Importing Folder Structures: Unreal "Pretends" To Do It

Hi Unreal community, I’m posting this again because… It just didn’t post last time. I’ve reloaded the page, come back… Nope, it’s just gone. Considering the bugs that I constantly experience in Unreal, this shouldn’t be a shock.

Videshi here with bug number 48,809 or so. I love what the Unreal Engine can do, but there are constant, constant, constant bugs.

Problem) So basically, I have some textures I want to import. I have a basic file structure for this. Basically it’s [Drive]\Textures(texture size)(6 textures for two mats in folder). I drag the structure into Unreal, and it copies over. Takes a few minutes.

Issue #1) It won’t let me save any of them. If I hit “save all”, none of them are saved. Does nothing at all.
Issue #2) I’ve made my 4096 materials, so I want to duplicate them, and drag in the other sizes into the three available texture samples, under material expression texture base. Well, instead of copying it in there, it just removes my previous link and gives me an error.
Issue #3) As with Issue #1, if I exit and re-enter Unreal all of my textures are gone. Removed from project.

So right now I’m basically re-making the same folder structure within Unreal and am dragging these in one at a time. But why? It’s like I can drag in whole structures but it only “pretends” to be there.

Complaint Time:

It’d be great if you could fix this, but for the record, my company is now moving onto another engine because we’ve had too many bugs and issues with Unreal. There are always problems like this, even in tiny little projects where I’m just using a low-poly mesh and some textures.

But the worst, the absolute worst, is when you’re removing assets that aren’t doing anything, don’t have anything attached to them, and are essentially empty nodes and you’re deleting them… and it takes up to 10 minutes to delete the empty nodes that are doing nothing. If you, say, have three completely empty and unused materials, and you’re deleting them, one of those materials will, with no apparent reason, take seven or eight minutes to delete. That wouldn’t be a problem except that this randomly seems to happen whenever Unreal feels like it. I’ve used my resource monitor to watch this - I’m not maxing out anything, so there’s no bottleneck happening in terms of my system. Just… Every third to fifth thing you save or change in Unreal will take forever. While it’s taking forever, your autosave is counting down, so often you’ll be just about finished waiting 7 minutes for a completely unused node to actually delete, and it’ll proc the autosave during that. I’ll be changing the roughness value of a single 1024 texture sample, on a material with basically three nodes attached, which should save instantly, and yet seemingly randomly this will sometimes take 1/10th of an hour.

Here’s how this often goes:

  • Import your FBX. Unreal, despite your scaling in Maya being in meters, will need you to multiply the size by 10.
  • It should import, but sometimes Unreal will show you the importing process and then what actually appears in the content browser is empty space. Do it again.
  • Drag in your textures and save them. Don’t drag in the folders, Unreal just pretends to be doing that, and doesn’t save them.
  • Make your materials. Now, you’ll have to flick sRGB off, then on again, then off again in the combined occlusion/roughness/metallic texture samples. Otherwise they’ll be as shiny as mirrors. (Why?)
  • Check your actual models, because Unreal sometimes fucks with UVs, making weird zippers appear, totally screwing up individual parts of models. Since these problems won’t exist when you try them in: Unity, Maya, 3ds Max and Substance Painter 2, it’s a weird Unreal import issue. Sometimes the only way around this is to import them as OBJs, but that will screw up your material channels, so you’ll have to export all pieces as OBJ files, import them into the engine, apply your materials, use merge actors from developer tools, rename the merged item, delete the un-merged version out of the scene, and drag in the merged version.

This are all things that eat up precious time for no apparent reason.

Remember that during the above process, should I make an error or have to delete a node it’s going to randomly take minutes. This means that, spending an hour in Unreal, if you had to delete, say, 10 assets you’ve likely lost a minimum of 10 minutes of productivity… So roughly 1/6th of your time will be spent dodging weird issues… It’s not worth it.