Using Instanced Static Meshes in C++?

I was looking to start getting into procedural generation and the first thing I need to be able to do is create an instanced static mesh of a floor via C++ but there doesn’t seem to be much on this topic or any help is somewhat outdated or isn’t explained completely clearly.

What I seemed to be getting from some of the solutions was that I needed to create a new class for every different instanced static mesh I want to use. e.g. A separate class for floors, walls, corners, etc. Am I wrong in thinking this? It would be nice if someone could come in and clear this all up a little bit.

Is there a way to do it similar to the “Generating Procedural Rooms” video by Unreal in which they simply have one blueprint containing all different meshes that they can create new instances of individually? I would prefer to simply have a “ProceduralGeneration” actor class that I can place into the world that contains all the different instanced meshes which I can iterate between inside the class itself.

tl;dr: How to create instanced static meshes in C++ simply.

There’s a component called InstancedStaticMeshComponent. You add this component to any actor. This component has a static mesh field where you specify the mesh you want. It also has an “Instances” array where you add all the transforms you want for your static mesh.

UInstancedStaticMeshComponent *ISMComp = NewObject<UInstancedStaticMeshComponent>(YourActor);

Then you can add transforms like this:


The transforms will be relative to your actor’s transform.

You can spawn the actor in c++:

YourActor = GetWorld()->SpawnActor<AActor>(AActor::StaticClass());

You can add as many Instanced static mesh components to your actor as you like.

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This looks great and I will definitely try it out tomorrow once I get up but briefly looking over it I’m assuming your examples imply that the InstancedStaticMeshComponent is on the actor of the class you’re calling this code from? If so this is perfect.

Yes, the first two code snippets can be called from the actor creating the component. If you already have an actor and you want to put those snippets in that actor, then obviously you don’t need the third snippet (the “SpawnActor” part).

Hey sorry about this I’m kind of new to Unreal but I’m assuming that if I wanted to call this code from the actor creating the component I just replace “YourActor” with “this”? Or is there more to it than that because doing so makes me crash?

For example do I just do:

UInstancedStaticMeshComponent *ISMComp = NewObject<UInstancedStaticMeshComponent>(this);

EDIT: Nevermind I got it working; I’m just not able to use the above in the constructor.

For anyone reading this, I managed to get this working eventually by adding the first few code snippets into an override of the “OnConstruction” function to make all of this happen in the editor rather than only after pressing play. I had to do it like this instead of in the constructor because NewObject requires a valid actor within the world which my class wouldn’t be during the constructor calls. I’m sure if you’re adding this component to a different class you might be able to call the first snippets in the constructor but I just wanted to clarify it from my position. For reference here’s the code that allowed it to work:

void AProceduralGeneration::OnConstruction(const FTransform& Transform)
	ISMComp = NewObject<UInstancedStaticMeshComponent>(this);

Thanks a bunch Rantrod, I really appreciate the help!

Great thread, saved me a couple of head aches I’m sure.

For some reason Gama97’s code leaves references still present in the editor when re-running that OnConstruction method in my case. This adds up to a lot of InstancedStaticMeshComponent_#s when fiddling with parameters for the actor.

I solved it with a cleanup method running before anything else in OnConstruction.

void AInstancedMeshField::cleanupInstanceComponents()
	TArray<UActorComponent*> currentICs = this->GetInstanceComponents();
	for (UActorComponent* ic : currentICs)

Of course, this is a bit of a shotgun approach for cleanup. Did you guys manage to re-add ISMC’s in any better way?

So, I got it to work in a different way and doesn’t create unwanted reference but its tricky to make it spawn …

.h file

class UInstancedStaticMeshComponent* Spawner;

.cpp file

   #include "Engine/Classes/Components/InstancedStaticMeshComponent.h"
    	Spawner = CreateDefaultSubobject<UInstancedStaticMeshComponent>(TEXT("ROOT"));
    	RootComponent =Spawner;

this way you also have the transform of the “Root Component” working

I was having trouble getting my mesh to render with the code in this thread, not sure why yet but I found an alternative that worked:

// in .h file
class UInstancedStaticMeshComponent* ISMComp;

UPROPERTY(EditDefaultsOnly, BlueprintReadWrite, Category = "Mesh")
class UStaticMesh* Mesh;
// in .cpp file

// Constructor
  ISMComp = CreateDefaultSubobject<UInstancedStaticMeshComponent>(TEXT("ISMC"));

void AGenerator::BeginPlay()

Also found this great video on the same topic: Unreal Engine 4 Tutorials: C++ Instanced Static Mesh Component and Per Instance Custom Data - YouTube