04. Experimenting with PBS
To use the new PBS technology you need to put a value into the Roughness slot of the material, in the garage door example, the diffuse has two kinds of materials, brick and metal. Using a Constant Node gives the same result across both surfaces which was no good; you have to create a new texture to plug into the Roughness slot. The brick surface would be white and the metal would be black. You can now see the metal is reflective and the brick work is not.
05. Apply materials to assets
Assigning materials to static meshes is easy. In the Content Browser find the garage door mesh and double-click it to open its properties. Back in the Content Browser window locate the new garage door material you created in the previous step and select it; return to the garage door mesh window and you'll see a grey sphere in the element 0 section of the details panel, click the arrow; this will assign the selected material into this slot and to the mesh itself.
Tip: Mass import assets
You can now drag multiple assets into the Content Browser at once to mass import, this saves a lot of time and fuss
06. Setting up meshes
Your static meshes will require some minor setting changes in order to light correctly. We have to increase the size of the light map the asset will use to get a good resolution for our shadows – this is all dependant on the size of the asset.
Here the garage door asset is selected and because this is quite a large object for our scene the light map needs to have good resolution, so change the Light Map Res from 32 to 512. The smaller objects can stay at 32.
Expert tip: Applying new materials
If you want to see what a new material looks like on a particular mesh that is already in the scene, drag and drop the new material from Content Browser directly onto the static mesh in the viewport and Unreal will automatically apply the material.
Andrew is a senior environment and lighting artist at Codemasters Game Studio in Birmingham. He has been in the industry for seven years. This article first appeared in issue 189 of 3D World (opens in new tab) magazine.
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