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GAIA - AAA terrain generator, procedural texturing, planting and scene creation

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by AdamGoodrich, May 21, 2015.

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Would you pay an upgrade fee for Gaia 2 so that we can hire to accelerate its development?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2018.
  1. Yeah super cool - I would pay a $15 upgrade fee to get it faster!

    83 vote(s)
    80.6%
  2. No way - you promised free and i am happy to wait!

    20 vote(s)
    19.4%
  1. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    All in good time. The majority of the people I have spoken to about it so far have all said they want it :)
     
  2. ghiboz

    ghiboz

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    mmh, is the part on photoshop??
    it's a place in italy... my land and with a very poor quality... I'll try to find a similar place in the USA :p
     
  3. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Lot's of movie studios now give teaser trailers that are 18 months in advance of release. I would recommend you take this approach asap or there will be revolt in the ranks:)

    Edit - plus I am impatient:). Seriously though - looking forward to seeing what's next from the goodrich camp
     
    AdamGoodrich likes this.
  4. recon0303

    recon0303

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    bummer maybe next game:(
     
  5. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    heheh.. Whether he tells what it is now or not, that isn't going to change when it is going to be ready.. :p May still be ready for your current game.. Not sure how far along he is on it or when will be released... :)

    Movie studios are quite a bit different. A lot more of a chance someone will steal your idea and run with it and beat you to release with an asset than with a movie. :p
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
  6. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    Yeah. You pretty much are stuck using Photoshop to get rid of jaggies in areas where satellite imagery not as good from Terrain.Party. I wish Italy had better. France isn't too bad it seems. Italy and UK aren't as good originals. I need to try to find some other sources myself.

    I think World Composer uses Bing. At least they used to.. It has been months since I loaded it into a project. I had the same problems with it that I have with Terrain.Party though. But I never really did wrap my head around all the configuration options. I may have missed something or just not understand it at the time.

    I'm still looking for some better sources. Overall, I've been pretty happy with originals I've been able to pull from the US to work with. Only complaint/request I've had so far is regarding the 1024 resolution which I still need to figure out a way around. :)
     
  7. EDarkness

    EDarkness

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    Thanks for the information. I currently have 4 types of grass in my scenes just to keep the overhead low. I wasn't sure if it was worth it to increase that number or to just make due with what I have. As grass has to be fairly compact in my scenes, it's probably better to keep this low. Spreading grass out at the angle my game is at just makes it look strange.

    I do this with my own terrains, and it works well since the terrain is just a Unity terrain. What I generally do now is to generate the base terrain with Gaia, then do my modifications (things that require the terrain to be adjusted), then texture, then add trees and the last thing is adding grass. Not sure if this is the best way to do it, but it allows me to look at things in steps as I'm crafting the zone. Gaia is pretty awesome, so it's worth picking up.
     
  8. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    I'm not sure about WorldComposer, but World Machine just generates terrains procedurally, using fractals, perlin noise, and erosion functions to create terrain features. You can output the results at whatever resolution you want, so they shouldn't have the same resolution limits that real world survey data has. Of course if you need real world data, you're stuck working with what's available, unless you're prepared to pay to have your own aerial LIDAR survey done. :(
     
  9. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Never thought of that. I have a couple of ideas for assets that I really could have used in my current game. Asked a friend if he wanted to get involved but seems like he is busy. I am not sure if I should pursue it as I don't fancy having to keep updating it everytime a new unity version breaks it.
     
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  10. docsavage

    docsavage

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    I know gimp has a way of estimating would be gaps if you increase an images resolution. May work?
     
  11. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia does this already. You need high quality source material in the first place :)
     
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  12. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Once again I display my ignorance:). So there is no advantage to increasing the image resolution in gimp first?

    Thanks Adam.
     
  13. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmm... yeah - you can throw data away by going from high res to lower res, but you can't magically add detail going from lower to higher.
     
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  14. docsavage

    docsavage

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    That's what I thought but when I scale in gimp it is doing a pretty good job. It obviously isn't adding extra detail but it is managing to connect current detail - if that makes sense. I tried a texture of a real door with writing on. Changing the scale to double the size the writing has maintained the same readability with no extra pixelation or such. There are a few interpolation options and they seem to be pretty much the same on this image. Still new at this as well. Constantly learning in this game.

    Edit - By not adding extra detail I mean adding extras beyond the interpolations to connect what would be gaps
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  15. RandAlThor

    RandAlThor

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    Can't wait to see finally true promised multi tile support from Gaia so i can really use it's potential for my project.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  16. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    When scaling an image up, most image editors will try to interpolate the image the best they can, but they also try to keep the image as true to the original as possible. This means that at some point pixels get treated as actual image details that need to be preserved, leading to pixelation effects. You can mitigate this by scaling it up in stages, and avoid using even size multipliers, like x2 or x10. Applying a bit of blur at each stage also helps, but you may need to be selective about this, applying it only to borders and other problem areas, to preserve other image details. You can't really add detail that wasn't there in the original, but with a bit of additional image processing you can remove some of the jaggies that result from scaling a low res image up. It can be a lot of work though, so finding a better source image is definitely a better option.

