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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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    It uses the default unity terrain material, which uses the standard shader.

    You can optionally change it to use another material if you want. For example Gaia will happily work with other terrain shaders such as RTP and Distingo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Gaia is a tool that simplifies the workflow needed to create standard Unity terrains. All it does is provide preset stamps to create terrain features, and some preset rules used to place textures, grass, trees, and other objects onto the terrain. You can modify these rules, or create your own rules, and save them as resource files that can be used on other terrains. You can even save the steps you used to create your terrain in a session file, that can be shared or reused to create an identical terrain later. But the end result is always just a standard Unity terrain. If you delete Gaia from the scene afterwards, and then compare the terrain to one created manually, the only difference you'd see would be that the Gaia terrain would most likely look better.

    So if you have any questions about whether Gaia supports this or that, all you need to know is whether standard Unity terrains support those things. If they do, Gaia supports them. But it doesn't add any new core features to the Unity terrain engine itself. For that, you'll need either another third party solution, or wait for Unity to update the terrain engine to include them.
     
  3. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Your response was much more eloquent than mine :)
     
  4. pbiggart

    pbiggart

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    Hey Adam,

    I am an architect trying to use Unity to visualize an upcoming project. I have been using Gaia to create a realistic terrain for the project. I am having trouble getting it to scale. Terrain.party gives me the 8km x 8km image of the site but when I populate in Gaia the tree are huge relative to the scale of the terrain. Do you have any work flow suggestion to get a scaled terrain. Thanks for all the videos :) super helpful.

    Best,

    Peter
     
  5. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Hi,

    I have never noticed what you mention. I have just tried a quick gaia scene and added a standard capsule which is 2m tall and it looks fine. I have not altered any prefabs or anything. First thing I'd check is if the terrain is the same scale by adding the capsule(2m tall) or cube (1m tall) and see how the trees look. I'd assume terrain party keep the terrain to scale though.
     
  6. docsavage

    docsavage

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    @pbiggart,

    Forgot to say - if the terrain scale is ok go I suggest go to the tree prefabs and bring one in the scene to see if it is the correct size. That will narrow thinkgs down.:)
     
  7. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    Or grab one of the 3DForge buildings or small prop prefabs, I really try keeping things to good as possible scale
     
  8. Sehlor

    Sehlor

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    Does GAIA handle roads? or is there a 3rd party plugin for that?
     
  9. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Exactly. They are reliable enough to use if you need to get an idea of scale compared to any of the other architectural buildings.
     
  10. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Easyroads is popular and well supported. Curvey is meant to be a great system also. I vaguely remember Adam posted a tutorial showing how to do rivers so it would cover roads as well.
     
  11. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    Doors I know is larger then real doors, but I had to do them according to the general available character model sizes in the Asset Store. No use I make them actual door sizes and no characters can get through them :)
     
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  12. docsavage

    docsavage

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    I am learning that it's tricks like this that make games possible. It would be comical watching a fully armoured large barbarian character going into buildings in a game or at least trying to. You could have a wall like troy and standard doors all around and they wouldn't get in.
     
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  13. S4G4N

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    At the end it is a visual illusion and it needs to be a fun experience
     
  14. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Agreed. When I used to just play games so much wasn't even noticed. Now when playing a game about once a year these days the way it is put together is more noticable.
     
  15. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Just had a quick play with some gaia and the the nice little 3dforge towers pack. A small amount of material and texture adjustment for experimentation. I think these towers go well with the exteriors buildings. Don't think they look out of place.

    Tower.png
     
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  16. namdo

    namdo

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    Hi Adam,

    I purchased it a while ago but never used it but now I'm about to start using it so I have a couple of questions.
    I want to create a terrain area, but I also want to have a path to follow instead of just a wide open area. Can Gaia generate help with that?
     
