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Assets Critias Vegetation System [Asset Store]

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by Assembler-Maze, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. lod3

    lod3

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    Ah, I see. This explains part of what I am seeing. The confusing part is in the attached images. For unknown reasons the FPS reported in the editor is 3x higher than in a build using CFS. But, I suppose it doesn't matter based on your response. No need for a refund as a future project may require much more foliage. Thanks for the explanation!

    default.jpg CFS.jpg
     
  2. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Even if you don't use 'INSTANCED_INDIRECT', instancing is still used with grass. At 20k draw calls you would have something like 4-5FPS with your game, however I'm sure that was not the case. The 'INSTANCED_INDIRECT' is the best way to handle grass however it is not mandatory. I'd always recommend it for grass. It should work smooth-er than the standard INSTANCED mode that copies the data from the CPU each frame.
     
  3. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    Thanks you for the images. However there is an issue with them. When using FPS benchmarking always use the FPS counter both in edit mode AND in build mode. The 'Stats' displayed by Unity seems to only show GPU related data (how much CPU is taken to submit commands to the GPU and how much GPU time is taken to render the frame) and some other overheads are not taken into consideration, like CPU time taken for other operations! That's why I suggest using the FPS counter always. You will also see that there is a difference between the FPS counter and the 'Stats' window even in edit mode!

    I've had quite a bad issue with that one time, I was assured that based on the editor 'Stats' I've reached the required 30FPS for a game, however when building and using the fps counter it was showing 20-26FPS! That really busted my bubble and had to re-optimize and tweak the game a lot to get that smooth 30FPS I've required. I've only managed to do that 30 in-game FPS when the 'Stats' window was showing around 40FPS. Since that moment I've ONLY used the FPS counter.

    The FPS difference between my system in build/edit and the standard Unity between build/edit can be explained like following. It might sound a little complicated however bear with me:

    In Unreal the 'stat unit' command shows 4 values:
    UnrealBench.jpg

    Frame: That is the info shown by the fps counter in Unity's build mode
    Game: That is the CPU time that the game requires to tick, all the gameplay logic. That is missing in the Unity's stats
    Draw: How much CPU time is taken to submit the commands to the GPU - In unity that is the 'CPU main' in the 'Stats' window
    GPU: How much GPU time is taken to render the grame on the GPU - In unity that is the 'render thread' in the 'Stats' window

    It would be nice from the Unity guys to include in the 'stats' window the CPU gameplay logic overhead too so that we could have a 'real' fps and not have to rely on the 'FPS counter'. However at the moment we are forced to use the 'FPS Counter' to have the real FPS.

    The difference in the FPS from your screenshots can be explained as following: My system has a little bit of CPU overhead on top of the CPU time to submit the GPU commands and the actual render that is not taken into account by the 'Stats' window. That overhead is coming from the fact that I cull some cells and test some distances (C#) on the CPU, create some colliders, add-remove some colliders, and that takes some time and that time is not taken into account by the 'Stats' window.

    For Unity's implementation: 509FPS means around 1.96ms per frame
    For CFS implementation: 457FPS means around 2.18ms per frame

    The time difference is of 0.22ms for the 52 extra frames. That 0.22ms (that is a fourth of a millisecond) overhead comes form the fact that I also do some extra work on the CPU. However in CFS that extra work is constant in time or modifies only a bit and when you will use 10.000, 100.000 or 300.000 trees and that overhead will remain constant and never increase after a certain threshold no matter how many tress you would use. In Unity the more trees you have that CPU overhead becomes larger and larger until it eats up all your CPU time. That doesn't happen in CFS.

    For the 1200FPS in the editor and 457FPS in the build there's the same explanation. At edit-time the CPU overhead is not taken into account. Use the FPS counter and that value will have a much more reasonable value than 1200FPS, you will see that it's actually around 400FPS.

    Another thing is that I'm forced to do the culling etc in the C# side, and don't have access to the low-level C++. If my system would have been made in C++ that time difference would have been 0.02ms and therefore completely unnoticeable.
     
