Looking for suggestions/methods; Unreal Engine - importing/using polygon heavy models.


First, please excuse the length of the topic title (and the post for that matter). I am completely new to this forum and out of practice in general with asking for assistance, so please forgive me if I don’t follow some preset standard forum guidelines when posting. Please educate me on the expected etiquette and posting procedure if I should make adjustments to my approach, or feel free to direct me to the right place for such information. Further, and lastly, please excuse me if I’m posting this series of questions in the wrong place.


At work I put together short (1 minute) 3D animations for potential clients that illustrate what our equipment might look like in their proposed spaces. I am currently familiar with and able to use at an intermediate level a very outdated version of Modo (version 4.1 to be exact; re: employer won’t pay to update our license). Outside of this though, I don’t have much experience with 3D modeling/animation in other programs. I’ve screwed around a little bit in blender and unreal - but just to the point where I know how to navigate within each software’s viewports.

In the past these requests for 3D renderings have been sparse. However, recently my department has received requests for 3D renderings more often than in the past and this trend shows no sign of slowing… so I’m looking to transition to a software workflow that will allow for faster, real-time rendering so that I can turn around animations as quickly as possible for our clients.

In the past our department has made product models for each item by hand, despite the fact that our factories produce their own high quality solidworks files of the same systems. I want to streamline this entire process… so here is what I’m looking for, and hoping that someone reading this will have suggestions on a workflow that I can adopt that may work in speeding things up for me over here.

I now receive .stp files from our factories.

  • I need to convert/import these models into either blender/unreal or a combination of both.
  • I need to then reduce their overall polygon count (as the stp files by default are superfluous in detail) so that they’re easier to use/manage and store.
  • I need to be able to edit portions of these models to attribute textures/UV maps, etc… to portions of the models in order provide other details/colors not in the stp files.
  • Finally I need to render these models out in videos (preferably in a real-time system as found in unreal engine) at 1280 x 720 for import into Adobe premiere.

Can anyone out there, who managed to make it reading through this verbose post help me out with some ideas?

Really appreciate the time you took to read this, and appreciate even more if you can provide some insight.



Your pipeline will depend on how much modification addition you want to do on your CAD file.

In an Unreal only approach you can:

Now if you really need to work on low poly step files you will have to reduce them outside of the engine.
In a similar way, if you need extended UV features you will have to use a third party digital content creation tool.

@UE_FlavienP - Really appreciate you taking the time to write that out. It’s a great starting point and I’ll have to ask the factory if they could send me stp files with lower tessellation. Right now the STP files they’re sending me are like 100mgs + and have something like 1.9 million polygon faces. Importing in data smith on the laptop I’m provided at work actually crashes unreal engine… lol