Material Instances in UE4 are extensions of your main, master material that allow to expand its functionality and flexibility of using that material.
Let's say you wanted to make some changes to the material such as updating color, roughness or changing a diffuse texture. Instead of creating an entire separate material you would create a Material Instance and change the parameters within it to update those properties.
With Material Instances, you do not have to recreate entire material from scratch. Just create a Material Instance...
Creating and sculpting landscapes is the first step. Creating and painting landscape materials is the second.
Landscape Materials are very different than any other material you have to create because you have to be able to paint textures on the terrain such as grass, dirt, rock or sand.
This is done by a single material expression - Landscape Layer Blend.
Let me show you how to create your very first, basic landscape material that you can use to paint landscape textures...
I came back to a project I worked on months ago creating landscape materials.
I couldn't make sense of my own work - wires running everywhere, material expressions all over the place. It took me few hours to sort it all out and it wasn't a very complex material.
So here are 3 ways I organize all my materials in UE4. I now know what everything does and if I come back to it months later I'll continue where I left off.
Landscape Splines allow you to create linear features such as roads, railroads and pathways that will conform and modify the terrain underneath it.
Landscape Splines have been in UE4 for some time but now with addition of Landscape Layers in 4.24+, using Splines became a lot easier to use.
In this tutorial I'll focus entirely on how to use Splines with Landscape Layers.
Unreal Engine 4.24+ gave us new landscape layers. This means you can now edit and modify your landscapes non-destructively.
Landscape Layers have two components to them. Each landscape layer can contain information for the heightmap sculpt and painted textures.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to use the non-destructive landscape layers for painting textures.
In Unreal Engine 4.24 a new amazing landscape feature was introduced that makes working and editing landscapes a lot easier. This new feature is Landscape Layers which allows you to edit and modify your landscapes non-destructively, giving you complete artistic and creative control over what you sculpt and what you paint.
In this first tutorial, learn how to start using Landscape Layers specifically with Sculpting.
I solved my first major landscape obstacle by learning how to hand-sculpt UE4 landscapes entirely in UE4 using the 5-step method.
But then I encountered another problem I had to solve. How to create landscape materials that look good.
The biggest issues most everyone has with landscapes is obvious TEXTURE TILING. Landscape textures often look good up-close near the player but at further distances the tiling becomes very noticeable.
Let me show you how to create great looking landscapes entirely in UE4 very quickly and in just 5 steps.
I've included 2 videos.
First video goes more into depth about the settings used for each tool and during each step. The video is longer and it covers everything more in detail.
Second video is only 3 minutes and it quickly shows you all 5-steps in few minutes. If you want to see what to do quickly and straight to the point then watch the 3-min video.
Landscapes! The heart and soul of outdoor environments.
Yet, I've AVOIDED creating any landscapes in UE4.
If you look at the work I've done, it is missing one consistent element - LANDSCAPES.
Every time I tried creating a landscape, it would turn out like garbage.
How is it possible that I was using the same set of landscape tools as everyone else yet my terrains looked like crap? I was embarrassed to even show work-in-progress because I knew I couldn't finish it...
Couple of weeks after Epic Games and Quixel announcement I decided to start up Bridge to look for some textures and assets.
I opened up Bridge and I was stuck looking at an empty menu. I couldn't search or browse for any Megascans assets nor was I able to login using my Epic Games account. Anytime I tried to log in, a menu would pop up saying "Verifying" and "Redirecting" then it would go away and nothing.
I found a lot of people dealing with this same problem. This is something that will probably get fixed very soon but in the meantime I needed to get into Bridge and get some assets.
Here is what I did to make it work...
Huge announcement was released on November 12th, 2019.
Quixel is now part of Epic Games.
Everything inside Quixel's library is now free to use with UE4 in any of your UE4 projects.
If you don't know what Quixel is - Quixel is a company that creates textures, materials and 3d models that are scanned from the real world. Many of their assets have been used in games and movies such as Red Dead Redemption 2, The Jungle Book, The Lion King and many more.
Not only that, the texture/material creation software Mixer is also free!
So let me show you 2 ways for how to get access to unlimited assets that Quixel has to offer, completely free for any of your UE4 projects...
Motels are one of my favorite locations to create. The more derelict and abandoned they are the better.
Motels usually have one or two floors with the room entrance leading directly onto outside parking lot.
Every time I drive by a motel I always take mental notes on the layout, the atmosphere and detail of its location. If the place is not too sketchy, I pull over and take reference photos.
When I found a concept art created by Sylvain Sarrailh it reminded me of the movie "Vacancy" motel room and it inspired me to block this out with BSP right away.
In the abounded building blockout I shared a time-lapse of the process. It was very quick. In this tutorial I will take it a bit slow and cover all the steps from concept art to final BSP blockout.
See the concept art that inspired the BSP blockout of an interior motel room and the entire process in this tutorial...
One of the best ways to master BSP brush creation in UE4 is to do a photo reference to blockout exercise.
I found a photo reference that I wanted to blockout that included an abandoned building and some terrain.
Watch the video and read over important notes on this BSP Process from Photo to Blockout...
Neoclassical architecture began in 1800s as a reaction to Rococo and Baroque architectural styles.
Rococo and Baroque architecture focused on elaborate ornaments, detail and decoration.
Neoclassical architecture response was to go back to simple, massive, classical form of the Greek and Roman architecture era.
Neoclassical Architecture characteristics are...
I love BSP!
I love creating with it, I love using it but there are a lot of missing steps between BSP and final level.
How does BSP fit into the larger context of a completed game environment?
What are the steps in-between? How do you get from BSP blockout to the final level?
In this tutorial you'll know the answer. Let's go deeper into level creation workflow, from BSP blockout to final environment and ALL the steps in-between...
BSP blockouts are one of the most important beginning phases of level design and environment art creation.
It is a process of using BSP brushes (cube, sphere, cylinder, planes etc.) to block-in your level designs and environments.
There are many other terms used for blockouts such as blockin, whitebox, blockmesh, greybox and they mean the same thing.
Find out what are BSP blockouts in UE4 and how you can get the most out of them...
BSP is art!
Although you don't see a lot of BSP in finished UE4 levels, their essence is always there.
Every level and every environment begun with a BSP blockout - the use of simple geometry to create the layout, the framework onto which final environment was built on.
Always begin your environments and levels by using BSP brushes.
Yes, eventually BSP will get replaced with Static Meshes. But that only means BSP has served its function.
To use BSP brushes correctly it's important to understand what they are, their benefits and limitations and their purpose in UE4 production pipeline.
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