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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. adventurefan

    adventurefan

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    Wow is Speedtree finally getting PBR? About time. :D
     
  2. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Who could say ;)
     
  3. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Making great progress on Gaia 2!

    View distance on this camera is 5km!

    Grab 20170307165239 w1920h1029 x-330y195z-15r188.jpg
     
  4. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    I need this in my life like right now :'(
     
    Astaelan1 likes this.
  5. Astaelan1

    Astaelan1

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    Lookin good Adam, no pressure, but can't wait to get my hands on it. Small blessing that I haven't, as I'm slowly figuring out some other stuff in the meantime :)
     
  6. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    And one more b4 i wander off the for night :)

    Grab 20170307180507 w1920h1029 x-2573y147z-2257r46.jpg
     
  7. drmanhattan

    drmanhattan

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    That looks amazing. What new features are coming to Unity from Speedtree?
     
  8. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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  9. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    Hello everyone, does anyone have advices for a good replacement for the textures that come with Gaia? (I don't mind if they are paid...)
    Thanks.
     
  10. drmanhattan

    drmanhattan

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    I just used gametextures.com
     
    evilangel89 likes this.
  11. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    My honest advise. Unless you're going for really open areas where texture tiling is quite visible, (in my case most areas are covered with vegetation), don't go for texture packs. I can do a lot with the standard textures for prototyping.

    If you don't like the vanilla assets, I would recommend going through the asset store till you find something suitable. I prefer GameTextures, Yungheus materials and if you are looking at AAA quality and can afford it, Substance Designer/Painter.

    I also would recommend that you take a look at the terrain shaders out there that will help you get rid of tiling.

    If you're new to game development like I am, don't be in a hurry to buy texture packs and what not. Explore the tool, use free textures, see what you can do with them and then dive in :)
     
  12. Astaelan1

    Astaelan1

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    MegaSplat comes with a nice selection of 60+ textures. There is also a nice $10 pack of some fairly high quality but general PBR Terrain Textures out there that I've picked up just for a little extra details. @AdamGoodrich they might interest you as well.
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/6045
     
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  13. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    wow, thanks everyone for your feedback!
    I'll have a look at game textures for sure, seems pretty interesting.
    once again, appreciate you sharing your experiences.
    Cheers
     
    evilangel89 likes this.
  14. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    Let me share some trouble I'm having with creating a terrain I want for a while now.
    I'm trying to re-create e map for this isometric rpg I'm doing in Unity using Gaia, but here is the thing...

    Look at the images of the map I've painted in photoshop and what comes out in Gaia:

    PHOTOSHOP


    GAIA



    It's much thinner and jagged in Unity. I had to paint a huge and thick line in photoshop and it still does not come out as I want it to.
    I'm using a 1024x1024 with 300dpi document in photoshop and in Unity my terrain is also 1024x1024, 1025 height resolution, 2048 detail resolution, 16 detail resolution per Patch, 2048 Control Texture Resolution and 1024 base texture resolution.

    Does anyone knows what am I doing wrong, or what I could tweak to get a more close result?


    Thanks
     
  15. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yes... these are grey scales. Grey scales are values between 0 and 1, which reflect height. If you look at all the stamp reviews you will see shades of grey as the sloped build.

    By going hard white you are essentially saying "I want max height". Try using some edge blurring and blending to get more likable slopes.

    If i look at your image i can also see anti-aliasing. This is the jagginess you are observing.
     
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  16. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    Indeed, I am going hard white on purpose, because I don't want slopes in this case.
    Its an old school like game, so the style i'm going for is land and all of a sudden water at the edge...

    I'm okay with that... What I can't do is acctually create something in photoshop and have the stamp to be just like the image I created. Because as you can see I have to paint really thick pathways in order to get something that almost works in unity.

    If anyone has a tip on how to do that I'd appreciate.
     
  17. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    My first guess would be that it has something to do with the difference between terrain size and heightmap size which will scale the difference between pixel and vertex. Test it out on an image and terrain with matching values ( say 1024x1024 ) and see if they have a better like for like set up you are expecting. If so, then it is as I suspect and you just need to use a scale based on how many pixels per vertex you need. The more pixels the larger the image will looks which describes what you are saying.

    Hopefully someone will have a better and more accurate description of what could be causing it but hopefully that will help you investigate it in the meantime.
     
