Collaboration and Kit Bashing for Concepts with Unreal

Unreal Engine can play an influential role in building concepts for conceptual work, an essential part of the collaboration process that allows clients and teams to discuss design elements before committing resources to design and build it. This article will review some resources and methods I use to help produce results.

Figure 1

Getting Started

First, I’ll list some available areas to find content for bashing scenes together.

Unreal Engines Marketplace – The marketplace contains libraries of content built by artists worldwide. Many are free, and many more are not.

3D model sites – I use several sites to assist with my work daily. These include, 3DSky.Org,, Evermotion.Org,, and There are many more available sites as well.

Communities – 3D work is an art; artists share and collaborate in many of them. These artists provide tutorials, assets, tips, and tricks to assist professionals. Searching the libraries in these communities exposes lots of tools available. Some of these include,, and Professionals can find powerful tools while helping to support artists in their efforts.

Asset Management

The next step is importing outside assets, which is essential to blocking out scenes for collaboration with teams. Here are a few tips to help maintain organization, keep files clean and organized, and take advantage of Unreal Engine’s unique abilities.

Drag and drop – Unreal Engine allows us to drag and drop files into the content browser. One tip is this also applies to browsers that implement drag and drop file features. For example, if you find a texture or piece of artwork you want to display in your scene on the Firefox web browser, you can drag it directly into the Unreal Engine content browser to import it. Additionally, you can drag a texture from the content browser onto an object, which will auto-generate a related material.

Importing FBX/OBJ – Fbx and Obj is also directly imported into the content browser through drag and drop; however, some crucial elements to help organization and structure (even when bashing scenes together) can be necessary. First is the option to generate missing collisions. Collisions in Unreal Allow the characters and objects to interact. However, these auto-generated collisions are often too expensive from a software development perspective and utterly useless from a film and architectural perspective. The best option for almost everyone is to turn this option off, and if you need to create collisions, learn about building them from scratch: most efficiently and accurately. The second element to consider is the material import and texture import options displayed in Figure 2. While it seems counter-intuitive, the best course of action is to turn these off.

Figure 2

I’ve found it’s simpler to create new folders in Unreal before importing assets, and creating an individual folder for each imported object seems the most efficient for the organization. These standards are different from organization to organization, but if you have the choice to organize how you want, that is my recommendation. To move objects between folders, it’s necessary to open two content browsers, and objects can be dragged and dropped between them—however, Unreal Engine stores data behind the scenes. So, if you relocate everything inside one folder to another, you’ll find you can delete the old folder. To rectify this, right-click on the old folder and select the “Fix up Redirectors” option displayed in Figure 3.

Figure 3

Materials and Textures

The node-based system in Unreal provides a powerful resource to manipulate materials and textures to apply across objects, even those that haven’t been unwrapped for specific UV projection. To address this, we use the Absolute World Position node and techniques like Triplaner projection displayed in Figure 4. Tri-planer projection blends textures in all three planes (x,y,z). While the projection method has some minor artifacts for conceptual work, this is a potent tool. By combining tri-planer projection with the Absolute World Position node, we can tile textures across unmapped objects seamlessly at any scale we want.

Figure 4

In Figure 5, I provided a graphic where I combined tri-planer projection with absolute world position for demonstration.

Figure 5

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