For weeks I have been trying to find more efficient ways to get 3ds Max + V-Ray models into Unreal Engine 4. It usually involves a wide collection of different scripts, and a lot of headache to get things looking right. Well, today Epic Games announced something that will change all of that.
The Unreal Studio Beta will have several different tools to make the workflow easier. They are specifically designed to help arch viz artists transfer their work into virtual reality and real time.
Here is a video showing how to get the product. Also, you will see me demonstrate how easily I can take an existing arch viz model / rendering, and have it up and running in virtual reality in just moments. It is all thanks to Datasmith. Watch Below:
GET STARTED WITH OFFICIAL EPIC GAMES TUTORIALS
Epic Games has released an entire series of videos going over how to use the new Unreal Studio tool, including how to import your models using Datasmith, then striving for photorealism within the engine. My favorite part of the playlist starts with video 203:1 on Vimeo.
The full tutorial playlist can be found HERE.
Check out more info and join up for the Beta HERE.
Full Press Release from Unreal HERE.
Here is the full list of tutorials they have available (They're Awesome!)
I have already been trying this software out today, and at first glance it looks like complete game changer! It solves all the problems that I have been dealing with in trying to perfect this workflow.
Below are a few of the awesome things that I have already found incredibly useful.
SUPPORT FOR IMPORTING VRAY MATERIALS STRAIGHT FROM 3DS MAX
This is a really big deal! Not only do you no longer need to convert to standard materials, but now you can just automatically have very complex and cool looking materials generated in UE4 for you. Previously, you had to convert everything to standard. A lot of information was lost, and you often needed to start from scratch in UE4. You can imagine how much time it will save to have all your materials translate quite accurately in just a matter of seconds. Datasmith, the import tool that is integrated with Unreal Studio, even does the work of converting your bump maps into normal maps for you.
SUPPORT FOR IMPORTING VRAY LIGHTS
In the past, some of your materials might have translated well, but your lights definitely would not. In fact, there was no support for them at all with standard .FBX export. Now, with Datasmith, your Vray lights translate directly over to Unreal Studio. Again, this can save enormous amounts of time.
ARCH VIZ SPECIFIC ASSET LIBRARY
Included with Unreal Studio is a collection of commonly used materials for arch viz that are created with a PBR workflow from the great Substance Painter software. These are high-end, photorealistic materials available for use in your projects.
SCALING AND PIVOT PLACEMENT IS NO LONGER AN ISSUE
If you have been working for any amount of time at converting your 3ds Max + V-Ray files into something that can run in Unreal, you know what a pain it can be to constantly have to import things from exactly 0,0,0, then always have to convert the scale (x 2.54 if you model in Imperial units) after import as well. All this is handled beautifully with Datasmith. It simply works exactly as you would expect it to, and these painful steps are removed entirely. The pivots even center themselves on the object in UE4, regardless of where the objects were exported from in world space.
A BRIDGE BETWEEN SUBSTANCE PAINTER AND UNREAL STUDIO
If you use Substance Painter and a PBR workflow to generate fancy textures for your scene assets, you can now easily connect them to UE4 / Unreal Studio. This is just one more tool that makes it easier to create stunning visuals quickly and efficiently.
Overall, I am very excited for this development because it feels like Epic Games is listening to their users. They literally just addressed all my workflow issues with one software release. I look forward to all the awesome things that we will be able to create with these improved tools.
Some things to note:
Right now, this software is in Beta. It is an open beta, and it is free to download / join (see link above)
Starting November, 2018, it will cost $49 / month. WORTH IT!