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Making SIMS 4 Movie/Machinima in Unreal Engine 5 (UE5)

 

(@panda-montok)
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This tutorial is under construction. Currently this thread will contain my learning how to do it.

Tips: Changing the font size of UE 5 user interface:
Shift + Ctrl + W > Change the value of Application Scale to your liking.

There things to learn on how to make movie on UE5:

  1. Preparing the scene
  2. How to use sequencer
  3. Blender to UE5 Add on
  4. How to exprot from DAZ 3D to belnder
  5. How to export a character from Blender to UE5
  6. Exporting a character from DAZ 3D to Unreal Engine with the rig
  7. Migrating
  8.  
  9. -
  10. -
  11. TIPS

How to export character from Blender to UE5

1. Preparing the scene

This video from Unreal Sensei contains a very helpful video for beginner who knows nothing about UE5 to make a landscape. You'll learn how to navigate  in UE5, understanding the UI, to how to make a landscape. This will be our foundation of almost everything.

Unreal Engine 5 Beginner Tutorial - UE5 Starter Course!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQmiqmxJMtA

To light a scene:

  1. Create Directional Light
    To have a sun light that we can direct
    To have a light shaft:
    Light Shaft Occlusion : True
    Light Shaft Bloom : True
    You can also use temperature, to make it look cold and warm.
  2. Create Visual Effects > Sky Atmosphere
    Mobility: Moveable
    To have a sky
  3. Create Visual Effects > Exponential Height Fog
    To not have a bottomless ground
    Start Distance : 5000
    The distance from the camera where the fog will start in world unit.
  4. Create Lights > Sky Light
    Real time capture: True
    Mobility: Moveable
    Intensity Scale (To control the strength of the light)
    To have the light from sky itself
  5. Create Visual Effects >PostProcessVolume
    Infinite Extent (Unbound) : True
    Final Gather Quality : 2
    Metering Mode : Manual
    Exposure Compensation: 12
    To have a fix exposure all over the place
    You can also add saturation.

To texture align with the world:

The size of applied texture usually follows the scaling of an object. If you want to keep the tiling to be fixed no matter how big your object is, follow this tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXOknekvmwE

https://dev.epicgames.com/community/learning/courses/k6N/creating-world-aligned-textures/5rp/world-aligned-textures-and-normals

To fix blurry texture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVf1iEiYKls

Userinterface2d (RGBA)
Nominimap

To create material instance and adding parameters to master material:
Material instance enables you to make variant materials from the same / master material with different properties. For example a wood material - the first instance, the pattern were horizontal, the second one were vertical.

We can do this by adding parameters to the master material. Parameters are number you can change influencing the look of the material.

https://youtu.be/gQmiqmxJMtA?t=4481

To rotate texture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnbujOHlZ9A

To tile texture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM3-N_HSH3Y

My complete texture setup for rotation, tiling, scale, and offset:

 

To apply multiple material on a single object:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx1BzUdpEcY

To break tiling repetitive using texture_bombing node

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd1N8paY4V4

To duplicate meshes using spline:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmOSut0h6kI

Instead of duplicating meshes one by one, there's a procedural way to do it by using Blueprint and Spline. There isn't any good tutorial on how to make this, but tiedtke. made it for free. You can download it and the link is in the description of his video.

To add a spline point:

RMB > Add Spline Point here

 

On Blender assign multiple material, then export it. Later, on UE5 we can change the material.

To group actors:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/4.27/en-US/Basics/Actors/Grouping/

2. How to use the sequencer

If you want to make movie you need to learn how to use sequencer. It's like a movie editor with many perks.

Unreal Engine has good tutorials on how to use sequencer. Although it's UE4, but it's still relevant for UE5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEnfMV-4afA&list=PLdh88bpMSAhLvnh3YGE4zpy47G8xvY078

1. Add Master Sequence
The main editor holding scenes/shots/level sequences.

2. How to make a shot / level sequence to be put on sequence master:

  1. We put our set and our character on the scene.
  2. Then add Track > Add Actor to Sequence. We add our camera and character actors.
  3. Sequencer - Under the character, we can pick animation (You need to have one)
  4. To make the shot visible, we need to add Camera Cuts and choose our camera actor.

Add keyframe:

Press S: location, rotation, and scale

Press Shift + W: location

Press Shift + E: rotation

Press Shift + R: scale

 

Trimming a shot:
CTRL + , : Trim left

CTRL + . : Trim right

CTRL + / : Split

 

How to pilot and view from camera actor

Click on the camera actor on the viewport > Ctrl + Shift P

or RMB on the camera actor > Pilot '(the name of the camera)'

To stop piloting the camera:

To pilot the camera:

Front, back, left, right, up and down: RMB + WASD QR

Zoom in and out: Scroll MMB

 

Shortcuts to add a camera actor on the scene, camera cuts on the sequencer, connect both of them on pilot the camera actor:

How to render an image

For UE 5.0.2 You need to activate the Movie render queue plugin first.

