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Tutorial - Creating highpoly meshes for Nanite, using editor modeling tools and displacement (UE5)

grand marshal polycounter
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Obscura grand marshal polycounter
I thought a lot of people would appreciate this so I made a mini tutorial about it. So there is a simple and fast way to bake displacement and subdivision into lowpoly meshes inside the editor, using the editor modeling tools. It goes like this:

1. Enable the editor modeling tools in the plugins settings. This will require you to restart the editor.
2. Put the mesh into the level, select it, and then select the modeling mode (located on the top panel where you can select create/landscape/mesh paint and other modes).
3. Optionally this step can be skipped, but doing it gives better result. Subdivide the mesh by clicking subdivide on the modeling panel. Press accept to apply the modification on the source mesh:

4. Select "displace" on the modeling panel, set the subdivision amount to 0 - If you skipped step 3, set it to some value but you will notice that this is flat tessellation, so the angular faces of the lowpoly is visible. I recommend subdividing it first, and then adding the displacement. Set the displacement texture, and press accept again:

5. At this point you are done and you can save the mesh.

Note - Megascans assets have highpoly source files too, so when working with those, I recommend simply importing the highpoly meshes and turning on Nanite on them.

Enjoy!

Replies

  • Davision3D
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    Davision3D polycounter
    This should be very useful for converting UE4 displacement based stuff, you used but can not anymore in UE5, to Nanite! Would be also interesting trying to convert whole super detailed terrain heightmaps to Nanite.

    I might try to convert some of my realtime shader generated planets to static Nanite meshes https://twitter.com/procplanets

  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 10
    It definitely would have been cool if you can plug in height map nodes setup like blend 2 or more tiling heightmaps, use multiply, e.t.c from the material editor to the displacement image slot located in the modeling tools displace window in ue4. If I recall you can do that in 3dsmax.

    I was expecting that with ue5, camera distance tessellation would now be possible with static meshes but we got nanite which is great but has its drawbacks especially as tessellation has been depreciated.

    Looking forward to the full release.
  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 10
    Getting this error if I try to subdivide a mesh past a certain point in ue5:


    So I am guessing there is a limit to how much polys is allowed per mesh. 


    Also, if you have say a very long flight of stairs, would it be better to import the whole long flight of stairs and convert to nanite or break them into smaller pieces, import them into ue4 and convert them to nanite using those pieces as instances  to reconstruct the stairs in ue4 since drawcalls aren't so much of an issue anymore?


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