Includes 15 videos (3.5+ hours); each video is 720p HD MP4:
Includes 15 videos (3.5+ hours); each video is 720p HD MP4:
Weeks ago I created a set of large landscapes in UE4.
The terrains varied in size from 1km x 1km to all the way to 8km x 8km - all untextured. I used Photoshop and Terrain.Party to generate these heightmaps.
Next step was to begin painting landscape textures. However, if I were to manually paint texture layers, the landscapes would NEVER get done. It would take days if not weeks.
Instead, I textured all these landscapes in few minutes. I did this by creating and using Auto-Landscape Material.
Auto-Landscape Material is a material with a set of rules that controls at which angle of the terrain a landscape texture will appear. When you apply auto-material on the landscape, it textures the entire terrain automatically and changes to another texture based on slope/angle.
You don't even need to create texture layers. You simply create the Auto-Landscape material, define the rules and apply the material on the terrain. You landscape is now textured.
I could re-use this material on any terrain I want with Material Instances. I would adjust few parameters for angle/slope, height, change Albedo, Normal Map and call it done.
What would have taken me days, now takes me minutes.
Here is a landscape that is untextured and then with auto-landscape material applied onto it.
Take a look at this video. I had 8km x 8km un-textured landscape. I used Photoshop to create the heightmap and bring it into UE4. To texture this terrain, I applied Auto-Landscape Material and tweaked few properties. Terrain is now textured.
It doesn't mean you should never paint manual textures again. There are times and projects where you will still need to paint everything by hand. But for large, open world environments with huge terrain sizes, you should take advantage of Auto-Landscape Materials.
You can extend the functionality for any Auto-Landscape Materials by including the ability to paint texture layers on top. This will allow you to manually add terrain texture detail in specific areas of your environment.
Once I figured out how to create and use auto-landscape material for my landscape work it changed everything. I can now create huge outdoor environments very quickly focusing on environment design rather than tedious texture painting that no longer needs to be done.
Creating a simple Auto-Landscape material is easy but often it isn't enough for most landscapes.
Here are 9 things every Auto-Landscape Materials must be able to do.
1. Must Assign a Texture Based on Slope/Angle
The basis of any Auto-Landscape Material is the ability to automatically texture terrain based on its slope (angle). This can be done few different ways in the Material Editor.
But the most reliable way I found is to use World Aligned Blend node. This material expression is the foundation of all Auto-Landscape materials I create.
2. Must Have 2 or 3 Textures
Auto-Landscape Materials can have 2 or 3 textures that will automatically change on your terrain based on slope (angle).
2-texture Auto-Material is the simplest and most effective.
3-texture Auto-Material is a bit more involved. First texture is used for flat areas, third texture is used for angled slopes and second texture is used to blend between the first and third texture.
3. Must Assign a Texture Based on Height
World Aligned Blend node only works based on slope or angle of the terrain.
If you want to assign automatic texture to the landscape based on height you'll have to use Absolute World Position node and combine it with World Aligned Blend setup. This will give you the ability to assign a texture at a certain height of the terrain.
Such as snowy peaks on a mountain:
4. Must Have Ability to Paint Textures Manually
Auto-Landscape Material by itself does a great job texturing your terrain automatically.
But you can have more control if you add manually painted texture layers. This will allow you paint extra textures on top of automatically generated ones such as extra detail or roads and pathways.
5. Must Have Controls to Blend Between Textures
Auto-Landscape Material by default will have a soft blend between textures. It will work most of the time but what if you want a hard edge blend?
You'll have to set this up in the Material Editor by adding Edge Intensity adjustment with a Power node then using a texture Mask for natural appearance.
6. Must Spawn Foliage Automatically
If you have environments where foliage isn't required, Auto-Landscape Materials will work as is.
But for environments where you also need to spawn foliage at the same time along with Auto-Landscape Materials then you need to add this functionality.
This will allow you to spawn foliage on your terrain, automatically without having to use Foliage Tool or Foliage Volumes, unless of course you want to.
To do this you have to use the Grass node. Very powerful technique and this alone will save you a lot of time by automatically spawning foliage across your entire world.
