InstaLOD for Unreal Engine enables you to optimize 3D meshes and scenes from within Unreal Engine. Full support for both static and skeletal meshes as well as draw call reduction make InstaLOD the best choice for optimization in Unreal Engine 5.
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine currently supports both Windows PC and macOS.
Support for the latest Unreal Engine version is typically added shortly after the official release. The plugin is maintained to be fully compatible with the latest version only.
InstaLOD has been built on Windows using Visual Studio 2019 and requires the installation of the Visual C++ Redistributables for Visual Studio 2019. If you have already installed Visual Studio 2019 or later on your workstation, the installation of the Visual Studio 2019 redistributables is not necessary.
If you are not using C++ in your UE project, you need to create an empty C++ class in the Unreal Editor first.
To create an empty C++ class inside UE, open the project, click the green
Add Newbutton in the
Content Browserand select
New C++ Class. When prompted to select a parent class, select
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine ships with source code, so this step is required for UE to compile and to use the InstaLOD plugin.
To get started, copy the "InstaLODMeshReduction" folder to your project's "Plugins" folder.
If you cannot find the "Plugins" folder in the root of your Unreal Engine project, simply create it using either Windows Explorer or macOS Finder.
Finally, right-click your project file
projectname.uproject, and depending on your operating system, select either
Generate Xcode project (macOS) or
Generate Visual Studio project files (Windows).
The next time you open the UE project, the InstaLOD plugin will be compiled.
Unless you are using a custom fork of Unreal Engine, it is recommended to install InstaLOD to your project's plugins folder, not into the engine's plugins folder.
Before installing the latest version of InstaLOD for Unreal Engine, delete the "InstaLODMeshReduction" folder from your project's "Plugins" folder.
Install the latest version of InstaLOD for Unreal Engine as described in the previous chapter. Sometimes your project needs to be cleaned from within Visual Studio before compilation.
A workstation needs to be authorized before InstaLOD for Unreal Engine can be used. If you haven’t authorized InstaLOD on your computer before, you will be asked to do so when starting the UE project. Enter your license information and press
Authorize to request a license for your workstation. Your workstation is now authorized for use with InstaLOD. Make sure to deauthorize your workstation before uninstalling InstaLOD, or you will not be able to authorize another workstation.
If you proceed without authorizing your machine, all optimization operations will result in the generation of a model that represents a key with the InstaLOD logo.
To replace these keys with the properly optimized geometry after authorizing your machine, you can rebuild the mesh manually - or delete the
Intermediatefolder to force Unreal Engine to rebuild all LOD models.
To deauthorize your workstation before uninstalling InstaLOD for Unreal Engine, open the InstaLOD tool window and go to the
? tab. Enter your credentials in the
Deauthorize panel and click
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine needs to be manually selected as the active plugin in the
Project Settings before it can be used.
In the Unreal Editor, navigate to
Project Settings. In the
Editor rubric, the
Mesh Simplification, the
Hierarchical LOD Mesh Simplification and
Skeletal Mesh Simplification must be configured to use
InstaLODMeshReducation as the
Mesh Reduction Plugin,
Hierarchical LOD Mesh Reduction Plugin and
Skeletal Mesh Reduction Plugin. After restarting the engine, InstaLOD is ready to use.
InstaLOD is fully integrated into Unreal Engine and all LOD features are now available to you.
This includes hierarchical LOD clusters, remeshing and the generation of static mesh and skeletal mesh LOD. Furthermore, InstaLOD for Unreal Engine supports Imposterization, Material Merging, Occlusion Culling, Mesh Toolkit and UV unwrapping.
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine brings the following feature set directly into the engine:
InstaLOD's great unified UX/UI allows you to directly map your preexisting knowledge from InstaLOD Studio and our DCC tool integrations to InstaLOD for Unreal Engine. All operations are handled the same.
Utilities Panel allows to configure how processed meshes are used. They can be either used in a specific position of an LOD chain or appended at the end. Alternatively, they can also be saved as new assets.
Update Selected Components With New Meshescan be checked.
Operations that produce textures (Remesh, Imposterize and Material Merge) provide an additional
Bake Output panel where the texture output and dimensions can be configured.
Furthermore, you can configure which texture pages need to be transferred from the source mesh. Missing textures can be configured to be filled with a constant value.
When using the remesher, the following texture pages can be additionally baked out by InstaLOD:
InstaLOD supports vertex color-based optimization weights. This is a great way to give artists full control over the optimization.
InstaLOD only accepts vertex color channels that have an empty green channel.
Avoid using both red and blue for a single vertex. If both red and blue colors are used on the same vertex, the higher color value will determine the weighting type. It is recommended to use pinning instead of culling to avoid interfering with the optimization strategy of the optimizer.
When using the optimizer through the InstaLOD window,
Vertex Colors As Optimizer Weights can be endabled in the
Advanced panel. When optimizing a mesh through the
Skeletal Mesh Editor or through the
Static Mesh Editor , vertex based optimization weights can be enabled by setting
High or enable the
InstaLOD normally supports up to four vertex color channels and a dedicated mesh attribute for optimization weights.
If you're running your project on a custom engine fork and you need to store other data in the vertex color channel,you can make use of the additional fields provided by InstaLOD by modifying the
FMeshDescriptionconversion methods found in the
Vertex colors are typically painted onto vertices during the model's creation in a DCC tool like Autodesk Maya.
However, vertex colors can also be painted directly on a mesh from inside Unreal Engine.
To paint vertex colors from inside UE drag a model into the viewport of your level.
Switch into paint mode by pressing Shift + F2 and paint your desired vertex colors.
Once you are finished painting press the
Copy instance colors to source mesh button to commit the vertex colors to your mesh.
Open the mesh in the static mesh editor, verify that the vertex colors have been updated using the
Vert Colors view mode and press
By configuring InstaLOD as the default Mesh Reduction plugin in the project settings for
Hierarchical LOD Mesh Simplification, UE will make use of InstaLOD's superior remesher to generate highly optimized and beautiful HLODs.
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine offers a comprehensive scripting interface since the release of InstaLOD for Unreal Engine 5.1. This interface allows users to implement custom workflows for optimization, shortcuts, and complex LOD chains which would involve a lot of manual labor. Scripting can be done with both Blueprints and Python.
To learn more, please read our dedicated article here.
InstaLOD for Unreal Engine ships with the full source code for the integration. Feel free to customize, enable and disable features.
Please visit http://www.InstaLOD.com to stay up to date!
Thank you for using InstaLOD.