Working with Models in UE4

Working with SpeedTree models in Unreal Engine 4.

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Once you have imported the model as an asset, you can place it in your scenes like you would any other Static Mesh. The most common methods are:

Place them manually. Simply drag the asset and drop it in the scene to place a model. This gives you the most flexibility in how it is lit. Setting the mobility to Static will disable the ability to move the SpeedTree at runtime but will allow it to be lit by Lightmass in addition to dynamic lights. Setting it to Movable will enable you to move the SpeedTree around at runtime but it will not be able to receive static lighting.

ue4_tree_in_scene.jpg

Paint them as foliage - Drag the asset to the foliage painting area and paint the models like any other Static Mesh.

ue4_painted_grass.jpg

Painted geometry is instanced and renders very quickly; however, you will need to enable Lightmaps for the instances and possibly set a lower lightmap resolution. Keep this in mind as you populate your scenes.

Wind

Add wind to the scene by adding a wind direction source object (Select Window -> Class Viewer, search for "WindDirectionalSource", and drag it into the scene). The Speed property defaults to 0.1. Increase this value to something like 1.0 to start with have stronger winds. There are also other properties for Strength and Min/Max Gust Amount.

Level of Detail

LOD transitions are based on screen space area in UE4. These values are edited by editing the Static Mesh asset associated with the SpeedTree model. Default values are chosen upon import that work for typical situations.

Unreal Engine 4 SpeedTree Pipeline

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