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!
Quixel founder Teddy Bergsman Lind has recently published a link to the new update to the Quixel Suite package. The 2.3 version of the tool gives access to a bunch of new materials (wood, metal, fabric, plastic, stone, dirt) and features some very cool technical additions.
For example, Quixel Suite now supports 4K screen and HDPI, boasts improved Megascans integration and has a ton of other improvements to the re-importer, dynamask editor, material creator and exporter. You can download the update through the updater or update manually, by downloading this file. The full list of features is pretty hefty, but you can study it in the evening to get a better understanding of the improvements.
– Added support to import multiple Megascans simultaneously.
– Fixed issues with multiple meshgroups not re-importing textures correctly
– Updated Quixel Colors to latest version
– Fixed bug where some workflows (UE4 (RMA) etc.) did not automatically set the FlipNormalY checkbox
– Exporter: always defaults to <ProjectPath>\flats as the output folder unless changed
– Exporter: fixed some anomalies with the UI
– Fixed bug where Megascans materials weren’t showing thumbnails in DDO layer stack
– Allowed Re-importer and Base Creator windows to also accept PSB files as input
– Added “Normal” Material Blend mode to the DDO dropdowns.
– Fixed bug where Custom Material Creator would not load default (expected) camera/post-process settings in 3DO
– NDO: Fixed bug where NDO conversion would rename user PSD to BaseMaterial [Normal].psd in a temp folder
– Fixed bug where UE4 (RMA Packed) export preset would not correctly export AO in the reflection map.
– Added Fallout 4 export preset
– Fixed bug with Material Creator where Specular was being treated as a grayscale map, causing issues
– Fixed bugs with Megascans Import feature, where changing the default save location wasn’t highlighting the correct material in the UI
– Material Updates: several new materials added across all categories; Decay materials are now replaced/moved to the Metal folder,
– Added option to enable/disable import optimizations when loading a mesh
– Mesh importer updated to latest version
– Fixed re-importer issues with multiple mesh groups
– Reimporter now populates map links for multiple mesh groups.
– Reimporter color ID map for multiple mesh groups now works.
– Reimporter now correctly converts PSD files to PSB when switching from lower resolutions to > 8k (and vice versa; converting back to PSD from PSB)
– Updated Exporter to force 32-bits for Arnold linear preset
– Removed redundant option in DDO menu to re-import Mesh (as this can now be done through the re-importer window)
– Fixed bug where the Mesh Import process would run twice in some scenarios
– Fixed bug with Material Browser hiding indefinitely if Create button is pressed on an Empty (Custom) category
– Fixed bug with Dynamask window where ID Brightness tab value wasn’t being stored and retrieved correctly from the project XML
– Fixed bug with grayscale maps exported with minute graininess in them (due to conversion to RGB)
– Updated Dota2 export preset
– Renamed LoL export preset to “Hand-painted”
– Added Instant Light PBR Renderer export preset
– DDO Projection Creation: Removed prompt to re-enter project resolution if no inputs are provided, which was ignoring the setting already provided
– Fixed bug where AlbedoM was not propagating correctly to 3DO in 3D paint mode
– Fixed bug where SUITE updater window wasn’t launching automatically on new version
– Updated SUITE UI to correctly scale on HDPI resolutions
– Fixed “Learn” URL on Updater window
– Improved compatibility logic for automatic XML updates for when new Photoshop Versions are launched
– Fixed bug where RMA packed UE4 exporter generates wrong AO in blue channel (from other mesh group)
– Fixed symmetry painting for x/y planes for the fourth quadrant
– Fixed issue with metalness default value not being set in some cases
– Fixed minimum brush size not being respected with pen pressure, when setting in the options
– Fixed maximize issues after moving title-bar in fullscreen mode
– Added GGX checkbox to toggle GGX at runtime
– Fixed bump map intensity lower than normal
– Fixed default settings for bakers (when creating new project)
– Fixed general UI scaling
– Fixed bug where clicking on post processing would trigger resizing
– Fixed bug where painting would stop completely if Symmetry painting was enabled
– Fixed bug where Repeating a paint stroke wasn’t functioning correctly with Symmetry painting
– Fixed bug where the distance threshold for latching on a mesh for viewport rotation/zooming was inconsistent with respect to mesh sizes.
– Added support for latched rotation/zooming with Primitive meshes as well
– Fixed bug where brush sizes were inconsistent with respect to mesh sizes
– Fixed inconsistencies with Wireframe mode; color picker was affecting both wireframe and painting color simultaneously, wireframe mode toggling was buggy etc.
– Updated 3DO UI icons to have better Anti-aliasing
– Improved Wireframe shaders performance
– Fixed gloss preview shader to show correct value
– Separated Metalness and Roughness maps for 3DO to be able to show variations such as Metalness and Gloss
– Fixed bug where maps that were NOT being painted on in color paint mode Fullbright shaders would show black.
– Fixed bug where entering light values in input field and pressing Enter would update UI but not update lighting
– Fixed bug where AmbientIntensity was not being saved as part of postProcess preset values
– 3DO window can now be resized from any side
– Updated all multimap map shaders to properly calculate Gamma/Linear values when lerping in paint mode
– Updated PBR shader to correctly calculate values for each component (Gamma/Linear corrections)
– Increased the range for Proximity Tolerance Slider in paint mode to allow more flexibility
– Brush sizes are now relative to the mesh; this should avoid cases where brush would stay small on larger meshes
– Brushes now have tool tips (names)
– Brushes can now be added to favorites
– Updated to latest version of Unity and OpenGL
– Viewport: Added mouse icons to indicate when camera is close enough to latch to 3d points on the mesh for rotation/scaling etc.
– Fixed rendering inconsistency issues with 3D painting shaders
– Fixed issues with other map shaders going black in color paint mode
– Fix Roughness not matching expected values
– Updated UI to be scalable for HDPI resolutions
– Added new “Favourites” tab for paint brushes
– Baker: Fixed issues with AO/Curvature not baking the first tile sometimes
– Added auto-save UI settings feature in 3DO (last used settings remain persistent across sessions)