Static meshes vs Brushes
Hi there I'm fairley new to Game design, and I was wondering about the use of brushes vs static meshes. I have read that it is better to use static meshes where posibble and I've made some meshes for my game like Stairs and light fittings etc using 3ds max. My question is regarding the floors and walls which are straight flat floors and walls. I have blocked these out in UDK using brushes, would I still need to convert these to static meshes and can they be converted in UDK or would I simply make the floor and walls to size in 3ds max and then import them over. I'm sorry if this as been asked before I had a quick look through the forums but cant find much with regards to whether everything needs to eventually be static meshes or not.
Brushes are slower so it's more ideal to have static meshes instead, but you don't have to use static meshes if your game runs fine and you don't feel like changing them over. UDK can convert BSP to static meshes if you wish, although it's easier to model something in 3ds Max
I'm fairly sure that BSP brushes are calculated by the CPU rather than the GPU, which is why they're inefficient. UDK's BSP is also very low detail. If you have very simple flat geometry in a relatively small / medium-sized level and you're not encountering any light-bleeding weirdness, you could probably keep your BSP as-is.
If you right-click your BSP in UnrealEd, you'll find a Convert-to-Static-Mesh option that will give you an easy swap, although with a default flat UV unwrap (you can generate lightmap UVs in the editor). From there you can export the Static Mesh as a .obj or .fbx.
... Or you can also export the BSP of your entire level as a .obj.
For creating Static Meshes, either 3ds Max or Maya are recommended. Other 3D apps can work (I've used Blender and even SketchUp) but you'll have finicky issues with smoothing groups, normals and maybe even UV issues.