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UDK: Terrain & Foliage related questions

polycounter lvl 15
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adam polycounter lvl 15
Hello!

Over at my Building an environment thread I've ran in to some troubles within UDK, specifically with the terrain tools. Additionally, I have some questions about lighting foliage.

Hopefully I can get some help here and regurgitate it over there!

  1. Any tips for lighting foliage/foliage material setup for better lighting results? My current setup can REALLY show off that these are just simple criss-crossing quads. This is 'OK' but not great.
  2. Is there anything I need to do to tell UDK to update the materials used on my terrain? I swear the adjustments I'm making aren't showing up right away and are only triggered by something.. I just don't know whats doing it :(
  3. Do normal maps even work on terrain? Or is this part of my problem with #2 where I am not getting my changes to show up? AAaaaargh FACE PUNCH.
Thank you in advance!

Replies

  • SyncViewS
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    SyncViewS polycounter lvl 11
    Hi Adam about point 2, even if I'm sure you already tried it, in the Material Editor main toolbar, you got a green V sign icon, between the eye and "P" icon, it "Applies changes to the original material and its use in the world". Then you still have to save the material once you're done, and the package too, but it should refresh its appearance as you want. I hope this helps.
  • 3DRyan
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    3DRyan polycounter lvl 8
    As far as I know, normal maps should work as long as it's plugged into your material. Try doing a build and playing in game.
  • DarthNater
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    DarthNater polycounter lvl 10
    http://www.hourences.com/book/tutorialsue3terrain.htm

    Look under the Materials section. I realize you know how to do this already, but look at his UPDATE right under the painting terrain picture. I had a problem last night where my terrain turned white while I was painting and I just moved the entire terrain a tiny amount and then moved it back and it updated itself. I don't know if that will help you, but it's worth a try...
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Hmm! I'll try these things out.

    Alternatively, I am starting to think of using a static mesh as my terrain and just using the blend painting tools. If I were to do that...

    1 - How would I go about getting grass to show up on that mesh? Would I have to manually place all my grass?
    2 - Can I export UDK terrain to an OBJ?
  • Whargoul
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    Whargoul polycounter lvl 14
    #1 - if you don't want something to look like crossed quads - don't use them! I'm not being an ass, seriously don't use them anymore, they just light like shit and there's no magic that will fix them. Spend the polys to flesh them out and you will skip the hours of pain you'd endure trying to make X'd quads look good.
  • DarthNater
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    DarthNater polycounter lvl 10
    adam wrote: »
    1 - How would I go about getting grass to show up on that mesh? Would I have to manually place all my grass?
    2 - Can I export UDK terrain to an OBJ?

    http://forums.epicgames.com/showthread.php?t=716496

    1. Select terrain
    2. Go to "file/export selected"
    3. Export as .obj
    4. Import .obj into desired editor

    I'm not too great with terrain so I don't know anything when it comes to terrain vs. a static mesh... But there is number 2 answered :P
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Whargoul wrote: »
    #1 - if you don't want something to look like crossed quads - don't use them! I'm not being an ass, seriously don't use them anymore, they just light like shit and there's no magic that will fix them. Spend the polys to flesh them out and you will skip the hours of pain you'd endure trying to make X'd quads look good.

    Crap, I figured as much. I went with the crossed solution to save on triangle count. My scene is already 230k!
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    1. You have to use the mesh placement tool,

    http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/ContentBlog.html#Advanced Mesh Placement

    2. I think you can File->Export terrain objects in the editor window
  • DarthNater
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    DarthNater polycounter lvl 10
    adam wrote: »
    Crap, I figured as much. I went with the crossed solution to save on triangle count. My scene is already 230k!

    But its totally awesome, so who cares :p

    Maybe you could figure out how to move the mesh/sprite based on the camera position?

    As long as your meshes aren't unique, you should be fine...

    Edit: WOW way to totally ignore my post Jordan :P
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    Sorry about repeating info above, I had this browser window open while I went to lunch and just hit reply.

    You should cut around masked materials to cut down on overdraw but there's nothing wrong with using planes to represent grass you'll just need to do some custom shader work to light them in a way that avoids lighting like a face.

    There's some object properties you should enable on the objects like two sided lighting and shadow ambient only. This will help the "plane" look. There's also some grass examples in UDK you can view on how to make grass shaders (I think it's in the current build although now I'm not sure).


    It's also OK to have a high vert count if you LOD out the objects. You can use stuff like MaxDrawDistance to cutout objects at a certain distance or even use LODs to cut down on polies. You could also use worldPositionOffset in the material to scale half of the grass down based on camera distance so you reduce overdraw.
  • adam
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    adam polycounter lvl 15
    Jordan! Right on man. I'm excited to try out this stuff when I get home. So excited that I typed this reply with pelvic thrusts.
  • DarthNater
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    DarthNater polycounter lvl 10
    That's funny, because every time I look at your thread I do the same thing... Yeah, everyone at work thinks I'm a perv and I leave messes on the desks!
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 12
    You can make nice grass in UDK with the volume placement tool. It has control for falloff and LODs. Just make a volume, tell it what mesh(s), it's to stick to and go from there. Really easy to set up and looks nice.
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