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Using Unreal 4 as a renderer?

Ispheria
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Ispheria polycounter lvl 3
Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be viable to use Unreal 4 as a renderer? I've got Substance Designer and Painter and those are super cool, but I've got no way to set up a scene and render it using pbr shaders. As far as I know you can't plug in metalness and roughness maps in Maya. I considered Marmoset Toolbag 2 to do it, but it's $100 more than Unreal 4.

From what I've read you can download Unreal 4 and all the cool stuff, and then cancel your subscription and still use that version of Unreal 4. Now that version 4.3 is out and the substance plugin works, I was wondering if it would be a good idea to do this?

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • leleuxart
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    leleuxart polycounter lvl 9
    TB2 is much more user-friendly and faster to get the hang of. If all you want to do is show off the materials and models, and not fancy shader effects, then I'd rethink TB2. It is more money up front, but if you were to need an update for UE4 then that's another $20 each time.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 10
    If you're doing large scenes I would definitely pick up UE4. If you're just using it for single props or small diorama scenes I would just use Marmoset Toolbag 2.

    Substance Designer now has the Yebris rendering engine as well. That might serve your needs if you're just needing it for single assets and are really wanting to stay tight with money. It sounds like you want to do scenes though? :)
  • Ispheria
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    Ispheria polycounter lvl 3
    leleuxart wrote: »
    TB2 is much more user-friendly and faster to get the hang of. If all you want to do is show off the materials and models, and not fancy shader effects, then I'd rethink TB2. It is more money up front, but if you were to need an update for UE4 then that's another $20 each time.

    I've watched some tutorial vids for both UE4 and TB2 and yeah, I've got to agree that TB2 is more user-friendly, but UE4 doesn't seem too much more complicated. Updates for UE4 are $20, but the latest update seems pretty stable and good enough to render scenes with. Even if I did update everytime, that's 5 updates, and maybe this is just wishful thinking, but by then I'm hoping Unity 5 will be out.
    Tobbo wrote: »
    If you're doing large scenes I would definitely pick up UE4. If you're just using it for single props or small diorama scenes I would definitely just use Marmoset Toolbag 2.

    Substance Designer now has the Yebris rendering engine as well. That might serve your needs if you're just needing it for single assets and are really wanting to stay tight with money. It sounds like you want to do scenes though? :)

    Not too sure what's considered a large scene. What I want to render right now is like, taverns and apartment rooms and stuff of that size. I'm totally just using the renderer in SD right now for single assets, cause I don't got anything else, but I really want to make a scene.
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 8
    Just go with UE4 for now, $20 is the lowest you will have to pay. TB1 + TB2 are amazing, but depending on what you are doing it might just be more cost effective to go with UE4, plus you can deal with more kinds of content. I still recommend picking up TB2 later on down the line though.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 10
    Ispheria wrote: »
    What I want to render right now is like, taverns and apartment rooms and stuff of that size. I'm totally just using the renderer in SD right now for single assets, cause I don't got anything else, but I really want to make a scene.

    I would just go on and pick up UE4 then.
  • Ispheria
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    Ispheria polycounter lvl 3
    Dataday wrote: »
    Just go with UE4 for now, $20 is the lowest you will have to pay. TB1 + TB2 are amazing, but depending on what you are doing it might just be more cost effective to go with UE4, plus you can deal with more kinds of content. I still recommend picking up TB2 later on down the line though.

    Alright, guess I'll pick up UE4 then, why do you recommend I pick up TB2 later though?

    Thanks to everyone for the replies
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 8
    Ispheria wrote: »
    Why do you recommend I pick up TB2 later though?

    Couple of reasons... mostly subjective.
    Its just an amazing piece of software for quickly pumping out show pieces.
    It updates automatically, so you could make changes to textures and see it reflected in the TB viewport.
    Also has input for substances if you use substance designer (also recommended).
    Finally, its supporting the polycounters behind its creation.

    :)
  • JamesTKirk
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    JamesTKirk polycounter lvl 8
    I couldn't get nice crisp shadow in UE4. Seems like they are the same as in UDK. It may be nice and super optimized for games, but it's very annoying if all that you want is a single picture. Shadows from small parts are completely lost, and transition areas between cascades are pretty obvious.
    Probably there is a way to tune shadows through some ini files. But I know nothing about it.
    On the contrary Unity 4 has very nice clean shadows and great global illumination baking system.
    I hope Epic will do something to improve shadows.
  • ZeroNight
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    ZeroNight polycounter lvl 5
    JamesTKirk wrote: »
    I couldn't get nice crisp shadow in UE4. Seems like they are the same as in UDK. It may be nice and super optimized for games, but it's very annoying if all that you want is a single picture. Shadows from small parts are completely lost, and transition areas between cascades are pretty obvious.
    Probably there is a way to tune shadows through some ini files. But I know nothing about it.
    On the contrary Unity 4 has very nice clean shadows and great global illumination baking system.
    I hope Epic will do something to improve shadows.

