Foliage vs instances, differences in performance?

Hi all,

in your experience is there any difference in using instances over foliages in rendering performances?

I’m asking because I plan to make the scattering in other softwares and import it in UE ad instances.

(please don’t reply “you should use the foliage system”)

thank you


Probably going to have to test it yourself, my guess is that it will be slower to use instances as the foliage tool appears to group instances together in chunks. Not sure it will make a big enough difference to matter though (maybe if you have a really big world?)

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This seems to be a question asked before:

Maybe Google and see what you can find from previous questions

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“I plan to make the scattering in other softwares and import it in UE ad instances.”

You mean like using a grass type linked to a particular layer in a landscape material and defining it with a heatmap or something?

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thanks, I saw that post, but I was looking for some direct experience.

the plan is to use a scattering add-on for Blender and export them to UE using datasmith which keeps the instances.

I read up about one in particular called Scatter 5 and then about the workflow you’re talking about. Looks like it has the ability to really create natural distribution of foliage. On a side note if its bigger landscape and you need and its low foliage like grass etc. that doesn’t need collision a landscape material that called to a grass layer is always has much better performance. In addition, I don’t know if you’re aware but UE has a procedural foliage volume experimental feature that does many of the same complex things that Scatter does. Not only that its super high performance because it essentially only uses a single foliage instance and replicates it across the entire landscape. Its another option to consider if performance is important.

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Foliage use 1 “DrawCall” ← So far I know.