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why use brushes when I can use static meshes instead

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    why use brushes when I can use static meshes instead


    I'm a novice in the world of game production. I have been following a couple of tutorials trying to build a simple level. The tutorials describe how a rough outline of the level is made using brushes, after which static meshes are added. But why use brushes at all? couldn't I build my level using only static meshes? Is there a difference between brushes and static meshes performance-wise?

    Happy New year

    There is no problem with using only meshes. It is just preference. If any, brushes are probably worse for performance even.


      Thanks for the fast response!


        You don't have to use brushes, you can do it all in static meshes if you so like. BSP is quicker to get a basic level layout with.

        Performance-wise, I don't know the exact figures, but I could bet that you'll get much less polygons with BSP.

        Most game developers use BSP to create the prototype of the level, and then most to all of the bsp eventually gets replaced by static meshes.

        On that note (sorry to hijack your thread, but it's still related ), I'd be curious to know what the community thinks about how much of the BSP should be replaced by SMs, or what should stay BSP.

        "It depends", I know, but there are probably some rules of thumb we can throw in here.

        For instance, I hardly see an underground area being completely replaced by static meshes without being a pain in the bottom with collisions and the like.


          You can absolutely create a map with pure static meshes without the use of brushes, UT2k3 did this on a map or two, of course they had atleast one subtraction box though, the UDK however does not require this so I'm more then certain you can get away with 100 percent static meshes, and 0 percent brushes.

          The point in brushes is to create very simple objects and shapes that would be pointless to make a static mesh for, a floor for example or a wall, ramp, and many other simplified angles. Sure you could build these out of meshes but it's much more work and overall extremely pointless.

          Also you will find creating the basic layout of your level with brushes is WAY easier, you can modify it on the fly, test it on the fly, and many other bonus's. Doing this with pure meshes would require you to know the dimensions of the UDK for whatever 3d program you happen to be working in, it would also require that you import your meshes every time you made a change to test how accurate your layout was for gameplay in UDK the world.


            UDK also (for now at least) has tools that make applying and editing tiling textures really easy as compared to editing UVs on meshes and re-importing.