Creating landscape


i have heard mixed information regarding the best way to be creating a landscape. Say we are creating a large square landscape, would it be better to create a 3D model of the land then import it into Unreal? Perhaps just use a height map to create the land? Or make it in unreal from start to finish with the Landscape Tools?

Any information you would have to help shine a light on this would be appreciated.


I personally would use a combination between a tool like world machine and the landscape tool -> just create the landscape in the UE4 - export it to world machine + add some various effects and post process work - import it again :slight_smile:

I would recommend you to not use a mesh as a landscape as it wont be so good for the performance + it’s not so flexible -> the landscapes in UE4 are using a pretty good lod system

Almsost everyone is using heightmaps and many tutorials which are recommended here by the community are like you say meshes, configurated on mudbox then applied to world machine and then imported to ue4.
Am I right?

When you do it like that, then it’s ok (in the end you will use a landscape and not a mesh)-> but dont just import the mesh. :smiley:

So this video which uses plain meshes for mountains is gonna have performance issues? If yes, how should we add those beautiful unreached mountains(in the back of the landscape)?

It always depends on how you use the meshes :wink: -> for things that are in the background (so far away from the player) + cant be reached by the player you can use meshes. You can also use a combination between meshes and landscapes. e.g a mountain that is a landscape + for the details it also has a mesh on top of it

e.g here in sykrim you can see this method:
white = landscape
grey = mesh

  1. Yea but these mountains from skyrim which I see CAN be reached at least in the bottom from the player. Also, what if the meshes are far away from the player? They still keep lowering performance right?

  2. So I can make a landscape and add all my mountains like in the video I showed you?

  1. but those from skyrim are not complete mountain meshes, they are more like rocks meshes that are placed to let the mountain look more realistic
  2. as I said, it depends where they are, but when you like you can do it just with meshes -> but then you need good lod’s + low poly + a very good collision (when the player can reach them) (but I personally would recommend you to do it with landscapes or a combination like in skyrim)

Edit: I underestood, thanks :smiley:
Only one final question: How many meshes can we apply if they have good LOD’s + low poly ? Can we make all our mountains with that technique?

Ok, to summarize everything :wink:

-you can just use a landscape actor for your terrain -> it already has good lod’s + collision + you are more flexible (you can paint on them + modify them)
-you can use a landscape actor + “detail meshes” for your terrain -> I personally thinkg it will look better when you do it like that (like in skyrim) + as they are only low poly + small, they wont take so much performance as a large mountain mesh
-you can just use meshes -> but then you need good lod’s, low poly meshes and a good collision so that the player can walk on it + you wont be so flexible (because you cant modify them in the engine)

The thing with the mountains in the back is, that you dont use a collision, because the player dont have to walk on them! + as they are far aways you can keep them low poly + you dont need a high res texture -> e.g for a pretty good collision you either have to use many collision boxes or the “use complex as simple” collision. Both will affect the performance! + in most games those mountains in the back are just planes with a mountain picture on it

Awesome! But you know, that as far as you are willing to answer, I am willing to question :smiley:
So, let’s see where this stops haha :smiley:
How can I make a plane with a mountain picture?

You just have to create a plane + a mountain texture (with alpha channel) - then uv map your plane so that the texture fits on it - import everything - create a material (normal and diffuse) - place the plane in the distance + add a little bit of heightfog so that it looks better :slight_smile:

Btw, we shouldnt discuss such things in this thread (better open a new thread)-> we are a little bit away from the original question :wink:

You are right friend but that’s all I wanted :smiley: we’ll end it here. If I want another feedback, when I’m going to apply it, I’ll open a new thread.

Thanks again!