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procedural foliage vs painted foliage?

So what are the pros and cons?

When do i use procedural foliage?
When do i use foliage painter?

Bonus question :stuck_out_tongue: im making an open world game ish, it’s more like a large level. What would be the best approach for a dense forest?

If you use the grass outputs from the material blueprints, using GrassType objects, they have no collision. If you need collision or BP logic attached, you need to use the Painter; it can spawn meshes with collision and/or BP-driven collision.

You can also look at the procedural-foliage volume where you can set parameters to grow generations of defined things (rocks/trees/etc), where they scatter, how far, etc. It can create a forest at the touch of a button and can also do collision and BPs like the painter.

The grass-stuff is best for that, grass, or small rocks, flowers etc; things that don’t really need collision.

Realistically they re interchangeable - except maybe make sure that you use the same instances in both types or you could potentially improve memory consumption by deriving instances from the existing base.

So ideally, the foliage tool is great for control. You can paint instances exactly where you want them.

The procedural foliage (https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/Engine/OpenWorldTools/ProceduralFoliage/QuickStart/index.html) instead is great for generating realistic looking aged forests/clusters on the fly without you having to manually place in brush changes at every go.
IT can even help doing silly things like Fields in uniform patterns that you would otherwise have to copy/paste and manually align with the foliage tool.

For a large - even world comp powered - world map, I’d go with a combo of the 2.
The procedural for the initial placement, and manual detailing of additional instances with the foliage brush.

Also, yes the procedural grass is good, but it offers no collision. I don’t even think you can replace the instances like my add-on does for the foliage painter instances (DynoFoliage: UE4 Interactive Foliage). I would stick to using it as it’s meant, to sprout grass, and rocks/pebbles that cannot be interacted with.

Thank you.