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Static Mesh LOD not working on Foliage Actors

We have been trying to add LODing to our Foliage Static Mesh.

the LOD mesh has been setup in MAX using the Level Of Detail Utility and have one LOD level and one Material ID.

The LOD works fine when the static mesh is placed individually in the editor, but does not on painted Foliage Instance Actors.

I also tried the workaround suggested in this thread, by importing the LOD mesh separately, but that didn't work for us either. https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?9629-Foliage-brush-and-LOD-meshes

is this a big or are we missing something?

(EDIT) we're on 4.2

Andrew Uppercut Games

Product Version: Not Selected
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asked Jul 15 '14 at 12:31 AM in Bug Reports

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avatar image UppercutAJ Aug 14 '14 at 12:25 AM

I just updated to 4.3 and this still seems to be broken.

Can anyone at EPIC confirm that LOD on Foliage works for them? and please give me steps to setting it up? is it setup in a different way or place to normal static mesh LOD?


avatar image Nobody Aug 22 '14 at 01:16 PM

I got the same Problem with the Foliage tool which is really annoying since It can really butcher the performance.

avatar image Beccaface Mar 26 '16 at 06:03 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm on 4.7.6 and this is also an issue for me. I have trees with a LOD0-LOD1 set up, that when placed individually work fine. When used as foliage instances and painted onto terrain the LOD1 are on their sides (makes it looks like i've got a deforestation problem, ha)

Is there a current known work around? Is there a way to convert painted meshes to static once i'm happy so they LOD in as if they were individually placed in the first place?



avatar image AndrewHurley Mar 28 '16 at 03:29 PM

This issue has been fixed in future releases of the engine, and unless you are running a source build getting the actual fix won't be possible. We actually implemented a new LOD system as well, called HLOD (Hierarchical Level of Detail). I would recommend testing our your issue in a more recent build version of the engine to see if that resolves your issue.

Thank you,

Andrew Hurley

avatar image Büke Nov 30 '16 at 11:16 PM

The problem is back on source master 4.15 (versus 4.14). In the KiteDemo/GDC_Landscape_01/Forest_and_Lake all the foliage instances of HillTree_Tall_02 are stuck at LOD3. Activating HLOD for a copy of the map has no effect. Only setting the LOD3 Screen size to 0 brings back detail, but the performance hit and the rendered LOD order all messed up. The single instances are fine. Same tree's LODs are fine in 4.14.

avatar image AndrewHurley Dec 01 '16 at 02:46 PM

Please create a new answerhub post for this issue as this one is outdated and the issue you are presenting deals with HLOD's and our master branch which we usually do not enter bugs from the public since it is subject to change almost contstantly. I can make our developers aware of the issue, but we will need a test case in a new blank project.

Thank you,

Andrew Hurley

avatar image Büke Dec 05 '16 at 07:58 AM

Thank you Andrew. I studied the source and found the problem. Quick solution for now "foliage.LODDistanceScale 20000". More info: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?130567-Solution-Foliage-amp-HierarchicalInstancedStaticMesh-stuck-at-last-LOD-with-master-4-15&p=633061#post633061

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2 answers: sort voted first

From what I can tell with foliage, it bases the LOD on the screen size of the cluster and not the individual instance. To get LOD working properly, I turned my max cluster radius under clustering in the Show Instance tab under the foliage tool down to 100, rather than the default of 10000. I tested and it works great. It should also work if you set Max Instances to 1 under Clustering but I have not tested that. Hope this helps.


I couldn't help myself. I changed the Max Instances to 1 and Cluster Radius back to 10000 and that works as well.

I'm assuming the clusters are used instead to determine screen size because it's less computationally expensive. It's probably best to have a cluster radius of 100 - 1000 and max instances set to what fits based on the density.

Edit 2

After thinking about it further, it all really depends on a bunch of factors. If you use instance clusters but need the same measure of LOD, you'll need to go into your static mesh and adjust it accordingly. With that said, that approach won't work well if you have single instances of the mesh on the map.

Now it makes more sense why this tool is getting an update. It just doesn't scale well.

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answered Sep 25 '14 at 11:51 PM

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avatar image UppercutAJ Sep 25 '14 at 11:57 PM

Awesome, thanks I will try it out!

avatar image Nobody Sep 26 '14 at 07:30 AM

Thanks! That works really well!

avatar image AntonioModer Nov 20 '14 at 09:35 PM

Thanks, MJLaukala` !

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Hey all,

This appears to be a bug. I have entered TTP# 344663 into our database for our developers to look over, and I will let you know when I have an update. Thanks for the report!

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answered Aug 22 '14 at 07:22 PM

avatar image MJ_01 Sep 25 '14 at 08:33 PM

I'm curious to know if this bug has been fixed for 4.5?

avatar image Ben Halliday STAFF Sep 25 '14 at 08:56 PM

It looks like this is the nature of instanced static mesh components, and can't be fixed directly. The foliage system is being revamped currently, and the new dynamic foliage will solve this issue. It won't make it into 4.5, unfortunately, but should be in after that. I will update here when the system is updated.

avatar image UppercutAJ Sep 26 '14 at 12:04 AM

Hey Ben,

If you are re factoring the Foliage system, I have some feedback (I hope it's not too late!)

  • It is currently quite a big production bottleneck to change placed instance settings like the cull distance after they have been placed. You currently have to delete them and re add to propagate changes made on the individual mesh "instanced static mesh"settings.

  • We had originally been using the shared instance settings actors for this, but it seems like they have been deprecated.

  • We have a world map with 10-20 streaming levels, each with the same foliage meshes in them. If i want to change any settings globally, it is very time consuming to do this manually on each foliage actor in each level. (i.e. over 100 times!)



avatar image Ben Halliday STAFF Sep 26 '14 at 03:53 PM

I'll let our developers know about your feedback. Thanks!

avatar image MJ_01 Sep 25 '14 at 11:52 PM

I added an answer below that works as a workaround for now just in case you run into anyone asking.

avatar image AntonioModer Nov 20 '14 at 09:33 PM

Hello. Maybe this resolve in 4.6?

avatar image Ben Halliday STAFF Nov 21 '14 at 02:42 PM

Hi Antonio,

We don't have a firm date for implementation of the dynamic foliage system that should resolve this issue, but there is a good chance it will make it into 4.7. Thanks for your patience!

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