Top Down or Bottom Up

Hi guys.

First post here, despite having had WM for some time. Just wondering what the best approach is as far as developing terrains for ue4.

How do you do it, do you work from the top and chip away until your satisfied, or build up from the bottom.

Just trying to establish a good workflow.


If I understand what you’re getting at, this is often personal preference!

I tend to like a top-down approach with WM; working on small details when the big stuff is not finalized yet can be counter-productive as many times your fine-grained masks will depend on global operations, so getting them just-so and then changing the big picture can be frustrating.

So my workflow would be:

  1. What do I want the terrain to look like very coarsely? Flesh it out with a Shapes device, or large scale noise if random
  2. Start working on medium-scale (regional) features. This is where using multiple noise generators for different terrain areas, filters, erosion, etc comes in
  3. Add in any specific features (level areas, roads, etc) once the above are mostly complete
  4. Work on texturing and materials

And of course you can always go back and change stuff in step 1 late in the process; but proceeding in that fashion helps me get what I want most efficiently.