Restart

Menu Window > Cinematics > Movie Render Queue

 

3. Blender to UE5 Addon

You don't need to export all your assets to FBX anymore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apa9EXI2KZA&list=PLZlv_N0_O1gZfQaN9qXynWllL7bzX8H3t&index=2

Name: send2ue_2.0.2.zip

Edit > Plugins > python script utilities plugin

Edit > Project Settings > Enable Remote Execution

If someday you pass an error: "Could not find an open instance of unreal" try to check both settings.

On Blender when you export many objects, see the progress stats at the left lower bottom.

Tips: When you export a mesh that you're going to use as an asset, make sure on Blender it's on the center of the world. If not the pivot point of the mesh on UE5 will be not at the center of the mesh.

You may also encounter an error saying something about no smooth.

You can fix this by going to Pipeline > Export > Settings Dialog > Export Tab > Click FBX Export Settings > Geometry: Settings - Change it from normal only to face.

4. How to export from Daz to Blender

Currently there's a free bridge that allows you to export a mesh from Daz to UE. But I'm having a lot of difficulty of making this work. And it can't export to UE5, only to a certain previous version.

So the alternative is to export it to Blender then to UE5. Using the free bridge:

https://www.daz3d.com/daz-to-blender-bridge

First, make sure you have DAZ 4.20.
It doesn't work with the previous version. The script menu to export just won't appear.

Second, make sure you have Blender 2.9. Because the bridge have a bug on later versions of Blender - It can't import Daz 3D Mesh Props.

Third, download and install the bridge using Daz Central or Daz Isntall Manager.
You can watch their video how to do it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU19u4D1PK4&feature=youtu.be

Tips: If you use Blender mobile version, you need to copy the addon located in the Daz Bridge the file to your Blender add folder. Then activate it.

 

5. How to export character from Blender to UE5

My Blender To Unreal Engine Character Workflow | Tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY4Q8cYBLP8

This video helps us how to export a character, the rig, and animation from Blender to UE5

6. How to export a character from DAZ3D to UE5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxDxZvakz54&list=WL&index=1

7. Migrating

If you want to use assets from different project you need to migrate it. Don't just copy with Windows Explorer.

Warning: Always migrate older projects of UE to the default content folder. Don't move it to another folder. Don't move them afterward either. At current state of UE5.1, it will breaks everything. 

 

 

10. TIPS

How to change default rotation of a mesh.

When you put a mesh/object to a scene, it faces certain direction. This is how to change it:

  1. In content browser, double click the mesh.
  2. In the Mesh Editor, find import rotation, change the value as you need.
  3. Back to content broswer, RMB the mesh > Action mesh > Export
    Just use the default settings
  4. RMB the mesh > Reimport > Import FBX

 

Learn to model inside Unreal Engine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9InU0xbX7l0

Navigation

1. ALT+MMB : Move pivot point of a mesh. Press ALT + V to snap the pivot point to points while MMB.

Press v also to snap object using the pivot point.

Remember to right click > pivot > Set as Pivot Offset
The pivot will stay at the current position, else it will snap back to it's original.

2. Changing the snapping increments

https://docs.unrealengine.com/4.27/Images/Basics/Actors/ActorSnapping/EditorPreferencesSnapping.webp

 

 

1. Blender - Script to delete all uv map based on the names of multiple objects

import bpy
selected = bpy.context.selected_objects

bad_uvmap = 'uv_6' # Enter the UV map name you want to remove here
print("Deleting unwanted UV Layers")
for obj in selected:
 if obj.type == "MESH":
  bad_uvlayer = obj.data.uv_layers.get(bad_uvmap)
 if bad_uvlayer != None:
  obj.data.uv_layers.remove(bad_uvlayer)

3. Updating the location of your UE projects.
Open UE launcher, create a new project on the new location folder.

4. Press 'END' to snap object to the ground.

5. Ctrl + Alt + LMB: Select marque

6. Unreal Engine use DirectX Normal. Blender uses OpenGL Normal.

 

11. Unreal Engine Terms

1. Blueprints: a visual programming by connecting nodes. Technically and function wise It's the same of a traditional writing codes but instead of writing hundreds of texts, we connect nodes. Each nodes serve different functions.

2. Lumen: a lighting engine that has a prominent feature of global illumination in real time. Where in previous technology it's very costly in term of performance.

3. Nanite: A technology that allows the mesh to have less or more polygons dynamically. Nanite gives you freedom of not to think again of polycounts in developing 3D games or movie. At least for static mesh.

This topic was modified 4 months ago 21 times by Panda Montok
This topic was modified 3 months ago 28 times by Panda Montok
This topic was modified 2 months ago 3 times by Panda Montok

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