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  4. shamsfk

    shamsfk

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    Yeah, they were "saved by batching". Last days I've tested CFS against Vegetation Studio I use now to populate my scene. And I get slightly better performance rendering stuff with CFS. That to say I'm GPU bound, and every ms counts, so I'm currently using quite an awkward workflow - populating with VS -> exporting to the scene -> importing to the CFS. For the benefit of couple ms)
     
  5. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    How fater is your rendering is faster with CFS than Veggy Studio? I don't think it is worth the effort if you get less than maybe 2ms, going fully with VS might ease your workflow. And why don't you use gaia with generation? Is studio offering something more than gaia or gena?
     
  6. shamsfk

    shamsfk

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    Just finished a testing marathon. The difference is significant as of right now. So it is worth the trouble.
    https://gyazo.com/719d5757558fcbbe55e8c1966c66c384
    https://gyazo.com/4a6e112d06dc48ad618bcfd5af902ce4
    it is the same grass (21k instances) and some other veggs (5k instances) are only within CFS.
    I tested both in build and editor and lots of different setups.

    I probably would need to write a converter of sorts. To not do it manually.

    Gaia/Gena I considered them, but I don't need too much of terrain generation, nor automatic object placement. Grass and plants are the most laborious part of scenes in my current project. And VeggStudio excels at that. Like very very easy and results are great.
     
  7. timothy92

    timothy92

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  8. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    In the parenthesis it writes d3d9, so probably it is due to the fact that d3d9 do not support the shader. Switch to DX11 and the issue should go away.
     
  9. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    I see, I'm glad that this works within your workflow.

    For your scene I'd have a few performance improvement suggestions if you want to bear with me, we can optimize it to look absolutely the same while having double performance.

    1. You have a very large grass draw distance, don't forget that you can have multiple grass types with multiple draw distances. If I were you I'd duplicate my 'Grass_Clump' to another prefab called 'Grass_Clump2' that looks exactly the same and I'd add them both to my system and on the terrain. However for one I'd have a draw distance of 80m and for the other only something like 30m. In that way you can have a 80m draw distance while the grass nearer to you will be more dense and the grass further away more sparse. If the flowers are sparse I'd leave them at 100m draw distance. It will look approximately the same, but with a huge improvement boost.
    2. Tweak the density settings, a value of 0.8 can improve the FPS quite a lot

    Except that it looks very nice!
     
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  10. shamsfk

    shamsfk

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    Thanks you!

    It is very interesting suggestion regarding having 2 clusters of grass, I never thought of it! I will do that. As for 80m, I even thought of going into the code and cranking max distance to 120 as there are some places where I see grass popping due to nature of a camera being top down and having small FOV of 35. With 2 kinds of grasses that would be absolutely possible.

    And due to several reasons described below, I thought of a modification to your solution.

    If there would be a way to draw some grass at an interval distance like 29-100. I could draw prime grass at distance 0-30 as it is. But I will make 2nd grass having much fewer polygons per blade, but more blades to appear denser. And I would plant 2nd grass sparser (preferably by duplicating current grass, changing prefab and somehow applying density algorithm to it permanently to then just tweak a bit) (or by having an ability to hide grass1 in-editor to see what am I doing).

    There is a touch bending trouble. My current grass has so many patches due to the fact I need it to bend on touch. I was forced to make clusters quite small for it to look nice (big cluster bends as a whole and it looks weird as if character had some kind of a big force field bubble around him) and I could totally ignore this at longer distance and make my clusters really big to plant much less of them.

    Also, I think it might be more visually pleasing if done right (right density is chosen for the second grass to match the first to the point) as I'm afraid of the seam at 30m with your original solution. a top-down camera is brutal to the foliage, you have no way to hide stuff effectively. (I'm still afraid of a seam with this solution too actually)

    Is this solution viable? And is hard to implement?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  11. shamsfk

    shamsfk

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    Just thought of one thing.

    Is it possible to have a grass density be distance dependent? It could be the fastest and cheapest way to optimise (not as effective but it might suffice in many situations).

    Think of shadow cascades in Unity. Like global density and an optional cascade of for example 3 elements: 100% up to 30m, 80% up to 60m, and 50% up to 100.

    Is it possible?
     
  12. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    I thought at that 'cascade' solution one time, however it would require splitting the draw calls based on camera distance with some intermediate cells, however that will add a layer of complexity on top of the C# core, inside the shaders and sending per cell data that is not there just yet. At the time I've thought at the solution it was not very practical, however I'll add it to the 'high priority' on the TODO list.

