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Adding Wires/Cables to an Environment in UE 4.27?

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MilkMaster polycounter lvl 2

Hi everyone!

I'm currently working on a scene/environment in Unreal Engine 4.27 to add to my Game Art portfolio eventually. I would very much like my scene to include several wires or cables that of course connect between certain objects. However, I'm not completely sure how to tackle wires/cables for an environment, at least in the most efficient, modular, and "industry-standard" way. Would you just make the cable in a 3D program and export it as an FBX like any other asset? Would it be its own mesh or should the objects connected by a cable ALL be one mesh? Is there some plug-in or add-on for UE that is helpful for this? I apologize if this seems like such a beginner question, just haven't really done much work with wires/cables for modular environments, only props. If it's worth noting, I'm currently working in 3DsMax 2022.


  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter

    I think it would be best to use splines so that you can easily work non-destructively in unreal.

    There is plenty of tutorials and documentation to show you the steps, but the basic idea is that you'll make a short cylinder shaped mesh and the spline will generate instances of that mesh along it's length.

    You can get familiar with the step-by-step just using a primitive mesh available in the engine by default, then later you can swap in your own meshes.

    Also be aware that there is a dedicated unreal subforum here, and also it's always a good idea to search the unreal forums and learn area as well - plenty of info tucked away there.

    the terms to google would be something like "unreal splines how to make ___(insert cable, ropes, pipes, etc)__" It's all the same method so anything like that is going to teach you what you need to know.

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G insane polycounter

    Hi! You could create some cable/wire layers that fit your environment modules and can be quickly snapped to them, plus some tiling meshes to be used as spline mesh actor for unique situations. If you decide to use spline mesh actors, best read up on the documentation.

    There is also this cable actor in Unreal, don't know much about it, only used it for blockout.

    Depending on your scene and workflow, you could also create the cable layer completely in your 3d program on top of your level geometry. However this approach seems less flexible.

  • MilkMaster
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    MilkMaster polycounter lvl 2

    Sweet! I'll make sure to first take a look at the Unreal forum next time! Thank you for the replies!

  • Eric Chadwick
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    Moved from Technical Talk.

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