I am looking into learning some Unreal Engine and was wondering on peoples thoughts for the applications i want to use it for and any recomendations for ease of leaning and suitability of application.
What would I want to use it for?
CGI creation, I am a freelance graphic designer, I do a fair bit of property and marketing and paying for professional high quality CGI's is expensive, I would be interested in starting to create my own high quality CGIs and aerials.
Game development, I would love to start looking into game and app game creation with stunning visuals
VR development, again developing VR would be fantastic especially when combined with interior CGIs if i could start creating spacial areas to move around in
What do I want
Is UE4 a good engine for the above?
Is it suitable for beginners?
Can you recommend learning resources?
Unreal is really good just look at all the games that support the older engine. If you are still learning and don't know the specifics, I would stick to 2D self made tweening/excel type programming or unity.
It has the most pro community. Unity is great and has a larger community, more plugins/support, but the Unreal people are all more pro from my experience. It's anecdotal... but the Unity dev meetups I went to were mostly, "I'm making an iPhone game," or, "I live with my parents but I want to make games when I grow up."
The Unreal Engine meetups that I went to were like, "Let's sit at the computer and procedurally generate a sun using particle effects and no textures!" They were a lot nerdier.
I'd recommend getting to know them both... if you want simple 2D... check Unity or GameMaker. If you want power... Unreal Engine.
Unreal is top notch software. It will be really good if you are already experienced in the C++ coding.
Unity is pretty and considered to way more accessible and does pretty xplatform. It also does support VR. If you are looking for resources to get you started Unity has tutes on their website. But also Udemy has cheap courses with different skill levels.
Only problem i've heard of Unreal is mouse input is kind of crappy. I have hardcore fps friends that won't even try a new game if its on Unreal. Also the same kind of people that complain about oh man, streaming is knocking down my fps it only like 250.... I wonder when we can get our hands on source 2.
I am using it at both work (non game dev) and home (game dev).
Its awesome for gamedev.
Its not so awesome for CGI creation. However read below.
Never tried VR.
I am currently working as UI/HMI designer for a car manufacturer. So we're experimenting with using game engines (in my case unreal engine) to create rapid prototypes of UIs. Its a solid tool for that except - you should probably look for another tool to do you visual development in. I've tried going straight from photoshop/illustrator/modo and then visualizing in UE4 - it doesn't yield the best results.
You need another tool that is capable of sketch-modeling CGI in between.
I would recommend using (and getting familiar) with tools like c4d where you can rapidly experiment with fully parametric visuals - essentially creating dynamically animated versions of your ideas. Then you know what you should be re-creating in UE4 with confidence. Otherwise you'll just waste a lot of time sweating the minutia and getting tired of rewiring the same thing over and over again.
My current toolchain is:
Pen and Paper/Photoshop (if needed) -> C4D (visual dev) -> MODO/Illustrator/Photoshop (asset production) -> UE4 (prototype)
For game dev nothing beats UE4. I've worked in Unity, Cocos2dx and legacy unreal engine before - UE4 has no competition. If you're doing apps that require really small deployment footprint - I would look at Unity. Otherwise UE4 all the way and don't bother looking at anything else. They leapfrogged everyone.
My normal Tek account is here: https://forum.teksyndicate.com/users/enko/activity I have no idea why it created enko1 account for me when I logged in to reply to this. You can see link to the game I am developing there.
Hope this helps.
Something else to consider is Zbrush. It's a really neat modelling tool that basically emulates clay. It's pretty fun! I spent like 30 - 40 hours with it and made a bunch of weapons. As a beginner, it was much easier for me to appreciate and understand Zbrush than like maya or 3ds Max, despite them being different tools for different things.
Zbrush is mostly used for texturing and finer details (I think. I'm definitely no expert in the field). But look it up! It's something that professionals use in their workflow on triple A games.
Zbrush is a good one, though very expensive for even an educational license. However Sculptris is a better option if you're just starting out with digital sculpting, as its much more beginner friendly.
If you're the type to go open source, Blender's sculpting tools are a good option as well. (and importing from blender to Either Unity or Unreal Engine is fairly easy now.)