using a landscape as a water plane.

I’m modeling an island for my primary level (meaning it is surrounded by water on all sides,) and it just occurred to me, would it be a good idea to use a landscape as my water plane for the ocean.

I mean, the LOD system is built in and i can’t think of a reason not to. But then I’m not particularly experienced with UE4 and feel like it would be more commonly done if it were possible. would this work? are there any drawbacks that I’m not aware of?


There should’t be any problems. You could even use layers to add foam or other kinds of effects.

That’s what i thought, The only thing is that i’ve never seen it done in any tutorials. I figured there must be a reason for that???

by default the landscape geometry does not change at runtime, so the waves would not move. performance wise I would recommend a material so the GPU can to the work.

World position offset at material is the proper place.

Yer that’s what i planned to do, What i don’t understand is why terrain meshes aren’t used in tutorials, at all. Thought there must be some sort of drawback that i wasn’t aware of.

I’m curious about this myself. Few things that makes Landscape suitable for a water plane:

  • Tessellation-based LODs with components and sections (high detail waves up front, lower detail in back, infinitely scaleable)
  • Easier to use landscape coordinates (vs. texture coordinates)
  • Layer painting system, integrated with material
  • Collision detection from heightfield