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Realistic Foliage Imposter and Forest Rendering in UE4


Ryan Brucks (Principal Technical Artist, Epic Games)

Location: Overlook 2014, West Hall

Date: Friday, March 23

Time: 12:15pm - 12:40pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference, GDC Summits, Expo Plus, Audio Conference + Tutorial, Educators Summit, Indie Games Summit - Get your pass now!

Topic: Visual Arts

Format: Poster Session

Vault Recording: Not Recorded

Audience Level: All

Come learn how efficient and accurate imposters can be used to render vast forest scenes in UE4. A hybrid combination of techniques will be employed to get high quality with high performance. An iterative method is used to add parallax for optical flow between frame captures. Advanced features such as pixel depth offset will be shown to match shadowing and geometry intersections. Additional methods such as converting masks to distance field will be employed to further smooth silhouette transitions and to optimize shadowing passes. In addition, this lecture will be looking at a higher quality control version that uses a more expensive ray marching approach.


Learn how to create cheap foliage impostors in UE4. Impostor artifacts will be broken down and solved one at a time, showing how adding each correction converges towards a result. Attendees will also be exposed to methods for vertex optimization and shadowing tricks.

Intended Audience

If you have ever tried to create a large forest scene for a game world, you know how challenging it can be to maintain quality and performance. Anybody who has every faced this challenge can benefit from this talk. Both beginning and advanced methods will be used.