Nondestructive landscape creation and editing tools | Feature Highlight | Unreal Engine


>>Unreal Engine 4.24 now
provides the ability to build massive worlds with a
robust and productive set of new features
for Landscapes. Continuing development
within the open world space of Unreal Engine,
the new Landscape Tools now make it possible to create
non-destructive detailed layer-based
Landscape data that is fully editable and
automatically adapts to other elements in the world. Furthermore, with Visual
Scripting nodes in Blueprints, customized brushes and tools can
be designed to help manipulate large terrain datasets directly
within the Unreal Editor. With Landscape Edit Layers,
it is now possible to add multiple heightmap and
paint layers to a Landscape and to edit them
independently of each other. Much like powerful sculpting
and painting layer systems, this allows for creating layers
that can be independent of each other or blended together
to produce boundless results. As a result, we see a full stack
of compositing layers for Landscape
building and editing. Layers can be re-stacked to
produce different results and are non-destructive to
the original terrain data, Each layer is another
complete terrain dataset that produces its own heightmap
and visibility can easily be toggled to isolate or debug. Users can also non-destructively
edit their Landscape with a layer
reserved for splines. By harnessing the power of
Blueprint visual scripting, custom brushes can be created to
affect Landscape data in an endless manner. Here, a simple Blueprint brush
is being used to produce Landscape details
that can be placed on an independent layer. Using splines, the shape
of the Landscape details can be manipulated to form
mountainous terrain or very easily affect the
inverse of the terrain to produce canyons and valleys. Because these Blueprint brushes
are stacked in the Outliner as Actors, they can be
duplicated and edited independently, to quickly
create terrain features. Furthermore,
in the Details Panel, endless parameters
can be exposed to allow creators to have access
to a wide range of effects. Here,
an effect called Curl Noise is adjusted to vary the
Landscape walls and edges. Using Texture Maps,
a displacement effect can be dialed in to
add further detailing. With Blueprint brushes, the
effect is completely customizable to construct whatever detail,
big or small, the user wants to have
on the Landscape data. Landscape construction
is at the core of many open world projects and as the
scale of these projects increases, the toolsets must also scale. In Unreal Engine 4.24, the new non-destructive
Landscape Edit Layer System and the customizable
Landscape Blueprint brushes allow users to work dynamically
from handcrafted details to procedural control of robust
Landscape terrain datasets. Unreal Engine continues
to help you build the most realistic worlds with tools that make you more
productive than ever.

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