Quixel has released version 6.3 of its free Unreal Engine integration plugin for Megascans, its popular online library of scan-based 3D materials and models.
The update adds a new vertex blend material with support for heightmap blending, a new fuzz material for mossy surfaces, and a camera-facing billboard material for exporting 3D plants at low LOD levels.
The updated plugin is available with Bridge 2020.3.2, the latest version of Quixel’s free content-management tool and file exporter for Megascans assets.
In related news, the two latest updates to Mixer, Quixel’s material-authoring software, have added over 100 new Smart Materials, including a set of arch viz materials. Read more about Quixel Mixer 2020.1.5.
New vertex blend material for blending Megascans materials inside Unreal Engine
The Megascans plugin for Unreal Engine enables artists using UE4 for game development, visual effects work or architectural visualization to export scan assets directly to the game engine.
While it was already possible to layer Megascans data to create new custom PBR materials inside Unreal Engine, version 6.3 of the plugin improves the quality and controllability of the results.
Each layer in a blend material now contains base parameters for tiling, rotation, offset and normal strength. Advanced options like minium/maximum roughness and specular from albedo can be toggled on or off.
The update also introduces a new ‘wet/puddle’ layer for mimicking surface water, blended on top of each layer. It includes controls for opacity, water normals and darkening falloff to tint underlying layers.
The new vertex blend material also uses heightmap blending, which “vastly improves blend quality”.
Also new in version 6.3: new Fuzz material for moss, better LOD export for 3D plants
Other changes in version 6.3 of the Megascans plugin for Unreal Engine include a new Fuzz material – intended here primarily for shading moss on walls and stonework rather than fabrics.
The update also introduces a new camera-facing billboard material for exporting 3D plants at the lowest levels of detail; and adds support for custom LOD distances, to reduce LOD ‘popping’ within Unreal Engine.
Pricing and system requirements
The Megascans plugin for Unreal Engine comes with Quixel Bridge 2020.3.2 and above. It is compatible with Unreal Engine 4.23-4.25.
Bridge is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. Since Epic Games acquired Quixel last year, the software itself has been free to download.
All Megascans assets are now available free to Unreal Engine users for use in UE4 projects; for non-UE4 projects, paid subscriptions now cost from $19/month to $999/month.
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