Materials

For the final foray into my Butchers Crossing environment I had two things in mind: figure out how to use Substance B2M to incorporate a material on the three horses in my scene and correct the scale of the bison/humans/horses in the scene.

I started by searching the internet for tileable furs that I could use for my horse. I found a few and ended up choosing the one featured at the top of the post. 

Integrating the jpg into B2M was really easy, intuitive and fun to mess around with. The only real issues were the ones that happened once I got back into Unreal and had more to do with my hardware than Unreal’s software. 

Once the material was exported from B2M and placed into Unreal, I messed around with the Texture samples and Texture coordinator, tried masking out different colors and so forth and so on but the differences were so minimal that I didn’t feel as if they really needed to be integrated. Once the fur was actually put on the horse, I wasn’t too pleased with the appearance though I think that may have been as a result of the tileable jpg that I went with. 

In these first five or so weeks of class I have certainly learned a lot about Unreal but the biggest takeaway is that Unreal is not meant for Mac’s. Sure, a Mac can run Unreal and you can use the foundational tools like landscape pretty well but when it comes to getting more advanced and integrating characters, animations and materials, you spend more time waiting for shaders to compile or animations to load than you do actually setting up the atmosphere of your scene.

For example, in the movie featured above with the fur material placed on the horse, it doesn’t look that great because of my graphics card. The characters are more of a study in glitch than they are an exploration of realism. 

I was able to adjust the things that were a bit more under my control though: I corrected the scale of the bisons, characters and horses. I adjusted the trees and bushes a bit to make the environment a bit less sparse, too. 

With all that said, I am glad that I got the skills that I did because I feel like the only thing that is holding me back with Unreal is my hardware.  

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