Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing landscapes, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- The Landscape Mode panel in Unreal contains some different options for the creation and manipulation of landscape environments. Here we have a landscape that we've created. And we have a real basic form for how we want to build out our island for our lighthouse scene. But we now want to edit and adjust it to better suit our project. So at this point here, this is where we want to dive in and start to really form the overall structure that represents what our island's going to be based upon. So, this is where we can now start to kind of manage this a little bit more, and get into more refining for sculpting.
So, the first thing that we want to do is, using our Sculpt Tool, and just go around and refine a bit of these areas. So, the nice thing about working in this environment within Unreal is that we want to take advantage of the 3D viewport here, and really start to move things around, to be able to visualize what you're looking at as you go. So, to be able to look at it from the side, and in this sense here, you can actually sculpt based on the orientation of the brush to the surface. So by looking at it from the side here, and just simply holding down the shift key, I can actually start to push in a bit of that environment, so if we want some areas, maybe not that low, I'm going to adjust my overall Tool Strength down a little bit here.
And this way we can hold down shift and bring that little inlet area just out a little bit. And then I'm just going to build this section up. And I want to push a bit of this stuff down along the edge, 'cause we'd essentially want the back of our island to be a little bit higher than the front. So, I'm just going around and kind of forming the overall basis of this structure. Now, in here is going to to be our primary area where we're going to have our assets, our lighthouse scene. The back is going to be populated with things like trees and things that are going to fill up the environment to really beautify the scene.
So now let's grab our Flatten Tool. And I'm going to bring that Tool Strength down just a little bit here, because I don't want it to be too strong as I work. We want to flatten this area out in here. I'm just going to drag that around in there, and just kind of create a bit of a flattened area for where we'll place those assets. And we can also do that with some of these different areas in here. Now, everything's very smooth and very rounded right now. I'm just going to flatten around some of these edges. Just to kind of cut in a little bit. Another thing I'm going to use is a bit of a Linear Falloff in here.
This'll give me just a bit of a sharper edge on the brush. Just let me kind of define that area there a little bit. And the other thing to keep in mind, if I go back to our Sculpt Tool and bring the Brush Size down a little bit, the other thing to keep in mind is that we are actually going to have an island here that is surrounded by water. So a lot of this area is going to be pushed underneath. And the edge of the island is actually going to be filled with props, like the rocks for example. So, right now, I just want to kind of build up a bit of that area in there.
Smooth that down a little bit. Maybe bring up the Tool Strength on that one. There we go, and I'm going to go back to the Sculpt Tool. Bring up the Tool Strength on that. And just kind of define the outer limit of this island here a bit. We want to keep it a little bit subtle, because we do want to populate that with things like boulders and other debris on the edge of an island there. Something very rocky along the edge. So, we'll leave it like this for now. And now what I want to do is I want to go down to the Noise. And I want to definitely bring up my Brush Size overall on that, but this is where I want to zoom in.
Because we're working very far away right now, but we do want to get into some overall detail here in some of these areas. So if we have, let's bring that Strength right down, really nice and low here, and with the Noise, let's just see what we're going to get out of this. I'm actually going to undo that by using ctrl + z. And bring down the Noise Scale. If we try it at there here, it's going to be probably a little bit too light for what we need. So, let's just put that to around 2. And I want that Tool Strength really quite low.
So, maybe something like .025. And this is where we can just kind of subtly tap in just a little bit of Noise as we go. Along the shoreline here. These are the areas that we're going to be working primarily in. In this area here, we're going to put our assets. Things like the actual lighthouse. We have a car. And we have a shed. And we're going to bringing some of these assets in here. So, I'm just going to go back to the Flatten Tool here. I'm going to make sure I have that Linear Falloff set.
And I really just want to kind of define this area here a little bit more. That's fine. So, we could sit here and spent a lot of time editing or refining that further, and that's definitely something we'd want to do to make this look a little nicer for our base landscape. But keep in mind that when you're working with a base landscape like this, it doesn't need to be super highly detailed. Because it going to be covered and populated with other assets, things like rocks, trees, foliage, general foliage, and of course, we still have to texture paint this as well and apply some nice landscape materials with this.
But the last thing we want to do here before we move on to looking at how we can work with materials is another way to manage this scene. So, you can see that we have some areas that we don't actually require, geometry-wise, within the scene. Now, if I go to Manage, we have a Selection Tool. And this is where you can actually go in and select components. And you'll see them highlight as I move the cursor around in the scene. So, I can actually just click at any time, and I can kind of Paint select components. Well, that's great, I'm just going to clear that. But I want to actually remove geometry in here.
So, I'm going to go to the Delete component. And this is an area in here that I can, again, same thing as the Paint select, I'm just left-button mouse dragging. We don't really need a lot of this area in here. This is going to be underwater anyways. And it's geometry that we don't necessarily need to be calculated within our project. So, I can certainly go along and just kind of paint out some of these areas here that we may not require for our game in here, so then we can get rid of these guys in here.
And we can certainly refine this a little further, but let's just maybe keep it like that for our base island here. So, now we've seen how we can sculpt up the environment. How we can use different toolsets to begin to refine that overall base shape. And how we can put some details in using things like Noise. How to define the areas where we're going to put our main, key, hero assets using Flatten. And then we've also gone in and managed the overall components of the geometry here. And by going in and deleting at the component level, pieces of geometry that we don't need and we're not going to see anyways.
So there it is, with Landscape Mode. Refining, editing and managing our overall base landscape.
- Customizing the Unreal UI
- Creating a new project
- Creating landscapes
- Blocking out levels
- Assembling a scene
- Working with materials and lights
- Adding post-processing effects
- Defining bodies of water
- Adding atmospherics, foliage, and wind
- Working with the Blueprint editor
- Creating cinematics
- Monitoring performance
- Packaging a game for distribution