Materials: the technical artist's dream
While elements of textures haven’t been a totally new to me; I’ve put some heavy hours into Photoshop over the years. That said, there’s always been concepts that I could not figure out with other engines. A while back I tried my hand at Unity and while importing base textures to it was a breeze, figuring out how to apply basic bump mapping seemed very out there for one who had just picked up the software and was just now trying to figure out C#. Moving from that to the UDK, especially with Materials taking president over base textures, was worlds better.Materials helped me figure out what I was doing, what I can do and, best of all, how easy it is to get proper texture, detail and specular within the game engine.
This screenshot is of a material I’ve been working on for that second UDK level I showed some screenshots of. The focus was to take a previously created texture (in this case, it was the base of the M_PoolDirt_02_Opt material) and revamp it to match a very wet and well trodden piece of mud. Through both my own tinkering and some help from the gracious 3DBuzz, I was able to reach the target as well as grasp how to implement future materials, all within an afternoon. Compare that to what I ended up doing with Unity: Googling, finding someone who coded a solution and then having to backtrack through someones very very ugly script.
I will keep playing around with the editor, and hopefully I’ll have some more to show of it in the near future.