I’m looking into the correct workflow for golf course visualization and real time applications. UE4 has piqued my interest but I need to be sure certain tasks are even feasible in this engine before committing time and resources to it.
Current workflow as follows:
-Import real world heightmap and imagery to terrain
-Overlay or multiple blend landscape materials with the imagery to add realism
-Set landscape materials with foliage to procedurally create different areas such as tees, fairway, rough etc…
-Bunkers as obviously sunk into the terrain and have a lot of mesh detail which cant be produced with landscape tools
-Bunkers could be produced in blender, 3ds max etc… and imported in but this would be a tedious exercise to align surfaces and blend with the landscape
The “Is this even possible solution”
-Procedurally generate bunker meshes using splines meshes that conform with the underlining heightmap
-The procedurally generated mesh would be exported to external program for texturing etc…
This image is an amazing render by a professional golf course visualization company and shows a typical bunker.
Is any of this feasible procedurally within UE4 or should I reconsider my options.
We’re thinking about incorporating a plugin called USurfaceMesh into our workflow where we need to model extensions to our terrain for things like bridge ramps and walls that need to integrate precisely. USurfaceMesh in Code Plugins - UE Marketplace
@scottylewin did you ever get this working with or without this plugin? I want to make a golf game so bad but so far have not found a solution to creating the bunkers. Feel free to DM me on discord we can have a chat about this.
Discord - tommow1994#6272
I’m the developer of the USurfaceMesh plugin. It was created specifically to create meshes on the surface that fit the surface perfectly. This is done by projecting the mesh and capturing the surface below.
Here is a video I made a while ago that shows how to make a golf course sand bunker:
The plugin has evolved a bit since this video was made.
This mesh could easily be made more complex and either sculpted in the editor using the Unreal Modeling plugin or exported out and sculpted in another external app like ZBrush.
USurfaceMesh does have the ability to stamp a static mesh in place which produces a static mesh asset which includes meta data about the exact location/rotation it was stamped in. You can then export → sculpt → import and use USurfaceMesh to place the new mesh back in place perfectly.
This video shows how to place an imported mesh back in place (Go to 59mins 50secs):
I hope this helps.
Hi Scotty, This 100% can be done procedually via simple spline inputs, including the raking of the sand. We’re developing very similar tools in Houdini that does something very similar, with an aim of bringing the assets into UE5. It’s for race circuit modelling rather than golf courses but we could easily adapt it to work for golf courses. Feel free to drop me a message if you wish to discuss further. This might be slightly off topic but we also work with Lidar scan data and I am wondering if this would be of interest in order to make the courses more accurate.