  18. magique

    magique

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    It looks to me like Gaia gave you the exact output that your stamp input supplied. It might be better to understand what you expect it to look like because looking at that photoshop image I would expect the exact output you are getting.
     
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  19. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    If you look at the circle at the top from Photoshop and the "circle" I get you can see what I mean... The output is not as close to the original image. The circle from the image is not a circle in the stamp.... (thats one example)
     
  20. magique

    magique

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    OK, I see that. What is your terrain heightmap resolution? That would affect the output. A higher resolution would give your better results.
     
  21. henmachuca

    henmachuca

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    My terrain size and height map size are the same...

    My terrain height map res is 1025! Same as the terrain width and length, also same as the photoshop doc size.
     
  22. magique

    magique

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    Try increasing that. Also, you might try the Smoothing option on the Stamper.
     
  23. Astaelan1

    Astaelan1

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    @henmachuca
    Part of the problem is a bit of understanding. First you need to decide your scale. Is a unit of 1 representing 1 meter, with a standard humanoid player character?
    If so, then 1 pixel representing 1meter precision is going to give you pretty subpar quality on a large terrain. Why? well because 1 pixel only contains enough data for 1m x 1m, which turns into a couple triangles, with which it has to stretch to accomadate connecting to the nearest neighbors.
    When you have a sharp shift of black to white like that, your max height creates a factor of how far these will be stretched out of scale. So, great, it's all covered by water, but you probably still want a bit more than a stretched poly cliff on the edge of your islands. This will help with some of the artifacts that make it feel like there is a blocky edge.
    The next factor, is that if you want smoother edges, you'll need to double the pixel density to represent the same space. If you want a 1km x 1km map at 1unit representing 1m, you may need a 2048 x 2048 terrain map to have enough pixel density to provide smoother transitions of terrain (so that 1 pixel becomes half a meter).
    The heightmap data from an image can indeed only get you so far, after that you need to smooth out what it turned 1 pixel into, if you find that those corners around the edges are too sharp, you need to use the smoothing tools to subdivide those areas and create less edged areas.
    Ultimately, it boils down to resolution and scale. None of this would matter if the scale of 1 pixel was 1cm, of course your terrain on a 1024 image would then represent only a tile of about 10m then.
    To achieve what it sounds like you want, may require exactly what many of us are waiting for, which is terrain tiling.
    In order to achieve a larger terrain, but retain granular details, you need to break the big terrain into smaller tiles of detailed terrain chunks.
    In this way each tile could represent 1km x 1km, but be sourced off a very high resolution heightmap (like 8k), giving each meter a resolution of 8 x 8 pixels to work with.
    I hope this explanation helps a bit, it may be more technical than you were looking for as far as a quick answer to fix your terrain gen. But the image you've provided, and depending on the scale, it does appear to be generated as one would expect. Zoom out and treat that terrain like 1/10th of the size you currently do, and maybe it'll make sense.

    Edit: Although looking at the original source image, the density does look higher in pixels. I wonder if there is something not exporting the image data right. 300DPI should have no actual impact, as that's related to print resolutions, not screen resolution. For kicks, try setting this to 72DPI and see if it changes your results. Ultimately, you should have what equates to 1024 pixels regardless of how many print per inch. But if photoshop is doing something weird, the image may be getting resized or something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  24. Skybro6789

    Skybro6789

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    Hello i am sorry but i am new to unity and i got this because i thought i can learn how to use it and learn how to code my own video game but i cant so can i please get a refund? i am really really sorry but im not going to be able to use this so i would like my money back if you would be so kind
     
  25. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Please send me personal message with your email and invoice number.
     
  26. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Oh wow - Gaia just hit 600 ratings with an average of 5 stars - woo hoo and thank you everyone!! :)
     
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  27. Zymes

    Zymes

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    Still would like to know this before my eventual purchase.
     
  28. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia 2.0 is currently eating big maps for brekky as you can see from the shots in the forum and only it interprets terrains that are loaded.

    If you feel the Gaia on sale is too expensive or are concerned that it may not be suitable, then you can wait until Gaia 2.0 is out and you have had a chance to see it. I wont commit to specific features right now as I just want to get it out there.

