Thursday, March 28, 2024

Unreal Engine 5: Constructing Worlds With Quixel Megascans

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

It continues from the Unreal Engine 5 Tutorial for Novices that launched the essential ideas of working within the Unreal Engine 5 editor. In the event you aren’t already aware of 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 an excellent grasp on:

  • Discovering high-quality Megascans belongings by way of the Quixel Bridge
  • Working inside Unreal Engine’s built-in Panorama Editor
  • Making use of all of the instruments accessible 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 sport is a mighty submarine. Time to present this submarine a world to discover!

Word: This tutorial makes use of Unreal Engine 5.2. Nevertheless, Epic Video games continually updates Unreal Engine, so your model could be totally different than what’s proven within the photographs right here, and views would possibly change because the engine evolves.

Getting Began

Obtain the starter venture by clicking Obtain supplies on the prime 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 on your submarine to navigate by. Within the course of, you’ll learn to add textures to surfaces, combine textures for a customized look and add premade belongings 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 your entire asset library accessible to Unreal Engine customers. Unreal Engine 4.24 marked the start of an built-in workflow to convey Quixel belongings into Unreal Engine video games. Examples of objects and textures fantastically captured by photogrammetry and accessible by way of the Megascans library are proven under.

With the discharge of Unreal Engine 5, the combination of Quixel has improved additional. Now, it’s fairly seamless to go looking Quixel belongings within the Unreal Engine editor, then obtain and add these to your sport 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 belongings 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 aspect panels.

Initial project view

If the World Partition isn’t open, open it with Window ▸ World Partition ▸ World Partition Editor. By default, when you haven’t beforehand loaded a streaming world asset, you’ll want to spotlight after which select to load a area into the editor to show landscapes and belongings at present within the map.

Load Region From Selection

Panorama Mode

After you load the area, the scene remains to be empty aside from a post-process quantity that provides the world a bluish tint and an underwater environment. It’s time to construct a panorama! So, subsequent, it’s worthwhile to 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 aspect of your editor window. After getting a Panorama, these Sculpt controls will likely be accessible.

showing sculpt option selected

However earlier than you should use them, you’ll must have a Panorama, both by creating one or importing current information to be the premise of the Panorama. You’ll quick-start a Panorama on this venture by importing a pre-generated heightmap. Swap 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 offered 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 supply a fundamental beginning texture to see in your panorama.
  4. Use the default General 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 that you would be able to edit with the instruments within the Sculpt menu.


The sculpting instruments work on the underlying heightmap of your panorama. As you’re employed with these instruments, the left mouse button performs the at present 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 lets you left-click and drag to mark a beginning and ending level for a ramp. After setting these positions within the Software Settings under the motion buttons, you’ll be able to Add Ramp to finalize and construct a sculpted ramp into the heightmap.
  • Erosion simulates thermal erosion to maneuver soil from greater elevations to decrease ones by pure forces. This could 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 step by step affected the Landscapes over time.
  • Noise lets you paint onto a Panorama floor with variations in heights.
  • Retop or Retopologize instruments alter the Panorama to enhance the vertex densities in areas which will require it, like very steep cliff edges. This may increasingly assist scale back artifacts like texture stretching.

Be happy to attempt all of the totally different sculpting instruments to switch the undersea panorama. Don’t neglect 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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