    At the moment I'd suggest just duplicating the grass type without modifying any of it's vertices, density, properties and just set it's draw distance somewhat lower.
     
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  13. timothy92

    timothy92

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    http://prntscr.com/hrbwsv
    I'm using DirectX 11, still won't build.
     
  14. FrozenEmpire

    FrozenEmpire

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    Hi all,

    Would someone please confirm whether their billboard trees are individually _receiving_ shadows cast by other objects ? I realised that mine are not...

    They are casting shadows fine, but not receiving...

    Using deferred path in 2017.1.1f1

    Many thanks!
     
  15. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Have you tried to re-import the shaders? What Unity version are you using?
     
  16. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Are your billboards not receiving shadows? I'll try look into it, I haven't noticed the problem by now, they always receive shadows, including that annoying self-shadow that appears on the standard Unity billboards too.
     
  17. FrozenEmpire

    FrozenEmpire

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    False alarm sorry, the shadowing was being influenced by another asset. When disabling that asset, the shadowing is back to working fine... :)
     
  18. Mark_T

    Mark_T

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    Hi,
    I checked your CritiasFoliageDemo (at maximum quality settings) and I noticed trees popping up in the distance. Is there a maximum render/instancing/visibility distance settings in your setup? Thanks!
     
  19. timothy92

    timothy92

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    Thanks for the help. turned out I was dumb and just didn't have the latest Unity version.

    I have another issue though, I need more precision when painting things like mushrooms, saplings and lilypads, but the min value for m_BrushSize is 1. I tried changing it to 0.1f in the Range Attribute above the variable declaration but it has no effect and still doesn't let me use a brush smaller than 1. How can I get a smaller brush? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  20. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello!

    Edit line 435 in the 'FoliagePainterEditor.cs':
    paintParams.m_BrushSize = EditorGUILayout.Slider(new GUIContent("Brush Radius", "Radius of the brush in meters."),
    paintParams.m_BrushSize, 1f, 100f);

    Modiy that from 1f to 0.1f.
     
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  21. jlocke

    jlocke

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    Hello ..asset looks very nice ...
     
  22. ChadrickEvans

    ChadrickEvans

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    Hi,

    Just bought the asset but something is a little off. No matter what prefab I drag into the scene it doesn't show up when painting on the custom mesh. I saved with F4 and attempted to run the game multiple times.

    I am using custom made tree meshes, not SpeedTree. Could that have something to do with why my trees aren't showing up?

    upload_2018-1-3_22-37-42.png
     
  23. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    What shader would those custom trees be using? Are they working when simply adding them to the scene? Have you created the streaming assets folder?

    If the problem persists feel free to contact me here again.
     
  24. ChadrickEvans

    ChadrickEvans

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    I'm was initially using the advanced vegetation shader (PBR) from the asset store but since the first error I tried other shaders. The Streaming Assets folder exists, yes.

    They do work when simply adding them to the scene but not when painting. The FoliagePainter script throws error messages on lines 1061 and 1850
     
  25. LouskRad

    LouskRad

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    Hello, I was building my own instanced indirect grass setup when I came across this. Instead of writing my own spatial hashing, I am planning to use yours, since it seems like pretty much exactly what I would do. As far as I understood from this forum, adding/removing foliage is currently restricted to non instanced indirect type foliage. My questions are,

    1 - What is your update status on adding/removing grass at runtime? Our current project is all procedurally generated, and we need to update our grass maps at runtime (by both removing foliage or spawning it).

    2 - If you don't intend to add this soon, can you at least point me in the right direction for how I can modify your code to do this?

    3 - I am planning to use your asset only on a runtime basis (will create the data type you create in the editor from code). Is this possible / practiacal?

    Thanks and congratulations for an awesome looking asset.
     
  26. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello!

    I am sorry to hear that. I would gladly look over the grass that you have problems with, and if you can, please send me over the shader + the foliage that causes problems and I'll make my own scene and I'll try to pinpoint the problem. If it is a bug I will fix it asap.
     
  27. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    The system was build with adding-removing grass at runtime, however due to time constraints I was unable to implement this feature and I doubt it will come soon. Some performance optimizations are more important than this.

    It would work if you tweak the code, however the discussion is a bit larger to respond here, and I would recommend it over creating your own system from scratch, it would save you a few months of research work.
     