    I will probably raise the price for Gaia 2.0. The new version has had in excess of 4 man months of effort so far and I am still going. It has an awesome and extensible new job management system and I am re-writing entire the sub-systems from scratch to take advantage of the new multi thread / multi tile / and GPU compute systems i am creating.
     
  29. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    While the argument makes sense, I think it would be a nightmare to edit it even if it wasn't allowed to pin / unpin areas. You'd still be working on different tiles irrespective of what term you use to differentiate the two (areas/tiles).

    As for performance with a large number of objects in a really large terrain, have you thought about or implemented any specific kind of object pooling ?

    But I think this is something more suited for a spawner like Gena. It's a case where we can do a runtime spawn/despawn based on where we are :)

    Which makes me want to ask the other big question. Is Gena getting any update to work with Gaia 2.0 features ?
     
  30. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    So far have had no issues editing many tiles concurrently. Remains to be seen how performance is however as not all systems have been re-enabled yet.

    The reality is that if you load up huge scenes concurrently, you will consume lots of memory and crash your machine. I do have a strategy for large environments, but have not tested it yet.

    Nope. You typically use pooling to maintain a fixed resource load on your system. I suppose you could use it as a sort of culling system as you move around between tiles in your scene. It's not a problem I am currently trying to solve.

    I could make a pooling system... but there are other systems out there that do this. Gena is a spawning system.

    Actually the spawning system in Gena is faster and far more sophisticated and Gena already supports multiple tiles. A better question perhaps is what will I bring from Gena back to Gaia :)
     
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  31. Sheriziya

    Sheriziya

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    Oh, 'm definitely interested in that too, since I may have rather larger environments as well
     
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  32. Foobucket

    Foobucket

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    @AdamGoodrich

    Hey I've been working with Gaia for a while now, but I've started to notice that after updating to Unity 5.5 and making sure Gaia is up to date, regardless of whether I use other assets, the Gaia Manager option in the Window menu will dissapear, and when I click on the terrain I've spawned in the session manager, the inspector is now blank with no Gaia anything, whatsoever. There are no compiler errors, and I have just the Unity standard assets imported. Unfortunately, this has happened multiple times now, and is setting progress back immensely, any suggestions? I want to continue to use Gaia, but I won't be able to unless this is something I can resolve.
     
  33. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmmm ... very strange. I have not seen this and I am developing Gaia on 5.5.2 i think. Can you please send me a PM so we can do a Skype screen share - I would like to see whats going on.
     
  34. Sh3d_Design

    Sh3d_Design

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    Hi I have been working with Gaia now for 2 months and found a few things that could be improved. I am mentioning this because you are very close to releasing version 2.0.
    I was wringing out all the options I was interested in. What interest me is changing textures after you have a few texture spawns. I prefer to use 5 or 6 or more textures for different altitudes. The issues I found even after watching your tutorial on texture spawners is that if I decide to increase the number of textures or change them after a few spawns, the change in some cases does not seem to stick, it looks for textures that I don't want because I changed them out. Is there a way for maybe a top menu that allows you switch out textures or increase the numbers without having to edit the Gaia resource file? And shut off the saving of the resource file so I don't have to see the save menu after changing just one digit of a number?
    Also after changing the elevation angle for some textures, it won't actually do it. Here is a picture of the visualizer that shows a contradiction between what the program did and what it indicates. There should be no sand at the top, it's range range has been limited to max height of 20m. and I switched off the angle checking of the top texture.
     
  35. Sh3d_Design

    Sh3d_Design

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    I few more facts about the setup, in case they are important. The terrain is 2km x 2km. I changed the max height to 2000m, so all texture spawners default to 1950m before I edit them. Everything else works as expected.
     
  36. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    There are a number of potential things at play here. Pretty sure we could get to the bottom of it pretty quickly with a Skype chat.

    I actually want to redo the visualiser and make it a shader instead for v2 - better and faster!
     
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  37. Astaelan1

    Astaelan1

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    @AdamGoodrich
    Hey Adam, if you need any help testing 2.0 before it goes to the store, feel free to hit me up.
    I'm pretty much in a hold pattern until 2.0 is out either way.
     
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  38. GuinUK

    GuinUK

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    Hey,

    Thought I'd put a quick jpg of the scene I've been playing with so people new to Unity can see how easily it is to set up.

