Since tessellation has been removed, I was wondering if we could get a tool in the mesh editing mode that can be used to apply a height map to a mesh. So we could use the existing remeshing feature to increase poly count, then select a texture height map to apply to the mesh (with parameters to tweak it such as UV tiling, height intensity and middle point). Alternatively, this tool could also include a mesh subdivision feature. This would make it easier to cover the previous use case of using height maps and tessellation in materials to create surface features, and without having to do this in an external DCC. Paired with Nanite this would be an awesome feature for quickly adding fine detail to surfaces using texture maps.
ha! never mind! It’s already there! I totally missed it. There’s a displacement tool in the mesh modeling mode that can use a texture map. Great!
Although… pushing the request a bit more, it would be great if the height data to be used to displace a mesh could also be taken from a material output. In this way, vertex painted mixed materials or any other procedural material could then be used as a source of displacement to apply to a mesh. Maybe use the output from the World Displacement Offset?
Currently it’s not possible to sample a Material on the CPU, Materials are compiled into GPU shaders and they often have various aspects that are viewpoint-dependent, etc (eg screen derivative calculations). So, we can’t directly evaluate a Material to displace a mesh on the CPU.
It is possible for you to set up a texture render target, and render your material to that, to create a new Texture2D from a Material that can then be used with the Displace tool. There is a tutorial here that has some information about setting up render targets in Blueprints: Unreal Engine 4 Tutorial: Painting With Render Targets | Kodeco