Palettes are folders that contain a set of objects or brushes that can be stored and used across different maps. This can be a tremendous boost to productivity if you create multiple maps and want to maintain some common toolsets when working on each map.
When used to create brushes, Palettes can also be an easy and effective way to add trees, bushes, rocks, and other randomly scattered objects onto a map.
This guide covers what Palettes are, how to create them, and how to use them.
Uses For Palettes
Palettes are a way to quickly and easily spawn objects, splines, splats, and decals onto a map.
There are two main ways of using palettes: Groups and Sets and Brushes. Each use uses the palette system to add objects in a different way.
Groups and Sets
Palettes consisting of Groups or Sets of objects provide an easy dashboard to select objects from.
For example, you can set up a fire camp with some wood logs, a dirt splat, and some food baskets in a group that you can reuse in your other maps.
Alternatively, groups and sets palettes can be used as a convenient place to store objects that you use frequently so you don't need to search for them in the Object Browser every time you want to place them.
Palettes that contain Brushes allow you to create custom paintbrushes populated with objects that you can use to paint onto a map.
For example, if you want to create an area with different bushes and splats distanced in a random way.
Enhancing Workflow with Palettes
Any asset that can be placed in a scene can be added to a palette. These assets are usually grouped around a theme that includes a variety of commonly used splats, splines, and objects needed for crafting a specific type of thing.
For example, if you have a house with a side road and some props that you want to add to another scene, you can group all these elements together and add them to a palette to easily make homesteads and small villages.
The example below shows a Palette created for creating roads. Because a significant amount of time is spent creating a good-looking road with the right width, deform, grass removal, and mix of strips, it makes things quicker to add them in a palette for reuse. This way you can start with the right road and not spend unnecessary time creating each new road from manually selected assets.
Opening the Palette Interface
To open the palette interface, use the Main Menu to navigate to Scenario > Palettes.
By default, the Palettes panel appears along the bottom of the interface, sharing a space with the Object Browser.
If you do not currently have any palettes created, this panel will initially appear blank. Any palettes you create will appear here.
Creating a Palette
Palettes consist of group of objects that exist together as a single package.
To create a new palette, perform the following steps:
- In the Palettes Panel, Right-Click on the Palettes folder and select +Add.
- Enter the name of your new palette into the text box and press OK.
- Your new palette will now appear in your Palette section and is ready to have content added to it.
Adding Objects to a Palette
To add content to a palette, perform the following steps:
- In the Palette panel, Right-Click the palette you wish to add something to and select +Add.
- Choose the type of asset you wish to add to your palette from the list provided and press OK.
- You may then set the asset Blueprint controls to select the exact splat, object, spline, or other entity you wish to add to your brush.
- You may repeat this process any number of times, each time adding a new asset to build out your palette. Make sure yo save your scenario to lock in any palettes you have created.
Dragging and Dropping Assets
If you wish, you can also add assets to a Palette by dragging them from the Scenario Tree.
This can be a quick and easy way to add something you see in the scene to your palette. Selecting the object in the Render View automatically takes you to where it is stored in the Scenario Tree.
Note that dragging an object this way will also copy it's unique parameters. For example, if a copied road is made to be a long, curved road, that is how the road will be copied to the palette.
Palettes and Brushes
Brushes can paint assets they contain onto the terrain. This can be helpful for quickly placing trees, bushes, or other natural props in a map.
Brushes are made of multiple bristles, each keyed to a type of asset they paint onto the map. You can have more than one bristle and this can be like layers that have different parameters.
To create a new brush and add it to a palette, perform the following steps:
- Right-Click on Palette and select +Add.
- Give your new paintbrush palette a name and press OK.
- Right-Click your paintbrush palette and select +Add.
- Select Brush from the Blueprint interface and press OK.
- Right-Click on the Brush entity and press +Add.
- A new Bristle entity will be added to your paintbrush. You may now Drag and Drop any entity from the Scenario Tree onto that bristle. This will key that bristle to that entity.
- You may repeat step 6 any number of times to add more entities to your bristle.
You may also repeat steps 5 and 6 any number of times to add new bristles to your brush.
Selecting a bristle will bring up a selection of unique parameters.
The most important parameter is Diameter, which controls spacing between the entities in the brush.
If no spacing is set then the props will space themselves according to their footprint. This can create forests that are tightly packed together and fields of tightly packed ferns.
The settings on each prop within a palette, such as splat transparency or color, will be applied to the brush as well.
Palettes are created in the Palette window and once saved, you can find them in the Object Browser.
These Palettes are saved locally and will show up in the Object Browser regardless of what map you have open.
Using Object Palettes
To use objects from a palette, you can Drag and Drop any asset within the Palette onto the Render View to either spawn them or change the tool to match the selected paintbrush.
Using Paintbrush Palettes
To use a paintbrush palette, select the paintbrush from the Object Browser to key the mouse to the brush.
You may then Right-Click to paint entities using that brush onto your scene.
Note that every brush stroke will create a group in the Scenario Tree.
Build Before Previewing Changes
When applying objects with a custom paintbrush palette, make sure to Build your mod before previewing your changes in-game.
As with any major change you make while building a map, if you only Save your map and do not Build it, any changes you make with your brush will not be reflected in the map when viewed in-game.
Object Painter Panel
The Object Painter panel appears when you select a palette brush and contains some quick controls to further tune how your brush behaves.
Using this window you can change the Brush Size and Brush Density.
- Brush Size controls the area of the brush. You can also change the brush size by using Ctrl+ Mouse Wheel.
- Brush Density controls the space between spawned objects.
By default, a brush will respect previously painted objects and placed object, preventing you from painting over them by not spawning an object if it conflicts with a previously placed one.
This behavior can be toggled on and off using the controls provided in the Object Painter window.
- Ignore Previously Painted Objects ignores objects that you have painted with a palette brush.
- Ignore Previously Placed Objects ignores objects that were either randomly or manually placed by other means.
Organizing your Brush Entities
To keep the entities that your painted entities organized, it is recommend you create a special layer for them in the Scenario Tree.