Looking for a good place to start Graphics Development

I just grabbed a UE4 license for personal use, and I am looking to improve my graphics skills by implementing or improving some physically based rendering algorithms. I have little interest in making a full game at this time. I am not familiar with Unreal, but it seems like a good place to start would be to use one of the pre-existing projects and start getting my hands dirty. Does anyone have any recommendations on which project to start with? I was thinking of kicking off with shooter game.

Any other tips or advice would be appreciated :).

If your going to change the render you need to download the source from GitHub and work with that. For a project start, if your working on the renderer just start with a sphere. That’s pretty advanced stuff though, and I really question that someone who understands the engineering would all ready not know where to start.

If you are talking about making materials. I’d still suggest starting with a sphere and putting the material on it but you probably don’t need to build from source. There is a material Editor with a graph that you can work with visually.

Once I finish doing my profiling and some optimization work I will focus on rendering as well, and for that I’m waiting for the Realistic Rendering project to be released by Epic on the marketplace. I seems like it will be a nice data set to work on realistic rendering. Hopefully it won’t take that long for Epic to release it. For now I would use the Reflections Subway scene. You may want to try to import some external data (perhaps something from but you will probably have to create all the maps for the materials yourself.

Thanks for the help guys! The thing is that I don’t understand all of the engineering, and I figure the best way to learn is to start doing it in a modern engine.

Then that’s not the way to go. Starting to learn graphics with Unreal Engine 4 as the starting point is like trying to learn something from a book just by reading the last ten pages. You need to start from the first page. I highly recommend Real-Time Rendering which is book written by an ex-coworker of mine, Eric Haines and others.