Project Stage

Project “Stage” is a stand-alone rendering engine developed by Ming Tang, using runtime load asset, as well HDRI backdrop methods in UE4. It is a windows application for users to quickly load their FBX file into a virtual environment for first-person, and third-person walk-throughs.

This stand-alone program allows users to load external 3D models in runtime instantly. The Stage environment includes UI to load FBX models during runtime, several HDRI lighting domes, and interactive characters. The Stage promotes iterative design and encourages designers to explore the creative potentials through real-time feedback. Project bus stop and burning man were both developed using the stage as a pre-VIZ tool.

The Stage allows students to (1) present their 3D model to the reviewer without waiting for renderings. No packaging time is required. Design is ready instantly in a game environment. (2) Control an avatar to navigate space and explore the form through first-person or third-person views. (3) By loading design iterations in Stage and examining the frame rate and loading time, students learned the importance of optimizing a model. (4) Test the UV mapping, and scene hierarchy (5) Test the low-poly collision objects and navigation mesh. (5) Have fun. There is a hidden Easter egg to be discovered.


download windows application “Stage” here. ( zip) 660MB

( password “stage”)

Tutorial 1.  how to use Stage

Export model from Rhino or 3dsMax as FBX, Create collision object with “UCX_” preface. Use standard material. import into Stage. Customize material. Notice. You might need to clean up your mesh model in Rhino or optimize at 3dsMax before exporting to FBX.


Tutorial 2. how the application was built in Unreal.

Third-person character, HDRI backdrop, FBX runtime import plugin.


Easter Egg

There is an Easter Egg in Stage, see if you can find it. Clue:

An invisible scroll,  only the hero can see

Not in the fall, but in the green

on the plain surrounded by trees

find the trail that leads ten feet underneath

to the fiery domain of Hades