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How to Create Custom Decals for UE4

Learn How To Create Custom Texture Decals To Use In Level Designs & Game Environments for Unreal® Engine 4

How to Create Custom Decals for UE4
  • Includes:
  • Learn to create your own custom texture decals
  • Create 7 different variety of decals
  • Workflow from PS to UE4
  • Digital Download
  • 30-Day, Money Back Guarantee
  • Secure Checkout
  • $47 $27

12
Videos
90
Minutes
Yes
Project Files
435
MB
Software Used:
UE4, PS

"It's Too Clean, Add More Detail..."

"The scene is lacking a layer of detail. Dirty things up. Add some stains, dirt, and grunge. Maybe some text on the walls, posters or graffiti. Bring this environment to life. It is too clean and repetitive."

It stung to hear this. I've spent so much time working on the environment and I thought it was done. I started thinking, "I don't want to add all that detail back in. That means I have to redo all the textures, reimport, update materials, rebuild."

I hate having that feeling where you think you are done with the project, until others (your teacher, art director, friends or people on the forum) tell you otherwise.

But it is something I needed to hear, regardless of how I felt. They were right.

I started to go through various solutions in my head.

One solution is to go back to Photoshop and add extra dirt detail into textures. You add dirt, stains, leaks, blood stain/splatter, text and numbers as a part of the texture.

The problem with this approach is any instance of that texture will have this unique detail as part of it.

But what if you want a wall to contain some text/numbers on one instance of a wall but not another? What if you want to add unique grime detail, dirt streaks on the top of the wall in one texture but not on another?

Another solution is to create several different material variations. One material with a clean texture look without unique detail and second material with added dirt grime, stained texture detail. You would then swap that material on various Static Meshes in your environment.

But this is wasteful, as you would have to create two different materials with two different textures. Also due to model UVs, you could only use that material on specific Static Mesh. You couldn't use that texture material anywhere you want.

I wanted a simpler way to add all that detail into the environment without having to redo all textures and have multiple additional materials.

Better solution: use decals!

No decals

No decals

With decals

With decals

Use Decals

Decals are one of the best ways to add unique detail to your environment by projecting a material onto existing surfaces within your level without having to add that unique detail into the texture itself.

These decals can include things like bullet holes, blood stains, blood splatter, posters, stains, leaks, dirt, graffiti, text/numbers and more.

You need stain leaks from the wall?

You need stain leaks from the wall?

What about a blood splatter?

What about a blood splatter?

Maybe a poster or a painting on a wall?

Maybe a poster or a painting on a wall?

Sewer grate panel?

Sewer grate panel?

You would not need to add these into a texture. You simply create a decal and project it onto an existing geometry (BSP brushes or Static Meshes) within your level.

As an example, modular wall set with and without projected decal:

Modular Static Mesh wall set without decals

Modular Static Mesh wall set without decals

Same modular Static Mesh wall set with decals

Same modular Static Mesh wall set with decals

You see, when constructing game environments, you usually start off with BSP brushes to prototype the level. You would then replace all BSP brushes (or as much as possible) with Static Meshes.

Most of these Static Meshes are modular. Meaning that 3d models work like a set of Legos – snapping together to create a structure. Building would be made of up several modular assets such as a wall, window, door, floor, ceiling and columns. You would use these meshes to create a building floor. With just a few Static Meshes you can create a full level.

You would then do a Static Mesh detailing pass, where you add additional layer of Static Meshes. These are minor decorative meshes such as wall lights, props, furniture, plants, electronics, debris, trash etc. This helps a lot to make the environment more believable. But modular Static Meshes still look the same.

All of your walls, floor, ceiling and windows repeat and look identical. To break up this noticeable repetition you would add decals in areas of the map that require it.

Stain leaks on top of the wall. Blood splatter in the corner of a room next to the basement. Stenciled text and number decal in the parking lot outside. Propaganda posters in the underground tunnel leading to the subway. Dirt in high traffic areas on the floor next to the elevator in the lobby.

GIF: Environment with/without decals

GIF: Environment with/without decals

Dirt, grime, leaks, stains, text/numbers, posters, bullet holes etc. All help to add a layer of additional detail that would be very impractical or otherwise time wasteful to add into a texture. But, you have to know how to create different variety of decals and how to make them work inside Unreal Engine 4.

For example, did you know that by default your decals will not work in indirect baked static lighting? As well as in Unlit View Mode?

