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Best Workflow

Hi

I am a beginner when it comes to using Unreal. I run a Tile shop, as in Porcelain, Ceramic Tiles you place on your floors and walls. We sell to the public a wide range of different tiles (We have around 400 in our showroom, from Ceramic, to Porcelain, to Natural Stone Cladding to Cement and Wood like tiles.

I want to give customers a new experience, but I have no idea how to go about it. I thought this might be the best place to ask.

I want to bring all our tiles into Unreal, High Res Photos of them, and be able to do mock ups for clients. If a client comes into my showroom, likes the look of a tile, I want to be able to go to Unreal, throw the tile up on an Arch-Viz type indoor/outdoor model inside Unreal, and show them different tiling patterns or features of Mosaics around pools, inside showers etc, with different lighting options. To show the customer what their wall/floor would like like tiled.

I am also planning on buying Oculus, where the experience would be even more immersive, and give us a real USP, which other companies don’t have.

Does anyone have any idea the best workflow for this? Anybody suggest the type of Blueprints I would need for this?

I would model a couple of standard Interiors/Exteriors in 3ds Max, bring the models into UE4, then have a library of all our tiles, or textures of them, which could fill the walls and floors, in different patterns through Blueprints?

Any help would be most appreciated. I was thinking of maybe using Substance Designer for the Tiling patterns.

I just don’t know the most efficient way to do this.

Again I am a total beginner with UE4 and most things 3D, but I love what I’ve learnt so far want to keep learning.

If anyone could point to any Tutorials which could help, or could give any guidance, I would be most appreciative.

Many thanks.

Graeme

Great idea! I wish there were some companies around me that cared anything about technology!

I think The UE4 part of your idea will be the easy part. The hard part will be getting all the materials. I would start by learning Sunstance Designer, make up your library. That’s going to take the most time and effort. You could also give Allegorithmic’s Bitmap2Material a try too if there’s some products that Designer can’t handle, but I can’t see that happening.

this is a cool idea!
I’d start withe the textures as well, Bitmap2Material would be worth investigating.
try taking some photos of tiles you already have in different lighting conditions and try to set it up so you have no specularity/reflections - get the flattest images you can.
just do a few - no sense in spending a lot of time on an experiment - then you can put it on a tile shaped plane or a grid with tiling (repeating versions of the texture) to get an idea of how it would look and the workflow.

oh and if you do this all the way - you might think about making texture packs of your tiles and putting them on the marketplace :slight_smile:

As luck would have it there is a product in the Epic Market place that should do the job for you as described.

The video

Hi Guys

Thanks for the replies and advice, it is very much appreciated. I have actually looked into buying Hal Archviz toolkit, and although it looks like an awesome toolkit, I would rather try do this project myself. I really want to learn UE4 and set this up.

I have a question about my workflow. Once I have prepared my tile library in Substance Designer and exported to UE4, would I use Substance Plugin for UE4 to manipulate tiles and tiling pattern settings inside UE4? Would I therefore not need to use UE4 Blueprints to change tiling patterns etc, I would use the Substance Plugin for UE4?

I am also going to take a look at Bitmap2Material, see how far I get.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Kind regards
Graeme

Well the trick to making things easier would be in the set up as to how you acquire your source material and not so much as to what to do with the material once it’s in UE4.

Material wise it’s not all that difficult to make a material wrapper as an instanced material but photo source is very difficult to convert to PBR so you might want to consider by passing the photo process and make the tiles as a procedural material. As a procedural material it would be simple enough to change things like tiling effects and patterns and there are more than a few video tutorials on the subject

Epic had a talk about non-engine use scenarios in their GCD presentation https://youtu.be/_veq6Q51Zlg?t=39m20s

I probably wouldnt go as far as to suggest photo scanning everything, but unless you want this to be a gimmick then you’ll need to get all the details with each individual tile type down, are planning on laying each tile individually or using masks to repeat a base image over a surface, or having each tile be a static mesh placed dynamically with something like a construction script.

I can’t really see this working for a local store owner, if I was to do this I’d do it professionally which will cost $$

Thanks for the help. To answer your question DP Studio regarding Laying each tile individually or using masks etc, I have no idea, alot of what you said has gone completely over my head as I am a beginner.

Any chance you could elaborate or explain in greater depth?

That’s understandable as what you want to do does require an understanding of lighting theory inside an engine that uses a real world lighting model. The buzz word is PBR which stands for Physics Based Rendered and if you want to have realism in world space in real time then photo sourcing is not going to work.

As a primer this is a good read.

Bottom line materials, texturing, and shader work in Unreal 4 is a skill on it’s own that even the most skilled have a hard time getting it right with out a lot of hit’s and misses.

I guess it could be said that there are no easy projects to do in Unreal 4 :wink:

You should also learn to uv map in blender for custom objects such as bathtubs or sinks that require more of a delicate alignment of things such as bricks, or different wall papers or even table tops. Once you get it down its more repetitive then intimidating.