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ats color map ULTRA shader [RELEASED]

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by larsbertram1, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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  2. Foxxis

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    Don't get me wrong. The package is a good, solid start when you want good looking terrains. It just needs a fair bit of work if you are dealing with runtime terrain generation.

    It is the fact that it has a lot of potential which makes it extra sad when the author does not seem to be iterating on it. We would gladly pay (more and again) for a more streamlined v3.
     
  3. hippocoder

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    terrain rendering fast and beautiful is open season at the moment with gaia and friends providing a boost of interest. Picked this up, it's nice! I don't think its broken but Unity's shadows are a horror story as usual (no fault of the shader afaik).
     
  4. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    hey guys,
    the color map ultra shader is still developed further – but it is pretty difficult to predict its future direction:
    • unity is still looking into renewing the terrian system.
    • unity 5.4. will bring texture arrays at least for dx11 and open gl core.
    • rtp is progressing and progressing.

    so i really have some difficulties to lay out the future scope of the shader and which features it should contain.
    • parallax occlusion mapping is out.
      there is rtp doing a great job as far as performance is concerned. but pom has some very nasty problems when it comes to height blending the splats – problems which you can't really solve without making the shader doing a lot more texture samples: arrgh.
    • dynamic weather effects like rain and snow might be in.
      the code for that has been written years ago (lux) so it should be easy to integrate it.
    • triplanar texturing is out.
      due to the fact that the terrain’s geometry is based on a simple height map steep cliffs will not provide much data as far as geometry is concerned. so in case you are heading for a sophisticated look you will probably add some extra geometry anyway.
    • up to 8 independent detail texture might be in.
      using texture atlases would be just like rtp. but maybe using texture arrays (unity 5.4 only) will give us some nice new possibilities.
    what do you think?
    what do you want?

    lars
     
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  5. magique

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    I would like to see an easier work flow. Having to make a duplicate terrain seems cludgy and not very intuitive. I have never successfully got this to work and after seeing the tutorial, I felt like it was too much to go through to get it working. I've been using Distingo now, which doesn't have as many features, but just works so easily compared with this.

    EDIT: If this were easier to use, it would likely be my terrain texturing solution of choice. I also have RTP, but there are issues on the Wii U in Unity 5.2.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  6. Baldinoboy

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    Hey Lars,

    Glad to hear progression in it. I do love POM but I understand because my computer is not such a fan. The dynamic weather effects sounds great! That would really help.
     
  7. hopeful

    hopeful

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    +2 for rain and snow. :)
     
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  8. larsbertram1

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    well, maybe you confuse an old and free version with the current ultra shader – as you do not have to duplicate the terrain.
     
  9. magique

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    Well, the video that I watched says that's the way it works. Maybe the video is outdated?
     
  10. larsbertram1

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    it is far outdated…
     
  11. magique

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    I'd love to give this another try. Can you recommend an up to date video tutorial?
     
  12. larsbertram1

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    sorry, but there is none...
     
  13. Soul-Challenger

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    Hi Lars,

    * sharper detail texture blending would be great. Something like this. Wouldn't that allow each detail texture to also behave like a decal, when using lower alpha values?

    * 8 independent detail textures would be very nice to have.

    * I really enjoy using your colormap painting script, just feel it's missing a blur brush.

    * Wetness/waterflow/snow sounds great. I'm assuming it would take slope into account(?)

    That's it, I guess. RTP is fine but I prefer your package as it's less hacky to setup and it feels visually more crisp IMHO. You could also use you experience and competence in the foliage field and add something unique. I've been unsuccessfully trying to add bump-mapped PBS terrain details (grass planes and meshes)... But as you wrote, with Unity cooking up a new terrain system, it's hard to tell which new features would be a waste of your energy. I remember reading Hippocoder's rumoring that it could be in Unity6 - though no official word from UT.

    Also wanted to say thanks for your PathBlendDeferred shader, which I'm using for skidmarks and blending the road geometry with the terrain:


    Cheers! :)
     
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  14. hopeful

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    Just thought I'd mention: Unity's new terrain system isn't on the roadmap. It's in research, not even preliminary development. So it could be held back for Unity 7 or 8 for all we know.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  15. Baldinoboy

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    Beautiful scene!

