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Fractscape

Discussion in 'Made With Unity' started by Eric5h5, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    The tl;dr version (and get the latest Fractscape here):

    Make detailed terrains stupidly fast! Draw a blob here for a hill, a bigger blob there for a mountain, and a squiggly line for a chasm. Then blam, there's your instant terrain, complete with all the fiddly bumpy bits that would take hours to draw properly the old-fashioned way. Plus it's auto-textured. Then import to Unity and add trees and stuff. Like this (click for full-size version):



    You can make your sketched/imported base terrain have more or less influence on the final result, so Fractscape will add less or more fractal detail as necessary to "fill in the gaps", so to speak. Like so:



    Cool, eh? Plus it's just fun to mess around with. You can also do plain ol' randomized terrains if you want, and there are various sliders and buttons and stuff to fiddle around with.

    ------ Original post:

    If you happened to see this topic or this topic, you probably saw me mention that I'm working on a fractal terrain heightmap generation app. Well, now I'm announcing Fractscape.

    If you've read the topics mentioned above, you already have a good idea what it's about, but just to sum up:

    • Generate random fractal terrains
    • Tweak lots o' parameters to get many different terrain types (including totally bizarre ones if you like)
    • Load in low-res heightmaps and instantly add fractal detailing to generate new, high-res heightmaps
    • Instant auto-texturing based on height and slope, with various adjustable parameters
    • Export heightmaps to use in Unity's terrain system
    • Save and load terrain files
    • Export splatmaps...well, not just yet, but that will be added
    • Export terrains as .obj files to load into other 3D apps (or Unity, if for some reason you wanted the actual mesh)
    • Export colormaps so the .obj files can be colored in other 3D apps
    • View landscapes from the editor view, or switch to a 1st-person view so you can explore the terrains on foot
    • Plus much more! (That is so cheesy, but someone had to say it. ;) )

    I should have a demo available within a week unless something goes horribly wrong, and hopefully the full version will be available about that time or soon after. For now, some screenshots....

    --Eric
     

    Attached Files:

  2. VICTOM

    VICTOM

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    :eek: Very NICE! :eek:

    Can't wait to try it out. Great work man.

    Cheers,
     
  3. jeremyace

    jeremyace

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    Looks great Eric!

    -Jeremy
     
  4. Richard_B

    Richard_B

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    Oooooo! Looks VERY nice!.
    Richard.
     
  5. rockstrongo

    rockstrongo

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    exactly what I need - no more crappy coder terrain models!
     
  6. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Looks very cool Eric. Nice GUI also. Looks like a "must have" for every Unity user, can't wait to buy mine!
     
  7. Alpha-Loup

    Alpha-Loup

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    Looks really greater and greater every time a new post arrives. I definetly buy one. (I hope PayPal will be excepted ;) )
    And as soon as it comes with Unity Splat-Map Export it will surely be a real time-saver. Thanks Eric!
     
  8. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    I won't make any exceptions for PayPal, but I will accept it. :) In fact, it may be PayPal-only to start with, but that depends on what I can work out for payment stuff. It will be US$20 (which is like €0.50 or something ;) ), with free updates for future versions. Which there will be, since I'm not able to put in everything I want right now and still get a timely release.

    --Eric
     
  9. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Good stuff Eric. Have you had any thoughts to add "atmospheric" stuff, such as what the community project is trying to do? Terragen, Bryce, et al are pretty cool, but not really suitable for game development and the apps that are, are all Windows based. Maybe not a feature for Fractscape™ version 1.0, but perhaps version 1.5 or 2.0?
     
  10. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    I'd buy it if it had an Erode feature similar to Bryce's. :D :D

    Really wanting that at the moment.

    Cheers,
    -Jon

    p.s. You probably want to make the paid version available right when you make the demo available, otherwise all us impulse buyers might not pick it up and move on to the next shiny thing. ;-)
     
  11. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    An erosion filter is actually one of the "not able to put in everything I want right now" features, so look for it in version 1.1. :)

    @bigkahuna: Not sure I'd want to put in atmosphere stuff. Other people seem to be making progress on that front, so it would be kind of a duplication of effort, and I think I'd rather just concentrate on a terrain tool.

    --Eric
     
  12. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    Cool. :) Here's a link for when you feel the feature creep coming your way:
    http://graphics.uni-konstanz.de/pub...ically based Fluid and Erosion Simulation.pdf

    Cheers,
    -Jon
     
  13. 64746c

    64746c

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    That looks amazing. Looking for beta testers? ;)

    Will it have the ability to import the heightmap from a Unity terrain and export as .obj?
     
  14. DaveyJJ

    DaveyJJ

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    Wow!!!!! Post that PayPal link ASAP, you got yourself a sale!
     
