Thea Materials and Rhino-3dsMax-UE Interoperability

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Benjamin76
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I just start learning Unreal Engine 4. I adopt the workflow that sets up texture mapping in Rhino and prepares light maps through Unwrap in 3ds Max, using FBX as the bridge to connect Rhino, 3ds Max, and Unreal. I was really surprised to see that some Thea Materials can be transferred to 3ds Max as Phong Shaders in FBX files, which can be further transferred to Unreal. But some types of materials such as SSS and Gloss Materials cannot be transferred. Some textures (e.g. textures being toned in Thea Material Lab) cannot transfer smoothly either.

Is there anyone who is familiar with Unreal and know how to design a Thea Material that can be transferred most effectively to 3ds Max and Unreal? I want to update my Thea Material library and make as many materials "interoperable" as possible. I really like the idea that one can produce high quality static rendering with Thea for Rhino and still have the flexibility to export the scene to 3ds Max and Unreal for making interactive VR scenes.
My Thea for Rhino blog with tutorials and downloads: https://archvisfangxu.wordpress.com/
My Real-Time Architectural Design in Unreal Engine blog with videos and downloads: https://designcommunicationfx.com/
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JQL
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I think you should explore Datasmith as I think it has been said by victor (Datasmith developer and prior Thea4Max developer) that it is able to carry Thea 4 max materials into unreal.
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Benjamin76
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JQL wrote:I think you should explore Datasmith as I think it has been said by victor (Datasmith developer and prior Thea4Max developer) that it is able to carry Thea 4 max materials into unreal.
Thanks a lot. Datasmith has evolved into Unreal Studio. Beta version download link is here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/studio/downloads
My Thea for Rhino blog with tutorials and downloads: https://archvisfangxu.wordpress.com/
My Real-Time Architectural Design in Unreal Engine blog with videos and downloads: https://designcommunicationfx.com/
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JQL
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True! I received the email.

Im waiting for their Sketchup integration, which is in the pipes.
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Benjamin76
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JQL wrote:True! I received the email.

Im waiting for their Sketchup integration, which is in the pipes.
The 3dsMax plugin and workflow are truly helpful. For Thea, I am glad to find that at least diffuse and normal maps can be transferred from Rhino to Max and to Unreal through FBX. This is already quite good. Unreal's Substance-style material editor is very complex and intricate for beginners. It is much better to set up things in Thea Material Lab.
My Thea for Rhino blog with tutorials and downloads: https://archvisfangxu.wordpress.com/
My Real-Time Architectural Design in Unreal Engine blog with videos and downloads: https://designcommunicationfx.com/
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JQL
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Yeah but Unreal material editor, using a PBR workflow, allows you to only change the texture links.

So, you create a basic material setup and replace textures.
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Benjamin76
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All seems really great. BTW, just found I can export a Rhino scene to a FBX and then import it directly to Unreal. There seems to be no need for the hassle of unwrapping for Lightmap UVs.

Thea for Rhino seems to be a very important node in the entire ArchVis workflow. I can model in Revit, export the scene to 3dsMax for categorizing geometries by materials, and then transit to Rhino for setting up texture mapping and applying Thea Materials. We can do high quality static rendering in Rhino or further transit to Unreal to make interactive VR scenes.
My Thea for Rhino blog with tutorials and downloads: https://archvisfangxu.wordpress.com/
My Real-Time Architectural Design in Unreal Engine blog with videos and downloads: https://designcommunicationfx.com/
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