    There is already support for Physically based and better bending for detail meshes with AFS. Just needs all the plant, rock textures in one texture, which is a good practice anyway.

    Yeah. I am so hoping for some progress shown at GDC in a few days. Please Unity Team:confused:. At least a mention that is not 'We are thinking about it.'
     
  16. docsavage

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    With the amazing quality of the current crop of terrain tools (both old and new) in the asset store Unity are probably making a nice amount from these sales. I think the accounts department are probably hoping for any new system to take longer than expected. Whatever happens though with tools like TC2 coming and Gaia going from strength to strength etc etc anything unity does is going to be either a disappointment or financially damaging. It seems to be a bit of a lose lose situation for them in my opinion.

    I would encourage @larsbertram1 not to lose heart with ats or any of his other assets. I've owned AFS for a while and after finally testing it can say it is fantastic.
     
  17. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Hi Lars! Let me tell you what we want, and frankly, what we'd pay or if it were version 3 even - money not an issue.

    1. pom out - agreed, it's way too expensive for PS4 tbh anyway. RTP is out because we end up spending so long trying to navigate it's absurd interface that we end up making worse results. Workflow is key. Less options are much better. Generally we don't want lots of options. We want to be told how to do it and get something super fast and beautiful.

    2. water and snow are big, big hits for us! really want. Can sacrifice a texture channel for snow. But water or general wetness is a wonderful thing.

    3. Triplanar is a horrific joke that I can't take seriously. I want features I can use, on console, in realtime, so I love comments like "triplanar texturing is out" :)

    4. Texture arrays seem like a potential fantastic perf enhancement. Less samples? yes please! We do not need full PBS either - close enough is much better if it's much faster :)

    5. speed, speed, speed, speed! What is a feature if we cannot use it due to perf considerations?

    Personally I think we do want things like more splats / variety. I have done some mild experiments with packing 4 textures into 1, THEN using a LUT to give them proper colour back. It requires processing the input textures to fit within a palette of say 1024 before they're placed into channels, but with a 2D lut you can get each channel its own palette (usually not required, but anyway). Sounds like arrays are a much better idea.

    Height based blending is important, it has such a nice look. So all we really want is nice normal mapping and bags of variety :)

    Also the main thing we want is less options but better workflow. Finally, is tessellation a terrible idea as a replacement for pom? ie only used up close.

    We only use deferred, so perhaps a deferred feature or two, maybe decal or such might be interesting to consider.

    Thanks for asking!


    Pure speculation on my part, sorry! Roadmap is best bet... and GDC if anything :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
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  18. Baldinoboy

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    I will stop after this since I tend to incite things. I am not expecting a lot with the new terrain system since you are right. There is so much from awesome devs on the Asset Store that is supporting them and making money for Unity. Also with devs help(Lars, Aegon Games, Adam Goodrich) the terrain system is usable. Can do pretty amazing things. There are just a few things i would love to see that should be by default and some of which are not even possible through extensions currently like a smart terrain brush for placing groups of trees based on slope, height, texture.

    I know most people are wanting destructible next gen terrain. I just want one where performance does not die if I place plants and you can place more then one thing at once. So that is why I am hoping to see some news.

    I am done. Sorry Lars. Will shut up now.
     
  19. docsavage

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    No need to worry about inciting things with me. I have been married long enough to have developed dragon skin like proportions of toughness:)

    I agree that unity needs to do something to the stock terrain even if it is just to break up tiling of textures. Never thought of the destructible terrain. Sounds nice.
     
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  20. hippocoder

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    I don't really want that. I just want something that doesn't look like a badger's backside.
     
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  21. Soul-Challenger

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    IMHO it would be most beneficial to all if UT made a rock solid base: with terrain performance as top priority, a terrain tiling/streaming system (ideally with origin shifting) and a somewhat more loving integration of vegetation and terrain details.
    On top of that, the Asset dev's could then happily continue to provide the pretty stuff.
     
  22. Baldinoboy

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    Back to ats update info. One request Lars. Terrain holes. Not sure how performance hungry and or difficult this is but it would be really cool to have. There does not have to be perfect blending between the cave mesh and terrain hole edges but just the ability to paint, cut a hole in the terrain that the player can pass thru. Know RTP does this. Have not played with it yet though. Not sure if I am the only one but it definitely catches my eye in terrain extension features.
     