  28. LouskRad

    LouskRad

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    Thanks for the quick response. This indeed would save a lot of time.

    Right, of course. One quick question, however: for the instanced indirect grass, you are doing the frustum culling (AABB test etc.) in a compute shader, right? (i.e. dispatching the instances buffer to a compute shader, calculating the visible instances buffer, and appending it to the instanced indirect shader)
     
  29. iddqd

    iddqd

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    Hi @Assembler-Maze

    From looking at the videos, I guess this would not work with Map Magic and infinite terrain that is generated at runtime? Or can i trigger the veggy extraction manually at runtime and replace all foliage?

    Many thanks!
     
  30. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    The culling is CPU based, the AABB's are culled using 'Geometry' however it is very optimized a maximum of 9 AABBs are tested for the trees and around 50-100 AABBs are tested for grass with the default settings, more might be tested if you have a larger draw view distance. I didn't thought it is vital to implement GPU culling just yet.
     
  31. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    I'm sorry, but the system does not support runtime generation at the moment. You will have to extract it from a static scene manually at edit-time.
     
  32. Kolyasisan

    Kolyasisan

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    Greetings! Just bought your asset and I already ran into an issue. I can't get billboards to work. No matter what I do, the billboards don't appear. LOD_3 speedtree models just come out of a thin air. I'm currently on Unity 2017.3.
     
  33. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    I'm not sure what 'LOD_3 speedtree models just come out of a thin air' means.

    However for the missing billboards be sure that the foliage's type is set to 'SPEED_TREE_BILLBOARD' and that you press 'Generate Bilboards'. Try reading the log to see if there is any error.

    If the problem persists, contact me here again with any log errors or any other extra data that you think is important.
     
  34. Kolyasisan

    Kolyasisan

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    I get no errors at all and I did as you said. Billboards don't appear.

    Here's an image: you can see there are only models of trees and no billboards that are supposed to be back there. You can also see one tree semi-transparent as it is transitioning from non-existant billboard to LOD_3 (aka that "LOD_3 speedtree models just come out of a thin air" mess)

    EDIT: Ah, nevermind. I just fixed it. Turns out I accidentally left maximum lod bias on 1 instead of 0. My bad. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  35. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Ok, great! If you have any other problems feel free to contact me again.
     
  36. coverpage

    coverpage

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    @Assembler-Maze Is it possible to add a function that turns the foliage 90 degrees before placing. Some assets has this orientation, for example megascan meshes.
     
  37. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Um, try the rotation widget, set it to 90deg or something like that. But the proper work of this would be to properly rotate it in a 3D modeling tool, so that when you simply add it to the scene it is in the proper position.
     
  38. Vanidash-Studios

    Vanidash-Studios

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    Hi, do you have any recomendation as to how can i make a grass patch as you show here, but make it so its affected by the wind in unity?
     
  39. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    Well to have grass with wind you have the following options:

    1. Use SpeedTree and set up the grass in their software or use SpeedTree grass with my shaders
    2. Use Advanced Foliage shader, it supports grass wind, and Lars updated it to work with my distance fading routines
    3. Roll out your own grass animation shader

    Out of those 3 I'd recommend 1 or 2 if you are in a real hurry. I've planned to make a shader that supports some wind out of the box for my system, but that is a bit out of the system's purpose.

    If you are already using one of those options, feel free to contact me again and we can look over the problem together, maybe there is a bug or something.
     
  40. Vanidash-Studios

    Vanidash-Studios

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    ill try speedtree and see how it goes, thanks!
     
  41. hac999

    hac999

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    Hello @Assembler-Maze,

    I was having some trouble running it in single pass stereo VR, was hoping perhaps they are quick fixes since everything seemed to work very well in V1.2.

    1) I am using a new version of VRTK where the VR set up (including the main camera) starts disabled so it is not detected by your system after i press play so the viewing frustrum does not display any trees or foliage, just the billboards. Was wondering if you could point me out in which script i could modify to have a reference to the camera or perhaps some other fix?

    2) This is a rendering problem as shown in the attached pictures. The left eye displays the grass (i have them as SPEED_TREE_BILLBOARD) correctly but the right eye seems to have all the grass patches attached since they move with the headset. The shadows also seem to be moving and do not match either eye. I am really not sure what this could be but perhaps you could shed some light.

