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UE4 Billboard Materials - Some faces too dark

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  • UE4 Billboard Materials - Some faces too dark

    I'm having problems with billboard trees in UE4:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	AnyDesk_rdiLV5I6bz.png Views:	0 Size:	103.0 KB ID:	9469
    Can anyone tell me why the horizontal "plan view" billboard renders so dark in game? Those planes make the trees look as if they have a black gash through them. How can I get those to render consistently with the vertical surfaces? The lighting in this scene is almost at 45' to the models - I would expect them to be lit in a similar way. The top and side parts of the texture atlas look the same.

    This is the Sweetgum Hero games tree. I'm using UE 4.26 with a completely vanilla setup (the "Blank" project).

    Last edited by [email protected]; 01-19-2021, 06:35 PM.

  • #2
    Here's another couple of images that illustrate the issue we're having:
    Click image for larger version

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    The trees using the mesh LODs look OK.
    Click image for larger version

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    But back up just a little bit and the billboard LOD is way off.



    • #3
      Anybody? How can I make the billboards render more nicely with dynamic lighting? In the old days, when we used billboards a lot in renderings, we'd make the billboard material self-illuminating or exclude it from lighting, which looked better than the weird shading and self-shadowing we're getting now.
      Speedtree - help! Your billboard trees look completely busted. Should I put in a support request?


      • #4
        Hi Donald,
        we can try to help you from the forums, sorry for your issues!
        If you could post his sweetgum export settings (clip) and your lighting setup from the scene that might be helpful.
        Top billboards can cast a shadow and in some cases it might be better to export with that turned off.
        If you're viewing the trees from 45 degrees up, it's often handy to add another billboard face in there.


        • #5

          Thanks for your reply!

          Is there a way to set the number of billboards in the UE version of the editor?

          Here are the settings we're using:
          Click image for larger version

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          45-degree billboards would be great for our project as our views are mostly aerial.

          Attached Files


          • #6

            The subscription version of SpeedTree 8 does not include a billboard count option in the export dialog, but this will be added in the upcoming version, v9.

            We don't currently do renders from 45 degrees. However, since you're using UE4, you can dig into the SpeedTree Billboard node in the UE4 material editor if you want. You can fiddle with the transition area to make it work better for your case.

            Also, since UE4 can be a little expensive pixel-shader-wise, you maybe could think about a more 3d "billboard". That is, instead of a ~50 polygon crosshatched mesh, you could really work on that last LOD to make a ~300 poly 3d tree for use in the distance. This would work better in shadows, too.

            Hope this helps