The UE Landscape Essentials Tutorial

If you are new to UE and want to learn about Terrain and Material I’d do Becoming an Environmental Artist Tutorial first. There is no course content to download:

Then find Landscape Essentials tutorial in the Learning Section:

This is a good course with a lot of info in small sections to get you exposed, however it does have some issues that as a new UE student, you might find confusing because it has not been updated. This course is described as a downloadable project supporting v4.62. No it’s not a complete project, it’s project pieces, but you can work with it.

The course needs updating. There is a house, but you won’t see it without a lot of work, and there is no finished final level to look at, however it is still worthwhile content.
• First redeem the code listed with this project. Redeem it in the Epic Game Launcher under your user Name> Redeem Code. After some delay it will appear in your library as Landscape Essential Concepts.
• The height map downloaded as part of the project pieces, but you can also find it for download where your redeem code is found. The height map, section is about just how to import it and adjust it’s height, and then you get rid of it. So it’s not that big of a deal, unless you’d just like to have it to insert into one of your projects. All of the terrain work you do starts as a flat terrain, and you build it with terrain tools.

• 2/13/22 Found in market place but when you tell it to create a project it just downloads project components but no project file.
• I downloaded and installed UE v4.62 just to run this tutorial but that is not necessary if you are using 4.7X you can use that instead. You might even be able to use UE v5 but I did not try that.
• On your own, create a first person project, No Starter material, I used 4.72. Then take the folders downloaded as part of the tutorial and merge each folder into your 4.72 project folder in the correct place (matching folders).
• There is a house, but you’ll find all of the static mesh actors are disconnected from their identifiers and listed as null. It’s not really necessary to see this house, because this tutorial is about terrain.
• However, if you want to see the house, in the World outliner, go reconnect hundreds of static mesh names, with the actual meshes. They have the same name. It’s not hard, just time consuming. I did not bother.
• There comes a point where the author shows you how to fill in the terrain around the foundation of the house. For that you can just load in a big cube, place slightly above the terrain and then practice on that. You can practice making a ramp on the terrain you create.
Next Day Restart a tutorial- If during the course of working on this tutorial, you take a break and come back to an “Uh oh…” message go the url and erase the right side of the address leaving Epic Games and this will take you back to your Dashboard…
• I have included some notes on aspects of this tutorial that can be confusing for newbs, as myself because it does not start as a complete coherent downloaded project with everything connected the way it should be. . :slight_smile:

Part 14- Understanding Material Layers.

This tutorial section shows how to connect Material Functions to the material by opening the material.
Of note the textures associated with the Material functions were not connected to their material function, but you can determine that by looking at the tutorial which texture was assigned to which texture sample node. Question about the texture sample node? Look at what it connect to. The Base Color node connects to the Base Color connector.
MFunction_Grass (material function 1)
* Textures used
* • Base Color: grass:countryside_output
* • Metallic: B2M_Terrain_Mud_grass_metallic
* • Height: B2M_Terrain_Mud_grass_height
* • Normal: B2M_Terrain_Mud_Grass_normal

  • MFunction_Rock (material function 2)
    • • Textures used
      • • Base Color: iceland_grassy_cliff_Base_Color
      • • Metallic: B2M_Terrain_Mud_Grass_metallic - same as above?
      • • Roughness: B2M_Terrain_Mud_Grass_roughness
      • • Height: this texture category is not in this function…
      • • Normal: B2M_Terrain_Mud_Grass_normal? My guess as this was in the Rock material folder.
        Landscape Material- A simple material which uses Material functions to give it is qualities. Actually I like this better than using channels to paint terrain.

Part 15- Painting the Terrain.

This section could be a headache because when the author starts it, the terrain is already green and he did not tell you how he made it green.