    Note that blurring the source image has essentially the same effect as adding smoothing to the resulting terrain. You'll actually lose overall detail, so try to use it sparingly.
     
  17. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Thanks for the clear description. Like you said scaling by 2 gave good results. If the source textures aren't up to what needed then maybe going for image effects is the only way.

    Thanks @FargleBargle.

    Still looking forward to your game - did you ever get a chance to play the game "No one lives forever". Classic and one of my all time favorites. The feel of your game reminds me of it.
     
  18. Revelation_Jeff

    Revelation_Jeff

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    Hey all,

    It's been forever since I've posted anything and we've been hard at work on our Adventure-survival game "Rise of the King". Just wanted to share a update on our Gaia created terrain we're starting to populate finally.



    You can find us also on FB as we will finally start promoting the game again in the coming weeks. Feedback is always appreciated and helpful.

    facebook.com/Riseoftheking

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  19. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Thanks again for the interest and support. I had a look at "No one lives forever", but I think any similarities are purely superficial. My game is more about exploring different environments, and discovering things that open up other areas of the game. It's inspired by the likes of URU, from the Myst series, but with more of an emphasis on doing fun things in these environments, rather than just solving puzzles. So you'll be able to drive fast cars on the race track, ride an airship or hot air balloon or zipline, use a whale as a surfboard, or whatever else my imagination can come up with. There'll also be portals to other worlds with different types of adventures, and so far I have 4 in various planning stages. I'm not ruling out battling zombies, or dinosaurs, or killer robots at this stage, but combat isn't going to be a big factor. What is important is creating interesting and immersive environments, which is where Gaia has proven invaluable.

    Unfortunately, being a one man show, and part time at that, all of this takes forever. Once all of the pieces are in place, I still need to optimize performance, and tweak the gameplay to provide more of an overall purpose than just wandering around looking at the scenery. It's all evolving as I work on it, and even I don't know where it will eventually end up.

    Also, in its current form some of the environments feature items from popular movies, books, and TV shows. The Ringworld level and flycycle my character rides are taken from the books by Larry Niven for instance. You might find items from "Star Wars", or "Batman", or some old supermarionation TV shows on some levels as well, which I'll need to either replace with my own creations, or get clearance to use before releasing anything, so there's still a long road ahead. :(

    @tango9jeff: That looks fantastic. Like I said, I still have a looooong way to go. :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    Revelation_Jeff likes this.
  20. Daniel-Talis

    Daniel-Talis

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    tango9jeff, very nice. The title 'Rise of the King' seems a little sparse to me. Have you considered 'Rise of the something King'. Like 'Rise of the Reluctant King' or 'Rise of the Iceworld King' or Rise of the Forest King' or something like that. It would give potential players something to go by. Just a thought.
     
    Revelation_Jeff likes this.
  21. Revelation_Jeff

    Revelation_Jeff

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    Thanks for the kind words @FargleBargle =) Don't think you're alone. We all have a Looooong way to go lol. The goal is to keep learning and improving while having fun at it heh.

    @Daniel Talis Thanks! Actually the Title is intentionally loose as its an adventure game and the purpose is about discovering more information as the plot comes to pass as to what it means and how it fits into your story. Once we release some prologue story trailers it will start to fill in the gaps. Thanks though!
     
  22. Mayureshete

    Mayureshete

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    ok, this video is nothing about beauty, but i just tried to push the limits for mobile platforms....



    nothing special, just standard Gaia resources, trees are mobile version provided in Gaia, road created with easyroads3d V3 beta and Realistic Car controller, nothing planned yet for game, but just playing around with it, lowest fps i get with this is 17 but was still playable, didn't glitched anywhere while playing only when i fell from cliff..

    heightmap from terrain.party mountains from India and road goes approximately as the real one. not accurate.

    I know i have added alot of trees for mobile platform, but was just trying to push things to limit

    terrain is 2k/2k sliced with Sectr and using Sectr VIS
    Device: Android Moto Xplay.

    any comments, tips are most welcomed.

    Regards
    Mayuresh.
     
  23. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

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    just dont use speed trees for mobile they probably use 80 % of resources.
     
  24. docsavage

    docsavage

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    @Mayureshete,

    I'd avoid having vast open views as it's more to render. Have more objects/hills around the track that blocks the distant objects and lets some streaming/culling do it's thing.
     