Of course there is a way to make it work and you would have to use Stationary or Dynamic lights to make those decals appear. But a quick solution is to enable DBuffer Decals and update your decal materials to use DBuffer Blend Mode.

You will learn a lot of the needed and required techniques to create your own custom decals to use within your level designs and game environments.

What You Will Go Through in This Tutorial Series

Here are the types of decals you'll learn to create.

Creating First Decal and Using Decals

Creating First Decal and Using Decals

We'll create a very simple solid color decal entirely inside Unreal Engine 4.

How to Create Texture Image Decal

How to Create Texture Image Decal

We'll create first texture decal, resize it to power of 2 dimensions and export it.

Make Decals Work in Indirect Baked Lighting

Make Decals Work in Indirect Baked Lighting

How to fix "decals not showing up in indirect static lighting" problem.

Masked Texture Decal

Masked Texture Decal

Most decals will require a mask using an Alpha Channel to make areas of texture invisible/visible.

Sewer Texture Decal

Sewer Texture Decal

We'll create a sewer/drain grate texture decal. Great for adding additional detail without using 3d models.

Stains, Leaks, Grime, Dirt Decals

Stains, Leaks, Grime, Dirt Decals

We'll create a leaking stained dirt texture decal to apply to specific areas of the Static Mesh.

Blood Splatter Texture Decal

Blood Splatter Texture Decal

We'll take a texture and extract splatter or stain blood section from it.

Numbers and Text Texture Decal

Numbers and Text Texture Decal

We'll create a clean text/number decal to identify locations.

Create Damaged/Weathered Text

Create Damaged/Weathered Text

We'll add weathering and damange detail to decals.

What You Will Learn

Here is what you can expect learn from "UE4 Decals".

  • How to create simple solid color decal entirely in Unreal Engine 4
  • How to create painting texture image and material decal
  • How to create poster texture image and material decal
  • How to create a sewer drain and material decal
  • How to create stains, leaks, grime and dirt and material decal
  • How to create blood splatter texture and material decal
  • How to create text and number texture and material decal
  • How to disable some Static Meshes from receiving decals but not others
  • How to create a custom texture image decal in Photoshop
  • Image format to save your decals from Photoshop
  • Should you export Decals as 24bit or 32bit
  • How to create a normal map detail texture using NVidida Photoshop filter plug-in to use with decals
  • How to create and use rectangular texture decals
  • How to create a normal map from heightmaps with Photoshop and NVidia Photoshop Normal Map Filter
  • Ways to use Color Range technique to extract detail from a texture image
  • How to paint-in damage to decals for withered away look
  • How to use layer masks for non-destructive texture decal workflow
  • How to import your first texture image decal into Unreal Engine
  • How to create your first texture decal material
  • Setting up Deferred Decal property in the Material Editor
  • How to apply and use decals into your level
  • How to fix "decals not showing" problem or how to make decals work with indirect baked lighting and in unlit mode
  • How to enable DBuffer Decals
  • How to fix, if DBuffer Decals option crashes your editor
  • How to create masked texture decals using Alpha Channel of your texture for opacity
  • How to use Normal Map input inside the Material Editor with your decals
  • How to use Roughness Map input inside the Material Editor with your decals
  • Simple way to adjust Alpha Channel opacity intensity inside the Material Editor
  • Simple way to change color of your decal entirely in Unreal Engine 4 without having to update your textures

Video Breakdown

Watch this video for in-depth breakdown of the tutorial series and its process.

No Risk, 30 Day - 100% Money Back Guarantee

No Risk, 30 Day - 100% Money Back Guarantee

I know you will find "UE4 Decals" very helpful with creating your own custom decals.

But, if for any reason you don't like it, I am offering 30 days, 100% money-back guarantee.

I've been running World of Level Design.com since October 2008. I'm not going anywhere. So if you don't like this premium tutorial series then I don't want your money. Full refund.

Just let me know why you didn't like the product and how I could have made it better.

How to Create Custom Decals for UE4

How to Create Custom Decals for UE4
  • Includes:
  • Learn to create your own custom texture decals
  • Create 7 different variety of decals
  • Workflow from PS to UE4
  • Digital Download
  • 30-Day, Money Back Guarantee
  • Secure Checkout
  • $47 $27

12
Videos
90
Minutes
Yes
Project Files
435
MB
Software Used:
UE4, PS

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