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Unreal Studio Beta 4.20 Release

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Unreal Studio 4.20 brings several major new features that are available exclusively to Unreal Studio subscribers, including workflow improvements that come directly from your feedback and suggestions.

These release notes are focused around Unreal Studio for enterprise use. For details on all new features in the Engine, see the Unreal Engine 4.20 Release Notes.

Unreal Studio 4.20 Release Notes

Import from SketchUp Pro Using Datasmith

You can now use Datasmith to bring entire scenes from SketchUp Pro into Unreal quickly and repeatably.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/release-notes-sketchup-skp.png?sv=2017-04-17

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/release-notes-sketchup-unreal.png?sv=2017-04-17

The workflow is exactly the same as for 3ds Max. You install the new Datasmith Exporter plugin for SketchUp, and use it to export your SketchUp scene to a Datasmith file on disk. When you import this Datasmith file into the Unreal Editor, the importer creates Static Mesh Assets for all the geometry in your SketchUp scene, and physically based Materials for their surface properties. It then places these Assets into the current Level, re-constructing your scene in Unreal exactly as it appears in SketchUp. The scene conversion respects the the way you’ve divided your scene into groups and instanced components, creating a matching hierarchy of Actors in your Unreal Level.

Download the exporter plugin from the Unreal Studio downloads page.

For more information, see Using Datasmith with SketchUp Pro.

Iterative Workflow for Datasmith

What do you do when your source scene changes after you’ve already made changes in Unreal?

Now, you can re-import your Datasmith and CAD content without losing changes that you’ve made to the scene placement and material assignments of your Unreal Actors. Datasmith tracks these changes as overrides — you can selectively roll back the overrides you’ve made, choose how you want to handle Actors that you’ve deleted in Unreal, and more.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/studio-relnotes-420-reset-overrides.png?sv=2017-04-17

For details, see About the Datasmith Reimport Workflow and Reimporting Datasmith Content into Unreal Engine 4.

Import Metadata with Datasmith

Datasmith now imports custom metadata about the geometry assets you import.

The metadata is stored on the Actors in your Level, and available to Blueprint and Python scripts. This can help you create your own custom asset management pipeline, or you can use the metadata in your runtime application to visualize information about selected parts of your scene — such as names, cost, or physical properties.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/release-notes-metadata.png?sv=2017-04-17

For details, see Using Datasmith Metadata.

Modify Geometry in the Static Mesh Editor

Sometimes, you find small issues with your Static Mesh geometry after you import it into Unreal — extra triangles that you don’t really need, or triangles that are facing the wrong direction and disappear at inopportune times due to back-face culling. In the past, fixing these kinds of small changes involved going back to a DCC tool, fixing the problem there, re-exporting, then re-importing the asset. When your assets originally come to Unreal from CAD formats, this may mean adding an entirely new design tool to your pipeline.

Now, you can now make basic changes to the geometry of your Static Mesh assets directly in the Static Mesh Editor, using the new Edit Mesh tools in the toolbar.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Editor/Managing Content/Content Asset Types/Static Meshes/mesh_editing.gif?sv=2017-04-17

You can:

  • Flip selected triangles.
  • Delete triangles.
  • Assign new materials to selected triangles, creating new material slots on the fly.

For details, see Modifying Static Mesh Geometry.

Unreal Studio and Datasmith Workflow Improvements

This release includes several improvements to the workflows for getting content into Unreal through Datasmith, and working with your Datasmith content after import.

Simplified Unreal Studio Project Creation

As long as you start the Unreal Editor from the Epic Games Launcher, any new Project you create will be automatically set up as an Unreal Studio Project, regardless of what template you start from. You no longer have to start from the templates listed on the Unreal Studio tab; you can use any Blueprint or C++ template.

Drag and Drop Datasmith Scene Assets

You can now drag and drop Datasmith Scene assets from the Content Browser into a Level, which automatically re-creates the entire scene or assembly imported by Datasmith. In addition, you can have multiple instances of the same Datasmith Scene within a single Level if needed, each with its own 3D position and rotation.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/dragdrop.gif?sv=2017-04-17

For more information about the Datasmith Scene Asset, see the Datasmith Overview.