  15. drJones

    drJones

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    looks sweet eric ; )
     
  16. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Nice, thanks for that...I've read a paper on erosion, but that one looks better.

    I think I'm all set with that, but I'll let you know. :)

    Yes, although currently .obj exporting is limited to 32,768 polygons (129x129 resolution heightmaps). The next level up (257x257) is 131,072 polygons, which is more than can be done with a single mesh in Unity. Bottom line is, I need to be able to do RecalculateNormals(). I could probably stitch an arbitrary number of meshes together into a single mesh for higher-resolution .obj export, if people want that...I'm already basically doing that for splatmap generation beyond 129x129 anyway. Heightmaps don't need the mesh, so they go up to 4097x4097 no problem, which is arbitrary, but seems to be the limit in Unity.

    --Eric
     
  17. Dragon Rider

    Dragon Rider

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    Erosion can't be that hard. :) Can it? :?
     
  18. boxy

    boxy

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    kerching! you have another customer.
    Looks the ticket
    Boxy
     
  19. DocSWAB

    DocSWAB

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    I'll buy it!
     
  20. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Well, I made an erosion routine earlier:

    Code (csharp):
    1. for (i = 0; i < heightmap.Length; i++) {
    2.    if (heightmap[i] > 0.0)
    3.       heightmap[i] = 0.0;
    4. }
    It didn't take very long to write that, and it sure eroded the heightmap! However, I wasn't quite satisfied with the results, so I put it on the back burner to think about it some more....

    --Eric
     
  21. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    I'm following Jonathan's advice to release the full version at the same time as the demo, so this won't quite be out on Monday after all. But it will be very soon after. :) Here's a couple more recent screenshots.

    --Eric
     

    Attached Files:

  22. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Just another example of Eric's Unity mastery! :wink: Can't wait to buy my copy. I just realized that it looks like the GUI panel to the left slides in and out when you click on a tab? If so that's something I haven't seen done with Unity GUI yet.
     
  23. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Done at last. :) Just have to finish up all the fiddly bits of actually making it available...out by tomorrow I hope....

    I must say that was the biggest solo project I've worked on (and it's not even really done; this is just version 1.0). I never quite realized how hard GUI stuff is to even get sort of right...my next project will have no GUI at all to make up for this. ;)

    --Eric
     
  24. AaronC

    AaronC

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    Well done Eric, it looks awesome
    AC
     
  25. ravsters

    ravsters

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    nice stuff man! this can really help!
     
  26. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    Hey Eric,

    I know a number of features were discussed earlier and I'm interested in knowing which ones have made it into version 1.0. Will Fractscape include .OBJ and splatmap export? (Fingers crossed ;) ).
     
  27. Alpha-Loup

    Alpha-Loup

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    That would be too great. But i´ll buy a copy anyway ;)
     
  28. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    .OBJ yes, splatmap no. There's really no point to exporting a splatmap until there's a good way to import it into Unity. :) So right now the texturing stuff is largely eye-candy, but at least the functionality is there for when splatmap exporting is done. (Although you can export flat-shaded colormaps as .png files, which you can apply to exported .OBJ files or make into your desktop background or something....)

    Fixing a last minute bug (that probably nobody would find but I'm not taking any chances ;) )...should be up within a couple of hours I'd say.

    --Eric
     
  29. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    ...except when someone (like me) is using a terrain mesh and one of these shaders:
    http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=TerrainFourLayerDiffuseFast
    http://www.unifycommunity.com/wiki/index.php?title=TerrainTwoLayerBumped

    Although Unity's terrain engine is very nice, it still doesn't do a number of things that some people (like me) need.

    I'd still like to use Fractscape for this, I wonder if there might be a work-around?
     
  30. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Well, good point. In that case it's in the next version for sure.

    Considering that Fractscape itself doesn't actually make any use of the terrain engine right now, I'd agree. I do want to incorporate the terrain engine when feasible (splatmap importing and projectors), because the main limitation of my current technique is that the terrain preview resolution can't show all the detail when the heightmap resolution goes past a certain point. Unless I want to try to implement my own LOD or something (which I don't--I'd rather use Unity's terrain since it's better than anything I could come up with).

    The other limitation is that the shader doesn't seem to work properly on nVidia cards, or at least it doesn't work on the 5200FX (as expected) or the 8600M GT (as not expected). You do get flat colors in those cases so the texturing features are still workable, but not nearly as nice-looking.

    Wait for version 1.1. :)

    --Eric
     
  31. bigkahuna

    bigkahuna

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    So I'm confused, what does the "Textures" panel in your gui actually do then? Are you saying that the "apply textures based on elevation" thingy doesn't export to something we can use in Unity? So that will be in 1.1 right?
     
