Texture sampler limit

I’m wondering if there’s anyway to increase the amount of texture samples for a landscape material.

I have a pretty huge landscape and find that the limit of 12 is… limiting. I’m aware I can use texture alpha channels to sneak other textures in, but wondering if there are any other tricks.

I see in UE4 there is a setting for using shared samplers, but I don’t see this in UDK.

nope, this one is a hardware limit issue. Shared sampler is DX11-only and it was never implemented in UE3. you’ll have to go with the workarounds:

  1. use texture atlasing (not recommended, brings too many issues/limitations)
  2. use texture packing (sneak textures into the alpha channels as you said, even into the NormalMap Blue), this is recommended to reduce your texture amount per layer to 2
  3. simply reduce the amount of painted layers per component as much as you can, this is recommended anyway for performance reasons. the sweet spot is to limit it to 4 layers per component (this way the landscape only uses 1 weightmap texture, while if you have 5 layers it goes to a 2nd weightmap already - so this gives you a very slight performance gain). if you have problems fitting 4 layers per component you can make your components smaller

I’d suggest going for both 2 and 3

Can you split the landscape into separate landscapes and give them different materials? You could keep one or two layers the same as you transition from one area to another and place static meshes liberally to hide discontinuities.

^^ that’s literally no different from not painting layers into other components (under the hood Unreal works exactly like that in terms of components and materials)