How to Fix Mesh Turning Black Issue in UE4 – Geometry Brush Converted to Static Mesh Turns Black After Building Lighting

So you add a Geometry Brush to your Level, then convert it to a Static Mesh using the “Create Static Mesh” button under the Brush Settings category. But when you rebuild the lighting, the Actor turns completely black!

Mesh That Has Turned Black
This Static Mesh, which was converted from a Geometry Brush, turned black after rebuilding the lighting

So what happened? Well, Meshes have a property that Brushes don’t have called a Light Map. So when you convert from a Brush to a Mesh, the new Mesh doesn’t know what settings to use for its Light Map.

How to Fix

So how can you fix this? Luckily, the solution is easy. First, find the Static Mesh in the Content Browser, then double-click on it to open it in the Static Mesh Editor. Then go to the Static Mesh Settings category in the Details Panel. Change the Light Map Resolution to 512. Expand the category and set Light Map Coordinate Index to 1.

How to Fix Mesh Turning Black Issue
You can fix the issue by changing some of the Mesh’s properties in the Static Mesh Editor

Now save the Static Mesh and go back to the Level Editor. The Mesh will now look normal, even when you rebuild the lighting!

Epic Games Founder Talks About Unreal Engine at GDC 2017

Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and its CEO, recently spoke at the 2017 Game Developers Conference. He went over some of the numbers that show the explosive growth that Unreal has been experiencing over the past couple years. Then, a presentation was made showing how Unreal Engine 4 was used to render a droid in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in a new and innovative way. After that, some of Epic Games’ partnerships were highlighted, including those with Chevrolet and Imaginati Studios. For more details, visit the official blog article.

What is the Unreal Project Browser?

The Unreal Project Browser is where you can open your existing projects or create new ones.

Projects Tab

It’s divided into two tabs. The first is simply called “Projects” and this tab will be selected by default whenever the Project Browser first opens. This tab is for existing projects. It contains thumbnail images of all existing projects that the Project Browser was able to find, which would include any projects within the installation directory, and any projects you previously created or opened using this installation of Unreal.

To open a project, simply double-click on it, or select it and click the Open button in the bottom-right corner, and it will open the Unreal Editor and load that project into it.

If you have lots of projects and need some help finding it, you can enter all or part of the name of the project in the search bar at the top and this will narrow down the results based on what you entered.

Browse Button

As previously mentioned, this tab will only list the projects that the Project Browser could find. If you were to, for example, download an existing project from the Internet onto your desktop…until you open that project, the Project Browser won’t know about it. This is what the Browse button in the bottom-right corner is for. In this situation, you would need to click the Browse button and browse to that project file on your desktop and open it from there. Once you open it, however, from then on the Project Browser will know about it and it will appear in the list.

Refresh and Marketplace Buttons

Now look in the upper-right corner of the Project Browser and you’ll see two buttons – Refresh and Marketplace. The Refresh button is used to refresh the list of project thumbnails. So again, let’s say that you download a project from the Internet, but instead of saving it to the desktop, you saved it in the installation directory instead…then the Project Browser will be able to find it. However, it won’t appear in this list until you click the Refresh button.

If you click the Marketplace button, this will simply take you to the Marketplace tab of the Epic Games Launcher where you can download existing environments, objects, characters, etc. either for free or for a price.

One last item to cover before we move on to the New Project tab – in the bottom-left corner you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Always load last project on startup”. So what this will do, if you check this, the next time you hit the Launch button in the Games Launcher, it will skip this Project Browser altogether and automatically open the last project you worked on. This is useful if you only plan to be working on one project for several days, weeks, or months at a time. It will allow you to skip this step every time.

If you did want to open a new or different project, you can still do that through the File menu of the Unreal Editor. And if you check this box, and later decide you do want the Project Browser to open on launch, you can change this setting in the Editor Preferences which I will cover in another lecture.

So that covers the Projects tab. Go ahead and click on the New Project tab now.

New Project Tab

You’ll notice that this tab has two tabs itself – a “Blueprint” tab and a “C++” tab. Don’t worry about the C++ tab for now. For now, let’s just concentrate on the Blueprint tab. You’ll notice there are 12 options to choose from – a blank project, and 11 template projects.

The templates are all based around common game types. So for example, if I know I want to create a first-person shooter, I could start with the “First Person” template and that will load with several features common to first-person games already hooked up and ready to go. Alternatively, if I want to create a racing game, the “Vehicle” template would make a good choice. And as it mentions up here, you can add these features in later if you want. So, you could choose a blank project to start with and then add in “First Person” features later, within the Editor.

New Project Settings

Beneath the Blueprint tab you will see three different settings that you are able to configure here. And just like the Blueprints, you have the option to change any of these settings later within the Editor.

First, you can choose the overall class of hardware that you are planning to develop your game for. You can choose between “Desktop/Console” for developing computer and console games and “Mobile/Tablet” for developing phone and tablet games.

Next, you have the option of choosing between “Maximum Quality” and “Scalable 3D or 2D”. In general, you would pair the “Desktop/Console” setting with “Maximum Quality” and “Mobile/Tablet” with “Scalable 3D or 2D”. Which makes this setting somewhat redundant. However, if you wanted to, for example, create a desktop game that could operate using minimal resources, you could pair the “Desktop” and “Scalable” settings together here.

Lastly, you have the option of choosing between “With Starter Content” and “No Starter Content”. So, choosing the blank template will start you off with no code, but if you wanted to start with a truly empty project you would choose the blank template along with the “No Starter Content” setting. However, the “With Starter Content” is useful as it will load into your project, from the start, a lot of basic “content” you can use to get you going such as materials, basic shapes, etc.

Finally, when you have selected the blueprint you want to use and chosen your settings, you just need go to the bottom of the window and choose where you want the project to be saved, give it a name, and click the “Create Project” button in the bottom-right.

This will open the Unreal Editor and load a new project into it based on the settings you chose.