More complex geometry with brushes vs static meshes

I’m new to the Unreal engine, but make maps some years before with the leveleditors from Aliens vs Predator 2 and Doom 3.

I looked the whole maps from the free examples and see that the whole walls are static meshes.
I’m a little disapointed, that I have to use an external rendertool to create more complex geometry.
What I exactly mean is to create tubes/hoses with the cylinder brush or round geometry.

But maybe it is possible and I don’t know, so I have some questions:

  1. if I create a Cylinder and put a material on it, the lighting and shadowing on the edges isn’t smooth, it is hard and angular
    so that it don’t looking like a round object. If I put a static mesh cylinder, the lighting and shadows is smooth and it looks like
    a round object. So it is able to have this with created brushes? At least for cylinder and spheres?

  2. when I try to rotate and scale a face or the vertexes on the end of a cylinder in Geometry Editing mode, it doesn’t happen
    anything or the vertextes go to crazy places. Is this a bug or do I something wrong or the engine doesn’t have implemeted

  3. about the static meshes, do static meshes block the visibilty of the objects behind it, or do I have to put a brush behind the static mesh? Want I mean is, that if a static mesh
    bocks my view, are the objects and brushes behind it still rendered?

Hi wARmAcH1n3,

Welcome to the forums and to using UE4! :slight_smile:

I’ll do my best to cover your questions and I’m sure some of our community members will jump in with some more input as well!

You should be made aware that BSP\Geometry brushes are primarily used for blocking out and rapid prototyping your level. A clear example of this is in Jim Brown’s Intro to Level Design. You can access this level yourself by opening the Content Examples project from Marketplace > Open Level > LevelDesign_workflow.umap.

There are limitations when using BSPs that are not currently listed on our documentation page.

With regards to edge smoothing there is not currently any setting that will allow you to do this within the engine. You would need to set this up on any static mesh you create with in a 3D software or you can convert the BSP into a static mesh > export to FBX > import into your 3D software > then send back to UE4 to have the proper smoothing groups.

This is a known issue. BSPs can get pretty wonky when they are being edited like this. Minor alterations are OK but I wouldn’t recommend doing anything beyond this.

I’m going to answer this questions a couple of different ways because I think I know what you’re asking but I want to cover all bases just in case since the question was worded this way.

With regards to the static mesh and visibility. Your static mesh visibility will be determined by the material that is on it. This material can have an opacity set so you can through it. This is strictly a material though.

With the second part of your question, with what is being rendered on the screen: What’s in the viewport is being rendered. The meshes that are not visible are being culled out.

If you want to control what’s happening with the meshes in the viewport you should look into using Culling Volumes to control at what distance meshes should be rendered.

There are limitations with BSP though compared to Static Meshes:

They cannot be culled using a cull volume
They are not optimized for lighting or materials necessarily.
This sphere is a good example of this with materials and how it handles them when compared to a Sphere where we have made the UV ourselves.

Using a massive amount of them will greatly impact your FPS

If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Thank you!


Thank for the Info, Tim.