3. Sculpting the Landscape

Sculpting the Landscape

Sculpting the Landscape is a rather easy but time consuming process. All of the tools used for sculpting can be found under the Sculpt icon in the Landscape tools. If you would like to know more about what each of the Sculpting Tools does in detail, you can read the Sculpt Mode page. For quick reference, here is a list of the most common key and mouse interactions that are used when sculpting the Landscape.

Common Controls

Operation

Ctrl

Will allow you to select Landscape components.

Left Mouse Button

Heightens or increases the heightmap or selected layer's weight. For example, in Sculpting mode, this will raise the Landscape heighmap. In Paint mode, this will apply the selected material to the Landscape.

Shift + Left Mouse Button

Lowers or decreases the heightmap or selected layer's weight. For example, in Sculpting mode, this will lower the Landscape heightmap. In Paint mode, this will erase the selected material that was applied to a particular section of the Landscape.

Ctrl + Z

Undoes last action.

Ctrl + Y

Redoes last undone action.

For this part of the Landscape tutorial, we are going to start with a completely flat section of the Landscape and then build up the details as we go along. The goal here is not to exactly mimic what was created in the tutorial but to get you familiar and comfortable with using the various Landscape tools.

There could be a lot of various reasons as to why what you do in this tutorial does not come out exactly the same as what you see in the following screen shots. Working with the Landscape tools requires a lot of trial and error so your results will vary, sometimes greatly, from what you are seeing in the following set of images. The most important thing to get out of this tutorial is to understand how each of the Landscape tools work and how all the tools work together to give you the final product.


  1. To begin, first find a section of the Landscape that you would like to work with. For this tutorial, we are not going to be filling in the entire Landscape but just a section of it. For ease of use, you should set a camera bookmark by pressing Ctrl + 1 on the keyboard. This will set a camera bookmark which will make it easier for you to gauge how your Landscape is coming along by giving you a camera view to always come back to. At any time during your editor session, if you press the 1 Key, your camera will be returned to the exact same position that you set.

    T_Landscape_Flat.png

  2. Now with the bookmark set, begin painting in the larger details for hills and valleys using the Sculpt Tool. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Remember that you use Left Mouse Button to raise the Landscape height and Shift + Left Mouse Button will lower the height of the Landscape.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Scupt Tool

    8192

    0.29

    T_Landscape_Sculpt_Tool.png

  3. With the hills and valleys now blocked out, it is time to use the Smooth Tool to help refine the look and feel of them. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Smooth Tool

    2048

    0.29

    T_Landscape_Smooth.png

  4. With the Landscape now smoothed out, it is time to add some flat mesa like sections using the Flatten Tool. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Flatten Tool

    2048

    0.29

    T_Landscape_Flatten.png

  5. Now with some flat mesa like areas added, it is time to use the Ramp Tool to add some flat ramps between the mesas. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following. If it is not very clear where the Ramp was used, it has been highlighted in yellow.

    Tool Used

    Ramp Width

    Side Falloff

    Ramp Tool

    2000

    0.40

    T_Landscape_Ramp.png

  6. For the next part, we are going to add some erosion effects to the Landscape to give it a weathered look using the Erosion Tool. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Erosion Tool

    693

    0.29

    T_Landscape_Erosion.png

  7. In the next step, we will take the erosion that was just added in the previous step and push it further by adding some Hydro Erosion to the Landscape. The Hydro Erosion Tool is different than the Erosion Tool as it is for simulating how water will erode Landscape details over time. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Hydro Erosion

    2048

    0.29

    T_Landscape_HydroErosion.png

  8. To break up the surface of the Landscape even more, we will use the Noise Tool. The Noise Tool adds random noise to the surface of the Landscape by randomly moving the Landscape vertices up or down or both at the same time. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Noise Tool

    2048

    0.29

    T_Landscape_Noise.png

  9. For the final step in the Landscape sculpting part of the tutorial, we will re-use the Smooth Tool to help smooth out some of the more jagged areas of the Landscape to give it a more natural look. While you might not need to do this step yourself, this was done to help even out some of the areas that appear too deep or areas that the player might get stuck in if they fall into. You can find the brush size and strength settings that were used for this step listed below and when completed, you should have something that looks like the following.

    Tool Used

    Brush Size

    Strength Setting

    Smooth Tool

    1121

    0.16

    T_Landscape_Smooth_Cleanup.png