Selective Reimport and Re-tessellation for CAD meshes

You can now reimport selected Static Mesh Assets imported from CAD scenes.

In addition, each time you reimport a Static Mesh Asset, you can set new tessellation parameters for it. This allows you to customize how detailed and dense the Static Mesh representation is for each different part or assembly in your scene.

For example, you may be able to improve graphics performance by importing your main CAD file with low-resolution settings, and raising the detail level for specific parts that need a higher level of detail.
Import Custom Collision Meshes using Datasmith

The Datasmith importer now follows the same naming convention as the FBX importer for automatically assigning custom collision meshes to the geometry it imports. If your Datasmith content contains a geometry element named UCX_<name>, that geometry is not imported into a Static Mesh asset; instead, it is assigned to the corresponding Static Mesh asset named <name> as its custom collision shape.

Customize your Datasmith Import using Blueprints or Python

If you use Blueprint or Python scripts to launch a Datasmith import process, you can now run your own scripts during the process, before the importer creates your assets and Actors in Unreal. You can use this to customize the way your source scene is turned into Unreal assets — for example, you could filter out geometry that you know you won’t need to render at runtime in your Unreal Project, so that you don’t have to wait while assets are created for those scene elements.

For details, see Customizing the Datasmith Import Process.

Improved Rhino Import through Datasmith

The Datasmith import process for Rhino now better respects your original design, especially in the way it chooses the Material to apply to your Static Mesh Assets.

For details, see Using Datasmith with Rhino.

Better Static Mesh Naming

Datasmith now uses the names of the geometry objects in your scene to label the Static Meshes it creates in the Content Browser.

Better Handling for Custom Pivots from 3ds Max

When your 3ds Max scene contains meshes with custom pivot points, Datasmith now bakes those custom pivots into the Static Mesh Assets it creates. This tends to make the scene hierarchy clearer, by avoiding the need to create custom Actors just to handle the pivot offsets.

Datasmith can do this even if your scene contains multiple instances of the mesh, as long as they all share the same custom pivot.

However, if any instance of the mesh has a pivot that does not match all the other instances, Datasmith does not bake any custom pivot information into the Static Mesh Asset. In this case, it falls back on the behavior from version 4.19.

Datasmith Scenes Support Sub-Levels

You can now move Actors created by Datasmith into different sublevels. The Actors you move are taken out of the parenting hierarchy under the Datasmith Scene Actor, but they retain their connection to the Datasmith Scene. Datasmith will continue to track overrides, and the Actors will be recognized if you reimport your Datasmith Scene.

Import MDL Files (Early Access)

You can now use Datasmith to import files in the NVIDIA Material Definition Library (MDL) format. Use the new **MDL **importer:

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/datasmith-import-mdl.png?sv=2017-04-17

As with other kinds of Datasmith imports, you’ll get a new Instanced Material Asset that is set up exactly as your imported file, and that exposes settings you can use to adjust the new Material in Unreal.

Improved Product Viewer Template

We’ve revamped the Product Viewer template significantly to improve its visual design and usability.

  • Use the new X-Ray mode to switch objects temporarily to a transparent material, so you can see and select the objects behind.
  • Drag and reset Actors at runtime using the mouse or VR controller.
  • You can now add the content from the Product Viewer content into another Project by using the Add New > Add Feature or Content Pack option in the Content Browser.

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/relnotes-prodviewer.png?sv=2017-04-17

For details, see the Unreal Studio Product Viewer Template.

New Features for Datasmith Plus Licensees

Interested in becoming a Datasmith Plus licensee? Contact us here.

Import from Deltagen and VRED (Experimental)

Users with Datasmith Plus licenses can now bring scenes into Unreal Editor from DeltaGen or VRED, preserving variant sets and animations. You can use Blueprint scripting to switch between different variants and play the animations at runtime.