  23. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    terrain holes are no problem as we have the alpha channel of the color map which currently is unused.
    wetness and snow are a bit more delicate as we would need a lot of additional textures to do them properly: ripple normal, flow and snow normals, distribution maps... but we only have one texture sampler left in case we skip the global normal map.
    so currently i think about using an atlas just for these textures.

    well, we do not have the texture samplers left to store more height information than we do right now – except we would skip all smoothness textures and replace them by height as done now for the 2 splats which support heightmaps (2 and 3 when starting counting at 0)

    more detail splats also need more splatmaps – which currently is out of bounds i think.

    unity 5.4. however might change the hole game. today i had a quick look into texture arrays. it is a bit tricky to make them work with surface shaders but finally i managed to find all the needed information widely spread around the internet… so for unity >= 5.4. and platforms like dx11, openglcore, metal, ps4 and xbox one we should be able to have at least 8 detail textures plus procedural effects like snow and wetness.
     
  24. hippocoder

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    Alright Lars. Where do I throw money? I would consider this a valid reason to use the upgrade system on Asset Store :)

    I was more thinking of just a simple height wetness, I wasn't expecting flowing water, just puddles and general wetness, while snow I was thinking it would be fine to just mess with a splat fading it in or such, wasn't really asking for top end, so long as it all looked good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  25. Soul-Challenger

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    I really wouldn't mind sacrificing smoothness texture and just get it instead from rgb with a min max adjustment slider
     
  26. larsbertram1

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    that is the problem: snow does not look good without a lot work on it… simply fading it in and out would make it look like fading in and out a texture and not snow accumulating over time.
    i once made a snow shader doing this pretty well i think but i had to realize that it is a bit to complex for most use cases as it relies on a lot of input parameters you might not have to hand (height and ao e.g.). so right now i am working on a new function which relies only on global distribution maps (some kind of perlin noise) which are accessible to all shaders.
    i think you won't get puddles just taking the per pixel height into account as this will never get you a contiguous area = puddle. you will need distribution maps/data for that as far as i can say.

    so this is what i currently have – a fully dynamic rain to snow cycle supporting water accumulation in cracks and puddles and a more less smooth blending between snow and wetness.

    waterSno_jpg.jpg
     
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  27. hippocoder

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    Thanks for the explanation, I really enjoyed it! As for the above screenshot, looks quite incredible if I'm honest.
     
  28. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    i have to admit that the screen shoot is taken from a mesh – not a terrain :) in fact it shows a preview of the updates i am doing to my old lux shader framework right now.
    and it shows "my" lux standard shader supporting dynamic weather next to mix mapping, pom, anisotropic and translucent lighting, area lights and some other features i am still looking into…
    so you will be able to use snow and wetness across your entire level.
     
  29. hippocoder

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    That's excellent, I took it to PM for fear of derailing thread as it was terrain. But if you would allow us to use it on meshes, that would be most excellent.

    Also I am volunteering to be a test dummy, we are testing on PS4 heavily and have started production so it would be getting tested in a real world project (we kind of need to get our hands on the solution as early as possible) so if you need rich feedback, we have that for you - if it can work on meshes and terrain.

    Would be awesome, if possible and a big help - naturally I own a license to ats ultra but happy to pay more :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  30. Kusras

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    Wow really like your news. But I came here with some questions. I use 1024 terrain and 1024 pix colormap. Which looks in comparison with distance mountains which are like quarter size of terrain and 2k texture, really poorly and missing details. Do you think I could use 2K colormap eventually also 2K normal map on 1024 heightmap resolution? Also does normal map works then with Enlighten of unity pro?

    On your snow pic - it should use same tessalation as texture beneath the snow +its own addition to heightmap and it will look nicely at it will be more plastic, than flat :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  31. Baldinoboy

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    I do not believe the terrain colormap and normalmap are affected by the heightmap resolution at all. I use a 2K colormap. Works fine.
     
  32. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    as baldinoboy already wrote: resolutions of color map and normal map are independent from the heightmap.
    and for the normal and gi: currently the the terrain normal map is disabled as it does not fit in the 16 sampler limit in case gi is activated. so right now either or… sorry.
     
