I am currently in the process of having a landscape designed for my game in 3ds max. I am new to this whole thing. What file format should I use to get it from 3ds max to UE4. The designer told me that raw 16 was not an option. I told him to proceed with FBX, hoping that I can change it if need be or even import it like that. I have a fairly large map being designed, what sort of poly count should I aim for for an open world survival game? I think I can change this fairly easily in Maya if need be. For right now, I told him to balance between poly count and quality. I will see where that gets me. So much stuff to learn!
RAW 16 is what you would need if you were importing it from a heightmap. I’m not familiar with using Max so I couldn’t tell you how its done there, but if you could pull a 16 bit heightmap in either PNG or RAW format, it should work. FBX would make it a static mesh, not a landscape that is editable within the UED.
Here is a tutorial how to create a heightmap in 3ds max: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5QD6D9pYfE Now after you have created a RAW 16 heightmap you can easily import it as a landscape (landscape tool - import heightmap)
I personally would recommend you to do it this way, because the landscape lods are pretty good and you can always edit it with the tools in the landscape tool.