Auto landscape materials - are they all the same?

I am in the process of choosing an auto material to work with.
I see in the marketplace that there is a wide range of prices. I also have a free one in my collection.

Wanted to ask if these materials do indeed have such a wide quality/functionality range so as to warrant such price ranges. If so, what would you look for in an auto material?

Thanks!

I don’t know, because I don’t have them all, but I assume there’s a lot of crossover between them.

Unless you’ve found one that’s totally astounding, I wouldn’t go over 100 bucks.

Something to factor into your research is to get a recent one, as it’s more likely to have all the latest tweaks. That doesn’t always follow though, as some vendors are very good at updating their products.

What’s the free one you have?

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The sample project “The boy and his kite” contains auto-landscape material that is worth checking out. Also Brushify has a good one. You can find good tutorials showing the steps,which I can share it here if you need.
Typically you want these features:

  1. Tiling variation for macro and micro detail
  2. Foliage spawner with noise based variation
  3. Multiple landscape layers, inclusing an eraser layer for creating holes
  4. slope detection for blending snow with rocks or for limiting the areas covered with grass based on the maximum terrain slope angle, for instance.
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Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it.
I have one shared by Unreal Sensei, a youtuber.

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Nice one, thanks a lot for the info, I’ll get into it!

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Glad it helped. Keep up the good work.

It’s worth taking the time to make your own. Yes, you can just buy assets, but then you will have no understanding of how they work…and when you run into performance issues you will have no clue why this is happening. If you’re unsure whether they are all the same or not, this is a good indication that you do not yet know or understand what is going on “under the hood.” It’s also not really possible for you to be capable of evaluating whether a marketplace landscape material looks ‘worth it’ if you don’t understand what it is that you’re really buying.

Usually when I’m buying an asset, I’m paying for (1) something that I either don’t have the expertise to make or (more commonly) (2) something that will save me a lot of time by acquiring instead of making it myself. Some things are time consuming and it’s worth it to avoid doing it yourself, but you should still know how they work so that you can be an informed purchaser.

UnrealSensei has one on his channel but he also has a video that goes over how to make one from scratch. I recommend going through that before you consider dropping money on assets because the learnings you will gain from doing it yourself are much more valuable than the asset itself.

EDIT: I think this is the one I was thinking of. Unreal Engine Landscape Master Material Tutorial - UE4 Tutorial - YouTube

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i’m just seconding the advice above.

unless you are content to just accept whatever conditions the material gives you and not want to make any changes, it is gonna be worthwhile to at least get an idea how they work.

They are not all the same, though many share similar features. The way an author codes the thing can make a difference in how easy it is for you to make changes - that is probably the biggest difference you might notice between one or another.

Besides that, some may include tons of features that you won’t use, but not one little detail that you do want. If you take a few days to do some tutorials like shared above that will make it so that you can make the changes that you want to make more readily, and also help you make a more informed purchase.

There is also a good one available free in the Rural Australia marketplace project. In general I think purchasing these things is kinda money wasted since you can make your own in a few hours watching a tutorial, but that’s just opinion.

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