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Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Allegorithmic has published a new article with Robert Berg about the way he mixed Substance tools and photogrammetry approach to create his marvelous Scandinavian forest. The post is basically a step-by-step guide that describes all the essential steps.
Here are some details on how Robert jumped from RealityCapture to Substance:
Everything starts by exporting a high poly mesh with textures from RealityCapture. This could be tens of millions of tris, or a medium high poly around 1-2 million tris.
From the medium mesh I created a low poly by decimating it down to game resolution and doing some quick cleanup of ugly edges.
The initial bake of the Diffuse/BaseColor, Normal and AO is done in Xnormal. Those maps along with the lowpoly mesh are then brought into Substance Painter and Substance Designer for the cleanup work (more on that later) Inside Substance Painter I use the medium-poly mesh to bake out the additional maps such as World Space and Position Maps that can be used to add additional detail inside Substance Painter or as a part of the delighting process.
I always use the captured albedo for my assets, as that is, in my opinion, the thing that makes photogrammetry special. All those little details that are very hard to capture in a handcrafted material or model.
Make sure to read the full guide here.