Terrain Detail Material

Terrain Detail Materials are blended with macro materials to create a more natural appearance to the terrain surface.


Detail materials are standard materials that you can create with Material Editor. They are assigned to the terrain through surface tag names that are generated by gradients. This allows you to assign many materials across a large terrain surface and blend between them. Detail materials are displayed on the terrain within the Detail material render distance from the camera.

This blending of detail materials with the macro material enables you to use small, high fidelity, tiled detail materials by creating variations in color and lighting across the terrain. In the following example, the grass on the left is a detail material that is not blended with the macro material. The grass on the right is the same detail material, but it has been blended over a low fidelity macro material. Notice the variations in color and lighting that create a less uniform and much more natural appearance:

An example of the difference in variation created by macro material blending.

In the Terrain World Renderer level component, there is a property group named Detail material configuration that you can use to configure how far from the camera to stop blending detail materials into the macro material, and the distance over which to fade out the blended detail materials.


Applying detail materials is a process that can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Creating the materials you want to apply to your terrain in the Material Editor.
  2. Creating image gradients that define the detail material areas.
  3. Creating surface tags to refer to parts of the terrain that are associated with specific gradients.
  4. Applying the materials to the terrain as detail materials.

For a step by step example of this process, please follow the apply detail materials section of the Create Terrain from Images tutorial.