I am new to Unreal. I use 3DS Max & VRay to create photoreal images, and Sketchup/Enscape for real-time/quick jobs. Having seen (and been inspired by) much of the things I’ve seen people producing in UE4 I decided it’s probably time for me (and ultimately our small team) to start learning.
I have a couple of questions that I’m sure many people here have had to overcome already; but my apologies if the post seems a bit rambling as I’m thinking of things as I type them.
1 - What is the best way to get a whole scene (let’s say for arguments sake it’s a couple of houses, site, cars, trees & plants) from 3DS max into Unreal. Should I export the whole lot via datasmith, or should I break the scene down into logical parts and bring them in individually? (I’ve read about merging actors to improve scene performance for example; but no idea why this would improve performance - surely it’s the same amount of geometry & textures being loaded, etc?)
2 - What items should I probably not bring in? I tend to use rather (sometimes very) high poly 3D grass & trees; I’m not naive enough to think that these will work in real-time so should I forgo these and replace them in UE?
3 - Let’s say I make a patch of low poly grass (or a tree, or whatever) in 3DS max. I want to export that as a standalone item that I can then “paint” onto a landscape in UE4. Is this a different workflow? Do I need to save it to a library or somewhere that I can access it on future projects? How do my team (eventually) access this asset?
4 - I’m not used to game engine materials. I am used to bringing in a diffuse/specular/bump/normal texture, tweaking a couple of values and the rest being handled relatively automatically by the render engine. Is there a way of achieving similar? Just looking at the enormous complexity of some of the most basic materials is quite daunting.
5 - Please let me know your workflows, what has/hasn’t worked for you, etc. I might as well learn from your pitfalls!
6 - Terminology: I am quite sure that a lot of the things I’m used to in arch-viz are still available to me, but under a different name; any help on this front would be great. Is an “actor” in UE just a mesh? A constant is just an integer value?
Thanks in advance.