How to subdivide landscapes for sculpting?

How can I increase the polycount for landscapes if I want to sculpt on them? The poly-count is extremely low and I get these jagged “peaks” very quickly. Small adjustments are impossible.

You cannot.
Don’t use landscapes.
Just make meshes in houdini or any DCC.

Oh dang, that’s unfortunate.

I can sculpt something in Zbrush and import that in but doing any changes would be a hassle. Especially if the texture painting won’t update/stay the same during reimport.

I could probably just import a ground plane as a base and then make the ground and elevation changes (slight hills) with megascan ground assets cobbled together. That could work…

Normally you would sculpt caps / edges / rocks that are used to make the flattened areas look a little better.

No level is actually just the “landscape” in the end.

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There is one way, but it’s not very performant - you can increase the size of your landscape, and decrease the scale - if you set the scale to 0.5, you get double the subdivide etc…

Thats a horrible idea as it introduces all kinds of issues and probably just trashes your project.
Forget its even an option unless you know what you are doing.

And even if you know what you are doing, you should probably only use it for single landscape scenarios.
The moment multiple landacapes are introduced (with the same scaling ofc), you get more issues than its worth.

What kind of issues? I’ve done it many times without any problems… The only time I’ve ever had to do anything was with landscape stamps, and that was just to change their scale.

The components that make up the landacape behave differently than they should since all of their math for changing out is based on size on screen instead of being based on distance from player (unless you are in something before 4.18).

The tris on screen tend to quadruple - because you won’t really be able to make it so that just one component sits at lod0 due to the size on screen issue above.

On many gfx (and mind you, 90% of players are on a 1060 according to steam, still), once you exceed 3mil tris stuff just won’t render, so with lower end cards you have very strict tris counts to respect.

And in the end, for what?
If you add a mesh cap you spend maybe 14k tris at lod0 for some extreme detail that you won’t even ever notice in game.
The LODing of it will retain the general shape without any quality/visual loss at a distance down to probably 400 tris or so.
On top of it, you can instance them so they cost next to nhil to render but their drawcall.
And, because they are separate chunks the engine can occlude them out as needed.

It costs you some work. It won’t compromise your project.

Theres other developmental issues like the scaling you mention, or trying to add the water system, or doing anything like trails/footprints on the landscape too.

And it isn’t limited to that.
If you add multiple landscapes, and your player edges at the intersection of 4 of them, you potentially go from x4 the tris count to x16 the tris count.

The claculations of vertex shifting for the edge of the LODs get computationally higher (not that they aren’t already, since they are sub picometer results, but you have less space to work in for something the landscape “system” shouldn’t even be attempting to do in the first place. Could be its not a real issue, but .25 hiccuped the rendering pipeline because of it, can’t imagine it having gotten any better.)

Not that you can anymore, but if you add tessellation on top of it you bring the issue above to exacerbation the smaller that scale is…

There’s more. It just gets pointless to list it all as it just gets less tangible.

Interesting, I never used world composition so wouldn’t have seen that - it will be interesting to see how world partition handles scaled landscapes though.

Regarding the performance, yes I agree it’s not something to do for a game. It can be very handy for scenes and visualization though. Scaling the other way is useful though - my games landscape is scaled 1.5x in the x/y and it seems to behave itself well with world partition.

Also, you can convert your landscapes to meshes, so one way of creating game landscape meshes is to sculpt them in UE and export as a mesh and used those - reducing the scale there makes it easier to sculpt in detail at a reasonable size.

So long as in the end product you use meshes thats probably ok.

However, consider that the meshes produced (and exported) are not analytical:
The landscape system places a vert every X distance, period. So your exported mesh will also have 1 vert very x distance.
Likely, you can oprimize and remove close to 50% vertex from it without loosing any fedelity.

Flat areas are where you’d see the biggest benefit for simplification.

Scaling up (1.5, even 2), can arguably be good for performance in world partition/composition.
With larger distances you’d see less lod0.
That doesn’t mean it wont have other issues btw, though the implications on games are far less.

You do have a valid point however, and that is that I tend to forget that some people use this game engine for anything but making games. Sure, if the idea is to just make something visual and you are OK with a reduced performance while working, then scaling the landscape up and down likely won’t matter to the required end-result.

As a general rule of thumb however I tend to advise everyone not to do thing in engine.
The main reason for this is that the engine really suffers from bad management. We have constant releases that brick things and block work/hinder progression.
So instead of fighting with the engine, work outside of it and you’ll never be stuck - as a bonus, you can likely load and test your work in other engines (to me thats actually important, but then again we make all our own assets so we aren’t bound with licensing and such)…

For anyone coming across this in the future–I’ve found a pretty good method of doing what I originally wanted. In modeling mode (needs to be activated in plugins) add a rectangle, subdivide it, and then use the sculpting tools in the deform panel.

I’m not going to be using this for an entire world space but for a more local forest path, should work fine. Can also be used to fill in gaps between megascans assets since a lot of the ground assets don’t “snap” together.

Well, the end result is a mesh, so you should be fine regardless of the end application.

The engine should automatically instance those as well, however if you notice performance iccups you may want to check that the meshes are in-fact instanced (and work on making them so if their material is used more than once on more than one mesh).

Oh yeah, you’re right. You can bring in a mesh from anywhere. My main issue was the sculpt mode. I thought it was only in landscape mode but that’s not the case.

So, how you bring in more subdivision\tessellation to a landscape you have already created is to resample the landscape by going to the Landscape panel then choose the *Manage Mode
(Only if not using World Partition this can be done. With WP you don’t see resample)

So, here you will see a tool option called Resample select that, and you now should see something like this (UE5 might look different)

Now you choose to resample in the Resize mode , and change these values accordingly to the recommended sizes based on the actual resolution of your heightmap:
“If you are not using a heightmap, then you don’t have to stick the a min/max resolution”

These are the recommended landscape sizes:

What you want to do is to give the landscape smaller components, and more components in total.
So set the component size to a lower value, and increase the amount of components.
But you need make sure you don’t go above the resolution of you heightmap if using one.
If you don’t use a heightmap, then you can set the resolution you want to…

Try using 2x2 sections for performance reasons, but i would try both. And also try to adjust the component size and amount to get as little amount of total components as possible, but still have enough to be able to sculpt without the jagged triangle shapes…

Also look this post: Landscape grid resizing - Development / Rendering - Epic Developer Community Forums (

Landscapes don’t work that way. They arent analytical meshes where you can add more detail only where required.

Use Blender with the dynotopo brush. Youll be a thousand times better off.

Reducing the x/y scale of a landscape will change the vertex density of the mesh - and worsen your perfoemance.

Default is 1m per vertex at 100 scale.

A value of 50 puts a vertex every .5m instead.

Perfoemance wise you deop about 8ms or so, which isnt really worth it.

In short. Your diatribe above won’t do anything for mesh subdivisions. The verts are always at a fixed distance.