Intro to Materials for Unreal Engine 4 - Page 1
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.
You will need to install the latest version of UE4 4.25.x by downloading the Epic Games Launcher. You will also need a GitHub account which is free to sign up for as we will be using version control. You will also need a mac or PC that is powerful enough to run unreal. If you are on a PC you will have to download and install git (on a mac it may prompt you to install git as well but you can do it through the terminal). We will also install Github Desktop as it provides a GUI interface so you don't have to worry about command line. Once git is installed you will also need to download and install the Git LFS (Large File System) as well for both PC and mac. For this simple introduction that is all that is needed.
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.
We will be downloading a template project with some assets provided to us beforehand. We will get this set up and start working on materials in Unreal.