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Unreal Engine - Optimizing Foliage



👉Explore the process of adding foliage to your Unreal Engine project in this detailed tutorial. Learn how to customize and place various foliage assets, adjust density, and enable wind effects to create realistic and immersive environments.


👉Whether you're working on a game or a cinematic experience, foliage is a crucial element to master in Unreal Engine.





- Workflow

  • To switch to the Foliage tools, use the shortcut Shift + 3.

  • There are different tools, one of them being a brush.

  • With the brush selected, there is a + Drop Foliage Here message below the tool settings.

  • Open Quixel Bridge and download some trees and weeds to use for the tutorial.

  • After downloading some foliage assets, drag and drop them in the brush from the content drawer.

  • Once the assets are added, tick how many assets you want to use with the brush.

  • Using the brush will lay out the assets in random directions in the scene.

  • If the trees look like they are disappearing the more you zoom out, that is because of the Level Of Detail (LOD).

  • To turn off the LOD or minimize it, double-click on the asset and there should be an LOD setting oin the top left corner.

  • You can set it to 0 to remove it or change the intensity of the LOD.

  • To make it faster and easier to ue more assets on the brush, shift and select a couple of assets in the foliage brush, and then tick the box.

  • All of the selected assets will be ticked.

  • With any brush, there is a brush size setting and a Density setting.

  • Increasing the density will add more trees when using the brush.

  • You can set a minimum and maximum scale size for the selected foliage so when you use the foliage brush some trees will be smaller than others.

  • If you want to remove all the foliage from the scene, use the select all tool then click the Remove button to remove the selected foliage.

  • If we try and play in the scene, the character will go through the trees and that is because they don’t have any collision boxes.

  • We can do this two ways, one way is to open the static mesh, click the Collision button on the top left corner, and select the Add Box Simplified Collision.

  • A see-through box will be added to the static mesh that needs to be moved and scaled to the correct size.

  • After scaling the collision box, save and Reimport the Base Mesh.

  • Do this for every other tree you want to use in your project.

  • The second way to do this is, in the options, there is a Collision Preset that can be changed to BlockAll.

  • This will add collisions to every foliage selected.

  • Sometimes this doesn’t work though.

  • Assets that aren’t foliage can also be added to the foliage brush to scatter around the scene.

  • Download some rocks from Quixel Bridge.

  • Drag and drop them in the foliage brush, select them, and use them!

  • The downloaded foliages have Material Instances with Wind intensity built inside them that make the leaves flow and move like wind is blowing them.

  • You can control the speed, height, and intensity.







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