Hey, whats up guys – today we’re going to our second part of our lesson which is preparing our 3D studio max files. We need to make sure a few things are setup and done in our 3dsmax project file, so that the meshes in 3ds max will be ready to be imported and baked in Unreal Engine.
Ensure project scale is in centimeters.
So the first thing we want to show you guys is to make sure that your project scale is correct.
A lot of archviz artists who use 3d studio max, usually they use millimeters (mm) as their unit s when they do up their projects. However, Unreal Engine uses centimeters so we have to make sure that everything in our 3ds file is using the cm scale.
If you have followed our previous lesson and set up the 3ds Max to use the centimeters (cm) unit scale, when you open your 3ds max file that was previously done in millimeters, it will prompt you to change the unit scale.
Make sure to rescale the file objects to the system unit scale.
This is very important because if you do not rescale your models back to centimeters, when you import into Unreal Engine later, the files, or the models will be really huge, ten times bigger than what you intended. The imported models will not be to scale.
When you move around and explore around you will feel like you are exploring a giant house. Therefore we have to rescale our models into cm.
Renaming meshes and removing cameras/lights
Okay after we have rescaled our file, the next step is to rename our meshes. There are two reasons to this. The first reason is so that we work with a more organised way of naming. We will have a more smarter way of naming our meshes when we work in Unreal Engine. The other more important reason why we have to rename the meshes is because when we are using TS tools to export our models into unreal engine the names have to be unique. They cannot be duplicate names. If there is a repeat of names, you’ll realise that when you import into unreal engine later, some of the models will not be imported correctly(I won’t elaborate how but trust me on this).
For good organisation’s sake, I will rename the meshes in categories. For example, these sofa, so I will rename them as Sofa and I like to put ‘sm’ in front which stands for static meshses.
I will continue naming the meshes categorically.
For the rest of the meshses that have no category, or i just don’t have a name for them, I will rename them using a generic name. For example the walls.
We will also remove the camera and lights as we will not be importing these in. The cameras will be reinserted in UE4 and the lights as well.
Unwrapping 2nd channel UVW
Next we will need to UVW unwrap our models. This is very important because the lighting data that is being rendered in Unreal Engine is being stored in these maps, called lightmaps. , they are stored in the channel 2 in our UVW unwrap modifier.
In the past, every meshes have to be manually unwrapped, by going to the meshes , create a UVW unwrap modifier and flatten the maps manually.
Then flatten the mapping
However, now this can be done automatically for every static meshes using the steam roller script. So we can just highlight all our meshes and press on the steamroller shortcut we created.
Once that is done, every mesh would have been unwrapped.
Exporting Static Meshes
Okay and the last step is to export these meshes into a FBX file.
Firstly make sure every meshes are ungrouped. The TS_tools script will not work well with grouped objects. We can group these objects later in Unreal Engine again.
Once that is done, we can export every single mesh into an FBX file. We can highlight all our meshes and click on the TS_tools icon that we created earlier.
Choose an appropriate path and then export the meshes.
An FBX Option pop up will appear. You can follow these settings to export your objects.
Ensure that the units are in centimeters and we are using FBX2014 ASCII version.
Once that is done, just press ok and enjoy a cup of coffee while TS_Tools export these meshes. There may be some errors popping up, so don’t worry about them for now.
Okay, so we just select all, export it to, let’s just put it on the desktop, I like to call it export, save, and just make sure that it’s the units is automatic and you can see that it is in centimeters.
Hope You enjoy the course.
P.S If you enjoyed our tutorial series, do subscribe to our youtube channel where we cover new features in Unreal Engine and other tutorials that will help in your archviz projects in Unreal engine. Check out the channel here.
Also don’t forget to check out our pro-course where we guide you step by step on how to create a realistic exterior/interior archviz in Unreal Engine here.