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!
Chaos Group has recently shared a written tutorial by Ramy Hanna that shows the way you can use V-Ray’s Displacement modifier and VRayFur to generate different rugs. Let’s study the guide.
Here’s a little piece to get you interested:
Now we’ll eplore using VRayFur to create our rug strands. Using VRayFur in a scene is quite simple and can be done in one of the two ways. For both methods, first select the object for which you will generate fur.
1. In the Command Panel, choose the Create tab.
2. Be sure the Geometry button is selected.
3. In the rollout, choose V-Ray from the list.
4. Finally, select the VRayFur button.
This series of steps creates the VRayFur object, and you will instantly see strands of fur on your selection.
Method 2 (my preference):
If you have the V-Ray Toolbar open, with your object selected, simply click on the VRayFur button that has an icon of what looks like grass. Easy enough.
As you can see, the default settings are less than ideal. With just a few tweaks, however, we can achieve the desired effect.
This one is self-explanatory. To start, I changed the length from the default of 1’3″ to 0.125″. We will discuss various lengths again shortly.
Here, I adjusted the thickness from 0.2″ to 0.02″.
This is the one value that doesn’t change in real life, so I left it as the default setting. Of course, if you’re going for a unique look, feel free to change this up. That’s why it’s here!
For now, I’m leaving this as the default value.
Taper determines how thin the strand gets as it approaches the tip. The default is at 0.0 with no taper, while 1.0 means it goes to a sharp point. For this exercise, I adjusted the value to 0.85.
For now, I won’t adjust any of the variation amounts, but we will look at the way Distribution works.
Per area is the default setting. This setting simply means that for every square inch in the scene there are X number of strands. Switching to Per face tells V-Ray to place X number of strands within each face. I have found this method to be more consistent for giving me the results that I desire. However, keep in mind that small faces will have the same number of strands as large faces, so it really comes down to the effect you are trying to achieve.
You can find the full tutorial here.