How are these done?


I was wondering how were these indents done to the landscape surface?
They seem pretty smaller than what someone can do using the landscape sculpt tools.

The landscape was most likely sculpted in a 3d software (probably zbrush), and then after retopo they added textures, and most importantly a normal map. The normal map is what fakes the illusion of depth.

They may also have painted some normal channel on the ground texture using a stencil or brush.

Or you could do it with decals, like you would to do tire tracks

It’s most likely UE4 landscape I think. I don’t see a point in doing it in another 3D software just for the sake of lines. But hmmmm not sure.

I have little experience with decals but I saw that they are like square plane. How would you extend the decal like that?

Side note, It looks more 3D than just a normal map.

Decals are a way to project textures onto a surface, it automatically creates geometry that’s right on top of the surface and it is set up to render correctly. You can blend in stuff like that with the material on your decal so that you have transparency around the outside with a normal map to add the depth. You could also try using parallax occlusion mapping, which creates a visual effect of depth without actually modifying the geometry.

My bad, let me rephrase my question.

I mean basically when I want to work with decal in UE4, it’s like on the left. Which I can place it around. But if I want to reproduce some lines like in the OP image I’d need the decal to be like on the right.

Is applying a decal to landscape spline the proper way to do so? also isn’t decal very expensive in UE4 for achieve that effect?

Also is that VR project going to be released on the marketplace?

I’m interested in a proper solution as well.

Can you not create the (right side) decal in an external program and just import the normal map?

In case not, or if you would need them to dynamically appear (or alter their length in-game) I guess you’d have to constantly spawn a new square shaped decal, and blend between them somehow.

I’m not exactly sure the best way to do it, I’ve tried understanding exactly how Epic does their tiretracks in the vehicle demo, but as far as I can see, they’re just a bunch of squares that keep spawning on top of each other for as long as you need.


Basically it would look somewhat like this (a single decal to the left, and a “line” of them to the right)…

Sorry for the crappy image - only have access to ms paint atm.

There will be an issues if the line curves, which i tried to mark with the red stuff… there are probably plenty of clever solutions to this but, at least as far as I see, these issues exist even in the Epic vehicle car demo.

Yes, the decal is box shaped, but you can use an alpha to make your decal curved, so you would make it bigger than the whole shape and have all of the curves within the texture. Or, you could do like the second example above^ which would be like creating a ribbon.

Hmm. There should be more flexible approaches.

In frostbite they just move these lines around and change scale like you would do with a landscape spline in UE4. But in this case, they snap very perfectly to terrain unlike the spline in UE4.

(BTW these in frostbite are using POM)

My guess is that is modeled since they used photogrammetry.