Right Way to build Houses

Hello Everyone,

I’m currently building a small part of a town as a VR Project.
I’m very new to game design so this question might be very basic, but what would be the right way to build static mesh buildings and import them into unreal.
Or maybe it doesn’t even matter and works either way.
Do i import windows separately and use copies of the same static mesh or would i build the entire house as one big object in blender or Max and import it as one big Mesh.

Currently i have a Walls Object, a window Object with all the windows and detail Objects like the metal roof finish.

Some of the houses are huge and fit a couple hundred windows.

You won’t be able to enter the houses and the interior will mainly be empty.

In general i was curious if there is a downside of working with huge Static Meshes as opposed to putting them together in the engine.

Thanks in advance

Hi, I personaly would recommend having the windows, doors and any other repeating object as separate, so Unreal can instantiate them and save resources. As for the walls, if you have whole house as one single mesh, it might cause issues with lightmaps and if just one pixel of the hous eis visible, it’s going to compute the whole house. I recommend breaking the houses into 4-6 parts, in a radial division (eg. southeast, northwest, etc) so if you’re looking at one side, the other will be occluded.

Honestly, because of occlusion and overhead, the best way is to make it modular.

don’t go overboard, a room can be it’s own static mesh as a whole for wall/celing/floor so that you won’t have lightmap issues or bleeding.
the walls should be one way with the normals facing inward.

you could do separate walls and even 1/2/4/8 m wall sections, but then you often have issues with light mass in corners, and risk having too many draw calls. That’s kind of important if you are working VR.

The outer walls can be all separate, since lightmass won’t fart on you as much with convex corners as it often does with concave ones.

Windows should be separate, but include the window seal to cover up the gap the outer and inner wall create. Same for door frames.

the important parts to remember is to mark seams at the corners that do not matter and where light can gap without issues.
imagine a room as a box. To unwrap it you define the floor and celing as cut outs, and the least important wall as the vertical seam. You can then remove 1 of the celing seams and 1 of the floor seams (on the same wall) to get a nice Box unwrap that should be able to handle any light. That’s for the UV map obviously.
for the material UV just unwrap everything separate with the same texel density. Normally I let my UVs run wild on that and just constrain them vertically preserving proportions. The materials for walls/floors/ceilings have to tile properly anyway.