I started building my nearest Denny's restaurant in UDK using mostly BSP brushes and custom textures made with Photoshop and normal map textures with a plugin for photoshop made by nvidia. This was all going very well. It's starting to look pretty nice, but it's at the point where I need to start bringing in my own static meshes. So I imported the booth I made in Blender (there are pictures of it here) and the textures are just ...wrong. It looks mostly white instead of being colored. I think this has something to do with the fact that I did not make a texture map in blender. Instead, I just made materials within blender. While viewing in blender this looks great, but now I realize (I think) that the materials in blender are not exportable without a texture map. So I started learning how to make texture maps, and for some reason I am having a lot of difficulty grasping how to make seams to unwrap objects properly. It's all fine and good for a simple cube as most tutorials show, but anything more complex than that just gets weird results. Maybe this would be easier to learn in 3ds max or maya.
So with said frustrations I took a break and have not worked with UDK or Blender in about 4 months. I started studying for my A+ exam and started practicing guitar more. I tend to take on hobbies in phases that eventually work back into rotation. I've always been like that. I tend to spread myself too thin with many projects and fields of study and time share them on a rotating cycle that usually lasts 3-6 months.
That being said, I am back at it again with renewed vigor to push past these obstacles and hone my 3d modeling/game design skills. My primary objectives in the near future are to find a way to make texture maps, successfully import them into UDK, and fill out my currently empty Denny's with realistic static meshes (with color!)
On a side note, UDK has released newer versions every few months. I think it's great that they are keeping us up to date with new improvements, added features, and bug fixes. I am having trouble keeping my projects from one version to the next though. So far, I have just been starting new projects with each new release. I get missing dependencies and incorrect file path errors and such. I could probably work through these things if I really wanted to; I just haven't taken the time.
Anyway, if anyone is actually reading this blog please send me a comment with any advise or just to let me know it's being seen. :)