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Who uses what software for what reasons - Rocks, Trees, Grass, Characters, Textures

Hey, how ya doing guys!

I am new to the UE4 stuff and I am looking at giving it a go. I have always been interested in game design, animation and modelling and have many game concepts written out but never really done anything about it and I feel like UE4 might give me the opportunity to try my ideas out.

I am here today to ask for opinions and suggestions on what people use to make their prototype objects and characters, as well as their fully finished assets.

I am looking at getting together some really basic assets that will let me prototype before I go ahead and try to make complex and aesthetically pleasing assets and I am hoping people can give me some suggestions as to how to go about doing this.

I have some experience with 3DS Max and Maya but I haven’t used them for a while but I would just like some advice. I’ll get some questions down below so perhaps people can best answer them.

  1. How is Sketchup for making prototype models? I heard at some point that Sketchup doesn’t make tight models. They can be exploded outward and they all separate into their individual polygons. Is this true?

  2. Character modeling seems like a daunting task and I am not quite up to the challenge yet, especially when I just need a prototype character and the ability to prototype animations. Could anyone suggest any software or websites that might have some cheap or easy to make and animate options?

  3. Foliage - I have read about Speedtree and it seems neat, however I also read that it is a resource hog and therefor is probably not what I am looking for. Do you know of any other Foliage generators that I could use or would you recommend making them by hand or buying them from a website?

  4. Once I do get to the stage of actually making serious models, what software packages do people recommend and for what situations and reasons? I have seen the likes of Modo, Cinema 4D, Maya, 3DSMax, Blender and 3D Coat for general modelling and I like the sound of Modo and 3D Coat.

  5. My game idea would potentially involve future use of procedural generated terrain. Is this possible in UE4? Also can foliage, rocks and other assets be randomly generated too? I realize this might be quite advanced and maybe something I wouldn’t want to use the UE4 blueprinting system for but I would just like a little confirmation as to whether this is indeed possible.

Wow dat wall’o’text!

I appreciate any responses I get about this subject and any help I can get would be wonderful.
I look forward to your replies!

Thank you!

Deadlyapples

Welcome! :slight_smile:

  1. You could try out the animation tool from epic games for maya -> but you will have to create your character by your own
  2. Take a look at tree d: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arlz1lgaO-0 or directly create them in your 3d program :slight_smile:
  3. blender -> you can do everything with it + it’s for free :smiley:

e.g Redirecting... This char was entirely made in blender except of the cloth animation (apex), but it is possible to use apex with blender: Blender UE4 Cloth - YouTube

  1. It is similar to how brushes in the engine work, so yes you get very messy meshes. For prototyping sure, for anything else it is not an option.

  2. Speedtree for UE4 has not yet been released, and it is different from earlier versions. Once it is out it would be the way to go IMO. If your worry is performance then you are definitely not going to get better performance from handmade foliage than from Speedtree foliage. Any bottleneck in performance when it comes to foliage is in the engine itself, whether you use Speedtree, or something else.

  3. Maya, 3DsMax, Modo, Blender. In that order. Blender is nice being free, but it is not the industry standard and is thus of limited use for anything other than modding and a hobby right now. Maya is used the most. Followed by Max. And Modo is beginning to catch up nicely also.

  4. Technically anything is possible, but what you want to do is really complex and I’d really start off with something simpler if I were you. The terrain part is the hardest. The foliage and rocks aren’t that hard to randomly place each time you play.

It’s probably better to learn a fully fleshed out modeling package vs try to use sketchup. As Hourences said, Maya and Max are pretty much the defacto industry standard, so if you are looking at working in a big team or would like to start a career in game dev those will be what you want on your resume. Having said that, I have to disagree respectfully with Hourences in the limited usefulness of Blender. It really can do most if not all of what the big boys can. It’s perfectly capable of outputting professional quality assets and in some areas I actually prefer it to Maya. As Hourences touched on though, it’s not industry standard so if you are looking to build a big studio or get hired in to one it’s not going to be as handy as learning Maya or Max but from a pure utility standpoint it’s actually a really solid tool.

I’d not worry about middleware like speedtree till you get really solid at the basics, and then you can look at integrating it into your pipeline.