  17. TeagansDad

    TeagansDad

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    Absolutely. Environments scaled perfectly to real-life proportions just don't work in games. You always need extra space to accommodate the camera, pathfinding, and the generally imprecise collision shapes used when moving a character. In 1st person or over-the-shoulder 3rd person games, environments are often scaled up by nearly 50% in order for them to feel right. You can read about this in many post-mortems of games from the earlier years of full 3D graphics.
     
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  18. TheAlmightyPixel

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    That cleared up some confusion, thanks a lot for the great response!
     
  19. docsavage

    docsavage

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    It's amazing how many tricks are used in game dev that when playing are hardly noticable. There are times in games where it doesn't feel right but for the devs fixing it would be tough.
     
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  20. Ony

    Ony

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    I see that Gaia is currently on sale , but there's no mention of the regular price. Can anyone tell me how much it normally is? Thinking of getting it since it's on sale, but I won't actually need it for a while.
     
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  21. magique

    magique

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    Not necessarily true. Take the new Tomb Raider games for example. Lara goes through some very narrow and cramped spaces and it's all done by having a great character controller and lots of animations to accommodate those spaces. If she comes to a narrow opening then she turns side-ways and squeezes through. If she comes to a tiny opening then she crawls through. If the ceiling gets too small then she ducks under it. So, it can be done to normal scales, but the game play and controls have to be designed to handle it. It just takes a lot of effort, great animations, and really good programming.
     
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  22. TeagansDad

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    Okay then, it's mostly true. I haven't played any of the new Tomb Raider games. I remember it being a major issue back when I was a level designer on Max Payne 3. We had some people pushing for completely realistic dimensions, who eventually had to eat crow because it didn't work in the game. ;)
     
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  23. magique

    magique

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    Understood. It is definitely an issue in general. It can be overcome though as new games are showing. I wouldn't have really thought it possible either, but after playing Tomb Raider it was quite a revelation.
     
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  24. docsavage

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    Sounds like it could get complicated though. I wonder if any of the third person controllers on the store have this boxed off?
     
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  25. docsavage

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    What about the ARPG camera Cobus has made? Is this made for a similar purpose?
     
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  26. FargleBargle

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    This is getting a bit off-topic, but I'm thinking if you added PuppetMaster to whatever third person controller you were using, it might let you adapt to tight spaces without using a lot of custom animations. Just mask the upper body so it reacts to the environment, while letting the character controller drive the rest of the walk motion. Of course it is a bit pricey. :(
     
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  27. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Sounds like you are on to something. Don't have puppetmaster to try out though wish I did. You are right about the price although he does support that and finalIK well. One of those to keep on the wishlist for a megasale unless my game sells some copies when it's finished beforehand.
     
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  28. TeagansDad

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    @magique, which character controller are you using? I've seen you posting on a couple different threads and I wanted to get your opinion. Sorry to continue the OT discussion here -- I tried PMing you, but it wouldn't let me (you can PM me ).
     
  29. magique

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  30. brown2na

    brown2na

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    Adam,

    Can Gaia be used to create massive terrains or multiple terrains like Terrain Composer? I own both asset's now and I'm trying to figure out how to use Gaia to decorate the terrains in one go, like what Terrain composer accomplishes.

    Thanks!
     
  31. danielnetzer

    danielnetzer

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    Hello guys, I purchased Gaia two days ago and I've been playing with it a bit and found it a very handy tool, my biggest concern is what will happen if ill generate a ridiculously gigantic terrain and stamp all over, how will it work with uNET since I can use the powers of uNET proximity checker to ignore all game objects out of my player range, how would the game react?
    does anyone ever tried something similar?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  32. buttmatrix

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    What is the best strategy for altering texture placement post-hoc, e.g. min slope, max slope, slope fitness, etc.? The documentation points to Gaia Resources -> Texture Prototypes. Is there a 'compile' or 'reset' feature to update the texture layout after changes have been made to the texture protoypes? [NOTE: I am using Gaia with RTP]
     
  33. Acissathar

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    Hey guys, what is the easiest way to swap out Vegetation on a GAIA terrain?

