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Blockout Tools Plugin

Blockout Tools is a lightweight and extremely easy to use set of tools to quickly block out / greybox your levels in Unreal Engine 4. It consists of various primitive elements with convenient scale and transform controls and custom triplanar grid material to ease the level design workflow.

This page is reserved for discussions, suggestions and troubleshooting. So feel free to share your thoughts!

Available on Marketplace | Itch.io

Documentation

Features:

  • Easily scalable elements with either Vector 3D Widget or inside Details panel
  • Super quick access to Blockout elements from new custom category in Place Mode
  • Self-explanatory settings
  • Configurable look and color of blockout types
  • Local-aligned triplanar grid material which supports object rotation
  • Support for custom materials
  • Lightweight
  • 15 blockout types
  • Can save a lot of time

Blockout element types:

  • Box
  • Cone
  • Corner Curved
  • Cylinder
  • Ramp
  • Skewbox
  • Sphere/Hemisphere
  • Stairs Curved
  • Stairs Linear
  • Stairs Linear Manual
  • Doorway (V1.1)
  • Railing (V1.1)
  • Window (V1.2)
  • Tube (V1.3)
  • Corner Ramp (V1.41)

Video Demos:

2 Likes

Amazing tool!

If only there was also a texturing tool and a tool to remove hidden geometry, it would be CSG’ish level design tool :o

Thanks a lot! Yeah, that would be a tool of whole another level of complexity though.

Blockout tools Pro maybe? :wink:

Yeah, I’m trying from time to time what’s may work like quake’s BSP in production, but yet to find a good workflow. Geometry has to be procedural and editable right in the editor, but for final lighting pass it may be converted in static meshes maybe. That would be cool I guess :slight_smile:

[USER=“35008”]Dmitry Karpukhin[/USER] Is it possible to export blocked out level as static mesh (FBX) to be used in a 3D app ?

Yes. It’s possible!
All you have to do Is select objects and “Merge Actors”

Edit:

Here’s how It looks like in Blender.

Yeah, that’s it basically :slight_smile: There’s also an option “Convert To Static Mesh”, but it has zero options. So merge is preferable I think.

I just realized I have SuperGrid already. Now I am wondering how this plugin is difference from SuperGrid :confused:

Don’t make me compare :smiley: I know, it’s a market, but I don’t really want to compete in terms of what’s better and what’s not.

While it has just the same purpose, the workflow and mindset is different to me. SuperGrid is an asset pack first, you add it your project and then you use specific folder in the content browser to access it. There’s also a whole lot of nice looking grid materials, if you need it.

Blockout Tools on the other hand is an external plugin and has very minimalistic approach in terms of workflow, materials and has fast access to shape types.

Why is that? So the story is that I worked on a very oversized open world project, where navigating in content browser was a huge pain. Artists also strictly didn’t use any filter or search methods in content browser, old school folder navigating worked for them, so what the hell can you do. And we often needed to shape out some test levels to play with AI and such. Time also was valuable and actually always is. So pretty much I developed what worked for me the most. The plugin which doesn’t leave trails in your project’s content. Fast access, fast creation, no care about texture or material. I personally use it all the time in my projects.

So, if I package project for release (apk for Android for example), it won’t have any geometry I create using this plugin ?

You will get all the content and functionality if the project has the plugin enabled. It’ll be there just like in the editor, it’s just that it hooks up not from the project’s content.
The only thing though is that you probably will need to copy plugin folder from engine to your project folder, because Blockout Tools hasn’t any precompiled binaries for Android for the time being. Just haven’t tested it properly yet, sorry about that.

Plugin is now 50% off for a limited time!

So there’s some performance issues in plugin noticed by one of the users. When you duplicating blockouts if freezes for a moment and it gets pretty bad in 4.24. I’m currently investigating that and it seems like the freeze is happening when a blockout creates Material Instance Dynamic for itself in runtime.
Though creating MID is pretty important here, I’ll try to fix this.

Hi! Can you make a new plugin, which will provide an easy way to create new categories in the left Modes window? For example, I creating 3-10 boxes with your Blockout Tools, setup it (tags, color, size) and want to reuse it. I need a new category in the left Modes corner, for example, “Test Blocks 1” where I will add my ready assets\actors. And then, I will create a new level with these assets.

Hello! So here’s the easy way to create a reusable custom blockout:

  1. Inside your project create a Blueprint Class
  2. Pick a parent class which you’d like to inherit, perhaps a Blockout_Box
  3. Overwrite some default settings inside, tags, etc.
  4. And it’s ready to use

Now speaking to adding custom actors to the your own category, I’d personally recommend to use TopShelf plugin. It’s cheap and works just as expected and it will work in that case. I think I saw an alternative to TopShelf on marketplace too, so there’s a choice.
Let me know if you have further questions!

I’m currently running into this problem with 4.24.3, it’s even going as far as crashing my editor at times. It seems to relieve the problem temporarily when building the scene but comes back after 3 or 4 duplications.

Yep, that was quite a problem apparently… Sorry about that.
But I managed to fix it just recently, which is good news. Hope to release the update in the coming days!

Happy to inform that “freeze on duplication” problem is now pretty much solved in 1.22 update. It still could be improved even more by moving almost all blockout generation code in C++, but that could take some time and I was kinda in a hurry to fix this right now to ensure that the workflow experience will become stable again.
Also added option to turn off shadows on blockouts individually by a request.
Thanks for reporting back, guys!

Excellent job! This update has completely eliminated the crashing on my side.

Thanks!