over modeling the chair, and in the second the UVW unwrapping.

The modeling Phase

The modeling phase of this project was a fun one. The model seemed very simple at first glance, but once you start doing the work it had it’s challenges. In the first part of the modeling video i went over the logical composition of the model. After the part division you will see me start with modeling the parts individually. When modeling i always choose to take things as simple as possible, as it makes controlling the model easier. But instead of explaining everything it’s a much more effective means if you can watch it happen. So if you want to see the creation process, then check out the video below.

The Unwrapping Phase

In the second part of the video i will focus on the UVW Unwrapping part. Up until now i really haven’t done any UVW unwrapping videos for the models that i’ve made tutorials about. And honestly i’ve received a few requests to do some tutorials about this topic. So i decided to make a video about unwrapping this model. Depending on the feedback i get from you guys i may continue doing these kinds of videos in the future. For this video i decided to stick to 3ds Max and not take it into an external program. In order to follow along you will need to download the Tex Tools free script. So if you want to see how i did the unwrapping then check out the video below.

Final Thoughts

Like i said in the beginning, this was a fun model to work on. The only thing that makes this model unique is that i decided to do the UVW unwrapping as well. Now if you guys liked seeing me do the unwrapping then leave a comment or a like. And i’ll see about continuing making unwrapping videos for the future videos as well. So for now that would be all, and as always you can ask anything you might want to know on the YouTube channel or the Facebook group, and also you can jump in on Discord for a direct way of communication.

3ds Max Quick Tips (Displacement and Texturing)

Here we go !

Well here we are with the first post for the year, and ironically almost at the end of January. Initially i was going to make this post split into two different posts. Due to having very little free time though we ended up with a quick tips type of post. Actually this ended up working better then expected. From now on i can gather different types of videos that are for different things and bundle them together. So as far as i’m concerned it actually works out in the end. The first video was posted last week. If you are not subscribed to the YouTube channel, you can see it here now.

Using Displacement in 3ds Max and V-Ray

In this video i go over a very simple issue that can come up when using displacement in Vray. In the video i go over the main difference between bump and displacement. After this we will take a look at how to use displacement to make a brick wall. The main problem with displacement at corners is that black holes appear in the mesh. So we will see how to fix those black holes with the use of Vray Displacement modifier. After that issue, we will take a look at another common issue when using displacement for floors. Namely we will see how to stop the displacement going through our models in the scene.  So if this is something you are interested check out the video below.

 

Texturing a Floor with 3ds Max and Floor Generator

Here we will see how we can add a custom texture to geometry created with the Floor Generator script. In one of my earliest posts i actually covered Floor Generator so feel free and check it out. At first glance this looks like a very simple thing, but it does come with some issues. Here we will see how to deal with these issues, and how to quickly map and texture the floor. Anything more about explaining here is really not needed as you can see it all done in the video below.

Final Thoughts

 

I actually had fun making these videos. The fact that they are both different topics bundled together makes it easier for me. In the future i can make mixed videos for things that are too small for their own topic. So for this post that would be all. If you liked what you saw here, then help spread the word and share it around.

BONUS FOR THE ONES STILL READING

This week i decided to make a Discord server. If you have never used Discord it’s really easy. Just click the link below and it will take you to the site. There you can choose to use it in the browser to download the application. Once in the server come on in and say hi or whatever is on your mind. The main idea here is to have a place where you can come in and ask anything. And also a place where you can directly ask for a tutorial topic (make it easy on me).

DISCORD SERVER LINK 

So click on the link here and come in for a chat.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups

Hey everyone and welcome to today’s topic on 3ds max modeling, with the help of smoothing groups. First of all i want to note that this was initially a 2 part video. Upon finishing the original recording i actually saw that i was breaking an NDA that i had signed. NDA’s are a pain, so i rerecorded the video to what you see here. But like all things everything has to have a start, so lets start from the beginning.

3ds Max Modeling with Smoothing Groups ?

You can do 3ds Max modeling with two different approaches. First is with chamfered edges approach to get the round look on edges. The second one is with the help of supporting geometry and turbosmooth modifier. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. So it would be great if we can combine the positives from the two workflows into one. This is where the modeling with smoothing groups comes into play.

How do we combine them ?

