I’m am new to the Archviz world and I’m in need of some advice on where to start. I am an architect so I am proficient in AutoCAD and Revit and am trying to take my projects to the next level by getting into Archviz. My firm will be hiring someone that is a proficient in UE4 so I will not be doing any work in UE4 but I will be the one that is getting the modesl prepared as much as possible for the UE4 rendering and videos and such. So I am trying to figure out what is the best modeling program to match with UE4. Is a Revit model good enough to export over ( or can it even) or is a dedicated modeling program such as 3dsMax or Maya the better route? I’m leaning towards the dedicated modeling program but not sure which one.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated and/or links to where any of this is explained would be helpful too. Thanks.
AutoCAD/Revit would be better tools for modeling, but they don’t really have UV mapping tools and if you want to create some stuff like furniture then 3ds Max or Maya would be better for that. For the most straightforward workflow, I would make everything in AutoCAD/Revit and then export to either 3ds Max or Maya and do the UV mapping. For lighting in UE4 you have to have a second set of UV’s which will just be used for lighting so you would do that as well: Unwrapping UVs for Lightmaps | Unreal Engine Documentation
The reason I’m suggesting 3ds Max/Maya even though it’s a pretty minor feature to do UV mapping is that it’ll probably be easiest for your workflow since they better support transferring files between those programs and they also have good support for exporting to UE4. They’re a bit overkill just for doing UV mapping, but they’d also be useful if you do more complex modeling too. Or if you need to rig anything for animation you would need a program like those as well.
Thank you for the reply. Since most of our current drawings are still in 2D AutoCAD I would guess going straight to 3ds Max then UE4 would be more efficient than convert to Revit then to 3ds Max then to UE4? Unless theres an advantage that Revit has over 3ds Max? Maybe in transferring texture files or UE4 can render Revit lighting better?
I haven’t used Revit so I don’t know how it compares when modeling architectural stuff, from the looks of it it is better suited to that. If you don’t use Revit and are wanting to learn one of the two programs then I would go with 3ds Max since it has more capabilities.
Most likely you will have to redo your texture setup in 3ds Max before exporting to UE4. UE4 can import the Standard material type from 3ds Max, that’s only the most basic features like color, diffuse map, normal map, etc.
If you’re going to be doing a bunch of architectural stuff in UE4 it might be good to build a library or materials in UE4 so that you can reuse them.
If your drawings are currently 2D stuff, then the workflow would be to export from AutoCAD to 3ds Max, create your 3D model from the drawing and set up your UV’s, assign materials and then export to .fbx. In UE4 you’d make a new project and migrate your library of materials over and then import the .fbx file and replace the materials with the ones you want from your material library and then place the objects in the scene.
For lighting you have to set that up in UE4, it has some standard lights but also supports IES lights. From there you would build your lighting–that renders the lighting and bakes it to lightmaps for all of the objects.
Our office doesnt currently use revit so having to go from 2D to 3D model seems like 3ds Max is the way to. As you said, it seem more capable.
So what ever materials I assign an object in 3ds Max it doesnt transfer straight over to UE4? So at that point would it be faster to just not asign materials in 3ds Max and use only materials in UE4?
While UE4 can assign materials correctly on import (if they’re the same name)they have to be in the same folder location as where the object is being imported (in the project content browser). So either you’d have to make sure you import your .fbx file to the same folder as your material library or you would import the .fbx and then reorganize it and assign the correct materials from your library.