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!
In this video tutorial, Nick Reynolds shows some cool ways you can use Selection Constraint in Maya. This tutorial particularly touches on selection constraints when making low poly models and having hard edges where there are UV splits. Don’t forget to check out his Gumroad page for more stuff.
Nick actually has a whole series of tips. He releases a new video every Tuesday, addressing some particular issue in the 3d workflow and providing his solution. The videos are very varied, covering a bunch of topics: from PBR to photoscans and scattering. We’ve worked with Nick to present some of his tutorials as videos on 80.lv. You will be able to download all related files (including the videos) over at his Gumroad. It’s completely free.