    Have you tried increasing the dynamic shadow resolution at all? In the upper right, type r.Shadow.MaxResolution and then whatever resolution you want to set it to. There are a lot of commands in there that aren't exposed to the normal engine settings menu.
  • JamesTKirk
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    JamesTKirk polycounter lvl 8
    Yes, I tried that. I think you can't go past 4096 and this is absolutely not enough to catch all those little details.
    But I must point out that I'm by no means an UE expert and there probably is a way to get good quality.
  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    While I agree that Toolbag is easier to use, it seems to me that showing you can put together a good looking scene with UE4 would be an advantage when looking for jobs, especially if said studio uses Unreal.
  • Ispheria
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    Ispheria polycounter lvl 3
    Dataday wrote: »
    Also has input for substances if you use substance designer (also recommended).

    :)

    I use substance designer (which is awesome) but I thought that substance is only supported in Unity Pro? At least I haven't been able to get it to wor on the free version of Unity. Substance support is definitely something I want to be able to take advantage of, but there's no way I'm going to pay $1500 or $75 a month for it. Unless for some reason you can use substances on the free version of Unity with TB2, which would be cool.

    Edit: And by no way I'm going to, I mean there's no way I can afford to.

    Edit Again: Wow do I feel stupid. So I've been dragging the SBSAR file onto the objects in Unity, not the material, and that's why I couldn't get it to work, I thought that it only worked in the pro version because every video I've ever seen substances being used was using the pro version of Unity. This changes things quite a bit.
  • ZeroNight
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    ZeroNight polycounter lvl 5
    Ispheria wrote: »
    I use substance designer (which is awesome) but I thought that substance is only supported in Unity Pro? At least I haven't been able to get it to wor on the free version of Unity. Substance support is definitely something I want to be able to take advantage of, but there's no way I'm going to pay $1500 or $75 a month for it. Unless for some reason you can use substances on the free version of Unity with TB2, which would be cool.

    Edit: And by no way I'm going to, I mean there's no way I can afford to.

    Edit Again: Wow do I feel stupid. So I've been dragging the SBSAR file onto the objects in Unity, not the material, and that's why I couldn't get it to work, I thought that it only worked in the pro version because every video I've ever seen substances being used was using the pro version of Unity. This changes things quite a bit.


    http://www.allegorithmic.com/substance-ue4

    The plugin for the UE4 just came out, if that helps at all. I haven't gotten to trying it yet, but at least you don't need to recompile the engine now to be able to use it.
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    Its something I hope to see more artists doing. I've had some thoughts too about how to make using UE4 as just a renderer for art assets easier. Like providing some sample scenes that just have nice HDRI and direct lighting with a blueprint that centralizes all of the controls. It could be useful as well to have a set of materials that work without having to texture the model, kinda like Keyshot...Maybe in my spare time I could try putting some of this together.
  • Ispheria
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    Ispheria polycounter lvl 3
    JordanW wrote: »
    Its something I hope to see more artists doing. I've had some thoughts too about how to make using UE4 as just a renderer for art assets easier. Like providing some sample scenes that just have nice HDRI and direct lighting with a blueprint that centralizes all of the controls. It could be useful as well to have a set of materials that work without having to texture the model, kinda like Keyshot...Maybe in my spare time I could try putting some of this together.

    If you ever get around to doing that, be sure to let us know. It would be very interesting to see what you come up with.
  • Eric Chadwick
    I would love to see that Jordan!
  • littleclaude
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    littleclaude ngon master
  • TAN
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    TAN polycounter lvl 6
    Jordan I am getting used to UE4 as well. If there is any kind of helping hand just tell me. I was looking for an opportunity to work with it.
  • Monophobe
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    Monophobe polycounter lvl 11
    JordanW wrote: »
    Its something I hope to see more artists doing. I've had some thoughts too about how to make using UE4 as just a renderer for art assets easier. Like providing some sample scenes that just have nice HDRI and direct lighting with a blueprint that centralizes all of the controls. It could be useful as well to have a set of materials that work without having to texture the model, kinda like Keyshot...Maybe in my spare time I could try putting some of this together.

    Might be worth having a look through this thread. Seems like he's only released a handful of his UE4 matcaps so far but I think he's planning on releasing the lot in the future:
    https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?13501-Matcaps-for-UE4&highlight=matcap
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/unreal-engine-45-preview-notes

    You'll notice in the preview notes for 4.5 there is Artist Template. This is something that I hope will give artists a head start in creating a high quality scene for showing their assets in. The map uses a blueprint that ties together most lighting options like HDRI background, directional light, fog, skylight etc... It also comes with a high quality HDRI captured from Epic's courtyard.
  • kernersvillan
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    kernersvillan polycounter lvl 9
    I've been wanting to steal that Blueprint from you for awhile. Now I dont have to :D
    Awesome work dude
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