The Universal Katana Project

Art files:

On this link you will find the svgs, tgas (required to use textures with the substances within UE4) and several pngs that were used in the videos. i forgot to put them on the package (i know!) they will be included in the next release:!AhLbK1U_-yc-hpxN9npMVUxidfzIRA

Hi guys,

Well this is my first submission, so I likely ended up making things not as clear. The project relies on Substance .SBAR files for all the customization, and unless I misunderstood, the Unreal Project submission can’t have the Substance Plugin active, so when you import the package you won’t see the .SBAR files until you activate the Substance Plugin. Also, the meshes will have materials other than the substance instances assigned, and you will need to reassign the Substance instances to properly configure. I will prepare a video in a couple of hours going through the process. Apologies for this! By the next update I should have things properly sorted out.

First of all, the product: the Universal Katana. With universal katana what I want is for you to be able to create with ease katanas to use in your project. This without having to do much texturing. You can change colors, materials, include art design and more. Use if for fast prototyping or make use of the Substance Plugin inside your game to allow the player to customize their katanas! Let two YouTube videos explain:

This shows the process of customizing the katana before hand: (makes use of Substance Player 6, intended for katana creation outside unreal)

This one shows the universal katana using fixed materials in UE4:

This one explains how to configure the use of the substance plugin and assign the substance instance material to a katana:

Please feel free to ask any questions while I get the YouTube video up. I have a blog in case you want to follow progress, as this package should get upgraded with more stuff!

FYI, the folder structure you get has an additional folder that may either not appear until you enable the Substance Plugin:

|- Universal Katana
|- Substances
|- SBAR_Katana.sbar
|- SBAR_Rack.sbar
|- SBAR_Saya.sbar

Please either browse to this folder or enable the Substance Plugin.

Do not hesitate on letting me know if you run into any issues, besides any other comments you deem important. Will get back to you soon with updates!

I’ll follow your projects very close!! im rly interested on this kind of stuff, did u have plans to make more dynamic packages with other weapons like rapiers? sabers?etc…? ^^

hi neff10,

yes, please check:




although those i’m selling alone outside the marketplace, from now on everything else i will sell in packs, and likely just in UE4, at least for the moment. i am building a complete armor set for medieval, including weapons and ranging from the 11th to the 16th century. should be submitted to the UE4 marketplace, including what i show above, within a week.

right now i realized i omitted some steps with the katana, mostly regarding the inclusion of blueprints to avoid you guys having to create them yourself. the reason was because i was offering the katana package outside of UE4, so i didn’t realized that the idea is to provide it with blueprints so it truly becomes a just drag and it’s ready product. so for anyone that purchases the katana package before the next update, my sincere apologies, the package is fully functional, but you will only find meshes and substances (textures) right now. for the blueprints please bare with me for a bit while i submit the update, should be in a couple of days. it will include a katana customization window for players to customize their katanas (select colors, hamon type, materials, etc. all the stuff you can right now do in Substance Player, but inside the game). do note that that can be done right now, and i’m happy to provide the blueprints to anyone that needs them. i just want to add them into the package so they are already set for you. all done in blueprints, so you guys can use and adapt with ease. i will upload youtube videos of this between today and tomorrow.

regarding the “universalness” of the assets, yes. as i mentioned, a complete armor and weapons set for medieval europe from the 11th to the 16th. more classical countries for the moment, but will keep growing with more particular styles (ie. spanish, italian variations, etc.)

regarding the katana projects, next major release (after the one where i add the blueprints), will include tantos, a higher poly version mainly focused on improving the looks of the ito cord, more tsuba variations and with improvements to the blade material.

please let me know if you guys have any ideas of products besides the ones mentioned above. all use substances that can be tweaked in-game to reflect damage, materials or artistic looks. all single PBR materials per piece, but tailored to look as good as possible.

Thanks for that awesome answer!! little suggestion: if you are going to submit a full medieval package armors+weapons, what about japanese suits? like kimonos, yukatas, etc… :stuck_out_tongue:

hi nef10,

well, i have long thought about that, as i am working on a medieval game as such. mine is localized between the 11th and the 13th century (crusades), and for example, the plate armor wasn’t used back then, just the helms. everyone used chainmail. and since chainmail is soft, it means it needs to be skinned into whatever character you are using. the implication of this is that well, for the marketplace perspective, i need to provide both the chainmail mesh AND the skinned human inside of it. the issue here is that since the idea for all my assets are for them to be universal, i would need to provide enough variation into the human mesh… changing the focus from the armor/weapons into creating yet another human design package.

one idea would be to just sell the soft assets skinned by myself for each existing major (because there are lots) human design sws (eg. reallusion character creator (the one i use), makehuman, adobe fuse (mixamo), daz3d, etc.). there are also several vendors in the marketplace with their own versions of cutomizable humans. would probably have to speak with them as it would be impractical to purchase the most popular ones just to do that. i have even considered creating a set myself. the problem with all of these, is that it will be an awful amount of additional work, and i will loose focus on the armor/weapons itself.

the other thing i am considering doing, is just selling the soft meshes tailored just for say, makehuman, which is free! MH basically maps 1 to 1 into unreal without having to do almost any additional steps (something basically necessary in most of the other PAID sws… something i find funny)… and let you guys skin the soft armor yourselves if you use any other human sw. what do you think? how would you approach this yourself?

well, regarding the japanese suits… with the exception of the few hard armor pieces, most of what is needed is either soft, or intermediate… thus the above applies.

ps. the problem with makehuman is getting rid of the polygons underneath the clothing, but i am considering writing an unreal plugin to automatically do this (delete the occluded polygons)

Well in my opinion the second idea is better, as you can work on more awesome packages and its the pure definition of universal, i was scared because it could be a bit tricky, as the “drag and drop” style is what i have on mind when i think about this kind of stuff, but with that plugin and an example/video(Like customizing katana), it will be awesome ^^

thank you! will have it in mind. i’ll keep you posted!

hi guys, 4.16 is here. working on the update that will include the following:

  • all working on 4.16
  • some updates to the substance files, will explain once they are in place
  • useful blueprints! will likely post what will be included by tomorrow 05/24/2017
  • my plan is to include some basic, prototype-level animations
  • a new tsuba
    -.a new katana/wakizashi model with more polys, all basically “spent” on the ito
  • will now include lots of katana/wakizashi/sageo/rack textures “inspired” from games and movies for those who just need something fast to preview

tantos will come on the release after this one. will likely add the samurai armor to this same pack and not to a different one.

will get back to you soon!

i forgot!!! this update will also get a GUI!!! will soon post a youtube video