That's Unreal!

Ok, continuing from last week's talk about playing to your strengths, I have re-immersed myself into the 3D pipeline..specifically, I'm learning the Unreal Engine.

Unreal Engine + Photoshop

Unreal Engine + Photoshop

 

Guys - This tool is the real deal.  Here's some of the pros:

  1. It's free.  Like, 100%, unlocked, totally free, free.  If you make a game for sale with it, you owe them a percentage...but if you're using it for art?  FREE!  
  2. It comes with literally a 100 gigabytes of useful objects and materials.  The marketplace has so much out there that you can just download off the "learn" tab.  Trees, buildings, terrains, objects, characters....
  3. You can import .obj files.  There are so many free 3D objects on the net in this format, you have basically an unlimited library.  Sketchup exports as .obj from the free version, so you can pull down any object from their 3D warehouse and save it to a format Unreal Engine can use....not to mention modeling your own stuff.  All of this 100% free and 100% legal.
  4. If you want to pay money, the Unreal Marketplace has an amazing amount of high quality assets that require no setup or configuring to work.
  5. It renders in real time.  Making animations is absurdly simple and FAST.
  6. Knowing a game engine in any sense is very appealing to video game studios....at the very least, it helps you understand the pipeline, and it could very well be a way to get your foot in the door.

While it is completely possible to create final art in Unreal Engine, I've been using it as a base to paint on top of in Photoshop....I find it faster when you just need a still image to adjust lighting and to modify existing things into complex objects as pixels instead of 3D.

An unmodified Unreal Engine output.

An unmodified Unreal Engine output.

I screencap'ed that from UE at 12,000x5,000 pixels in under a minute.  From there, I took it into Photoshop and ended up with this:

The final piece of concept art.

The final piece of concept art.

The Unreal Engine interface is super intuitive, and there are hundreds of tutorials online, both text and video....for free.  

If you've been looking into breaking into some form of 3D with your work pipeline, I highly recommend this tool!

Thanks for reading, please let me know if you get into Unreal and what you create with it!