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  25. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Really does sound good this. Totally understand re dev time. Mine currently 18 months over what first thought now for same reasons as you and general business. A friend of mine who worked in the industry said when developing it's necessary to know when to stop adding things and just get it done.
     
  26. mvandillen

    mvandillen

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    Hi Adam,
    I don't know if this is the right place to ask since it looks like a million discussions in one thread over here, but I was wondering how I can optimize for mobile (Android). You mention reducing texture sizes and other things you can do do get the FPS up. I'm currently experiencing 1 FPS which is rather unusable as a game. Do you have any tips and how to execute them in Unity?
    Thanks!
     
  27. Mayureshete

    Mayureshete

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    ghiboz and AdamGoodrich like this.
  28. DesertRaven

    DesertRaven

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    Good to know this asset works with easy road.
     
  29. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia does 'vanilla terrain'. So if an asset can work with a Unity terrain, then it can work with Gaia :)
     
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  30. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    #tip: Questions about whether asset "X" is compatible with Gaia always remind me of this famous Farside cartoon:



    They always have the same answer: Does it work with a standard Unity terrain? OK, then it works with Gaia. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  31. chingwa

    chingwa

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    The Far Side was always so perfectly succinct. :D
     
  32. Mayureshete

    Mayureshete

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    Adding for my post #5772 i added linear fog to max distance 300 and reduced far side of clipping planes to 500 from 1000 and got increase in 10fps now fps range was between 23 on lower side to 45 on higher side..

    and still had pleasure of sight seeing while driving... ;)
     
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  33. SureSight

    SureSight

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    Looks really nice. What tree and terrain assets are you using?
     
  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Take a look at LOD BIAS in your Quality settings under Edit -> Project Settings -> Quality Settings - this can make a difference. While you are then makes sure anti aliasing switched off.

    Also look at your player setting under File / Build Settings and make sure Static and Dynamic Batching is switched on. Am not sure but i suspect Forward / Gamma lighting is higher performance as well.
     
  35. Mayureshete

    Mayureshete

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    yea i have taken care of that already.


    removing all trees boosted my fps 45 on lower side and 55+ on higher sider...

    may be minimal use of trees on mobile platform is best..


    will still keep trying many alternatives and keep posted here...
     
    AdamGoodrich likes this.
  36. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hey everyone - with 350 ratings at an average of 5 stars achieved in just 7 months, Gaia is having a celebratory sale. Please spread the word!
     
  37. OneManBandGames

    OneManBandGames

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    Hey everybody,

    I bought Gaia a couple of days ago and I'm loving it so far. However I'm currently stuck in the development of a prototype for a game that utilizes an isometric perspective. The problem does NOT originate from Gaia, but it is terrain related, so maybe someone here can point me in the right direction:

    In the prototype I work with multiple scenes that build a huge game world together. Scenes are loaded in / out dynamically according to the player's position. I plan to have a "plateau-styled" terrain, where different levels of heights are seperated by cliffs:

    FPSwithcliffs.PNG
    I'm currently importing these terrains as a height map raw image that I create in GIMP. I plan to texture and populate these terrains with additional details later with Gaia. However as soon as I import the height map data, my FPS drops down from 600 to 150 in an empty scene. I fear that this might lead to a performance problem in the long run when I start adding in models, enemies, AI etc.

    The strange thing is that when I generate a "natural" random terrain with Gaia, the fps drop only down to 300, even if I use the same heightmap resolution and dimensions for the terrain. Does anybody why my own "cliffy" heightmap terrain impacts the performance worse than the terrain generated by Gaia? Am I missing any general setting / functionality of Unity that might benefit performance? Should I use another approach to render the terrain?

    I've posted this problem in the general graphics section with some additional information as well, but got no replies so far:

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/fps-drop-when-adding-terrain-geometry.405878/

    I hope you don't mind the cross-post but I hope that somewhere here in this thread might be the terrain expert that can push me in the right direction. :)
     
  38. Mayureshete

    Mayureshete

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    there are so many sharp edges try smoothing terrain several times using Gaia... just a thought by looking at terrain....

    may be someone here has some more and better ideas,,,

    but worth a try till someone replies...
     
  39. OneManBandGames

    OneManBandGames

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    Thanks for the reply, Mayureshete!

    Your tip beared interesting results. First I tried a version with hard, but less jagged edges:

    cleanedges.PNG

    This version showed the same FPS drop down to 120 as before. Then I smoothed the terrain with Gaia 5 times:

    smooth.PNG

    With this terrain I get about 500 FPS, which leaves far more room for adding the actual game :). It seems that the hard edges might be the problem, somehow they seem to perform badly when being rendered.

