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Need Help with general workflow (3ds MAX to Substance Designer to UE4).

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    Need Help with general workflow (3ds MAX to Substance Designer to UE4).

    Hello all,

    I am pretty much stuck. I am an architecture student trying to model context for my site and visualize it in Unreal. Things just don't go as I thought they would. Loc

    1- Is there a way to import buildings into UE4 such that their position matches their respective 3DS MAX location? I have tried grouping things together but I don't know why their pivots in UE4 seem so out of place.

    2- Texturing... I am using a modular approach to my building modeling. Most of them are made of arrays of pieces. I want to be able to texture one piece and have the rest of the instances be automatically textured. I don't know if instances are transfered into UE4 working the same way they do in Max. Also since grouping things together seems to be the only way I can export completed buildings, will I be able to assign materials on individual pieces?

    If there's someone here with sound experience in 3DS MAX, Substance Designer and UE4 in terms of environment modeling and architectural visualization, I am willing to pay you hourly for personalized support on my project, much like a tutor. I really need some general workflow guidelines.


    This is the workflow I usually use to transfer objects from Max to UE4.

    1. If you have any hero pieces that you only have one of, feel free to simply center their pivot to 0,0,0, but leave the object geometry where it is. Then when you import into Unreal, just make sure your object location is 0,0,0 and it will be exactly where it was in Max.

    For pieces that I have multiple instances of, I use this script religiously.

    2. You can create material instances in Unreal engine and then assign one material to all of the instanced pieces you have by just selecting them. I'm a little confused as to what you mean by this question, as even in Max, you can apply different materials to instances of the same object. The same applies for the Unreal engine. If you import the models the way I describe, you can assign whatever materials you like to each individual object, or select them all and just assign one material to all of them.

    I'd be happy to give you some help, I've sent a friends request to your unreal forum account. Let me know if you are interested and I'll show you some samples of my work. My workflow pretty much consists of exactly those three softwares

    Last edited by VaSSiLi; 11-08-2016, 03:50 PM.


      For the first thing, UE4 has the ability to import the complete scene now so you don't have to do it in a weird way:

      For the second question--you can apply a material to an object and it will change for all copies of that object in the level, if you want, you can override the material for an object in the level in the properties for that object. If you want to change the material slightly for something, then you would need a Material Instance which will reference a material but allows you to change certain parameters without changing the original material.


        Just select all your objects and drop them together in the ue4 viewport, they'll appear at the same position as they were in 3ds max!

        @darthviper, I've found the fbx scene importer to be very slow with big scenes. Have you experienced that? It works very well during the import phase but after it's slow as hell when it's time to assign materials or move some parts.
        Last edited by heartlessphil; 11-08-2016, 08:49 PM.


          It shouldn't affect how fast it is to apply materials, the main thing the scene importer does is it maintains your instances and locations and then creates an object that allows you to place all of your items in the scene in the correct locations, it shouldn't affect how your materials are applied.


            But it creates an actor containing all the scene's meshes. And to change/edit each meshes you have to do it in the actor's viewport. For some reason I find it much slower than the regular editor viewport. It was so sluggish I couldn't precisely move a mesh to exactly where I wanted. It's weird considering I have a gtx 980. The scene was pretty huge though, Talking about 4400 meshes. Maybe it works fine with smaller scenes.


              That actor just references all of the files, if you need to adjust the material on a mesh for example you can open that mesh in the content browser and change the setting there, along with the lightmap resolution and it shouldn't be slow to do that. It might be that editing in the Data Set file for the scene is slow. Maybe they should have a feature where once you have your data set in your level you can click a button and it would take all of the items out of the data set and set them like regularly placed actors. Though I guess without the Data Set file it won't be able to reimport the scene.


                Must be that. I usually import my scene with temporary ''checker'' texture mapped everywhere and I make new materials from scratch. But If i'd place/choose my textures correctly in max beforehand that would solve the issue I guess, by not having to ajust everything in the data set file.
                Last edited by heartlessphil; 11-10-2016, 12:57 AM.