    Say I want to prototype an area with less pretty items, but then later on want to "upgrade" them. Is there an in built swapping system or do I just need to delete everything but the terrain itself and then redo the spawning with GAIA?
     
  34. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Currently no. Multi-terrain support is expected in the next major update. In the mean time, you can still have multiple terrains in a scene, but can only work on them in Gaia one at a time, with all of the rest disabled.
    After editing the resource file, if you look down near the bottom, you'll see a "Replace Resources In Terrain" button. You can also just delete and recreate any applicable spawners, and it should grab the current resource file settings when you do.
    You should be able to go to the terrain vegetation settings, and just replace individual items with new ones. This is just a standard terrain feature, and not something Gaia needs to be involved with. Of course after you've replaced "tree X" on your terrain with "tree Y", you can use the "Get Resources From Terrain" button at the bottom of your resource file to update it to match the new vegetation.
     
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  35. xbuFqAtLM8MolU

    xbuFqAtLM8MolU

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    I need a sky and water, which works with a infinite world. Can anyone recommend me?
    Tenkoku seems fine, but I'm not sure about it.
     
  36. AdamGoodrich

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    If you want to make something to scale - then you need to look at the terrain settings as well. These are customisable and stored in the Gaia Defaults file in the Data directory. Take a look and have a read of the doco to change these settings. You will need to adapt how you do things according to the scale you want to achieve.

    It can be done via masking. Export your terrain as a greyscale heightmap image. Open it in your favourite image editor, create a new layer and use the heightmap image as a guide for where to paint your path. Paint it in white. The hide the background image and use the saved image as an image mask to apply your stamps and textures - alternatively - get the free version of EasyRoads 3D. I have heard good things about it.

    Regular price is $45. Will probably put it up for v2 when it comes along as well.

    Not easily. Gaia does not currently support multi tile generation. V2 will have multi-tile support.

    Huge world multi player games are deep. Be prepared to invest some time to work this out.

    The terrain editor itself has a bunch of great tools. There are also some great free terrain brushes on my web site - on this page : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/blog/best-free-unity-assets-categorised-mega-list/. Check out the terrain section.

    Alternatively check out the video tutorials on texture spawning - you can see an overview of the available tutorials at : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/

    As per the post above - check out the videos at : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/.

    I have yet to find the perfect water system and fall in and out of love with all of them -
    @chingwa as a subject matter expert perhaps you can comment :)
     
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  37. juniorforestS

    juniorforestS

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    Hi adam, I'm creating a terrain size (16384) but create there is no stamp that contains (many mountains, rivers, places plans) I tried to create a stamp each time, more is impossible. because most stamps mountains are on the edges of the maps and if I decrease the size they are cut. Please make a stamp for maps of enormous size.
     
  38. chingwa

    chingwa

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    Tenkoku will work just fine with infinite world... it will track your camera position regardless of where you are in the scene. As for water, as Adam said they all have their differences. I would recommend Suimono, but I am biased of course.
     
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  39. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    What kind of system are you running this on? I have enough trouble getting decent performance using 2k and 4k terrains on a fairly high end PC. A 16k terrain must be an absolute nightmare, especially if you add a decent level of detail and vegetation. As for stamps, since terrains of that size are a bit of a niche market, I wouldn't expect to find many pre-made stamps big enough and detailed enough to cover the whole area. Unless you want to make your own, you'll need to mix and match smaller stamps, covering 1k, 2k, or 4k blocks at the most, and blend them to create the full terrain. This has the advantage of providing higher detail, and allowing a mixture of different terrain features to be used, which would be expected on such a large area. What you could also try is making one big stamp, with relatively coarse overall terrain features, and then using smaller stamps to add more detailed close up features wherever needed, such as individual hills and mountains.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  40. danielnetzer

    danielnetzer

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    try and use the main gigantic terrain as the sea, add a flat giant stamp in the middle so you can have a "mainland" and then just add all sorts of varieties on top of that, such as mountains, rivers and the general looks of the terrain and for the texture, trees and vegetation just resize the spawner cubes for each area you want to edit, for example if you want to add Snow to the mountains just spawn snow on top of the mountain and work from there. be aware its going to destroy your computer :D, you wont be able to navigate through unity scene manager (happened to me last night and unity crashed eventually, going to try and spawn everything by bits).
     
