Production Bytes 2
The complicated process of building a house for Festung Europa begins with finding a floor plan. In some instances we can use a real floor plan drawn by an architect, but in the case of this house, it's going to be a re-imagining of a house found in Darkest Hour: Europe '44 - '45. By extracting the house from the game files, I can move it into a modeling program where I begin blocking out the basic dimensions of the new house—the interior walls, where the windows and doors will go, etc.
After comparing the old building to numerous images of houses and buildings in Normandy contemporary with the invasion, I decided that not all of the features of the building were strictly historical, so I made some changes. However, the basic footprint of the building remains the same.
Having modeled the basic house, I had to make it lifelike. To accomplish this, I examined more reference photos of houses in Normandy, and created models of windows and quoins to decorate the house with. I also created a set of beams to be placed on the ceiling of the ground floor. After this was done, I created a set of wallpaper materials that would have been popular in the 1940s.
The last, but very difficult and very important, step is to create lightmap UVs for the house. These allow Unreal Engine 4 ("UE4") to project light onto the house and bounce it around in an extremely realistic fashion using Lightmass. As an artist, this is one of my favorite features of UE4 because it creates incredibly realistic interior lighting. To see it used to its maximum potential, you might want to look up "arch viz" or "architectural visualization" done in UE4.
Quoted from Rubberslug, Jackboot Games' 3D modeller.