I working on my project and i spended a LOT o time to get a fast and compreensive way to create landscapes heightmaps for UE4 on WorldMachine.
Im Sharing with you my project files, use as you want.
Its optimized to 8K landscapes, so if you dont have the personal edition and need smaller maps, maybe needs a few tweeks before build. But i recomend to buy, its a awesome tool.
Just Play with layout generators to choose WHERE you want A River, Or montains, or hills, or flat surface.
OBS.: The river/lake is a hardsurface for better applying the spline tool. You can create beaches or smooth areas inside the UE4 Editor.
This is awesome - setting up a good terrain like this takes a while, and often (at least for me) I want something that looks good but which can be set up in a few minutes, just for prototyping purposes.
There are few ways you can free up some textures and a number of ways to setup your splat maps, here are two methods with pros/cons.
A) Take your splatmaps from WM, save them as seperate greyscale images. Rescale them to the size of your terrain, it will probably be off by only a few pixels. To find out what your res is, go into Landscape/Manage Terrain/Change Component Size.
Now in your Layers window, you can right click on the layer info for your Landscape Materials and select import. Pick your associated file.
This doc page has some information on that but it really doesn’t tell you how to import layers after you’ve created landscapes for some reason.
B) The only advantage I know of to this method is that the masks are not Landscape resolution dependent. So you could use low resolution Landscape and a higher res splat. The drawback is your material is going to be heavier.
I also think the imported layer maps are not a material, they are only used by the editor to get information where to modify the layer map.
On to the technique, you can run 4 maps(wear/flow/etc.) from WM into one bitmap node and it will combine it for you. Each mask is stored in the RGB channels and the alpha. The other way is to export the masks separately and combine them with merge channels in PS:
In any case, I like to mess with the contrast of the maps, especially flow maps, before using in the engine. This helps the effect become more apparent.
Now you will want to feed a Landscape Coord node into your texture that has all the splat maps in it by channel. Set the resolution in the Landscape Coord to the resolution of your terrain, which will define the extents of your mapping. Now feed the separate channels into the height input on your layer blend material. Let’s say flow map was in the RED channel, you connect that to your Dirt material height input.
Besides terrains, in general there are a lot of things you can do with utilizing channels and packing textures in. Your only limit is your creativity once you get your head around what can be done, which I’m still doing all the time.
For example, the blue channel in tangent space normal maps could be used for other things. I have not set this up in UE4 yet but it should be similar:
You could also make an 8 bit texture, put a tiling texture in each channel. These could be scratches, dents, dirt, rust, symbols, words, shapes, whatever you want. Now you could use and reuse these as masks for all kinds of things. You could have one metal diffuse texture and now combining it with any of these masks, you could make a version that has scratches, rust, dirt, etc. and you are only loading two textures.
This guy is a master at this, really great detailed site about optimization and getting the most from textures:
Those using this should be aware, the software isn’t being developed much anymore that I can see , - at least based on forum actiivity and lack of consistent feedack/posts from author, which would bother me a great deal plus given the fact this is expensive for PRO version where only ‘tiled’ output is possible.
There are free ways to make your own terrain and load into ue4 , using world composition to align them as needed, plus ‘L3DT’ has a ‘free’ version which while also as WM has no tiled output unless pro version is used, at least allows a far bigger map size than free version of WM.
Also lastly, the ‘scale’ issue talked about above doesn’t require that much ‘math’ at all, you just have to use the values as outlined at url below , based against 256m='100 units ’ scale in UE4 so there is nothing very mysterious or hard about it at all ):