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Tackling rooms with irregular geometry

I'm currently trying to build a marketplace/bazaar in Unreal 4 based on some reference photos. The roads and buildings are not box shaped and I've been using the Geometry tool to stretch out and build the environment.

I've come across two major issues:

1) Because of the sheer size of the map, I've gotten severe lag time on my top tier computer to the point where hitting EDIT--> UNDO almost guarantees the program freezes for ten minutes.

2) Because there is not vertices locking, I quickly lose control of my buildings and paths, making them very hard to texture or attach together.

Any idea on how I can build out my level better? I've tried building out all the buildings using the Extrude feature but it creates a great deal of slow.

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asked Sep 11 '14 at 05:25 PM in Using UE4

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Hey Liforce,

The geometry tools (BSPs) are useful, but very performance-inefficient. They're meant to help block out the general shape of objects and areas until Static Meshes are made to replace them. If BSPs are overused, they can cause significant lag (like you're seeing now).

It might help some to watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDsJOFyxMnw

The content shown in that video is available in ContentExamples, under the LevelDesign_Workflow level.



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answered Sep 11 '14 at 06:21 PM

avatar image Liforce Sep 11 '14 at 07:56 PM

Thanks Jon. So would you recommend dividing the map into sections, getting the BSP done for one section, then converting it to a static mesh and then work on the next one?

avatar image Jonathan Dorman STAFF Sep 11 '14 at 08:10 PM

Yes, I think that's definitely a logical way to do it. I wouldn't recommend making that entire section of the map a single static mesh, because that sounds hard to work with if you change your layout later on.Splitting different objects into static meshes would probably be easier in the long run.

Furthermore, I understand that the light maps for BSPs converted to static meshes end up looking pretty wonky. If you have access to something like 3DS Max, Maya, or Blender, I'd recommend exporting the static mesh to there, fixing the light maps, and then reimporting them to the engine.

While this is for UDK and not UE4, this website has some resources that should still be helpful in clarifying any questions you might have about lightmaps.

If your level is going to be very large, you might want to consider Level Streaming, where you have part of the scene in a different level and then load it in when the player gets close.

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Are you doing all of this with BSPs? If so, you might want to try converting some of your gemetry into static meshes.

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answered Sep 11 '14 at 06:13 PM

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avatar image Liforce Sep 11 '14 at 06:17 PM

I'm still whiteboxing my map so I need the geometry to remain as BSP's until I finalize the appearance. Can you convert a static mesh BACK into a BSP if you need to change it?

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