• Select the Landscape mesh in World Outliner, you’ll see that there is no Landscape material shown.
• At this point you see the regular grey checkered texture you have already applied during the tutorials. This is because the Landscape material needs to be dragged to the Landscape Material slot.
• But when you do that, the nice orderly map disappears with your terrain and is replaced by this funky abstract display.
How to fix the funky display:

  • Select Mode: Landscape> Paint on the left side of the Editor under Tool Settings you see a slot called Target Layers and in the video, these layers Grass, and Rock have items assigned: Grass: Grass_Layerinfo_02, and Rock: Rock_LayerInfo_02. The jokes on you because in the tutorial these have not yet been created.
  • • However, when you select Materials in the Content Browser you will see 2 objects: Landscape Layer: Grass_Layerinfo, and Landscape Layer: Rock_Layerinfo sitting next to your Landscape_Material.
  • • Over in the Landscape>Paint: Tool Settings> Target Layers, assign these to their respective Grass or Rock target. This will restore your terrain and it should now be green.

Part 16- Foliage Edit Mode

• This section is just setup. You don’t paint until the next section
Note: Meshes are in the Geometry Folder.
Note: The grass static mesh as it appears in Foliage has a Basic Grass texture in the same folder but that texture is not applied to the mesh initially.
* • Double click the grass mesh to open it.
* • Material Slots- It starts off with a World Material which is gray.
* • Click the down arrow and in the browse window type the name of the texture you saw in the foliage folder Basic_grass. When it appears, select it.

Part 17- Painting with Meshes

Note- The Foliage Brush settings in V4.27 are on the top center of the editor after Mode: Foliage is selected.

Part 18- Grass Tool

Used to cover large sections of terrain with random foliage. At the end of this, you should see the terrain covered in grass.
Note- This section might be confusing. I initially made this mistake.

  • • The author takes you though a method of creating a new Grass Type he calls Grass_2 in the top level of the Content folder. Note there is already a grass type called “Grass” located in the Materials folder.
  • • In Grass_2, a Grass Static Mesh is added to it, so this grass mesh will be placed all over the landscape as part of the Grass material by default.
  • • Then he opens the Grass material and adds two Nodes
    • The LandscapeGrassOutput Node
    • • LandscapeLayerSample Node
  • • In the Grass Output Node, he says to add the Grass Type and adds Grass_2.
  • • If you accidentally add “Grass”, the original grass type, all the little grass meshes will not appear.
  • • To fix this, Open the GrassOutput Node and in the Grass Material, and change the Grass type from “Grass” to “Grass_2” and now it will work and your terrain will be covered with the grass mesh instances.

An Important point is that with a Grass type nodes added at the end of this tutorial inside the grass material are not connected to anything but each other with a line, unlike the the other nodes that connected to a large output node, but the material still reads it. This is the first time I have seen this.
Create a Grass Type- creates a grass tool using a grass static mesh.

  • With Content folder selected, RC on blank space and select Foliage> Landscape Grass Type, and name it Grass_2.
  • • DC on Grass_2 to open it.
  • • + Button (top center) to add new Array Element.
  • • On left, a small clickable arrow under a label: Grass Varieties to open a list.
    • • Grass Mesh selection- which has nothing intially assigned “none” click the down arrow and under browse, type “grass”.
    • • Choose “grass static mesh”
    • • Grass Density: 750
    • • Max Value of X,Y, Z Scale to 4.0
      • • Note my Y and Z are grayed out.
    • • Random Rotation- checked
    • • Align to Surface- Checked.
  • • Then open Landscape Material
    • • RC and place LandscapeGrassOutput Node
    • • Click on LandscapeGrassOutput Node
      • • Under UMaterial Expression Landscape Grass Output
      • • Grass Type add and array element (if not there)
      • • Click small white arrow on left
        • • Select Landscape Grass Type
    • • RC on blank space and place: Select LandscapeLayerSample Node
      • • Change Preview Weight to 1.0
      • • Parameter Name- Grass.
    • • Connect LandscapeLayer Sample Node to LandscapeGrassOutput Node.

So when you use Grass_2, you get the grass meshes applied all over the landscape, and when you use Grass, you don’t. Good luck. :smiley: