What's the best way to texture a complex model for UE4?


I’m writing here because I need a suggestion, I am pretty new to Unreal Engine 4 and I have no idea about how I should proceed. Basically I made a simple raccoon model with blender and now I have to assign a material and textures to it. Anyway I have no idea if I should do this inside blender or inside UE4. As you can imagine I can not just put a texture on the model since it would look quite unrealistic, is there a way to “paint” textures on the model and then exporting the material to the engine? I plan to make other animals models for my game, so the basic question is: how can I texture them to obtain a realistic (more or less) result?

Thank you in advance,

Have a nice day!

First you need to create a UV map before you can texture a model. The 2 most popular texturing applications right now are DDO, a Photoshop plug in, and Substance Painter/Designer. You can also texture purely in Photoshop or another 2D painting app, or applications like Zbrush or 3D Coat have painting modes. You can also bake down procedural textures in 3d modeling applications (I assume blender supports this, but you can definitely do it in Modo, Maya, 3ds Max, etc).

There’s a lot of tutorials on how to unwrap a model in Blender, and for a raccoon, you are probably going to want to unwrap it more like a character than a hard surface model, so look for character and creature unwrapping tutorials once you learn the basics.

After unwrapping, you will normally bake some information down to the UVs, this could be ambient occlusion and normal maps from a high polymesh, or some lighting, or procedural textures, material ID mask, or even simple gradients, just to have something to build off of. From there, the approach is really going to vary depending on if you have a highpoly model you are working from, or if you are going a pure hand painted approach. And vary on what application you go with.

Thanks for your quick reply, you have been really clear and helpful! I will give a try to the softwares you suggested and I will see which works better for my project.

Thanks again, have a nice day.

Another suggestion if you’re talking about static objects which won’t be moving is to use the WorldAlignedTexture and WorldAlignedNormal material functions as well as some creative use of masking between textures.