Combining these two workflows is really not that hard as you will be able to see in the video below. The short explanation would be that we will use two different turbosmooth modifiers in one stack. The difference  is that the curvature of the faces will be controlled by the smoothing group.

smoothIf you have never worked with smoothing groups, you can change them by finding the menu. As you can see in the image here the smoothing groups look like a bunch of numbers in a calendar. The polygons that have the same smoothing group (SG) will try to make a smooth  surface. So if you have two or more polygons with the SG1 they will try to make a smooth surface. And if those polygons meet with other polygons with a different SG you will get a sharp edge. This right here is the base of the whole workflow of using smoothing groups for modeling.

How does this help us ?

Understanding the SG concept is the base of working with this approach. The idea is that like i already said we will use two turbosmooth modifiers. The first one will control where the edges and curves will show up based on the SG. At same time the second one will control the sharpness of the edges. Now this is actually not that hard to grasp, and when explaining it it sounds a bit more complex. So instead of me trying to further explain how this works,  check out the video below and see for yourself.

Final Thoughts

If you watched the video and are back here reading this then kudos to you. As you might have seen it’s a fairly powerful approach to modeling. The place where this shines is rapid prototyping modeling. So basically when you need to make your models very fast while they are still subject to changes. That means that this kind of modeling is more forgiving towards small issues and is very easy to modify. The down side is that it will give you a rather dense mesh. But at the same time Max has no problems with dealing with dense meshes if they are modifier stacks. The main issue is if you want to UV unwrap these models, in that case they can be a pain. So all in all it’s a great way of modeling, and especially if you have to make high poly models.

So i hope you guys enjoyed this video, and you managed to learn something new today. That would be all for today, and as always if you enjoyed it help by sharing it around. Bye for now and i will see you next time.

Modeling a PVC Window in 3ds Max

Hey everyone and welcome back after a small posting break. The subscribers to the YouTube channel, or the FB page have seen my last post. If you are not subscribed (shame on you) then keep reading. In today’s post we are going to cover how to model a PVC window in 3ds Max. So let us jump right in.

Why Model This ?

Now this is not a stupid question but rather a good one. The reason for modeling this is so that you can get an extra level of detail in your scenes. I’ve actually seen many people when it comes down to making windows and doors, they simply put in a box. The issue with using a simple box, is that you are pretty much confined. That means that you can’t open the door or window as it will look fake. On top of that since it’s a box there is no extra details on the edges from the AO map. So as you might have figured it out it can be very beneficial to have proper model for this.

Preparing for the modeling of the actual window

modeling-a-pvc-window

 

 

First of all, when approaching any model that you want to make, you need to have proper reference image. When modeling a PVC window what you need to know is that the frame has a profile. What this means is that we can google search for PVC profiles and get a better idea. Now once you find a window or door profile, you need to have the shape of the window. You can choose any profile you want, or you can choose the one that i used.

 

 

Modeling of the Window

If we have the profile, and the shape of the window we can start with the modeling phase. This might look a bit complicated, but it really is quite simple to model. In the video below you will see how to trace the profile. How to get it to the right size for your window, and reuse the wall frame for the window frame. After we have that we will see how and why we need to chamfer the edges. After all that we will have the PVC model of our window. As they say a picture is worth 1000 words, and a video 20 minutes. So if you want to see how i went ahead to model this then check out the video below.

 

Final Thoughts

After watching the video you probably have seen that this is quite easy to model. And even as such i hope you guys had fun, and learned something in the process. If you did then help spread the word, and like comment and share this on social media. That would be all for today, and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Different Types of Faucets in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will no doubt end up modeling is faucets. The reason for this is that you can basically find them in many different environments. You can find them in the kitchen, bathroom, garden so pretty much quite common item. Modeling faucets is not really that hard, but if you haven’t done it it can be challenging. For today’s post i actually chose to cover this topic with couple of videos.

Preparing The Blueprint For Real World Scale

Before we jump in directly in the modeling phase i wanted to take this chance and make an intro video. In this video i will show you how to take a blueprint, and set it up for Real World Scale. I wanted to start with this as i want to make sure everyone knows how to do it. It is a very basic thing to know, yet a lot of people struggle with it. So before we dive in on the matter of modeling Faucets check out this intro video. If you know how to do this, then keep reading as we are about to jump to the modeling part.

