Advanced Foliage

So while working with UE4 for a month now i have created my very own foliage material shaders which look and run great but now im on to some of the more advanced systems i would like to tackle and i am not sure where to start or if its even possible.

My material consists of:

  • Custom world offset Wind setup
  • Alpha distance blending near/far
  • Alpha culling
  • Custom AO
  • Diffuse
  • Normal
  • Faked SSS through opacity
  • World offset Hue Variation

(Also just using the starter example world for testing, so default lights etc.)

Here is what i would like to accomplish next:

  1. Player Touchbending:
    • I looked at your “pivot painter” content example but i am utterly confused by it; i thought i set it up correctly but i cannot get the blueprint to work. Also this brings up a question do we have to use pivot painter or can touchbending be done completely through material setup?

I tried the “move objects out of players way” example from pivot painter content examples and it works in that map but not my own.

There seems to be some disconnect that is not clear from your example that just isn’t recognizing my player touching the material or objects.

  1. Foliage Physics/Reacting

    • I want my foliage to react to the environment around it: Realtime Wind, Explosions, Player. (For example: i shoot a rocket launcher or throw a grenade: i would love to see the trees, bushes and grass all sway and react to the force i just applied.)
      -I would imagine pivot painter would be useful in this scenario? but i dont even know where to being to get this working in engine (materials, blueprints, collections, etc)
  2. Burn Shader

-As a final advanced setting it would be nice to see foliage catch on fire or at least burn when fire/explosions are applied or near.

-Maybe have the textures turn to a dark burnt version after a rolling fire texture plays out over it?
-Maybe even burn away the opacity so the entire object gets burnt away or some of it at least?

*These would be extremely nice to have working but again i just don’t know where to begin or if its even possible. If anyone could shed some light or point me in the right directions to get any of these scenarios working i would greatly appreciate it ;Thank you.

You could import separate parts of your tree as skeletal meshes. Then attach these together using a blueprint. Finally apply physics to each part. This will bend and stretch when you move through or shoot it.

Interesting idea will give it a try but im more concerned that i have a whole pivot painter setup done and ready but i dont know how to call out in blueprints for foliage interactivity.

so i have nearly mastered the pivot painter setup but i still cannot get the following to work and still have some questions.

I cannot get player interaction to work and i have setup my blueprint exactly like the content example.


  1. What kind of nodes/blueprint will allow me to have spells, grenades etc to react with my pivot painter nodes and setup?
  2. While setting up pivot painter nodes i find it got very in depth with over 30+ nodes just to get it to react properly, how expensive is this?

  1. I dont see how you get lods on pivot painted objects, since the pivot system makes you detach each piece of geo, so that means i would have to attach 1-2 lods per branch/leaf card equaling 200+ lods? (or i could import lods separately, meaning i would have to setup an lod folder just to import lods for pivot painted assets?)