UE4 Intro To Materials - Page 1
- Part 1 - Getting Setup
- Part 2 - Our First Material
- Part 3 - Material Instances
- Part 4 - Masked and Transluscent Materials
- Part 5 - Illumination
- Part 6 - More Material Concepts
- Part 7 - A Practical Master Material
What you will need?
For this project you will need to be install Unreal Engine 4.22.x , have a GitHub account (which is free of charge) as well as GitHub Desktop. You should also download Crazy Bump or equivalent software (it is free) to create your various masks and normal maps. Photoshop is always useful but you can always use GIMP, Pixlr or any other free alternative.
Introduction to Materials
Unreal uses a Physically Based Rendering (PBR) shading and lighting model to give artists maximum control over the look and feel of the scene. PBR is a concept as opposed to a strict set of rules. In short it allows for consistency of content in a variety of lighting scenarios giving maximum control.
PBR allows for some level of standardizations so that tools like Substance Painter and Designer can created maps that can be utilized on multiple engines. Even though it is known for creating photorealistic scenes it can be used on more sylized productions, as Monsters University used it as well.
Lets dive into PBR’s in Unreal.
Part 1 - Getting Setup
Getting Set Up
- If you are a student of mine in class you will have received an email of this same repository and will view the invitation and accept it. Now you can download the starter file I have created.
- If you are not part of the class you can login into github with your personal account and navigate to https://github.com/maubanel/UE4Intro-To-Materials and in the top left corner press the fork button:
- Double click the UE4 project IntroToMaterials.uproject to load it.
- The project should load up in the Room/Level Basic Materials. It should look like:
- You will also most likely see a dark room that has not been lit. You should probably hit the Build button and wait for the lighting to build for the level.
- Look at the World Outliner on the top right of the screen and you will see Room Construction folder with the walls and floor. We also have 6 room folders that we will use to create materials in all rooms in this level.
- I have also added a first person Character for you to control and possess during the game. Go to Settings | Project_Settings to see the controls.
- Now select Input and expand Action Mappings and Axis Mappings. This shows you that we have implemented a mouse looking around, player movement and jumping. If you press the triangles you can see the keys that are assigned.
- Go to the bottom left and open the Source Panel and click on the Blueprints folder. You will see two Blueprints. One called BP_Gamemode and the other called BP_PlayerCharacter. The gamemode blueprint loads the BP_PlayerCharacter when the level is run so that you control a first person character.
- Lets go back back to Settings | Project_Settings and select Maps and Modes. You will see that the reason the game booted up in this map was because it was set here previously. Also we are not loading the BP_Gamemode as the default gamemode. We can set this here in the project settings or in the World Outliner. We will see later that it is set in the latter.
- Now go to Description and fill in the various modules with the information that you want that you think is important.
- Now go into Settings | World Settings and expand Game Mode. This is overrides the settings that are in project settings for this one level. This is selecting our custom BP for Game Mode and Default Pawn. The Default Pawn is the game object that we are controlling in game. You will see all of these blueprints running and added to the scene when running the game.
- OK, that’s enough for setup, now run the game and walk around using the W A S D or Arrow keys for movement, Space Bar for jumping and Mouse for looking around. You should be able to walk around the various rooms and see that they are all titled.
- OK, lets look at building our first material in the first room. In the last exercise the color on the cubes was a solid color which we created in the Material itself. A diffuse map is the most common form of texture map. It is projecting the color on the surface of the model. So if you want a brick wall then you project a photograph of bricks. To save memory and make it faster this pattern is reduced to its smallest size that still maintains integrity then gets repeated. So we need a texture that can be placed next to each other without seams. Lets start with a photograph of my office carpet that I took on my iPhone. On th next page we will create our first game ready texture: