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2018.3 Terrain Feedback: Swapping between tools is harder

Discussion in 'World Building' started by adamgryu, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. adamgryu

    adamgryu

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Posts:
    45
    I've used the terrain tool a lot in my games and I was curious to see the updates in version 2018.3.

    I like the updates, but there's one thing that's been bugging me:

    upload_2018-12-4_15-59-7.png

    I don't like this dropdown menu.

    I find that when I'm editing the terrain, I switch between the flattening, smoothing, and raising tools very frequently. Since those buttons have been replaced with this dropdown, switching between them requires two clicks, and they need to be more accurate than before. The use of text instead of icons also makes slower to pick out the tool you want to use.

    It's not a big deal. Maybe I could get used to this, but my first instinct is that this small change is going to feel very annoying. I understand that this change was probably made to facilitate custom tools (which I love) but I still think the UI could be improved.

    On the plus side: I'm really like that there's a custom tool API. To get around the annoyance of swapping between tools, I could easily see myself creating a master tool that uses a bunch of keyboard shortcuts to switch between modes.

    The API could be improved a bit, such as letting me modify the IOnPaint parameters manually from the inspector and letting me call Paint() from OnSceneGUI.

    I often want the different paint tools to remember the settings I used on them last. That would be something I'd want to build into my tool.

    Questions:
    1. Is there any plan to update the UI for tool selection?
    2. Will the Inspector Editor API become more flexible?
     

    Attached Files:

    WaterlaneStudios and Flavelius like this.
  2. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Posts:
    4,305
    i fully agree concerncing that dropdown. it really slows down your work where you usually switch a lot between rais/lower and smooth for example. it is a no go...
     
  3. ChrisTchou

    ChrisTchou

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Posts:
    38
    Thanks for the feedback! Yes, this is very high on our list of things to fix; our plan is to move it to toolbars using the new Tool Mode API, and also fix up some interaction issues at the same time. We also added hotkey tool selection to every tool in 2019.1.
     
  4. ChrisTchou

    ChrisTchou

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Posts:
    38
    For your second question, what do you want to modify in the IOnPaint ? -- are you wanting to modify the brush size / opacity scalars so you can save/restore them per tool? We are continuing to refine the API, so any feedback is appreciated!

    You _can_ actually do your painting operations in OnSceneGUI, and just have an empty Paint if you wish.
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  5. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Posts:
    4,305
    hotkeys for sizing the brush would be helpful.
     
  6. ChrisTchou

    ChrisTchou

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    Posts:
    38
    Yup, added Hotkeys for size and opacity controls at the same time.
     
    sylon likes this.
  7. adamgryu

    adamgryu

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Posts:
    45
    Hey, thanks for letting me know! Yes, I would be interested in modifying the opacity and brush size, so I can remember what they were per tool.

    When I'm using the raise / lower tool, I usually keep the opacity on very low. However, it needs to be much higher for the smooth tool to work well. Then, on the painting tool, sometimes my splatmap texture is a very different resolution than the heightmap texture, and I'll need to resize the brush for that as well.

    Also, I wanted to give feedback on the tree / grass / wind system. It's something that I really wanted to use in my project, but I have a distinct art style and I needed to use custom shaders on all the terrain assets. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to get my custom trees to react to the wind and use LOD properly. I had to poke around the nature shaders and the Unity C# Source to figure out the wind. I didn't end up using the grass feature because the billboard meshes seem to be created with a weird vertex color gradient from bottom to top; I couldn't get rid of that without also removing the terrain color variation.

    Although, I know that there's a lot on your TODO list, so I understand. But it would be nice if it were easier to work with custom terrain trees / grass - for anyone trying to give their game a unique look, those tools aren't easy to use. Perhaps better documentation (it was hard to discover that trees rely on UV coordinates to calculate wind stretchiness) and more customization options would help.