11 Apr

Introducing the new Destructible Mesh Editor for UE4

For the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve been working on a major project. This is not a paid project, sadly, but it’s one I am glad to have done.

About 6 weeks ago, I got to the point in my game development where I wanted to integrate Destructible Meshes into my game. I found that the authoring support in UE4 was not sufficient for what I wanted, and Physx Lab was very unpleasant to use, didn’t handle scaled meshes, and crashed a lot. So, I decided to fill the obvious hole.

I’ve built a new Destructible Mesh Editor for UE4.8 that supports all of the features of the Apex Destructible Mesh SDK.  I’m not done yet, but I’ve made a demo.

Now, here’s what’s missing:

Cutout mode support is in, but not working. I am waiting on support from nVidia, which they’ve promised to deliver. It turns out cutout mode is very complex, undocumented, and only really used in Physx Lab.

There’s a rendering issue (external materials sometimes disappear.) This is an issue with the scene proxy for the destructible meshes. I really could use Epic help with this.

I need a good sanity check for how Destructible Meshes should behave in UE4. I hope to get that from some friendly nVidia engineers, but if anyone out there reading has a deep understanding of Destructible Meshes in UE4 and wants to share, I can use the help. My issue is that they don’t behave how I would like them to, so I need a baseline to see what is normal.

Once things are working, I will submit it as a pull request, and the long process of adapting my code to the standards of the UE4 engine will begin. I’ve followed the best practices as well as I can, but there’s obviously some areas where I can improve.

Speaking of that – this editor is going to spawn a lot of articles here. I learned a ton about UE4 internals, both editor and runtime, while making this. I’m going to share as much of it as I can both remember and put in useful article form.

As far as I know, this will be the largest outside contribution Epic has received for UE4. So much so that it might be a problem for them. It will be interesting to see how they react.

2 thoughts on “Introducing the new Destructible Mesh Editor for UE4

  1. Pingback: In a terrible between-versions limbo in Unreal Engine 4. | Tamed Tornado Software

  2. This is just awesome!

    I just started my own game project (first ever) and it will feature lots of destructibles. The limitation of UE’s single depth level destructibles really put me off until I found PhysX. PhysX Lab generated the results I wanted but yeah, that thing is really unstable and hard to use.

    I hope you will be implementing presets for the destructible settings, some sort of Save/Load settings system (which, again, didn’t work very well/at all in PhysX Lab).

    I guess all of your work is very tightly integrated into the UE Editor and that prevents it from being made into a plug-in instead?

    Again, great job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *