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Some feedback on modelling tools

I’m gonna post some feedback here and update the topic with things I find and would like to improve.

First, I’d like to say that modelling tools show a lot of promise and would be a joy to work with and be used to blockout/make level geo but currently they are held back by a number of drawbacks.

Let’s start with snapping. Even though there is an option to snap to world grid in some tools it just doesn’t work (unless I miss some hotkeys but I’ve tried holding ctrl/shift/etc. For example path extrude has this option but it doesn’t snap to world grid when I draw the line, it snaps only to height. It could be an ideal tool to draw room layout with walls set to constant height and width but for now it’s not. Same goes for lock rotation in poly editing - it doesn’t work.

Some tools could also benefit from grid snapping like edge/loop insert tools, poly cut, planar projection in poly editing tools (for scaling, rotation and tranform).

Also there are some incosistencies - like for example when I try dynamic sculpt tool it asks me to use Remesh to clear UVs but even after this it says that sculpting is limited because UVs are present and I should use Remesh tool.

Then there are UV tools. Xform tools currently lack any sort of snapping (rotation, scale, transform), thus making any sort of level art not possible. Working with texture trims relies on snapping. And even though in future this technique may be outdated it still will be extremely useful in conjuction with Displacement tool (basically I’d align surface to a trim texture and displace it).

There will be more but for now that’s my feedback. Thanks for making these tools!

Thanks for the feedback. It’s helpful if you mention what version you are using as there are enormous changes between 4.26/27 and 5.0EA (and many more available in the 5.0 branch on github).

If you are in 5.0EA, then there is a new snapping system for the modeling-mode-gizmo (eg the thin-lines gizmo) based on middle-mouse-button and ctrl-key. Middle-mouse-drag moves the gizmo and ctrl-modifier snaps to faces/vertices (so snaps the gizmo if ctrl+middle-mouse, or snaps the move if ctrl+left-mouse). There is also (limited) ability to snap rotation to planes in the scene using ctrl-modifier. Also in 5.0 the modeling mode respects the Editor position/angle and world/local snapping settings, rather than individual checkboxes in every tool.

Path Extrude Tool grid snapping will be fixed in 5.0. Lock Rotation in PolyEdit means that when you change selection the gizmo keeps it’s rotation, so (eg) you can select one face, then lock rotation, then select another face to use the “frame” from the first face.

The tool-help info about Remesh tool to remove constraints for DSculpt is not clear, sorry. You still have to check ‘Discard Attributes’ in Remesh. The sculpting will still work if you don’t do this, it’s just that it will not be able to modify certain edges so the dynamic remeshing will not be as nice in some cases (eg around uv seams and hard-normal borders).

Our UV Tools are still very early, we don’t (yet) have very good support the kind of texture-trim workflows you are describing. We have to balance between these LD-workflow-specific tools/capabilities against the more general modeling workflows we want to support, so it will take us some time to build out everything that you might find in other level-design-focused tools.

thanks for reply! I’m using 5.0

ctrl MMB snapping is very helpful. Is there a way to lock rotation to degrees while I’m in poly editing mode?

My main feedback would be probably is to add more grid and angle snapping to all tools. I know that you make a well-rounded modelling tools but this stuff is very, very helpful for level design. I’d like Unreal to feel like Trenchbroom and all engines that come from Quake editing toolset like Source/Source 2/Radiant.

This is just a beginning but it shows a lot of promise.

edit: I may have missed it but bevel tool would be huge. I know it’s a very hard to make a good one.

I’d like to add -
I really love the new modeling tools but I still find myself wanting to go to Maya or Blender for most things simply for the camera navigation. It feels so clumsy in UE. Specifically the pan and zoom tool. It’s always way too sensitive or barely moves. Being able to use traditional navigation and rotate around for modeling is pretty critical for me. I remember reading an old post that says this is related to Unreal using raw mouse input where most other programs use another modified input but idk. Maybe some sort of option to turn this on while working in the modeling tools?
Also accidentally making duplicates all the time with the Alt key while navigating is awkward.
Also, ability to go above ~1M polygons in displace would be helpful. Not sure if that’s in the new branch.
But thanks for all the cool tools!

In regards to camera movements, I am guessing you are using the Alt+[LCR]MB controls. If not that will give you camera controls that are closer to other DCCs. A couple things that I adjust to help are the camera speed which is the camera icon at the top right of the viewport. Depending on the scale of the asset the default of 4 may be to high or low. When trying to work on smaller details I also adjust the camera near clipping plane cvar “r.SetNearClipPlane” to something like .001 depending on the model. Finally in UE5 some of the modeling tools like polyEdit and triEdit have the option to hit the “c” key to center frame the camera on the selected mesh component like a triangle, edge or vertex. That really helps to navigate around the asset and work on specific areas.

It is possible to disable the size limit in the Displace Tool, it is in the Advanced Display section. Another option is to use the Displace Tool with Displacement Intensity set to 0 to subdivide your initial mesh a few times, and then run it again w/ the actual displacement, this will allow you to go to a higher level. (We have the limits there because it is very easy to accidentally type in a number that will consume all the RAM on your computer)

O wow thanks for the responses. I didn’t know about the Disable Size Warning and the center frame key!
For the camera movement I can elaborate a little more. So In windows in the mouse settings there is an “Enhance Pointer Precision” option that is enabled by default and lets you accelerate the mouse by how fast you move it, so you can move it far but also have small precise movements. In other dccs the camera navigation feels like it is using this so you can zoom out and make big pans and rotates but then have precise movements when zoomed in. On top of that I think they scale the pan and rotate inputs up and down depending on how close or far you get from the framed selection. If I’m understanding it right, unreal doesn’t use this input bc it needs raw mouse input to control the camera. So I guess it just feels kind of jarring to not be able to make large movements along with small ones. The camera speed does help but its kind of awkward to have to adjust it every time you zoom out bc its a constant thing when modeling/sculpting. It’s weird how the mouse input for just clicking and moving an object feels fine (like it’s moving at the correct speed of the mouse on the screen) but clicking and moving the camera is locked to the camera speed setting. (It makes sense for WASD navigation but for for PanRotateZoom it feels off) It’s also kind of weird how the camera rotate speed stays the same regardless of the camera speed setting. I hope I don’t sound like i’m complaining just wanted to leave some feedback. Thanks for the tips!

You might try the option I highlighted below in the Editor Preferences list. This will use the distance to the selected object(s) to modulate the camera speed. Since it depends on the active selection it can have some odd behaviors if objects very far outside the viewport are selected, which is why it is not enabled by default (in a huge game level it is very easy to accidentally select something very far away)

Awesome! After playing with this a bit it does help in some situations but you are right it does have some odd behaviors. It breaks WASD navigation if a larger mesh is selected and just slows down to nothing in both styles.
So after tinkering around some more it just seems like it doesn’t make sense to have a universal “Camera Speed” setting for both styles of navigation. “Camera Speed” should be just linked to regular mouse speed for “Alt+Click” navigation. It is already at mouse speed for “Alt+Lmb (Rotate)” so it sounds like there is nothing holding it back from doing so with Pan and Zoom ?

So I’ve been using modelling tools again and I’m really glad that you can use hotkeys contextually, like if I bind ctrl-1 to extrude it doesn’t override bookmark functionality. This means that I can set up a pretty fluid modelling workflow.

Also I hope that grid snapping while moving faces/edges in poly editing will be fixed by release, righ not it doesn’t work if the box is checked while extruding does which makes it a bug.