Any recommended learning materials for my software?

I (like many others) was in a dilemma between Maya (for the ART tools and easy exporting) vs Blender (for the integrated environment) and basically I understand now that it comes down to preference and comfort. So I feel to make my decision I’m going to need to get my feet wet with both. Problem is, the only art program I’m fully comfortable with is ZBrush, and I haven’t spent much time in a 3d application in years, so I need to basically relearn a pipeline from scratch. Also considering all my past art experience was a pipeline with Unity, and I’m new to UE4 and it’s complexities, it’s going in to uncharted territory.

I have no idea what I need to learn!!! I want to IGNORE (the large majority) of the software that isn’t useful to game development, and make a list of what I need to learn for game dev. So I need some recommendations for learning materials. Free would be better of course! But if there are some paid options that are really, really good, I’ll gladly look in to them!

As a little background so you know what kind of learning information I need…

For basic modeling, I’m sure both programs could handle level design, but some basic modeling tutorials for environments would help me learn the differences of both programs. Oh, and I purchased Quixel suite (currently beta but I’ve got a permanent license) so I should have texturing covered somewhat, and as I mentioned I have ZBrush. So I mainly need to learn how to get Maya and/or Blender to play nicely with those programs, and I suppose I will need a comparison of the UVing of each program as well.

For animating, I’ve already invested in iPi soft for helping with animations (I always hated animation normally - I didn’t mind tweaking animations, but making them for scratch i hated) but I’ll still need a good rigging system (which is partly why I’m interested in ART). I have the ART official tutorials already, but honestly never spent much time in Maya nor Blender for animation itself (mostly did C4D but I have an old version, and I hear it don’t play too nicely with UE4 atm). So I’ll need some information on animation/rigging in both programs (well, for Maya at least I’ll need whatever the ART plugin does not cover).

I’m not sure how well the material systems transfer in to UE4, so if there is anything specific to UE4 I’ll appreciate that as well.

Also I’m not sure the best way to do Hair in UE4… I’m wondering if using the “Cloth” system could make some cool/realistic looking hair? Or if there are any other intelligent methods of making good hair in UE? Or would a static mesh be best? Never made hair for in game engine usage.

Aside from that, I’m open to any recommendations. As mentioned before, I have ZBrush, Quixel, iPi, Maya, and Blender at hand. That’s a pretty nice toolbox, but it’s only half full right now! So anything that I’m going to need Maya and Blender for, I need to learn! So please share any suggestions!


If you have Maya then you don’t need Blender. For training, DigitalTutors has quite a lot of material you can look at. The things you would have to pay attention to would be Modeling, UV Mapping, and Rigging. And if you have Zbrush then you can look at the workflow between Maya and Zbrush.

Wow, DigitalTutors has grown a lot since I checked them out a few years ago! I’m going to do a sub for the Maya tutorials for sure! Thanks.

So modeling UV and Rigging are on the list.

Any other suggestions, possibly for materials? Not too familiar with the UE4 material system and how it interacts with 3d software… Do Maya materials work nicely with UE4?

Also back to the Hair subject… are there any best practices for hair in Maya? Would “cloth” hair work nicely/look good? I could imagine it may flow with movement and effects better than a mesh would but I’m not so sure if it would deform properly… Or would creating hair as a mesh and just making it part of the rig be better?

for the moment there is not a lot of tutorials about materials digital tutors also have some 7 hours of unrel engine 4 tutorials including materials and i think it is quite enough to understand how it works and also check th unreal and community tutorials , no maya materials are not quite good you need some texturing skills, good maps and good materials understanding to provide some good ue4 materials and for the hair there is a guy working on a hair shading i think it would be released for the next month and it is just amazing and for cloth maya cloth are working good ( foe the hair maya cloth is not perfect because have a lot of geometry but there is some techniques with texturing just check digital tutors if you have subs they just have all you need )

Cool to hear about the hair shading!

Okay I won’t spend too much time on Maya materials then. I guess I will look in to my Quixel products/Zbrush for that instead. I just remembered I also have the perpetual license to FilterForge so that should have me covered in combination!

Thanks for the advice, and if anyone thinks of any other suggestions on something I should look in to, please let me know!

For materials, you can only setup basic settings in Maya for when you export to UE4, really just material color and setting the texture maps to the right slots. Other than that there’s nothing that will transfer over. Materials are generally pretty straightforward though. Things get more complicated when you need a specific effect, like how there’s tricks to get a water texture to look like it’s flowing a certain direction, or like there’s a thread on here somewhere about making some really nice grass that blows in the wind.