    I wanted to have these hard edges because I wanted to give the terrain a similar look of classic isometric games where the gameplay takes place on various different height levels that are seperated by cliffs. Here is an example from Commandos:

    commandos_beyond_the_call_of_duty_54.jpg

    Smoothing out the terrain goes against that of course, but now I can at least experiment a bit, and maybe I find a different way to display the cliffs, I could spend my newly gained fps to add some cliff rock models on slopes with Gaia for example. :) Thanks for the help so far!
     
    AdamGoodrich likes this.
  40. magique

    magique

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    You could either use a mesh terrain or add meshes just for the cliffs to achieve the desired results. Although I can't fathom why the hard edges would cause such a frame rate drop. If anything, I would think it would improve it.
     
  41. docsavage

    docsavage

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    That makes no sense to me!? If Adam or someone can shine some light on this it would be helpful as if it's a real issue then it means it needs seriously considering in level design. Which does apply to gaia. Shawn who does the really nice backwoods games gaia stamps may have some more concrete results as he has a good variety of stamps.
     
  42. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Totally agree. I am now officially confused as opposed to the usually confused:)
     
  43. magique

    magique

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    @OneManBandGames What are your terrain resolution settings? Specifically the heightmap resolution setting.
     
  44. docsavage

    docsavage

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    @OneManBandGames, Just to check, you didn't change the vsync setting under the quality settings somehow between tests did you?
     
  45. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    This was my thought. I wonder if @OneManBandGames is using terrain resolutions that are too high for mobile games. I'm wondering if dropping the terrain resolution down to 512 would help resolve the problem. Out of curiosity, @Damien Delmarle and @magique, what terrain resolutions are you guys running? You are the two folks I know of offhand who are doing mobile development. I least I think you both are.. lol Memory kinda sucks these days... lol
     
    OneManBandGames likes this.
  46. magique

    magique

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    He could easily go as low as 257 and still be fine.
     
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  47. magique

    magique

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    I actually do Wii U development, but optimization is still king on that console. I'm using 257 resolution and it works just fine and is very high-performing
     
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  48. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    That's right.. I knew you were developing on a different platform.. Told ya my memory currently sucks! heheh Thanks for the info!
     
  49. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    #tip Interesting discussion - I have done a bunch of work with this - and one of my surprise discoveries was the increase in frame rate you get you when you smooth the terrain.

    Makes sense really - by smoothing the terrain you reduce the number of poly's you need to render. You can use Gaia to make an overall smooth - I usually run at least one. Then for the cliffs you can use the standard terrain smooth tool to smooth as much as you want without losing the edges.

    Stats 2016-05-24_9-16-41.jpg

    I haven't found a good way to work out the overall tris and verts in a terrain, but you can get a sense of it by using the stats viewer. In the image above you can see the tris and verts in the game view.. make a naked terrain and experiment with all of the suggestions in this and the posts above to see how you can reduce this in the more busy areas of your scenes.

    I noticed in @OneManBandGames original post that his cliffs are very noisy. You can also pre-smooth your stamps as you are applying them in the stamper - the benefit of this vs a whole terrain smooth is that only that stamp gets smoothed.

    Another setting in the terrain (click on your terrain object and then the cog to see the current terrains settings) is the terrain pixel error. You can increase this to a point that visually you are comfortable with. It essentially decreases the amount of polys that need to be rendered as well.

    @magique also made a good point about reducing the underlying terrain resolutions. Dropping heightmap, detail, control and base texture resolutions all helps. For new terrains these are controlled by your Gaia defaults file. The effects of these settings are documented in the Gaia documentation, and you can also mouse over / hover over them to get more of a sense of how they impact your scene.

    Terrain 2016-05-24_9-07-31.jpg

    He also made a comment about vsync settings. I have found that these settings can have a massive impact on the smoothness of the game 'in game'. I was removing the vsync setting and looking at the increase in framerate - but game play was choppy. So then I went the other way and put a vsync every frame and it increased the overall smoothness of playback!

    I can't stress enough - start small - try stuff - look at the profiler - when you get basic terrain textures and resolutions to a point where you have a nice visual / performance balance, then add more. Gaial allows you to do this as it builds the scene up step by step. And because its automated, going back and retrying stuff until you have it right is not a major issue.

    And when you get your super secret and awesome settings right - come share them with the group. We are all learning :)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    One of the cool new things coming to the next release of Gaia is a bunch of really pretty skyboxes so that you can take your skies to another level, and some new lighting code to complement them.

    I have been doing a lot of research into lighting and performance and am doing some very cool things. This will be a free update!

    Grab 20160524105903 w1920h1029 x84y82z-75r185.jpg

    Note: This is just a quick image out of my test environment. I have PlayWay Water, DeepSky Haze and the Unity Cinematic Effects in there as well. Despite all of this its running at a silky smooth 60fps at fantastci quality with vsync enabled every frame on my mid range machine.
     
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