Setting Up a Photorealistic Villa Using UE5 and Megascans

Marian Latecka showed the workflow behind the Ghoull Villa project, explained the modeling and lighting settings in Unreal Engine 5, and shared the importance of collision settings. 

Ghoull Villa Project

Hello everyone. My name is Marian Latecka. I am a 3D Artist who specializes professionally in ArchViz and textures. In my free time, I focus on Unreal Engine, where I mostly create animations and static renders. The main goal of this project was to create an architectural playable real-time presentation that looks good and is created in the shortest possible time. I used an old house model that I presented some time ago during the closed beta version for Megascans Trees.

The model was created only for the camera view, so I had to remodel the missing sides. The individual segments of the house are not complicated. It mostly involves box modelling, extruding, and bevelling to avoid sharp edges. Basic mapping and box mapping 200x200x200 cm were used. This dimension corresponds to the Megascans textures.

I had to change virtual shadows to Shadow Map as they were reducing my FPS to 23 frames. With a Shadow Map, I achieved 60-70 FPS. I also enabled Hardware Ray Tracing support to make the reflections look nice. The entire project is based on Lumen. To fine-tune the details of the environment, I used Megascans assets and free assets provided by Epic Games such as Megascans Trees. 

For the Megascans Trees: European Hornbeam, I had to make some changes in the texture settings. They are primarily set to 8K or 4K resolution. By reducing the resolution of some textures to 1K, I gained a few extra FPS. I used other assets in 2K resolution. The arrangement of elements in the scene was done manually. I placed each tree or rock in a way that masked empty spaces and created a nice composition.

Lighting 

In the project, I also focused on lighting and materials. To achieve the desired atmospheric and visual effects, I utilized dynamic lighting. The sky is created using an HDR Map and a material whose settings can be found in the attached image. It consists of a simple sphere with the material applied to it.

Materials

The selection of materials took a bit longer. I tested various combinations for the facade, sidewalks, and so on. In many cases, I had to adjust the texture tiling to make them look better on the models. You can see some settings here: 

As it often happens, there is always a problem that arises. In my case, I forgot to set up collisions for objects. You can see the settings in the images:

I have learned that it's better to plan everything in advance before starting a project. Every little detail can significantly affect the overall performance of the game. I have also delved deeper into game development. I consider it a very valuable experience, and in approximately two weeks, I have made significant progress in terms of knowledge. Therefore, I recommend to everyone undertake such mini projects for themselves, as it ensures personal growth in knowledge.

Marian Latecka, 3D Artist

Interview conducted by Theodore McKenzie

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