Even if you’re only considering UE4 at the moment, Welcome to the community!
I’ll try and break down some of the best approaches to learning UE4 and where to start. I typically work with lightmapping and techniques for game engines that relate to ArchViz as well and have worked with some of the “hiccups” that people from that field usually run into. Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.
considdring i know nothing about
unreal, and i have no knowledge in
scripting whatsoever ( although i have
taken some c++ courses in the past)
and learning a new language is not an
This is certainly not a problem. I don’t really know any scripting and I’m not a programmer, but that will not limit you from being able to create some scripted events and do some programmery type things all thanks to Blueprints. With Blueprints it’s easier than ever to use the visual scripting to get started and do some basic functionality to some truly crazy things. Games can be released only using Blueprints and have been.
Our YouTube page ( https://www.youtube.com/user/UnrealDevelopmentKit ) is a great source for introductory lessons with Unreal and becoming familiar with it’s features. If you want to dive right into the scripting side of it you can take a look at this playlist for Intro to Blueprints: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRhWc2kAhqI
There are some examples that Epic and the community have provided that could also be of assistance:
These are all free for your learning:
The last two are projects that were generated by ArchViz developers and featured as part of our Marketplace to help others learn.
We even have a dedicated section of the forums for those in Architectural Visualization which you can take a look here:
These are some feature articles that Epic has posted on our UnrealEngine.com page that are from other developers like yourself to better understand where some of the hurdles are when transitioning to a game engine for your showcase.
- Xoio goes over the concept and his experience getting a realistic look in UE4 with his scene “Berlin Flat.”
I know this is mostly a link dump of sorts, but there is some really helpful information in these pages and videos that could help you make a more informed decision if you decide to use UE4 for your project showcases.
From my personal experience some of the areas that I see ArchViz developers struggle at first is understanding FBX geometry optimization techniques for game engines and lightmapping.
- Polycount - while there is no polycount limit on models, making sure to keep things optimized and not having overly complex geometry can help keep performance up and FBX import times lower.
- complex geometry: in this instance think of a machine with lots of little parts. The import process for something like this will take much longer with higher polycounts and combining the mesh on import. To speed this process up, optimizing and combining parts before import along with triangulating the mesh on export from your modeling software can speed up this process.
While this tutorial series is using UE3/UDK as an example it is still highly relevant with UE4.
Lightmaps, if you’re not familiar, are a way to bake shadow/light information into a texture with no overhead on performance at run-time as compared with dynamic lighting that can be expensive for shadowing. This method requires a second UV texture with no overlapping faces and some specific techniques to be used, in certain cases, to get the best results.
I hope this has helped answer your questions, at least to some degree. If you have any followup or need clarification on anything I’ve covered please feel free to ask!