Questions from a beginner...

I have been “hobbying” around with Development for several years now. nothing i have taken too seriously but ive watched enough videos and done a lot of mini home projects. Usually my knowledge has been jsut enough to accomplish my goal and then i go back to doing whatever… but this time i need more information to complete my project… so lets just assume i know nothing… cause most of what i have learned has been trail and error and im sure i picked up some bad habits along the way.

My current focus is a little more in-depth. I would like to start really working on this idea i have but im behind on my basic understanding… so im just going to shoot off some questions i have and answer whichever ones you feel like.

  1. What is the basic difference from a static mesh and a skeletal mesh.
  2. i keep seeing people talking about exporting UV maps and Normal maps. I have exported tons of projects and have not seen a requirement for either of these… and the way people talk about them its like they are already there when you create a project. ii dont know how to create these nor if i should be.
  3. When exporting a model (lets say a Car with an Ejection Seat) would i need to make the seat that will be ejected a separate mesh that is imported by itself? or is it ok to import it with the car as is.
  4. As a follow up to number 3… i have tried to import a plane but all the ailerons and flaps go ragdoll when i do… should i be importing an object like that with moving parts rigged in my modeling program (C4D) or can i just upload it as skeletal mesh and let UE4 make the bones for me. i have tried both ways but not sure i am doing it right. i have made a rigged biped before and made it move. (never my own animations or just me keyframing animations) but i have never rigged an object like a car or a gun to being into a scene.
  5. Is it possible to make a steering wheel in the car mesh responsible for turning the vehicle when grabbed by a VR controller and turned? how might one accomplish this.
  6. How does adding in moving parts to a vehicle effect the workflow? should i bring them in seperately and attach them some how? or am i doing it wrong by making one mesh that includes everything that doesnt move and under it in the hierarchy is everything that does move?
  7. why when i export textures in any version of FBX does UE4 render in grey textures instead.?

Basically my work flow right now is trying to teach myself to lean this program inside out so my bran can stop being limited by my inexperience with this software. I have tons of great ideas… one game idea that would be massively popular but i just cant get the help i need. If i found one tutorial that involved a from scratch bringing in a plane with moving parts from third party software into a fresh UE4 and went through the process of making the car move and the extra parts move on command… i feel like that would cover almost everything i need to know… but that tutorial doesnt exist sadly. i learn fast by following along with someone else than going off on my own. And its a very daunting task to try to undertake this with limited resources… or resources that focus on other aspects of things i already know. Like bringing in a regular car with 4 wheels and making it work… i can do that but i dont know how to …say… pop the gas tank lid open with a key press … or pop the trunk open and closed.

i need resources to learn this program. and any direction i could get would be great.