I’m assuming the content manager will be filled with different static meshes for just one house. Modular design is out the window here. So this seems very inefficient, there has to be a better way, right? How does one go about creating a simple 5 bedroom house?
I create the design in Max as a whole object, then exported to UE4. I quickly realized, upon applying texture/material, that I ran into a problem as the entire house was filled with that one texture/material.
For that, yes you’d want to separate out those things. For the content browser you might just create some separate folders to organize it so that they’re not mixed in with everything else. For things like walls and floors which are very simple and low-poly it’s not a big deal to have them as unique meshes, since they don’t take much in the way of memory space anyways. The stuff that really needs to be modular to save on memory is stuff like props–chairs, doors, and stuff like that. Also, a reason to split them up is because each object only gets one lightmap, so you’d need them split up to get better lightmap coverage.
It can support multiple textures on a single mesh though, the multi/sub-object material in 3ds Max.
It is not really UE4-related, when you model for games it’s a completely different mindset than modeling for, let’s say, Architectural Visualisation.
You indeed have to model everything in a modular way, and do your level design directly into UE4, not in your modeling software. So yes, everything has to be separately exported.
I’d go even further and export each wall separately, not as a room but as a wall with a standard height and width.
I have to disagree coming from a more architectural and visualization back ground than a video game environment artist.
Applications like 3ds Max, or even Blender, already have the tools sets based on architectural needs that is both modular and highly productive as far as environment design goes and the buzz words here to figuring it all out are “iteration” and “edit in place”.
As a primer as to design in general understanding top down bottom up design flow is a good start as far as frame of mind goes.
Your probably having trouble understanding as you have yet decided what direction your going.
As an example your 5 bed room house I would start top down by building a 5 bed room house and get it into UE4 with little regard as to best practice. The work flow at this stage is to establish a source chain, which is not source control, from the host to the target application that allows for progressive iterations. Once I have the foundation in place, pun intended, I would then switch to bottom up as to fit to finish.
Yes it’s ugly, messy, and people will laugh at you if you let them see it but “modular” means you solve the problems when needed rather than wasting a lot of time figuring out the problems before they even happen which is typical of a bottom up work flow.