Foliage Tool Total Newbie Questions

When using the foliage tool to paint in objects, is there a best practice to have it place into the scene or do all you really need to do is close the foliage editor? Also, is it generally advisable to do everything in one foliage paint session or can you have multiple ones? For example, one for all of the flower and one for all of the shrubs. In looking at the City Park example from the marketplace, it appears that one was created with just a single one.

What is the difference between just a typical static mesh actor and a foliage type? Is there one to use with the foliage painter over the other one? Going back to the City Park example, there are both in there but I’m a bit confused on to what they are and when to use them.

Lastly, where does unreal save these? I noticed it is not listed in the world outliner and I can only access by clicking on it? Is there another location that these are listed or are they not shown in the outliners?

I know there is a lot to process here in questions, so I thank you in advance for any information.

It’s simple, SHIFT-3, paint some foliage, SHIFT-1, save your level.

You can paint rocks, and then paint some grass the next day, and paint some trees a month later, doesn’t matter.

These are normal meshes you’re painting, they don’t need to be special meshes. You might be getting confused with ‘foliage-type’, which is just a browser item which contains a record of which mesh and which settings you used.

When you paint foliage, all the meshes placed are ‘instanced actors’. That means that, the moment your brush hits the deck, Unreal makes one actual mesh ( which you never get to see ), and all the others are actually just copies of that one mesh. When you run, the graphics card only has to draw one mesh, all the others are just hardware transforms of that single mesh.

Having said all that, painting foliage is a ‘whole thing’. The fewer polygons in the mesh, the better. The quicker the mesh LODs, the better. The less you paint, the better. It’s a bit of an art form.