7. Must Remove Spawned Foliage on Manually Painted Layers
You will run into a problem if you have foliage being spawned on the terrain automatically when painting texture layers manually, it will not remove the spawned foliage. You must add the ability to have foliage removed as you manual paint texture layers by using the One Minus node and Landscape Layer Blend node with Multiply. It is a bit tricky to setup if you don't know how but once you do, it is easy to re-use across any Auto-Landscape Material.
8. Must Tile Correctly Near and Far Away
Biggest problem with landscape materials is texture repetition. This applies not only to Auto-Landscape Materials but to any landscape materials.
Terrain textures look good near the player but at a distance, the repetition becomes extremely noticeable. There are many tricks you can implement to reduce and eliminate this repetition.
First you need to set up to control tiling. Then you need to control tiling for different distances of the same texture. For textures up-close near the player and textures far away at a distance. And on top of all that you should use Macro/Micro trick explained in this tutorial.
Your Auto-Landscape Material should have all of the above tricks implemented to completely remove any noticeable texture tiling.
9. Must Have Properties for Material Instance
You want to create Auto-Landscape Material once and then re-use it over and over again for different projects and on different landscapes.
Here is a list of all parameters I have set up in my Master Auto-Landscape material:
You will learn how to do all this and more in "UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" tutorial course.
I no longer paint texture layers from scratch on landscapes I create. I start with the Auto-Landscape Material. Then if I need to, I add the functionality for manually painted layers on top of Auto-Landscape Material.
Of course there will be times when you still need to manually paint all texture layers. And truth be told, I still do that when my landscapes are small or very stylized.
But if you are creating open-world environments where the landscape size is huge then you should NOT be texturing your terrains by hand. You need to create and use Auto-Landscape Material.
Here are few results from using Auto-Landscape Materials in UE4.
If you want to learn how to create your own Auto-Landscape Materials from the very beginning following every step in the process then download this tutorial course and I will show you how.
I've packed a lot of knowledge into "UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" course and I want to make sure that you not only get all that content before you fully commit to this - I want to give you 30 days to let it digest, integrate it into your daily life and make sure this is really working for you.
Try the entire course. 30 days is enough time to take the course twice and then decide. If you don't LOVE it, I insist that you get 100% of your money back.
It's simple. Buy the course and try it for yourself. If you don't learn how to texture large, open-world landscapes with the use of Auto-Materials, I want you to email me. Just let me know why you didn't like the product and how I could have made it better.
This guarantee lasts 30 days, which completely covers the course. That means you can try the "UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" course and then decide if it's right for you.
I've been running World of Level Design.com since October 2008. I'm not going anywhere. So if you don't like this tutorial course then I don't want your money. I will give you a full refund.
Frequently asked questions. Click on each tab to read more.
The courses uses UE4 version 4.22, but the course tutorials will work in later version of UE4 4.26+
I have also re-edited the entire course to include Landscape interface changes introduced in 4.25+. You will be able to follow this course with UE4 version prior to 4.25 and after 4.25+.
No you don't need these two courses as a prerequisite to follow the "UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" course. It is a stand-alone course.
However, this course is more for intermediate to advanced users. If you are new to UE4 and have never used the game engine then you should start with "UE4 Fundamentals Vol.1".
Also if you have never used UE4 landscape system and never created any materials for the use with landscapes then you should go through "UE4 Fundamentals Vol.2: Landscape Essentials" prior to "UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" course.
The difference in "UE4 Fundamentals" Vol.1 and Vol.2 is that they are completely separate courses.
It is like Volumes in a book. I am containing the Fundamentals of UE4 to different volumes, like a collection.
"UE4 Fundamentals Vol.1" shows how to get started and begin using UE4.
"UE4 Fundamentals Vol.2" is focused on creating landscapes and landscape materials. It is a brand new course focused on landscape essentials and it builds on the knowledge introduced in Vol.1.
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"UE4 Auto-Landscape Material" course includes everything you need to get started to create and use auto-landscape materials to texture huge, open-world landscapes entirely in UE4.
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