Height map from geometry in Maya

This looks like it could be the answer to the problem I have:

I am a bit suspicious because it seems a bit too easy, and when I follow along it never goes as smoothly as it does in the tutorials!


Running into Issues

Now, I’m having trouble trying to import the grass steps as a mesh into mudbox in order to paint textures. I get all sorts of warning message about degenerated faces or too many edges. I look up all the error messages and try to fix them by using the clean up tools in Maya and correcting the UV layout.

I am going to keep trying to correct the mesh, but if it doesn’t work out I will need to try something else.

Forefront: Foliage tool

Another tool that came with the unreal update is the procedural foliage tool, which is designed to allow rapid painting of hundreds of meshes onto a surface with randomized ranges for scale, orientation etc. The other advantage that the foliage system offers is that it uses instanced static meshes, which are automatically grouped into clusters, saving rendering time.


As the surrounding Machu Picchu is surrounded by trees and foliage, I would like to try and learn how to use this tool.

Project Mangement

I will be going on holiday from 5th to the 13th of August, which brings me to write this time management post. I will have to adjust my plan and do as much as I can before and after my holiday.

So far I have sculpted the terrain in unreal and have painted the textures, which at the moment looks very obviously tiled and not at all realistic. The buildings and grass steps have been imported into Maya from Blender. They need to be textured and placed into Unreal.

At this point I am behind as I was hoping to get the buildings into the terrain before I left. However, I have some time when I come back to get back on track.

Forefront: Grass Tool

The new release of unreal engine 4.8 comes with the grass tool, which allows users to create, setup, and spawn static meshes that covers the landscape in what appears to be dense grass, flowers and other foliage. This tool only works with the Landscape Terrain Actor.

I believe that learning and implementing this tool will be of great use to me in this project. I would like the terrain to be covered with grass and trees near the tops of the mountain, and rocks on the bottom. I will also need to create a merge layer to blend the grass and rock textures together in a more natural fashion.

Source: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/OpenWorldTools/Grass/QuickStart/index.html

Inspiration: Inside Out

I saw this film in the cinema today and enjoyed it. I thought that it was a funny,clever movie, a dazzling display of detail, colour and light. I liked the idea of looking inside someone’s head, the glowing memory balls and the different islands that represented an aspect of the girl’s personality. For example, imagination is represented by a theme park and the place where dreams are made: a movie studio.

I liked the cartoonish character designs and the imaginative landscapes inside her head. It was a different way of exploring the themes of growing up, family and very briefly touched upon depression.

Artists at the Forefront: Ben Burkart

Better known by his username “evilmrfranks” on YouTube, Ben Burkart is capable of designing landscapes in Unreal quickly and efficiently. He has been a part of the games industry since 2007 and from his Youtube videos, I can tell that he has a strong understanding of architecture, composition, and visual flow.

He also seems to be well experienced in making concepts and floor plans. I consider him to be at the forefront simply because of how quickly he can make levels from scratch.

Take a look at some of his speed level design below:

Source: http://evilmrfrank.com/