In this guide I will walk you through some of the techniques I used to create the modular building set.
The High Poly texture models and texture samples can be found in the breakdown for sale in the store here:
Building Breakdown + BONUS Highpoly and Texture Files
MODULAR BUILDING SET - STORE PAGE
Creating your Textures and Materials
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At the base of my store fronts I wanted the same ability to easily swap out materials to create even more variety. So I looked at many different reference images to see how store fronts of large and small buildings were built. What types of materials they would use, how they transitioned into the sidewalks, how wide/tall/short they were. Then I picked a couple different material types and create my store front base textures.
Creating the Modular Building Pieces
Unreal Engine 4 Character Scale Reference
Be sure that you have your metrics in Maya set to “Centimeters” because this is the unit system that Unreal uses. So for my store fronts I decide on creating pieces that are 4 meters in length and 3 meters in height. I have also decide to place my pivot at the BOTTOM of my static mesh in the center of the two sides. Again I am looking at a TON of reference photos online of different store fronts to find variety and make sure that the way I am setting up my store fronts is accurate to real life. Where do the doors go, how big are the windows, are there any signs in the windows? Paint on the windows for different store sales throughout the year, can the windows open or are they always closed? Is it a restaurant, a clothing store, a convenience store, all of these things matter because they will determine how the windows are laid out and where the doors are, if they need space for displays in the windows etc..
Now before I apply my materials to the store fronts I have already imported the assets into the Unreal Engine to make sure everything is snapping together and that all of my metrics are correct. There is no point starting to texture your assets yet before you know if they even snap together properly, otherwise you will have to do a ton of re-work making it all snap together first and then having to unwrap it all again too because now you have stretching. So start getting it into the engine right away. Then once you have checked and made sure that it all snaps together well and is on the grid, you can start unwrapping your Static Meshes. Here is an image showing how I am aligning all of my edges along the trims on my Metal Material that we made earlier.
Ensuring Proper Tiling - Throughout Your Modular Pieces
At this point I have created pretty much all of my modular pieces for the building. So now I can make some nice decoration pieces to accompany the buildings that I have made. This can be anything you want it to be, but for myself I made some store signs, some rubble piles on the ground, fire escapes that can go on the side of the building, awnings both torn and intact, some broken windows that I can swap out in the different store fronts, little posters and papers, Health rating Grades for the restaurants, store hour signs, security alarm signs, the list goes on and on. You can really have a lot of fun with this stuff.
Unreal Engine Material Texture Setup
Unreal Engine Material Graph Network
Street lights, street signs like stop signs and no parking signs, plants or vegetation, official sidewalks or roads (these are just created by altering some materials and assets, but I didn’t make any actual roads for this set) benches, telephone poles, bus stops, hanging laundry, large billboards, etc. But you should totally add all of these things to your scene! Haha I would have loved to, but decided to call it finished after spending so much time on it. Perhaps one day I’ll go back to it and make those additions, but until then I hope this breakdown helped some people! I haven’t proof read it yet, cuz I have been staring at the computer for way too long now, but I hope it still conveys the message properly. Enjoy! And as I mentioned before please let me know if you have any other questions or comments!
More Images can be found at the Modular Building Set Store page as well as the final result for further studying! Thanks for reading
MODULAR BUILDING SET - STORE PAGE