  32. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Yep. Although currently it will export flat colormaps, as I mentioned, which also uses the texturing stuff. I was waiting until Unity implemented splatmap importing, until you brought up the point of using it for normal meshes (which I hadn't really considered).

    --Eric
     
  33. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Version 1.5 is now available! This is basically the "super speed" edition, which makes working with the highest-res terrains more fun, especially on older machines like mine:

    - Over 450% speedup for terrain calculation, 200% speedup for texture calculation, various other minor speedups

    - Importing raw files that have a resolution which is a power of two (in addition to "power of two plus one") works now, since these are pretty common

    - Drawn/imported heightmaps can be inverted (use "Invert" button in the heightmap drawing window)

    - Fixed bug where a color heightmap .png that was loaded/imported into the heightmap drawing window would stay color instead of being converted to grayscale

    - Fixed bug where loading/importing a heightmap into the heightmap drawing window wouldn't undo

    Note that I haven't actually tested the Windows version yet. I didn't touch any of the file system code, so theoretically it should work as well as the last version did, but you know how that goes.... So if any Windows users notice any not-workingness, if you could tell me, that would be appreciated. Version 1.4 is still available here just in case.

    Many thanks to all who have purchased Fractscape! Wow, it's been almost two years.... I hope you're finding it fun/useful.

    --Eric
     
  34. boxy

    boxy

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    Great stuff.
    Thanks Eric. :)
     
  35. psychicparrot

    psychicparrot

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    This looks awesome - I haven't played with terrains at all in Unity and I'm just about to give them a try.

    One question - any chance that Fractscape will support multiple terrains in the future?

    Cheers!
    Jeff.
     
  36. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Thanks! Indeed there's a chance (it's been in my list of possible future features for a while), but in the meantime you can use Stitchscape. ;)

    --Eric
     
  37. Sailendu

    Sailendu

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    Coooooooool...
     
  38. Ethan

    Ethan

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    Ah THE tool i looked for ;)

    Bought!
     
  39. defjr

    defjr

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    I sent you a PM but wanted to bump this also.

    For some reason I can't do any saving after using the heightmap drawing tool.
     
  40. Ethan

    Ethan

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    btw is there some kind of "roadmap" for the next update? ;) (like handling more terrains, like one)
     
  41. defjr

    defjr

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    I redownloaded the app from your site and it works like a champ now. Sorry for the false alarm. Probably just user error. :oops:
     
  42. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    OK, glad it's sorted. :) I sent you a reply before I read this, so you can disregard that.

    As for a roadmap, mostly it exists in my head...I tend to do features that I've gotten the most feedback from.

    --Eric
     
  43. filmcraft

    filmcraft

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    I just bought this program, its actually realy great, though this may be a silly question, I am actually having a problem with the fractscape to Unity workflow in terms of how to import and utilize the mesh as a solid object. For some reason I think i'm not doing this right.

    Any help would be great!
     
  44. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Thanks! Normally you output a heightmap from Fractscape and import that into Unity with the Terrain -> Import Heightmap menu. You can export the terrain to an .obj file from Fractscape and import that as a standard mesh object in Unity, but then it's just a mesh and doesn't have any of the Unity terrain benefits.

    --Eric
     
  45. filmcraft

    filmcraft

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    Hmm ok, so I export the height map, splat map and color map form fractscape, then import via terrain- however thats for unity, how about unity iphone? How to I export the finished terrain for use on the iphone version of unity?
     
  46. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Unity iPhone doesn't have the terrain system, so you'd have to export the landscape as an .obj file in Fractscape. (Or you can write your own terrain system that uses heightmaps.) The texturing is more complicated; you can export the color map and use it as a texture over the entire terrain no problem, but that will just give you solid colors and no texturing per se. You might be able to use a shader like this and split out the splatmap into a bunch of separate grayscale textures, but I'd have doubts about performance.

    --Eric
     
  47. filmcraft

    filmcraft

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    Thanks for the suggestion, man I'm not sur what I'm gonna do, my first level is a fps batteling androids in a forest - I guess I'm going to have to rethink this. In N.O.V.A they had a forest scene and it was great, but I guess it was a hand crafted scene and not so much with the actual terrain, this may be tough
     
  48. artzfx

    artzfx

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    Hi Eric,

    I just purchased Fractscape... simply brilliant tool packed full of features! :D

    Thanks
    Neil.
     
  49. rstralberg

    rstralberg

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    I also just purchased Fractscape after 10 minutes of testing. This is exactly what I have been looking for and finally found. A simple, quick and good tool for terrains. Fantastic.
     
  50. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Cool, glad it's helpful to you! :)

    --Eric