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Several questions from a newbie: models, lighting and streaming

Hi there,

I'm fairly new to UE4. I had several try outs to see if I could get stuff going. Each time I threw it out, out of frustration.

Now that part isn't relevant right now, to avoid it happening again I want to beat a few frustrations, before it goes into overall frustration. (and stops me from trying again :P )

First off: I am using a model I got of the internet as my "test" model. Now this is a gltf which I got to import with the 4.19's support for it. Which is great and all: but it imports as like 20 different elements.Now I understand that's how models work, but how would I go about making it into "one", right now I made an actor blueprint and added them all. Which seems to work, but is this the way to go actually? Like renderwise, doesn't this like create "lag" if say 20 of the same model get's shown? (just thinking for the future, like perhaps it's not relevant then, but it's a nice to know "if" it's a relevant part)

Second off: Lighting/level, I want to make a "simple" space game for now. How would I light this? .. say I'd want a sun, with "real" units: I have 0 idea how to not have a black level. I understand to work with a light importance mass. But do I move that along with the model? And where to position the lights.. ideally it's just based on "how close to the light source" .. but yeh.. I also don't want stuff to turn black 'cause they are too far.

Thirdly: Level streaming, like I'd like to create a perpetual level. My idea already is to follow a thought I've seen on an earlier post. To move the world around the model rather than the model itself (so keeping 0,0,0 for the model) but how do I visualize this in level streaming? So, say you travel (without some form of lightspeed, just normal travel), for an hour 1 way. I can't imagine having loaded the entire level for one hour. So I can image level streaming being part of this, but would this be like: if you moved x meters, start loading new level , then after another x meters "enter that level" . Or is it as simple as: once you hit the edge of the old level, load the new level?

Finally: Related to the "entire level loading". How would one work with a skybox in this? Is it just some generic starmap you load on the skybox and have that move along. Won't this get too bland?

Oh well that's it for now. These are things keeping me back for a while and it feels like some steps in these move from newbie to, just a bit more knowledgeable newbie

Thx for any answers.

Product Version: UE 4.19 Preview
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asked Jan 29 '18 at 06:30 PM in Using UE4

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3 answers: sort voted first

Ok, lets see:

1- When you import one model, unreal show you a box with a lot of options. Looks for the "combine meshes" option and chet it. That way you got your object imported as one unique object instead of lot of parts.

2- You can use Directional light for your level, those light are paralel and are not affected by the distance. For indirect light use skylight.

3- There a couple of ways you can do your streaming and all depend how you create your level. You can use trigger volumes to detect when you are reaching an end of area, so you can streaming the next oone in order. But as i says before, you can use other ways to do it.

4- For the skybox, you need to add one object to do that, can be done with a sphere or semisphere or a cube. Everything depend of your needs. Just be sure your skybox object dont have collision and no cast shadows! if you dont want problems.

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answered Jan 29 '18 at 07:02 PM

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avatar image djmulder Jan 29 '18 at 07:23 PM

Thx for the answers :)

  1. Hm I don't get that popup, I just get a generic file select dialog with no checkboxes and just a select/cancel. The moment I select it starts importing happily and fills my content folder with 20 different models all related to each other. Here are the steps: alt text alt text alt text alt text

  2. Ok thx .. I think I can work with this.

  3. Well the "future" idea is to get level data from the server. Is there some "best practices" site or something?

  4. Well that's my idea and how I do it now. But I meant: what would the data be to make it look "real enough" like a pre-rendered starmap or is there some other way that ppl do?

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Change the name to the object before importing it. or delete the old one on the content browser before importing again.. If one object has been imported before, then Unreal editor do not show the importing option box. The box comes after the selection on the browser.

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answered Jan 29 '18 at 07:36 PM

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avatar image Micky Jan 29 '18 at 07:40 PM

For the star field a good solution is create a good shader, that moves, blinks, and colorize the stars. If you use a fix image is not going to look good.

avatar image djmulder Jan 29 '18 at 07:43 PM

Ok cool thx, that's actually a good idea.

avatar image djmulder Jan 29 '18 at 07:40 PM

same thing sadly

avatar image djmulder Jan 29 '18 at 07:43 PM

ah found the problem. Apparently importing gltf doesn't give said popup. I just did a fbx and I see the popup you mean.

avatar image CGough Jan 29 '18 at 08:01 PM

Yes try to avoid anything but FBX, OBJ I feel are okay but I'd use 3Ds MaX or whatever 3d software of your choice to import models and export them as FBX for Unreal.

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You can use my plugin https://c4gio.itch.io/gltf-for-ue4.

It is free.

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answered Mar 18 '19 at 05:32 PM

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