My wife likes to paint sometimes and it gave me an idea. I wanted to try transferring some of her watercolor paintings into my game. This morning I did just that, and the results are awesome!

Here’s how it happened:

  • Finding a wife to paint something, because you paint like a toddler
  • Taking photos of the real paintings
  • Photoshop
    • Color and light correction on the raw images
    • Remove the background
  • Making a model of a painting in Blender and setting separate materials for the frame and canvas (I made a landscape and portrait models)
  • Substance Painter 2
    • Painting the frames
    • Fitting the photos into the canvas’s UV
    • Adding details to canvas with normal maps
    • Exporting all base color maps, while using shared normal, ambient occlusion and roughness maps for all paintings, which have same orientation
  • Creating one base material in Unreal Engine 4, and as many instances of it as you have paintings.
  • Changing the base color textures on the material instances and you have unique painting materials

The Painting Model:

The Paintings After Photoshop:

The Paintings In Unreal Engine 4


This little project ended up working much better than I expect. Total time spent for five paintings, was around two and half hours.

Now I have a great way to fill some wall space in my game. I will most likely add more paintings on a later date.

Big thanks for my wife, for letting me use her paintings and thank you for reading!