A blog about VFX, scripting, van renovation, and some other gubbins.


Week 2 Logbook

Published 8th October 2018 by Henry

Model something every day

– Kristian Avigni, 2018

In keeping with this quote I will be modelling something every day.

Model of the day: Fire extinguisher

More bottle work

Display > Polygons > Custom Polygon Display Options

Check the Edges: Soft/Hard radio to show soft edges as dotted lines

Mesh Display > Soften Edge


UV Mapping

Always try to place cuts at points where the player won’t see


Substance Painter

Import UV mapped FBX

F1 F2 F3 : toggle views


HDR Environment Images

(Disney) PBR – Physically Based Rendering

Shift + RMB : Rotate environment


Material is almost always either metal (1) or not metal (0), very rare that it would ever be in between

Tab – Fullscreen toggle


Texture Settings tab > BAKE

File > Export Textures > Targa

Config : Unreal engine 4 (Packed)

(Base, occlusion, normal, emissive)



VERTEX E-Book – worth downloading. Brick texturing etc

Materials and texturing

Hold RMB > Assign new material… > Lambert

Click checkerbox next to Color map and choose File

Load an image


Texel Density

To match up texture texel densities across meshes, select the mesh with the desired texel density and do:

UV Toolkit > Transform > Texel Density > Get

Then select the target mesh and go to the same place > Hit set


TIP: Cluster textures by location i.e. if they are likely to be viewed at the same time. Otherwise, a texture may be loaded for one small object which has lots of other textures on it that don’t even get seen!


TIP: Plan plan plan… Plan everything to be modular and follow the grid.


UV Editing

Cut then Unfold then Orient Shells

Set Texel density to 1.0767

REMEMBER! Freeze transformations before you start



Updating grid to larger 10, 100 etc

Importing wall and floor mesh

Position using larger grid and then reduce the grid to ‘fine tune’

In the content browser, if there is an asterisk on a model then it hasn’t been saved. Ensure you save regularly.

Unreal Engine 4


Study the packaged content to see how they are made

Content Browser > Starter Content


Spacebar flicks between Move Rotate Scale tools


Settings > Engine Scalability Settings : Change the viewport quality

Start working with TOP DOWN for 1st Module

World Outliner > Navigation Mesh Bounds Volume : This sets the clickable area for a top down game


Texturing in Photoshop

Ensure textures are power of 2 and, ideally, square

Alt + Click bottom edge of layer  : Only affect layer below

Difference between 16bit TGA and 24bit TGA : Alpha channel

Channels: Black and White information (0/1)

Spot Healing Brush Tool : J

TIP: Don’t use noisy textures to start. Begin with a plain texture and build up.

Tiling Textures

Filter > Other > Offset

Set the values to half the width and height of the image so you have seams through the centre

Then use the Spot Healing brush tool to clear the seams. Voila!



Substance Painter

Drag image file into Shelf

Choose ‘Texture’ from dropdown, and ‘current session’ from other dropdown

Modelling a bunker in Maya


UV > Tools > Rotate : Useful to quickly rotate shells


Texel Density

Texel Density is the ratio between the texture size and the size of the mesh. So for a 300×300 (3mx3m) mesh and a 512×512 texture, the Texel Density is 1.7067. This is the number that all meshes in the scene should be in order to look good.


TIP: Get into the habit of freezing and deleting history regularly.



Building the bunker

Alt+Drag: copy the item

TOP TIP: If for example you have a wall and duplicate it on the other side of a hallway, the UV will be the wrong side. What to do? Use inverse scale. Change X scale from 1.0 to -1.0. This will effectively mirror the object.



For mobile, static lights only



Ctrl + Spacebar : Fullscreen mode


Module 1 Project Day

Continued to model assets and level



Week 1 Retrospective


Concept and Initial Design

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