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!
Check out a brilliant freemium video guide to HDR image-based lighting workflow by Gleb Alexandrov, 3D artist and the founder of Creative Shrimp.
- Video Info: 1.5 hours, 1920 x 1080 (download and streaming), MP4 format
- Project Files and Bonuses
- Software Used: Blender 2.78, Cycles
- Skill Level: Intermediate
You can find more details on the course here.