Use the new VRED Fbx and Deltagen Fbx importers:

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/datasmith-import-vred-deltagen.png?sv=2017-04-17

For details, see Using Datasmith with Deltagen and VRED.

Import AxF Files (Early Access)

You can now use Datasmith to import files in the Pantone X-RITE Appearance eXchange Format (AxF) format. Use the new MDLimporter:

https://dnnrz1gqa.blob.core.windows.net/portals/0/Images/Studio/Builds/Unreal-Studio-Release-Notes-4-20/datasmith-import-mdl.png?sv=2017-04-17

As with other kinds of Datasmith imports, you’ll get a new Instanced Material Asset that is set up exactly as your imported file, and that exposes settings you can use to adjust the new Material in Unreal.

Features of Interest in the Core Engine

In addition to the features specific to Unreal Studio subscribers that are outlined on this page, this release of Unreal Engine also contains many features available to all users that may be of particular interest to you:

For details on all new features in the Engine, see the full Unreal Engine 4.20 Release Notes.

Reminder for Unreal Studio Beta participants:

Very good release, lots of stuff to test out !

BUT !

Imo using the object names for assets in the content browser is a dangerous regression, at least for Revit users : unless the filepath character limit for the unreal builder has been lifted, we’ll see some problems with it since revit has the tendency of using very, very long names (with lots of useless info since its all in the metadata anyways) on entities, and we obviously cant rename every one of them each time we import a datasmith file. :wink:

This is something to keep in mind for the Revit importer by the way.

Now back to testing the new features of 4.20 !

A programmer hired from high school would have made that mistake… yes. :slight_smile:

But the UI name is not tied to how assets are stored, therefore this is not an issue, really. We use much more metadata to track unique identifiers etc that you don’t see. Don’t worry about it :wink:

Cool, guess this answers my problem with filenaming. :slight_smile:

I find the mesh editing feature a bit useless. You have to realize most architects work with booleans (almost exclusively ( … yeah…)) so the idea we can simply import the models we get as is without opening them in a 3d package to fix all the geometric diarrhea we are presented with is a laughable prospect.

Focus on improving vray material import instead, it produces around 40 meaningless math nodes in every material. It’d be also good if there was a way for the content browser to identify similar or identical materials for an easy clean up.

The mesh editing at this point (4.20) is limited to simple use cases. We have plans to expand on that for 4.21. The goal is to handle simple data prep cleanup, not a full featured modeling tool with Booleans…

However, if you want to improve things, please submit examples of bad geometry import and we’ll fix them.
Report Unreal Studio bugs here: https://unrealstudiohelp.epicgames.com/s/article/How-do-I-report-a-bug

UPDATE!

The 4.20E1 Hotfix is now available for Unreal Studio!

Install the plugin update from the Epic Games Launcher.
Download updated Exporter Plugins from the Unreal Studio Downloads page.
We also recommend the Unreal Engine 4.20 is updated to the latest engine hotfix.

Fixed in 4.20E1 [TABLE=“border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0”]

UE-62077
Broken hierarchy when ancestor actor have the same name

UE-62058
Alpha PNG images from Sketchup generate artifacts

UE-61985
CAD import fill the memory on CATProduct import

UE-61954
Integrate latest changes for Sketchup Exporter plugin

UE-61869
CAD - Crash importing a Rhino scene with an external reference block to which the reference file is missing

UE-61801
Editor attempts to validate Datasmith Entitlement for a feature that does not require entitlement

UE-61756
Can’t save level after converting DS entities to Blueprint

UE-61688
[Reimport] Deleting a Sketchup nested component and reimport leaves ghost geometry in Level

UE-61639
[CrashReport] <unknown module>!UE4Editor_DatasmithImporter!FDatasmithActorImporter::ImportSceneComponent()

UE-61608
Some mdl files fail to import with error: nvidia::core_definitions is not a package or module name

UE-61565
VRED 2018 Datasmith exporter NURBS conversion doesn’t work

UPDATE!

