Hi, Sorry if this is the wrong section but i was wondering, Is it safe to create a game Level for UE entirely using Blender and export it for use with UE ?, I’m more comfortable with Blender controls than UE and would like to work on my levels using it, Thanks in advance.
I know you can make the assets in blender and port them over, although I’m not sure how blender would handle porting out a full level. You may have to export the items one by one and port them over to UE4 that way for final assembly.
But building the full level out in blender would do good things for keeping your things all scaled properly.
A little disclaimer before replying: I haven’t got that much experience yet and I am still in the learning phase myself. If anyone sees anything wrong with what I’m saying please do correct me.
The engine is geared towards using meshes as level geometry, and by extent, you’d be making most of your level in Blender (or any other compatible 3D modelling software). UE4 does have support for creating BSP geometry in-engine, but this is mainly used for prototyping or blocking out levels.
That said, whilst you can certainly create your entire level in Blender, it is as far as I’ve gathered a better practice to create separate parts in Blender which you then piece together in the UE4 editor. There are three reasons for this (perhaps more for all I know): Being able to re-use meshes which can improve performance, you’d have to do some hefty work in terms of collision meshes, but also - and I suspect this will be the bigger problem - being able to have separate lightmaps per object with different resolutions.
I don’t know at what level of knowledge you are with UE4, but in case you don’t know, lightmaps are used by the engine when you “build lighting” to store shadow overlays on your objects where possible to save performance by not having to do this whilst playing the game. If you have a large or highly detailed object you might want higher resolution shadows (or more correctly, lightmaps) on these, whilst simpler, smaller objects would be perfectly fine with a smaller resolution lightmap. In addition, the UVs for lightmaps need to stay within the 0 - 1 range, so you’d have to pack your entire level worth of faces into that 0 - 1 UV lightmap.
If you export your entire level as a single model, you would likely need a very large lightmap to give enough detail to the shadows in your level. This in turn would wreck performance and I’d imagine it would eat video memory for breakfast. A better solution then would be to, for instance, export the basic shape of a room (walls, floors, ceiling) as one model, then have detailing objects (for instance, an ornamental pillar, a chandelier) as separate objects. Then you’d place the room in the UE4 world and then move the detailing objects into it as necessary.