  41. magique

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    For those of you using RTP with Gaia, I learned of an RTP feature yesterday that can help greatly improve performance in rendering terrain. The trick is to turn on the Tessellation feature for RTP and adjust the terrain pixel error to 200 (the maximum). This takes a considerable load off the CPU. And even though normally a pixel error that high would make your terrain look terrible, the tessellation feature uses the GPU to smooth it out so it looks normal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  42. MattMurphy

    MattMurphy

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    @AdamGoodrich , just reading your tip about masking above got me thinking. I've used Gaia to create a terrain, and EasyRoads to add in some roads. So I decided I would let EasyRoads modify the terrain, in the hope I could use a mask so that I could then use Gaia again to modify areas other than the road itself, for example, where ER has made sharp drops I could use Gaia to add in some detail in that area only. Sure, I could model things like rocks and cliff faces but it seems like it would be easier and perhaps better for performance to use Gaia.

    The problem I've got is I think I've either misused or misunderstood Gaia's mask function. The mask I've created is intended to just block out the road, but it seems like what is actually happening is the mask is being applied to the stamp itself, so I end up with a stamp in the shape of a road. What I actually want to happen is for the mask to be applied to the terrain itself, and then my stamp would work around it, rather than the mask being directly applied to the stamp itself.

    Am I making any sense? :confused:
     
  43. applezjuice

    applezjuice

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    Hello, just purchased this tool. I am learning C# and just getting into game development. I am the only person using this however I have a question before using the tool. It is 1 license per seat. I have multiple computers that I am working on for my project. Can I install this on all computers that I use personally? Or is it 1 license per computer?
     
  44. AdamGoodrich

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    Its licence per user, on as many computers as you like.

    Hmm.. try inverting it... an option in the mask. Alternatively, if you get really struck then contact me privately and I can take you thru it via Skype.

    You should investigate the scanner - you can create terrains - and then turn them into stamps - then you could create larger terrains out of those terrains - and turn them into stamps and so on :)

    As a general comment - unity doesn't handle really large terrains well. Its better to cut them up into smaller terrains.
     
  45. buttmatrix

    buttmatrix

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    Could anyone elaborate (or point me to documentation) on the optimization workflow when working with Gaia [and RTP]. Using Gaia's utilities, I exported the terrain .obj, splat map, normal map, height map, however, these textures do not map onto the .obj. Perhaps this is a tiling issue(?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  46. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    A screen shot from something coming soon - still waiting for lighting to bake - but even without that - just lovely!

    Grab 20160617115850 w1920h1029 x153y84z-37r179.jpg
     
  47. kerrmedia

    kerrmedia

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    Newbe question, is there a way to export the terrian mesh into something like Maya, then work on it, and export it back?
     
  48. applezjuice

    applezjuice

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    New question here too as well. Just got the asset yesterday. If I wanted to import other assets that are not unity standard is it possible and hard to do this? Any video tutorials of using our own assets that we have?
     
  49. kerrmedia

    kerrmedia

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  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Utilities -> Shows Terrain OBJ Exporter : This will allow you to export as a mesh

    Do your thing. Import the exported mesh back into unity & place into empty scene.

    Utilties -> Show Scanner : This will allow you to scan the imported mesh and save it as a stamp.

    Once its a stamp - if can be used with the full power of the stamping system.

    Yep - go check out the tutorials section on the web site : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/

    @RonnyDance Video ?? :)
     
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