  33. Kusras

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    Thank you for your answer. I am looking forward 8 texture limit :) you know 6 is quite limiting - 2 for grass, 2 for mountains, 1 soil, 1 sand... and it is full... with 8 there is also a space for forrest ground, mud, or something other... :) when it is planned to become real (circa)? Summer or later?
     
  34. larsbertram1

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    i guess summer – as it is unity 5.4 related.
     
  35. jashan

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    Hi there, I'm currently trying to move some terrains (which are really meshes) over from RTP to ATS ULTRA ... first thing I'm getting stuck with is getting a color map. The way I understand it so far, the recommended workflow is using 3rd party tools (like Mudbox + WorldMachine as in the video linked in the docs) to build the terrain and then move on from there.

    Is there also a recommended workflow for what I'm trying to do, or would I have to rebuild everything from scratch?

    Is it even possible to use ATS ULTRA on a mesh (reading the docs, I'm not sure and as I got stuck in the first step, it's not so easy to just give it a try ;-) )? I do still have the terrains, so I could fall back on using those if I have to (RTP gave me a lot of troubles and I'd do almost anything to move on ;-) ).
     
  36. larsbertram1

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    hi there,
    if you do not have a color map you can simply disable "using color map" in the inspector. but of course this will make the shader and the final results much less attractive...
    well, cmu has been designed with high quality terrains back in mind. that being said cmu does not offer any advanced terrain texturing solutions but relies on proper splat map input: and wm would allow you to create height or slope based splat maps.
    i never tried this, so my answer would be: no.

    sorry about that, lars
     
  37. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    hi there,

    i have just published the first preview, beta, whatsoever of Lux 2.01 which includes dynamic weather.
    so now i can start to add it to the color map ultra shader as well...


    Lux 2.01 is ready to dwonload from:
    https://github.com/larsbertram69/Lux-2.01
     
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  38. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    hi there,
    now that lux 2.01 has been released i have taken up the work on the color map ultra shader v.3 – and it looks as if it turns out to be quite nice :).

    the color map ultra shader v.3 will need unity 5.4. and DX11 or CoreOpenGL as it uses texture arrays and tessellation but it will give you:
    - 8 heightmap based blended detail normal and smoothness mapped splat textures drawn in a single shader pass.
    - dynamic snow and wetness/water
    - advanced color map blending which recovers much more details of the original splat textures
    - approximated ambient occlusion

    cmu_preview01.png
     
  39. studentvz

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    I'm have big problems because of texture tiling on terrain. I looked up trough forum threads and I see that this does not work on mobile (as people say).

    Does anyone have any advice or solution for tiling on mobile? How can I reduce it?
     
  40. larsbertram1

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    screen shoots please.
     
  41. Baldinoboy

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    Sound amazing Lars. Really looking forward to this especially if integrated with Lux.
     
  42. studentvz

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    I was not clear enough, sorry for that. I didn't buy this product yet. I'm looking for solution how to solve tileing, but on mobile platform (android). I wanted to buy this product but reading this thread I see that people say that it is not working on mobile. So I asked for advice what to do, if some another solution exists, or maybe this shader can be modifed to work for older mobile devices.

     
  43. larsbertram1

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    it might be. but terrain shading is expensive in itself…
     
  44. larsbertram1

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    dynamic weather more or less is done – including rain ripples, water flow and dynamic snow.
    but i still have to decide wether i will allow the shader to do an additional texture sample for dedicated snow detail normals or if it simply uses the already sampled perlin normal instead.

    dyn_weather.jpg
     
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  45. magique

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    This is looking like a full blown alternative to RTP now. I look forward to the updates. It's unfortunate that it'll require Unity 5.4 though.
     
  46. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    rtp is rtp. with all its power and despite of some if its limits it is great product. cmu will simply bypass most problems being unity 5.4 only :) and come with a focused feature set.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2016
  47. Lars-Steenhoff

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    Will this new 5.4 version work on apple tv with metal?
     
  48. larsbertram1

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    it will support metal – but i guess the apple tv's gpu will be too weak to support all features. tessellation and full wetness might be just over the top.
     
  49. magique

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    The asset store states the following: "Directional Lightmaps are currently not supported as the terrain shader already uses all available texture samplers." But baked lighting still works for Non-Directional?
     
  50. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    not really sure – but if i have written that i guess it is true…
    baked lighting never has been in my focus i have to admit.
    in case you encounter any problems just come back to me please.