Modeling Of The Subi Faucet

In this video of modeling faucets we are going to tackle the Subi Faucet. In order to get the technical blueprint for this faucet i went over to the Phoenix site. As you can see in the video i took the line drawing, and basically made it into a blueprint. By watching this video you will see my approach to modeling something like this. You will notice that i like to logically separate the model before i commence with the actual modeling. By watching the video you will learn how to model this type of faucets. Another thing is how to control the edges, as well as how to deal the loss of volume. It was a fun video to make, so i hope it will be fun for you guys to watch.

Modeling A Bibb Faucet

In the last video for this post we look at a standard Bibb Faucet. This is a faucet that probably everyone has seen in their life. These faucets can be found pretty much anywhere, interiors and exteriors. So in the video below you will see how i approach modeling a model like this. But instead of explaining what i did, i would rather show you in the video.

Summary

So from this post you should come out with information on how to setup a blueprint. Another thing that you will learn is how to model two faucets, and based on those models create your own. As i said in the video, i had fun making these videos so i hope you have fun watching them. And like always i hope you managed to learn something new here today. So if this was the case then like, comment and share this post so it can reach more people.

Take care for now and i will see you all in the next post.

Modeling Books and Populating Books Shelves in 3ds Max

One of the most common things that you will get to make in the visualization business is modeling books. Modeling books can be quite useful when you want to give your scene some detailing and general depth.

In most cases the modeling of books is helpful when you need one or a few books to place around. You can also use those same 3D books to populate a big book shelf or a full on library. For something like this you generally need to have a 3D model ready. It can be something that you made in the past or maybe even bought or downloaded from a 3D store. Even if you don’t have a model like this it’s not a big problem as you can model one for yourself. Well in today’s post we will cover just that. In the two videos below you can see the whole process.

Detailed Explanation

In the first video we will start from scratch and create our book. We will create the base in low poly which will allow us to make quick tweaks to the shape and size of our book. As an added bonus the unwrapping of the texture will be much simpler and easier to do. After the book modeling portion is done, we will find a suitable texture for the front page and see how we can quickly switch it with another texture. That will help us make different types of books. After all that is done we will go over how to create the custom texture for the pages in Photoshop. And in the end we will put it all together to form up our finished book model. So go and check the video below.

In the second video we will continue from where we left off in the end of the first video. We will take the 3D book model and will copy it around a few times. After making the copies we will download the Book Scatter script from Moure Lask’s website. Now that you have the script you will be able to follow along with the video. We will see how to make our models populate a custom size shelf, and how to randomize it. In this second video we will go over all the details of how the script works, and will focus on each of the options individually. So go and check out the video for yourself.

After watching these videos you should now have a better understanding on how to create books, as well as book shelves. I really hope you guys had some fun going through the videos, and more importantly you learned something new.  If that was the case then leave a comment, like and share so more people can see this post. That’s all for today so i’ll see you all in the next post.

Basics of Quixel Megascans

After some issues with the host and the site being down for some time we are back, and we are continuing with another video about the new kid on the block, namely Quixel’s very own Megascans. Now if you haven’t heard about it don’t worry as it is a very new program (at the time that i am writing this) that has some amazing abilities when it comes down to creating environments and textures for them. So now that we gave it an amazing intro lets jump in and talk about the details.

Megascans is very good for both architectural (Specularity) and gaming (Roughness) workflows. What that means is that it can take the surfaces that you make and then export textures depending on what you need them for. In the video below you will see me start from scratch on a surface, basically what you would have when you install the program. From there i will show you where to get more surfaces, how to install them and then how to use them. We will see about the properties that each of the surface layers has, then add in an extra surface and blend them together and after that even add a coat layer and liquid layer. You will see that by controlling just these 3 types of layers you can get some amazing looking results, and that is without me touching on the 3D assets and adding any 3d scanned models into the scene. But instead of reading about it you can go check out the video and see it for yourself.

Now that you saw the video i hope that you guys are excited about it as i am, and if Megascans catches on some traction i am confident that it can change the playing field when it comes down to creating environments. In any case if you guys like the video click the like button and i’ll see to it that i make more about it and cover the 3D assets as well. For now that would be all so like always like, comment and share it around so it can reach more people.

Stay cool everybody and have fun learning.

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