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Unreal Engine 5: Constructing Worlds With Quixel Megascans


This text explores the Unreal Engine 5 panorama editor and how one can deliver free, high-resolution Quixel Megascans into your venture to jumpstart your recreation improvement.

It continues from the Unreal Engine 5 Tutorial for Newcomers that launched the essential ideas of working within the Unreal Engine 5 editor. In case you aren’t already conversant in the final interface and ideas, together with Blueprints and Actors, I like to recommend beginning there earlier than persevering with with this one.

After this tutorial, you’ll have a great grasp on:

  • Discovering high-quality Megascans property by way of the Quixel Bridge
  • Working inside Unreal Engine’s built-in Panorama Editor
  • Making use of all of the instruments obtainable within the Panorama Editor to construct the world
  • Implementing advanced blended textures by way of Blueprints
  • Portray a number of textures on a panorama

Just like the newbie tutorial, the hero of this recreation is a mighty submarine. Time to offer this submarine a world to discover!

Observe: This tutorial makes use of Unreal Engine 5.2. Nevertheless, Epic Video games consistently updates Unreal Engine, so your model could be completely different than what’s proven within the pictures right here, and views may change because the engine evolves.

Getting Began

Obtain the starter venture by clicking Obtain supplies on the high or backside of the tutorial.

On this tutorial, you’ll use Unreal Engine 5’s Panorama editor and Quixel Megascans to create a wealthy panorama of underwater valleys to your submarine to navigate by. Within the course of, you’ll discover ways to add textures to surfaces, combine textures for a customized look and add premade property to your scene.

Understanding Quixel Megascans

Earlier than you begin, what precisely are Quixel Megascans?

Quixel is an organization that’s constructed the world’s largest 2D and 3D asset library derived from the strategy of photogrammetry: high-resolution picture scans of real-world objects and textures. In November of 2019, Epic Video games, maker of Unreal Engine, introduced the thrilling information that it had acquired Quixel and would make the whole asset library obtainable to Unreal Engine customers. Unreal Engine 4.24 marked the start of an built-in workflow to deliver Quixel property into Unreal Engine video games. Examples of objects and textures fantastically captured by photogrammetry and obtainable by way of the Megascans library are proven under.

Photogrammetry examples

With the discharge of Unreal Engine 5, the combination of Quixel has improved additional. Now, it’s fairly seamless to go looking Quixel property within the Unreal Engine editor, then obtain and add these to your recreation ranges. On this tutorial, you’ll begin with a fundamental introduction to the Unreal Engine 5 Panorama editor, and then you definately’ll use Quixel property to construct a extra advanced scene rapidly.

Navigating the Unreal Engine 5 Panorama Editor

Start by opening the starter venture in Unreal Engine 5. You’ll see the essential venture view within the editor, and a World Partition tab ought to be open within the right-hand facet panels.

Initial project view

If the World Partition isn’t open, open it with Window ▸ World Partition ▸ World Partition Editor. By default, if you happen to haven’t beforehand loaded a streaming world asset, you’ll want to focus on after which select to load a area into the editor to show landscapes and property presently within the map.

Load Region From Selection

Panorama Mode

After you load the area, the scene continues to be empty aside from a post-process quantity that offers the world a bluish tint and an underwater ambiance. It’s time to construct a panorama! So, subsequent, it’s essential activate Panorama mode to modify editor views into the Unreal Engine 5 Panorama editor. Discover the Panorama possibility from the dropdown menu within the UE5 toolbar, or use the Shift-2 hotkey to modify to this view.

Activate landscape editor mode

After Panorama mode prompts, a brand new panel of controls seems on the left-hand facet of your editor window. After you have a Panorama, these Sculpt controls might be obtainable.

showing sculpt option selected

However earlier than you need to use them, you’ll have to have a Panorama, both by creating one or importing current knowledge to be the idea of the Panorama. You’ll quick-start a Panorama on this venture by importing a pre-generated heightmap. Change to the Handle tab within the Panorama pane. You’ll create a brand new Panorama however use an current heightmap to hurry up the method.

Click on New+, after which:

Settings for importing a new landscape

  1. Click on Import from File.
  2. Browse to the supplied world map known as ocean-trench-map.png included within the world-map folder within the starter downloads.
  3. Select a Materials, and choose M_MS_Default_Material to offer a fundamental beginning texture to see in your panorama.
  4. Use the default Total Decision of 2017 × 2017.
  5. Click on Import to create the brand new panorama.

showing the ocean trench ready to be edited

Utilizing the Scuplt Instruments

After the import, which creates a brand new Panorama, you’ll have a visual ocean trench you could edit with the instruments within the Sculpt menu.

sculpt_tools

The sculpting instruments work on the underlying heightmap of your panorama. As you’re employed with these instruments, the left mouse button performs the presently highlighted motion on the heightmap so as to add/increase the terrain. The left mouse button-Shift performs the identical motion, however subtractively to decrease the terrain. Management-Z undoes the final stroke, and Management-Y redoes the final undone motion.

Sculpting Instruments

Right here’s what a few of these instruments do:

  • Sculpt is the essential software to lift or decrease the heightmap utilizing the left mouse button or left mouse button-Shift.
    showing the sculpt tools
  • Erase removes heights from the heightmap rapidly.
  • Easy softens and smooths the heightmap. The Brush Power impacts how rapidly this occurs while you draw on the Panorama.
  • Flatten takes the peak of the preliminary click on of the motion on the Panorama, and as you maintain and drag, the Landscapes rise or decrease to match that peak.
    showing the effect of the flatten tool
  • Ramp permits you to left-click and drag to mark a beginning and ending level for a ramp. After setting these positions within the Instrument Settings under the motion buttons, you possibly can Add Ramp to finalize and construct a sculpted ramp into the heightmap.
  • Erosion simulates thermal erosion to maneuver soil from larger elevations to decrease ones by pure forces. This will create pure and random removals from the Panorama heightmap.
    showing the effect of the erosion tool
  • Hydro or Hydro Erosion simulates hydraulic erosion, or water flows, to regulate the heightmap. This creates Landscapes the place eroded areas look as if rain has steadily affected the Landscapes over time.
  • Noise permits you to paint onto a Panorama floor with variations in heights.
  • Retop or Retopologize instruments alter the Panorama to enhance the vertex densities in areas that will require it, like very steep cliff edges. This may increasingly assist scale back artifacts like texture stretching.

Be at liberty to attempt all of the completely different sculpting instruments to change the undersea panorama. Don’t overlook to make use of left mouse button-Shift to use the inverse motion, sometimes to decrease the panorama.

With the panorama sculpted, now you can add textures to the floor.

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