Level Design tips for large maps

Hello guys,

I am having a very hard time trying to get a my large Island Forest map looking the way I want. I will start by telling you what I’m using…

-I have a 4096x4096 map.

-I am using this day and night system w/ Ocean…

-I am Using SpeedTree for UE4 (Default Trees along with the Thick Grass).

First off, I have the Ocean on a new level that is always showing.
The terrain have multiple Streaming Volumes across the terrian.
I have the terrian’s material set up to use a splat map and multiple 1k textures w normal maps.

My main issue is that I have to manually place the trees (On a map this size it’s a very huge task), then I place them on a new Level that is always showing.
I can’t do that with the grass and every time I use the foliage tool with the grass it slows the game and the engine down.

I want the forest to really look like a forest that has never seen any human life and I would like to know you opinions on what I can do to really populate the terrain with plant life and get a pro look. Any suggestions, youtube videos, etc would help out a lot as I haven’t really been able to find much from my own searches.


Also another thing I was wondering about… I have footstep fx playing when my player’s foot touches the ground (through animation) would anyone know a way to conditionally change this. Such as… whenever the player steps on grass, it plays a different sound that would be footsteps in grass or rock being a sound that is a bit tougher? I am using blueprints and I am rather new (but learning and willing to learn no matter how advanced).

Why cant you place the trees with the foliage tool? :slight_smile:

When placing meshes with the foliage tool you have to use culling, low poly meshes, LOD’s and a good material so that you get a good performance. Also make sure to add hills and other stuff so that the view of the player gets blocked.


I actually figured it out a little. My map is very very very big and I will have to start from scratch in order to split it up and stream it all together. That way I could get the best performance possible plus using Culling. My main issue was that the grass really slowed everything down and it still does to a degree, I think it’s the result of poor level planning and not configuring Culling properly.

Thanks for the Footstep tutorial, it really helped me out!