World Comp / Impostors / and foliage

I thought that the baking process for each tile would take the physical shape of trees into account and bake them into mesh - sort of like an actor merge.
It isn’t so. the process is literally a screencapture2D with ortho view at the size of the tile.

This doesn’t really cut it for me. Even at 5KM you will see a large tree alter the base landscape geometry. Particularly when the sun sets behind it…

So, then you select the foliage, merge it and create a single mesh to add to the generated replacement tile that does not contain a landscape. That would be good, except you loose occlusion culling.
When dealing with a 1km tile that’s sort of important as you could potentially not need to render even over 90% of the trees in the tiles…

So how is this normally handled? Is there a way to move the same procedural trees to the level and just let the impostors do their job along with HLOD ?

Additionally. It seems that in .25 clicking on “generate” for the LOD causes a black spot to be present at the very center of the texture. Like if something was in front of the scenecapture2D camera. Except there isn’t anything and I don’t see a way to manage what the capture camera options past the ones available…
Ok, well at least that I can get around. IF you have the same issue, disable world origin rebasing before loading tiles. It must be something like the new SkyAthmosphere that is being rendered into (I have it at 0,0,Z probably like most).

Attempting a few different things to wrangle the level.
After reviewing the Kite demo once again. The way they are doing it is with maps well above your standard optimized sizes. having the landscape with a trillion tiles at 1km each is in fact becoming very problematic at a distance with the impostors. To the point that they really need to be manually merged together and custom managed to get something that runs as optimized as possible.
Also, it seems that Simplygon used to do some of the merge work. and that now it does not since it was removed or requires a separate enabling/licensing.

So, if anyone stumbles on this it might be worth to know the following:

With 110km^2 or essentially very large landscapes made up of 1009px tiles, or 505px tiles, the performance degrades once all the generated LODs are in place.

With a very large tile size (max size being ~8km, and what was used within Kite demo) the performance is very poor when the landscape’s LOD 0 is present.

This can be manually managed on a per tile basis by setting the LOD0 size and screen size options to get it to exclude LOD0.
Given each project is different, the precise settings will probably be different for everyone. But it is possible to maximize the distribution and get 120fps on those large maps which end up working just as well as the smaller ones.

The beautiful thing about the 8km maps is that the generation of the LODs works perfectly in the distance, as opposed to using 64 levels to do the same thing and fighting with the engine to try to pack them together and reduce the draw call count.

Still not really sure on how to handle the billion plants that would be visible in the distance particularly on ridges, but thats probably going to be a manual process of merging billboards and packing them into the LOD level with a unique texture…