Creating Detailed Low Level Landscapes

Hi all,

I’ve been learning UE4 for a couple of days now. I come from an art background and am trying to nail the terrain for my FPS realistic WW2 game.
I’ve worked out the World Machine workflow, and have been using it to create low lying countryside maps that are about 3km by 3km. I’ve actually found it much easier to create grander topography, but surprisingly, very little workflow talks about low lying countryside. I’m really trying to generate a map based on Bocage country. I think that while I can pop out countryside-esque terrains, I’m still going to be hand crafting a lot of the little details of the map.

So I’ve bought my map into the engine, and I’ve set up the optimised components and resolutions.

I’ve been watching some videos to get some good art references for what I’d like to do with my terrain, and I found THIS REFERENCE.

I have attempted to create numerous different landscape materials, each a little more complex than the last. I got the CMedia Advanced Materials 2, and I’ve managed to basically get the terrain to a stage where there are three normal mapped textures working off slope angle. I achieved that by following this good [Tutorial].](UE4 Landscape Material Tutorial Pt1 - YouTube)
I essentially replaced the steepest texture (cliff in his demo) with dirt, and attempted to use two different shades of grass for the other layers.
What eventuated were three blended textures, but not a natural looking environment.

As you can see in the Spintires example, they have managed to create a natural looking landscape with what appears to be a more natural blend of textures and colours.
I would also like to achieve this, as the majority of my players will be at ground level, and close detail is important. I was wondering how this was done.

REFERENCE (Please see my image)

  1. How was this darker dirt blended so naturally into the lighter dirt (i.e. in the depressed ground)?
  2. How were these flowers blended onto the other grass texture? (I assume the flower grass and the base grass are two different textures overlapped)
  3. How was this third dirt texture placed down (I’m guessing it could be done via spline + raise/lower ground)? Or it could be painted on using the tessellated advanced material I bought?
  4. How have they mapped a darker texture to effect the base of the static mesh foliage (I’ve seen this done on walls and buildings - I’m guessing it isn’t hand done)?

I am thinking that it would be something like a combination of the starter pack grass material (that blends dead grass through) on each of the three slope angle determined layers. That way, each layer would have two primary and random textures in it, and the transition would be much more seamless. Then, I’m guessing that I would have to either hand paint them, or somehow separate them out to look natural, but how? I was tempted to try adjusting really, really subtle slope differentials to try and separate them all.

I was also thinking about trying to pull the settings from theStylised Environment and trying to put my textures into it and kill the distance haze component on it.

I’m very happy to dedicate a lot of time to working this out, as I have not yet found a tutorial that has satisfied my want to create a truly beautiful texture blended environment.

As a side note, I’ve bought my 3km map in with the following attributes:

Overall size 1009x1009 Quads 63 Sections 1 Comp Size 63x63 Total Comp 256 (16x16).

I’m keen to have 100 players on my map, and I figured that if I kept the poly counts low (10kish) I could run that many. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? Do these figures effect the texture resolution in game? Is there a better way to do this (get more detailed textures while allowing for good performance?)

Lastly, I’m aware that my Spintires example makes use of really good palette matching and use of foliage. All the textures I choose will be matched in the same way.

Thank you very much in advance.

Giving this a bump as I’m keen to get some responses.

I’m not entirely sure what you are asking here, you can setup your Landscape Material so you can have 4 layers per component painted down. To replicate a darker/lighter dirt what I typically do is run the dirt material through a Multiply node with a vector parameter in the other slot. Name this DarkerDirt and do whatever you want with it. This way you aren’t adding textures to your material, only another layer.

For the flowers, set your blending to Height Map for that one, and put your mask in the alpha channel. This way, only the flower petals will be painted down and the grass will be seen inbetween.

I can’t tell anything special about that texture from the shot, looks like another texture.

Again, hard to tell from the shot, it could be ambient occlusion- but you seem to think it is a darker texture? I need to see another angle.

Thanks Timespirit, that goes much of the way to answering my OP.