    EDIT:

    3) I also noticed when i use modified versions of speed tree models that are saved as prefabs i can extract them as OTHER_TREE and get them working with the frustum culling but even if they have speed tree billboards it doesn't create the billboard groups, any fix for this as well?

    Thanks!
     

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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  42. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hello,

    1. In the 'FoliageRenderer.cs' (attached by default to the critias object) you have the following camera properties:


    [Tooltip("Camera used for frustum culling. Defaults to 'Camera.main' if it is null.")]
    public Camera m_UsedCameraCulling;
    [Tooltip("Camera used for drawing. Defaults to 'null', that is everything is drawn to all cameras. Recomended option.")]
    public Camera m_UsedCameraDrawing;

    You can set them to anything you require.


    2. I am not sure what might be causing that. Which unity version are you using? Maybe there is something new in Unity's pipeline and I think that I'll have to update the shaders.


    3. I am sorry, but at the current moment billboard groups for OTHER_TREE is not supported. Also with other systems like Lars' tree shaders, it is the same problem. I hope that in the future I will be able to add the OTHER_TREE_BILLBOARD type to the system too. Until then I'd recommend using the native SpeedTree's rather than some modified version of them.


    Overall I did not designed this system with VR in mind, because the shaders tend to become very messy and difficult to update/adapt for all tiny modifications that the engine introduces over time. Not that my idea is bad for VR, no, but as I've said it is difficult to always keep the shaders updated, etc...

    I hope that clears some of your issues, and for anything else feel free to post here again at any time!
     
  43. hac999

    hac999

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    I am using Unity 2017.3.0f3 and i really hope this is an easy fix as my project heavily depends on your frustrum culling and billboard system, it works very well with VR. If not, ill try to find the latest version which it does work on but let me know! Anyways this is a great asset, thanks!
     
  44. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Sorry, I have only tested it on 2017.1 however, I'll look onto 2017.3 later today. I already have to manage 3 versions and it is kind of cumbersome, I'm sorry that I've missed this new release.

    EDIT:
    I've updated to 2017.3 (I'll also update it to the store sometime later this week, I hope) and everything works as it should. Maybe it is a VR only problem, and I should update the SP shaders to the latest version with all the latest modifications and merge them on top of my customizes SpeedTree modifications.

    I'm afraid that I can't do this right now and that it will have to wait until next week. Until then try an older U version (2017.1) if there is no extremely important feature that in 2017.3 that you require.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  45. Bomshi

    Bomshi

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    Quick Question. Can the system be used with normal Tree's not the speedtree ?
     
  46. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Yes(Tree Creator), but it is not recommended. There seems to be a lot of issues with rendering + the distance fading + no support for wind.

    I'd suggest SpeedTree or your own custom shaders.
     
  47. mzylak

    mzylak

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    Hi,

    In FoliagePainter.cs you have a method "GenerateFullTreeData(int[] hashes, bool clearExisting)", when you change
    Code (CSharp):
    1. GameObject instance = Instantiate(prefab, owner.transform);
    2. instance = UnityEditor.PrefabUtility.ConnectGameObjectToPrefab(instance, prefab);
    to
    Code (CSharp):
    1. GameObject instance = UnityEditor.PrefabUtility.InstantiatePrefab(prefab) as GameObject;
    2. instance.transform.parent = owner.transform;
    everything is working much faster, because "ConnectGameObjectToPrefab" under the hood is doing some crazy stuff (such as disable and enable all gameobjects).

    By the way... Is there any possible way to load Terrain with Critias from AssetBundle?
     
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  48. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Thanks for the tip, always happy to make everything faster!

    Sorry, I haven't looked into loading from an asset bundle. The system creates some data that is not stored using the default unity mechanisms, so I guess you can't do that yet.
     
  49. mzylak

    mzylak

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    So, I changed your code a bit to fit to my project (loading terrain from assetBundles), eg. loading binary foliage data from file, after the terrain from bundle is loaded, and manually initialize foliage painter and renderer. But i have problem with wind, because my trees, because they do not react to it. Do you have any idea where to look for the cause?
     
  50. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    What trees are you using? Are they SpeedTree, Tree Creator or custom? I'll need to know that before pointing you in the right direction. One problem with Tree Creator trees is that they don't support wind, unfortunately. I haven't made a shader that works with wind with them.
     
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