Thanks for the replies everyone! I’m relatively new to Unreal Engine (UE5 EA is mostly what I have been experimenting with), so I am still getting a feel for it. I am mostly using Unreal for animation and motion graphics, rather than game development, and it has been wonderful so far! Normally I use Cinema 4D, however this project definitely suits a (somewhat) real-time render engine as well as foliage etc. so C4D isn’t an option for this. That, and the fact C4D does not handle tons of polygons very well at all.
Actually I do need a very large environment. I should point out that this is project is for animation, and not for a game, so performance is actually secondary to how things look (unless we are also talking viewport performance slowing to a halt, which would of course not be good.)
I’m actually creating a real world area with lakes and rivers (using a heightmap) and then using landscape splines to create a very long trench in the landscape with raised dikes on each side as well as a bunch of roads. The real life area is over 1000km² but I’ve been reworking everything to fit into the largest landscape available in UE. The other challenge, is that it is flat prairie land, so I can’t use multiple meshes bashed together like the Nanite demos where it is all rocky, mountainous areas.
I think the best solution would be to scale up my height map, rather than scale down the landscape for more resolution. In either case, I lose a bunch of area. So my next question is, can I use multiple landscapes side by side? Like 3x3 landscapes forming a large square? And then splitting my heightmap in Photoshop for each landscape? Is this even a feasible approach?
I’ve been searching for quite a while for a 3D software that can use splines to sculpt trenches and roads, and that is how I came to use UE5’s landscape tools. The landscape splines are exactly what I need (other than being able to import splines - which would be great.) Does anyone know if there are other 3D sculpting apps that allow for sculpting with splines? I purchased World Machine and started to learn it, as you can actually import splines and such, but I feel I am still running into the low resolution vertex problem.
Ideally I would like to be able to sculpt a landscape in another software package using similar tools to the landscape system in UE, and then bring them in as Nanite meshes. However this brings in the problem of not being able to paint textures like you can with the landscape object in UE. I feel like every solution brings in more problems (just like almost every other animation project haha!)
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!