Making and Preparing a Rock Arch for a Game Engine: Part Two
Welcome to the second part of my tutorial about making a rock arch and then preparing the model for use in game engine. In this part of the tutorial I will cover how to import and visualize your model in UDK (Unreal Development Toolkit: www.udk.com).That's the mighty Unreal engine, which is now free for the masses - thanks Epic!
I will show you how to import the model, assign the materials to it and render the scene at the end. For deeper exploration of the Unreal engine I would recommend visiting the Eat3D website that I mentioned in part one (http://eat3d.com/). The videos there are professional; I have some of them too. Raven's YouTube channel is full of good free videos too (https://www.youtube.com/user/raven67854#g/u). The UDK site itself contains plenty of documentation and over 170 videos about the engine.
So let's pick up where we left off in part one and begin!
Go to 3ds Max, open your scene with the arch and export the model in ASCII Scene Export (.ASE) format. If your maps' names have spaces, for example "normal map" then rename them to "normal_map" or "normalmap" etc.
Then it's time to download and install UDK from www.udk.com
Start UDK. You will see a window that opens when UDK start. That's the content browser.
If you close the window you can start it again from the tab menu. The content browser has a bunch of options: import, export, organize, search etc. You need to import your files, so click Import and find your ASE file. In the import window that appears, name your group "Meshes" and click OK (Fig.01). Next click Import again and select your Diffuse map and Specular map (if you have one). In the Import window name the group "Textures" and check Compression No Alpha? because in this case you don't have an alpha (Fig.02).
Now import your normal map in the same way, but in Import > Compression Settings select TC_NormalMap. Again check Compression No Alpha?, name the group "Textures" and click OK (Fig.03). Right click on the gray field in the content browser and select New Material from the menu (Fig.04).
Enter "Materials" in the group field and click OK. Double click on your new material. This will open the Unreal Material Editor. On the right are your nodes. You need the Texture Sample node. Select it and drag it to the field on the left (Fig.05). One nice thing here is if you select a map in the content browser and then select and drag your node, the map will already be inside the node.
Connect all your maps to the appropriate slots, as is shown in Fig.06, and save the changes with the green check icon. With Ctrl + left click you can move the nodes.
Now your new material appears in the content browser. Double clicking on the mesh in the content browser will open the Unreal Static Mesh Editor. Expand the LODInfo menu and with the selected material in the content browser, click the green arrow. Now you will see your mesh ready (Fig.07).
Drag the object from the content browser to the scene (Fig.08).
Add some lights. Right clicking in the viewport will open the menu. Select Add Actor > Add Light (Point) (Fig.09).
I have two lights. One red in the back and one blue in front. To access a light's properties, double click on the light, or hit F4. Expand the light tab and here you have many options. Select the color of your choice by clicking the icon next to the light color bar. Adjust the intensity etc... (Fig.10).
The last step is to build your level. Select Build > Build All and wait for Unreal to compute (Fig.11).
And voila, everything is done and you have a nice rock arch. Hit the G key to hide your helpers if you want (Fig.12).