Massive Worlds Workflow

This powerful workflow allows for rapid environment creation for large Unreal Engine projects.

This is a general workflow for creating large scale worlds up to 256km² using Brushify. This can be used for both Games and Film.

If you are beginning an Unreal Engine project, please carefully read through this as it may save you a lot of time/guesswork and help you to understand some of the high level concepts that go into creating real-time worlds.

Basic Theory:

  • Landscape resolution is not the most important factor for creating detailed worlds.

  • Graphical Detail should be achieved through the landscape Automaterial through efficient use of real-time texturization. Do not try to create landscape detail by throwing more polygons at the terrain, this will not work well for real-time and will make workflows much slower.

  • A smooth and low resolution landscape is actually more conducive to smooth gameplay, less spikes and edges to catch or hinder player capsules and vehicles as they move throughout the world. It will also help Procedural foliage and grasstypes system place assets on the landscape, a smoother landscape is highly beneficial for avoiding poorly placed procedural meshes.

  • Detail can also be achieved through placement of high resolution meshes such as Brushify Distance Meshes, Cliff or Canyon pieces, or Megascans Megassemblies. These can also use Nanite which will perform far better than the landscape itself.

  • A single landscape benefits artists and designers as it simplifies workflows. Doesn't require baking of any proxy meshes, everything can be done in real-time.

  • Think of the Landscape as a Canvas on which you add other details. Your paint in this case are the Meshes that you use to populate the world.

Before we begin, please note that the Brushify Landscape Automaterial allows this workflow to be possible.

Step 1: Understanding Design & Layout

The first impulse when beginners start to create game landscapes is that they jump into software like World Machine or World creator, generate some random perlin noise or something, without consideration of what they are actually designing. Scrolling through any landscape creation forum or Unreal Reddit you'll find countless examples of 'Randomly generated noise' However while this might look okay in some screenshots this is not how real game worlds are designed or developed.

Before we do anything we will Generate an overall 8k Global Heightmap that contains the basic landscape elevations for your world but without any real detail.

If you've ever played a game like Skyrim or GTA V or Red Dead Redeption this would be akin to the World map. For example here is the Global Heightmap from GTA V:

Straightway this does look quite daunting. Because as you can see, there is a lot of detail. Rockstar have detail in the form of erosion noise most probably from software like Worl