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New user starting out - help me understand production pipeline

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    New user starting out - help me understand production pipeline

    Hi, first post, go easy on me, hopefully this is the correct sub-forum.

    I'm a visualizer, currently working for an architect and historically working within the Arch-viz and interiors sectors. I've previously been using the tradition 3DSMax/Vray/Corona pipeline, these days I'm often using Revit models made by the architects and importing into Max, texturting, adding more models, replacing bits, photoshop for post production blah blah blah. I'm just starting out in Unreal, not done much beyond opening the programme, installing datasmith plugins, but it appeals for a number of reason, one of which is that it just seems to be the way the industry is going, so I thought I'd better see what all the fuss is about and how well it can work for me.

    I'm having a little trouble getting my head around established pipelines, I'm sure I'd come to understand everything in time, but hopefully someone can help me along a little faster?
    It seems, like with all complex programmes, that there's a few ways of doing things. As I understand it, to get rendered content out of Unreal, you need to either:
    1. bake in light maps with a 2nd UVW channel
    2. use raytraced lighting which relies on a Graphics Card with this capability - such as the Nvidea RTX cards.
    I have a Quadro P4000 card, so the latter isn't an option, but that does have Cuda so I can potentially use GPU lightmass? But I don't know whether that replaces the 2nd UVW channel, or just supplements it?

    Also, when using Datasmith to export, is there the need to bake in 2nd UVWs in max? I think the answer is no. Would a datasmith scene still benefit from the GPU lightmass above?

    As I say, I'm new, go easy, and I'll be reading all the standard documentation in the fullness of time, but I realise this might not account for 3rd part solutions like GPUlightmass / Datasmith.

    Really just after your thoughts on the best workflow from Revit/3DSMax and in to Unreal; what's working for you and what isn't.

    Thanks in advance.

    I don't use max or revit but the general workflow is you'd model something, unwrap it for texturing and unwrap it again on a second "channel" (that's what they're called in blender). You would then export the model and import it to unreal engine. place it where you want, do some lighting and bake the results with a lightmass build. There is an option when you import an asset for UE4 to create a lightmap UV for you, but usually it's not 100% how you want it to be. Proper lightmap UVs dedicate the space to the surfaces you will actually see in-game. You can control how detailed you want the lightmap to be from the mesh details (double-click on the asset).

    If you want more details watch some webinars on this site, I'm currently watching this
    It's not the best as the presenter glosses over many details, but it gives you an idea of the general workflow.


      Hi there,

      There is a lot to cover on Unreal Engine 4 but for sure the most challenging for the newcomers is the lightning...

      If you install the GPU lightmass you will only be using that bake type. If you want to use both you should make a backup of your engine and use one or another.

      Has for the Datasmith and 2nd UVW Maps: Yes. You need to make a 2nd UV map to archive a very good shadow specially on complex geometry although datamsmith will give you a hand on those who haven't the 2nd map

      I am making a Kickstarter for a course on Photorealism for Unreal Engine 4 where I'll give examples on 3ds Max and others. If you are interested in please share or support it!


        Thanks for your thoughts, that's really useful stuff.

        My concern is my office has something of a developmental approach to visualisation. The architects are constantly updating and developing their designs and I'm expected to follow these changes in my CGI pretty swiftly after. Revit linking in 3DSmax makes that about as painless as it can be, keeping material links. If I'm having to re-bake light maps for each update that's going to really slow down that process.

        Am I understand things correctly by saying that using ray-tracing largely eliminates the uvw baking baking stage? An RTX card could be a worthy investment if so.