Large Static Meshes

I’m a former hobbyist who is starting up my own company, and have been toying around with the Unreal 4 Engine recently. My experience with mapping and modelling is pretty outdated - Quake and Counter-Strike engines a decade or two ago.

I noticed all the mapping done for the sample games on the Marketplace consist of massive and oddly-shaped static meshes. Pillars connected to rooftops, connected to windows - fractions of entire buildings cut seemingly it at random and conjoined.

I suspect this simplifies the graphics requirements since the only similarity I have noticed is that they might be on the screen at the same time.

Is most mapping created outside the engine now?

Presumably using modelling programs like Blender and 3DS, where smaller static meshes are made?

I picked up comfortable fluency with the U4E engine in a week of spare time (youtube tutorials) - but now that I want curved walls, archways, and domes - I seem to be missing an important step.

Thanks for the help! :slight_smile:

Hi Yvaelle and welcome to the UE4 community!

Practically all modeling should be done outside of the engine in a modeling program. UE4 has basic geometry meshes, but I would recommend these really only be used for prototyping. You do have the option to convert these BSP prototype shapes into static meshes which is certainly more efficient, but to get more specific shapes and meshes you’ll want to use a modeling program like Blender, 3Ds Max, Maya, or anything that can export an FBX or OBJ file type.

Feel free to ask questions anytime. There is a great community and staff here that are always willing to help!


And all the separated parts are a modular workflow, where pieces can fit together to make buildings of various sizes without having to use entirely new unique assets. It allows you to save on the amount of memory used.

Hi Yvaelle and welcome! :slight_smile:

Try out Blender3D its free and Open Source and you can make anything you can imagine with it for UE4! :smiley:

But bare in mind that Blender, like all 3D modeling software has a steep learning curve. At first its User Interface may look to you a lot like Darth Vader’s bathroom, but once you learn and know your way around it, it’s easy as pie. :slight_smile:

Slightly off topic, do you know what kind of game you want to make?

Thanks for the help all :slight_smile:

To answer your question Dyoto, I’m making a single player action RPG at the moment - but leaning toward strategy rather than FPS - it’s our first game, so it’s going to be pretty short by RPG standards. The goal is mostly just getting the company running, and getting a product finished / learning the development and distribution cycle.


most level geometry should consist of static meshes created in an outside 3d program (blender, maya, 3ds) and then imported. The major benefit of this is that you can have more detailed shapes (like the arched doorways you mentioned) as well as the fact that it speeds up the game since the engine does not have to compute (at runtime) where to build geometry but rather it loads a number of static meshes into memory and duplicates/rotates them at runtime (if you use the same arch multiple times for example).

Essentially to use a term from the CS Hammer editor which you said you were familiar with, you are making your level from basically only “prefabs”. Like I said the advantages are more detail and speed.

Hoep this helps.

P.s. if you are looking for a 3d modeler, send me a message, I am an aspiring 3d artist and like to get some experience. I can comfortably do all kinds of props like benches, arches, random other world objects (houses, walls, etc…).

“At first its User Interface may look to you a lot like Darth Vader’s bathroom,” Darth Vader’s bathroom isn’t really that bad, to be honest.

(I know! To much time on my hands. Must make games! Use the force. Even if it’s the dark side.)