Kurt is a senior environment artist at Microsoft Studio's: The Coalition located in Vancouver, BC, Canada working on the Gears of War franchise. Working previously as an artist at Electronic Arts Canada and Motive Studios, he has contributed to games such as FIFA, Gears of War 4, and Star Wars Battlefront ll. Kurt's main focus in environment art is shader creation, texturing, and sculpting.
To teach students how to create materials and textures for video games, in Unreal Engine 4. Students will also learn high level concepts of material creation, such as what makes a good material, and how to create modular materials, which saves time and makes it easier to edit, iterate and optimize materials. Once finished, students will be able to take the skills they've learned and apply that knowledge of UE4 concepts, shader functions and math to other materials not covered in the course.
By the end of the course, students will have made these master materials (which they can then carry on to use for mostly all future scenarios when creating scenes in Unreal or other node based editors): Prop Material, Layered Material, Refraction Material, Wind Material, Hologram Material, Terrain and architectural Material, Mesh Decal Material, Foliage Material
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Pre-reqs: Basic knowledge of Unreal Engine
Course Format: Standard
Duration: 6 Weeks
Lecture Type: Pre-recorded
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual Recordings
Q&A: Once a week.
*For classes with fewer than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live Q&A session.
Estimated time for course work: 10-20 hours per week
Material Basics: Starting with the basics, we will familiarize ourselves with the material editor in UE4 and basic concepts, such as PBR, metalness and the material editor's UI, in addition to covering a high level overview of the class contents.
Advanced Materials, Part I: Expanding on last week's lesson, we will go a more in depth with creating a master material for props, that we can then use for all unique unwrapped meshes. We will begin setting up a modular shader system and start building a material library. We will also cover opacity, transparency and refraction.
Advanced Materials, Part II, and Material Functions: Now that we have the basis for our master shader, we will add the ability to layer materials on our meshes and edit them using material functions. Next, we will add the option to blend detail maps on top to increase resolution when close to the mesh. And finally, we'll cover a few “special case” materials, such as subsurface and dual normals.
Movement and Time: Next, we will go over time and movement. Nodes such as sin, panner and world position offset will enable us to move verts and textures to make our materials and meshes feel more dynamic.
Advanced Materials for Environments, Part I: In this class, students will start to create a master material for environment pieces, such as terrain and architectural pieces. We will vert paint materials together, modulate that blending and add features such as parallax and wetness.
Advanced Materials for Environments, Part II: In the final class, we will wrap up our terrain master material, and cover mesh decals, used to project unique details across multiple meshes without the use of vertex painting, and create a master foliage shader, using two sided foliage, angle based card culling, and double sided normal maps