I’m modelling a small town to be the exterior for my character to walk around in. And I’m wondering about polycount and performance. Is it better to import each building separately and build the town structure in UE, or can I just as well import the entire scene as one huge object? The total amount of polys in the scene is obviously going to be the same. But is it better performance wise better to split everything up in objects?
It depends. Having more separate meshes will obviously increase draw calls, but they aren’t much of a concern for modern PCs. Combining the meshes will result in less draw calls, however it will also greatly decrease the reusability of the assets (less unique assets), and you will potentially have to increase the lightmap resolutions to compensate larger meshes.
I think merging assets that make sense is a good idea (like group of rocks, campfire, modular wall pieces, etc), but creating whole buildings from single meshes isn’t the best idea, but obiously it’s also depending on your game (can the player go in? etc).
Its a better idea to keep them separate as UE4 is able to cull that entire model, where as if everything is a single object, culling will be greatly reduced and so will performance.