Some software has a bake option, that renders out materials that you build so that it creates a texture and material that can be exported, but I don’t know of a one to one transfer for materials.
What I’ve found is that if I assign simple things, normal map, opacity, spec, color to my models (Maya) and export, then Unreal sets all those connections up for me on import which is helpful.
I usually manually transfer my textures in the form of PNG (because PNG will also save out the opacity ) and put those in a folder with my models. I keep things pretty organized. So if my overall model is a Castle, then I make a corresponding castle folder in the UE4 project setup and manually transfer my textures here, and then export my model.fbx to this folder as well.
Overall though with any large models there are other considerations that are going to be more complex than the materials you want to send.
1 ) Is the model divided in a way that it will maintain some UV lightMap resolution? If you create too big a model your getting down to mere pixels for whole areas.
2 ) How are you setting up collisions? If this model is a model that is a house, with two floors and an interior the collisions have to be manually set up in your modeler. I generally do this with boxes, that do NOT intersect, (leave a little gap).
3 ) When importing, because you used multiple boxes as colliders for your model make sure when you import you turn off the following :
- Autogenerate Collision (this you set up for complex objects so you need UE4 to look at yours)
- One Convex Hull Per UCX (this is very important that it be OFF. Because it will smash your UCX.
4 ) When exporting your model the UCX is super important. IF you have a model with twenty colliders in them they need to be merged into one model (still making sure none of them intersect) and then if the model is named myHOUSE.fbx export your model and the colliders together, so that the colliders will be called UCX_myHOUSE. It will be in the same file myHOUSE.fbx of course so it will be read in together during import into UE4.
There is a real juggling act between bigger models and more modular models. It’s nice to have modular parts to build things within UE4, and there is a temptation for people to export whole buildings as one unit. However to me modular objects are far easier to deal with. Just visually trying to model the colliders on a project that is big is a problem, not to mention the lightMap UVs will be very problematic.
Finally, my advice is to create textures you like in Photoshop and build a good library of textures rather than trying to create that kind of thing in the modeler and hope that it transfers. You can do a lot of material editing in UE4, but to me, nothing beats a good texture library to cut down on speed of game playback.