Workflow help Max to UE4

I’m trying to get my modeling pipeline to work.
Since UE4 is so limited in modeling tools i model with my usual tools,sketchup then max.
This is my testproject started in sketchup. The detailed house is my workflow/pipeline-test.

Since im aiming for using UE4 for BIG scenes i assume using instances of similar objects is good for optimizing like in other 3d programs?.
So after import into 3ds max where i did my quick&dirty uv maps with unwrap to two channels(texture,lightmap) i continued exporting only one of every module/instance object,skipping special collision objects for now.

Well into UE4 i get stuck when im trying to move the objects with precision,especially when this particular house is rotated into world space from start in sketchup.So duplicating window modules to windowholes etc. get
tedious and practicly impossible in UE4 AFAIK.

What is lacking is a 3 point rotation tool and a center pivot placing tool, maybe there is such tools and i’ve just haven’t found them in UE4 ?.
My only option now is to go back to 3ds max,rotate the house and place it in origo and break alot of modularity since you can only move modules in UE4 in z-direction with precision and then reimport and manually move and rotate the house into a fairly correct position.
I’m posting here as i’m sure there is a better way to do this or atleast many steps of this pipeline can be improved.

Before you import anything you need to decide if you want to use dynamic or static lighting. And that depends on how you are going to use that map you modeled. Is it going to be an arch-vis sort of thing or a game? Is the player going to be able to enter those buildings? Do you want a time of day system?(which means you’ll have to use dynamic lighting) What other objects are you planning to use to populate the map? If you can give such information we can give you the best workflow suggestions for your project. :slight_smile:

Hi, Thanks for answering :). Im looking for a pipeline able to use both dynamic and static lighting,starting with getting static lighting to work. It’s going to be arch-vis with little interaction more then perhaps dynamic light with time of day system and doors opening,in a second phase. The goal is to push UE4 arch-vis limits,what can be achieved in realtime with reasonable fps and beyond. Vegetation is usually the big fps-dropper for my projects.
But as you can see my problems is for the moment in the modeling/import phase, is there a better way to work with instances?.
Afaik you can’t import an combined model with instances kept?,if i check keep instances in 3ds max fbx exporter it imports only one of every instance and disregards the rest in ue4.This is a big problem as getting even a normal sized project scene from max into ue4 will be a tedious task. I’m hoping i missed something there as im still fairly new to ue4.

Ok, first of all you dont need to worry about instancing, not for those buildings anyway. They arent crazy detailed objects so keeping the whole building as a single piece wont hurt performance much. You can bring in one of the buildings into the engine and then create 3 copies of it in the level for the others. And this is for exterior dynamic lighting. For a project of this scale i wouldnt suggest doing the interior and exterior in the same level since combining dynamic and static lighting can be a headache. And if you still insist on using baked lighting for exterior you’ll have to deal with huge amounts of lightmaps.

So my suggestion is, bring one building into the editor > duplicate it > set your map and lighting -> this is going to be your exterior level.
Then bring in the interior with proper lightmap UV’s(you dont need more than one floor) > set it’s location at whichever building’s whichever floor > remove all the extra props outside that the viewer cant see through the windows > set a lightmap importance volume for that floor > build the lighting. And then set trigger volumes or a user interface that will let the user switch between those two levels.

If you want to go fully dynamic there is always LPV, which will give you dynamic GI from the sunlight. You can increase it’s size above 20k if you need(settings in post process volume), and then adjust all the necessary values for interior when you enter the building. Adding a skylight with a value of .2-.4 can give pretty convincing results. You’ll have to experiment to find the right values for your project.

Let me know if you find anything i said confusing.

Hi again,
Let’s say these buildings was very detailed, in regular none realtime-programs i would use instances or even proxy’s to bring down memory/cpu impact, is this not that important/effective in ue4?
Then we have the problem of how to deal with the uv map if i combine the whole building,it will get harder to optimize texture sizes.
Great advice about dividing exterior and interior into diff. maps, i will look more into that.
What i haven’t found yet is a good tutorial for lightning,but im sure i will find one if i look further ;).

Instancing is important in UE4 as well, but again it depends on how many of the same object you are going to have in the level. You might have needed to go for a more modular setup if this was a game crowded with animated AI characters, praticle fx, etc., but it is an arch-vis project so you can use that processing power on other things.

Texture size is not a problem either. Just make sure all of your UV’s are rotated properly so that the textures line up, then you can use texture coordinate nodes in the materials to tile the textures.