We have released updated Unreal Studio 4.20 exporter plugin installers for 3ds Max and SketchUp. These resolve installation errors related to DirectX and error code 1722.

Download the updated Exporter Plugins from the Unreal Studio Downloads page.

UPDATE!

The 4.20E2 Hotfix is now available for Unreal Studio!

Install the plugin update from the Epic Games Launcher.
Download updated Exporter Plugins from the Unreal Studio Downloads page.

Fixed in 4.20E2 [TABLE=“border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0”]

UE-62669
Not having sufficient permissions to save Rhino file after importing

UE-62058
Datasmith: 3dsMax/SketchUp exporter installation error code 1722 - DirectX installation failure

UE-61612
EditMode(MeshEditing): Faces deleted or flipped revert to original when relaunching editor

Is there any change to get a new hotfix before UE 4.21? I reported a regression bug (UE-62622) and it was marked as resolved in 21th August. It missed the 4.20E2 and I have waited a hotfix for a month now. I would be very glad if I could actually use the fixed feature in coming two weeks, otherwise my deadline comes in and I have to do the conversion (partly) manually and use a full workday for it instead of few minutes that it would take to use Unreal Studio. Thanks for the quick fix! I got a confirmation for the bug in the same workday and fix in two weeks.

A 3rd hotfix for Datasmith 4.20 is about to be released, however it does not include a fix for UE-62622. In fact, while looking at Unreal Engine Issues and Bug Tracker (UE-62622), you can see that this issue has not been fixed yet. Is it possible you are thinking about a different issue?

UPDATE!

The 4.20E3 Hotfix is now available for Unreal Studio!

Please update the Unreal Engine to the latest 4.20.3 hotfix
Install the plugin update from the Epic Games Launcher.
Download updated Exporter Plugins from the Unreal Studio Downloads page.

Fixed in 4.20E3 [TABLE=“border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0”]

UE-63375
Changing Area Light Settings In Blueprint Causes Crash

UE-63189
[Rhino Blocks] Instances get copied and rotated on import

UE-62843
CAD Datasmith no longer support Rhino 6 materials/texture on import

Thanks for the info! It seems that I misunderstood some emails then. First, I got a mail from devs that they were able to reproduce the bug and I was given a Jira link. The Jira link didn’t work (as I expected), so that must have been your internal Jira then. Two weeks later I got another mail saying that the ticket was marked resolved. Now I understand, that was just a ticket for the bug report, not the issue itself. Back then I didn’t found the bug in the issues site either, so I didn’t had any other information about it. At least it’s good to know that the fix is not coming yet, would have been frustrating to make the conversion manually and then founding out that the fix comes in the next day. Thank you for the fast support!

Did you fix UV lightmap! I am loosing my nerves with this?

UPDATE!

The 4.20E4 Hotfix is now available for Unreal Studio!

  • Install the plugin update from the Epic Games Launcher’s Library page.
  • Download updated Exporter Plugins from the Unreal Studio Downloads page.

Fixed in 4.20E4
This Datasmith update addresses a new issue triggered by a recent version of the Epic Games Launcher, which prevented the ability to perform all Datasmith imports. This is additionally our response to a longstanding issue that affected a percentage of users and could cause the temporary or permanent blocking of imports based on network, security, or other challenges with a user’s system.

With this update, we no longer expect these obstacles to arise while performing Datasmith imports, and we are glad to remove that friction and improve your experience with Unreal Studio.

Thank you.

Hi, I am still having the lightmap uv issue. Are you going to fix it in 4.20?

thanks,
Luigi

“Download the exporter plugin from the Unreal Studio downloads page.”
After I download the installer and start the installation there is come a message about missing UnrealDatasmithExporter.msi.
Is the re a something there I miss?

I’m not sure which exporter you are trying to install, but please review these troubleshooting guidelines applicable to either program: https://unrealstudiohelp.epicgames.com/s/article/3dsMax-plugin-installation-troubleshooting

If you need further help, please log a support ticket here: https://unrealstudiohelp.epicgames.com/s/case-community-page