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UE4: What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using BSP Brushes?

Category: UE4
October 28, 2019

There are a lot of advantages for using BSP brushes. I've covered many of them in this and this tutorial.

But there are a lot of disadvantages I haven't covered yet and you need to know what they are.

So let's get to it...

Video Tutorial

Advantages of BSP Brushes

  • Created and used inside UE4 editor
  • Simple geometric/primitive shapes
  • Very fast to add and iterate (no modeling, no texturing or lighting)
  • Great as placeholder geometry
  • Visualize what your final environment or playable level will be
  • Speed. Implementation of your idea in the editor quickly with instant iteration and playability in real-time
  • Perfect for prototyping and blockout phases of initial level creation

Disadvantages of BSP Brushes

  • BSP is very slow if a lot of brushes are used; lots of brushes can hinder performance and often causes geometry errors (missing brush faces, flickering geometry)
  • BSP isn't as intuitive and user friendly as it is in older engines such as Source or Quake
  • BSP is not intended to be final in-game geometry, they are not optimized to be a final geometry
  • BSP lacks detail that Static Meshes can provide
  • Hard edges only (no smoothing groups)
  • No control how lighting is handled (other than Lightmap Resolution and few Lightmass Settings)
  • No control over how BSP is rendered
  • Difficult and not practical to create high-quality detailed geometry
  • BSP cannot be used with Blueprints

Remember: BSP is great for prototyping and blocking out your levels but limit how much BSP you have in the final release.

Next Tutorial

UE4: BSP Blockout Process - Abandoned Building and Terrain from Photo Reference


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My name is AlexG. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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