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Beginner's Guide to Using Quixel Bridge for UE4

Category: Quixel, UE4
August 11, 2020

Quixel Bridge has completely changed and improved UE4 environment creation.

You no longer need to create your own 3d models, textures or materials but use over 13,000+ assets available in Quixel Bridge.

In November 12, 2019 Epic Games announced that it has acquired Quixel. Quixel is a texture, material and 3d model creation company whose assets are directly scanned from the real world. Because of this acquisition everything inside Quixel's library is free to use in any of your UE4 projects.

Let me show how to get started using Quixel Bridge in this complete beginner's guide so you can begin creating environments.

Video Tutorial

What is Bridge?

Bridge is asset management software that allows you to search, download and export textures, materials and 3d models into a game engine or modeling package.

Bridge lets you search for high-quality textures or 3d models and export them directly into UE4. They will be ready to use without you having to set anything up or creating any materials.

Download Bridge and Install

Download Quixel Bridge here and install it.

Sign In With Epic Games Account

Sign in using your Epic Games account to get access to the entire Megascans asset library in Bridge for free.

Setting Up Megascans Library

First step is to setup the directory for Bridge to download all assets into.

Go to Edit > Settings:

  • Local Library Path: D:\MegascansLibrary
  • DCC/Engine: Unreal Engine

Change Local Library Path to a drive where you have a lot of space for storing the downloaded Megascans assets. I changed mine to a secondary drive, instead of C: drive.

Then set DCC/Engine to Unreal Engine.

After you click Save, Bridge will download the Unreal Exporter Plugins:

These plugins will be downloaded to (in my case) D:\Megascans Library\support\plugins\unreal\5.3\latest\win

I will show you how to install these plugins later in the tutorial.

Searching for Assets

Find what assets to download using search bar or side category menus:

You can search and download:

  • 3D Assets
  • 3D Plants
  • Surfaces
  • Decals
  • Atlases
  • Imperfections
  • Displacements
  • Brushes

Filter down the search further by adjusting filter type categories below the search bar:

Left-Click on an asset to open Preview window and see its details:

You can view the asset, its texture maps and 3d preview:

Look at the scale of the asset and if the mesh is open or closed:

  • Open: asset contains open edge borders
  • Closed: asset is completely sealed and contains no open edge borders

Global Download Settings and Downloading Assets

Before downloading anything, you should set Global Download Settings. Click on Download Settings tab then all the way on the bottom go to Global Download Settings:

You only need to do this once for each asset type. This way you know what you'll be downloading every time.

Then click Download:

Overwriting Global Download Settings Per Asset

Use this menu when previewing each asset if you need to overwrite any Global Download Settings:

Installing the UE4 Megascans Plugin

When selecting each asset to preview you'll see Export icon and Export Settings will be grayed out. This is because you haven't installed the Megascans Plugin. It has been downloaded when we defined DCC/Engine and Library Path in Settings but now we need to install the plugin.

Important: Close any UE4 editors you have open.

First time setting this up, you need to define Global Export Settings.

Select Global Export Settings:

Set the following Global Export Settings for the Plugin:

  • Export to: Unreal Engine
  • Engine Version: choose UE4 version you are exporting to
  • Installation Folder: navigate into UE4 installation folder for the engine version you are installing plugin for

In my case I installed the plugin for UE4.25 so I navigated to the following directory:

  • C:\Program Files\Epic Games\UE_4.25 and chose Select Folder

Once you choose select folder, the plugin will be installed and the Installation Folder text will change to:

  • Project Location: if you want to export to a specific project, you would point to directory of the project to export to

Leaving Project Location empty will export assets into an existing and currently open project. This is the option I chose.

The Megascans Plugin is now installed.

Global Export Settings

With the Megascans Plugin installed you are now ready to Export.

BUT before you do that you should define Global Export Settings just like we did for downloads. You only need to do this once for each asset type. This way you know what texture resolution, format, mesh format and lod you'll be exporting every time.

Click on Export Settings and go to Global Export Settings:

Define texture resolution, texture format, mesh format, mesh lod etc for Surfaces, 3D Models and so on.

Exit the Global Export Settings and now you are set to export.

If you ever need to overwrite Global Export Settings per individual asset, use this window to do so. The options will be different depending if it is a texture surface or 3d model:

Exporting Assets

Once you've defined Global Export Settings and what UE4 version to export to - you are set to Export.

In preview asset window, Export Settings and Export button will be available to use. Open UE4 project you want to export the selected asset into and click Export:

The asset will be exported from Bridge and imported into opened UE4 project, ready to be used:

Megascans Icon in UE4 and Settings

After installing the Megascans Plugin you will have Megascans icon show up in UE4 editor. Left-Click on it to view Megascans Settings:

You don't need to change anything here to start with. I've kept these settings at default and only use it for advanced options.

Download and Export Quicker

Once you've defined Global Download and Export Settings and you don't have to open asset preview window to download or export.

Each thumbnail will have one of the following icons:

  • No Checkmarks
  • Green Checkmark
  • Blue Checkmark

  • No Checkmarks: you don't have this asset and you never downloaded before (on this account)
  • Green Checkmark: you've acquired the asset but you don't have it downloaded on this computer
  • Blue Checkmark: the asset has been acquired and it's stored locally on your computer

You can download any asset from this thumbnail by clicking the Download icon:

You can export any asset you've downloaded by clicking on the Export icon:

Favorites, Purchased and Local

Three important sidebar menus to know about.

  • Purchased: assets you've acquired on this account
  • Favorites: any asset you've hearted
  • Local (Megascans): assets that are currently downloaded on your computer

Megascans Folders in UE4 Content Browser

Once you've exported Megascans Assets into UE4 you will have two new folders appear in the Content Browser.

  • Megascans: all imported assets are stored here
  • MSPresets: material presets from which many of the imported assets have their Material Instances created from. You'll also have your master materials in this folder.

Manually Installing the Megascans UE4 Plugin

Skip this step if everything worked following this tutorial and you have Megascans icon in the toolbar.

If you need to install Megascans Plugin manually and it didn't do it during the Global Export Settings, here is how to do it.

By going to Edit > Settings then choosing:

  • Local Library Path: D:\MegascansLibrary
  • DCC/Engine: Unreal Engine

After clicking Save, Megascans Plugins will be automatically downloaded on your computer. The downloaded path of the Megascans Plugins will be inside your Local Library Path you've defined above.

Another option to download the plugin will be in the Export Settings for each asset:

Downloaded plugin will be stored in (your drive location and primary folder will vary depending how you set it up): D:\Megascans Library\support\plugins\unreal\5.7\latest\win\

Folder 5.7 will be different depending on your current Bridge version you are using.

You will see multiple Megascans Plugin versions:

Inside each folder you'll have the MegascanPlugin folder. Copy this folder for the UE4 version you want to install the plugin for:

Important: Close any UE4 editors you have open.

Navigate to the UE4 version installed on your computer. UE4 version will vary.

Full directory path should be: C:\Program Files\Epic Games\UE_4.25\Engine\Plugins

Paste the copied MegascanPlugin folder into the Plugins folder:

Launch UE4 project and go to Settings > Plugins:

Search for Megascans and enable it:

You may need to restart UE4 editor. After that you should see Megascans icon appear in the main toolbar and you are now ready to export assets from Bridge.

Next Tutorial

How to Get Free Unlimited Megascans Assets from Quixel for UE4

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My name is Alex Galuzin. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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