the one area UE, including UE5 is still severely lacking, is some reasonable toolset to procedurally scatter foliage. Right now, the only really usable tool is the Foliage Paint tool, but that one isn’t feasible for scattering the foliage procedurally.
We also have the forever-beta Procedural Foliage spawner, but the workflow for that whole system is so insanely bad and inefficient that most of the time it’s just not worth using in the end. It makes it borderline impossible to art direct the foliage distribution due to overcomplicated way of scattering based on semi-biological parameters, and over 90% of the time using that tool is actually spent on juggling and wrangling all the weird asset types (procedural foliage volume, procedural foliage spawner and static mesh foliage) and manually keeping all the fragmented paramters of all the different static mesh foliage assets in sync when iterating. And then also having to refresh each iteration manually by clicking a button on a level actor, or multiple buttons if using multiple volumes.
When there is just one foliage asset per single static mesh asset, managing distributions with significant variety just becomes way too time consuming.
The Procedural Foliage toolset is so bad it has motivated me to learn C++ and write my own plugin just to fix this shortcoming:
Unfortunately maintaining the plugin in rapidly evolving UE environment is also a chore, especially when using early access/preview versions, such as UE5. I’d very much like to have an option to use some reliable, albeit basic scattering solution made by Epic directly, which I just knew I could rely on.
I am really worried that the existence of gravely insufficient Procedural Foliage Volume system means the checkbox for procedural scattering feature existence is already checked in the minds of Epic when it comes to UE feature set, and won’t be revisited in future. But I really think that Procedural Foliage/Scattering system needs to be rethought completely. Especially now when UE5 allows users to create way larger and more complex environments than ever.
And I think the fact this is coming from someone who is literally making money off of the built in procedural scattering tools being bad says a lot.
So what I would like to see is either an alternative to, or ideally a replacement of Procedural Foliage system with some more generic mass scattering solution, which has, unlike Procedural Foliage system, acceptable level of usability.