    I've literally had Gaia 4 days, PlayWay for 3 days and Dynamic Sky for 2.

    I made this scene in about 15 minutes, 5 of which was the initial file creating and downloading my assets.

    It looks so much better than anything that I thought I'd be able to create, and runs on my son's i3 work laptop.

    Incredible.
    Thanks guys - I can now start thinking of programming the actual game.

    Gaia Tenk and Playway.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  39. Sheriziya

    Sheriziya

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    @GuinUK that looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it
    Oh, where can I find WaterWay?

    I'm going to play around with Gaia tonight or tomorrow once I've got my PC set up again after repairs. Already looking forward to it very much!
     
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  40. GuinUK

    GuinUK

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    Waterway is actually called playway water system - I remembered it wrong! :confused:

    It's one of the assets on the asset store. It's quite expensive but looks stunning and was quick to set up.

    It looks smashing for the sea, although I'm having one or 2 issues with the lighting when I move the camera.
    It is all amazing until something goes wrong and I trying to work out what's happening!

    Firstly it has made my trees go blocky with weird green boxes killing one of my Speedtrees (one of the ones included in Gaia)
    tree error.jpg

    It is also has made a weird lens effect on my as you can see on this rocket prefab I've thrown in.

    tree error.jpg Playway Gaia and Tenkoku not playing nice together.jpg
    It has taken me longer to sort these issues (still not sorted) than it has to make the original scene.

    If anyone has any ideas I'm all ears!

    Thanks in advance,
    Guin
     
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  41. rasto61

    rasto61

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    You need to select the specific speedtree in your project folder and regenerate the material
     
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  42. GuinUK

    GuinUK

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    Ah thanks!
    I'd accidentally included the trees both in Unity standard Assets as well as Gaia and it had knocked the image out of sync.

    Cheers for that.

    Chingwa sorted the other issue out in about 10 seconds by disabling anti-aliasing. Much appreciated!

    "The fog issue is likely due to running Unity in Forward rendering mode with MSAA turned on. I recommend either turning MSAA off, or switching to Deferred Rendering. You can turn off MSAA by going to your project quality settings and changing the anti-aliasing option to "none". Pretty sure this should fix the upside-down fog error."
     
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  43. MadToLove

    MadToLove

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    Very excited. I bought this way back when and have only messed with it a bit due to the lack of built in multi tiling cause I am stupid and couldn't get the work around going in a quick fashion. Once 2.0 releases I'll certainly get back to really messing with it and leave some feedback. TY for all your hard work!
     
    AdamGoodrich likes this.
  44. Naticus

    Naticus

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    Newbie to Gaia here and I hope you guys can help me out! I'm using a striated rock texture for mesas that I would like the texture spawner to keep mostly horizontal. There are some parts that go vertical which doesn't make much geologic sense. Is there a way to keep this specific texture's orientation horizontal across the terrain? Thanks in advance!
     
  45. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Unfortunately the standard unity terrain shader is not able to do this. You would need to get a 3rd party shader such as RTP to sort it out. Other terrain shader solutions might also be able to do it, but have only seen it in RTP.

    I am collaborating with a very talented shader developer on an alternative terrain shader as well, and we support this, but its not ready for release yet.
     
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  46. Shadex

    Shadex

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    The texture for the leaves is not setup correctly. I have this as well, you have to find it, go to the texture import settings and make it transparent (should be alpha from grey scale). If its doing it from farther away and not closer or vice versa, it's still the texture, but its when the tree's are turned to billboards from a set distance.

    Can't tell if its suppose to be water or a ground texture. If its water, the reflection is way way to high, and you have to turn it down. Not sure what water asset you have, so can't tell you how specificly to do it. If it is not suppose to be water, and actually a texture.... Well i just had that issue when upgrading. For some reason any texture your using on the terrain is getting it's specular data from the texture itself even if it has none. If it has none it just turns it to ultra reflective, and makes it shine. Go to texture important on the texture your using and in the drop down box where it says "alpha useage" choose "none", that will remove the specular data.

    To make the textures look good since now just use a normal map. I pretty much use crazy bump, and crank up the normal map so it acts like a psuedo height map. Works really good on grass.
     
  47. Shadex

    Shadex

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    Unity terrain always looks like crap with mountains, it stretches way to much. Most people have taken to using rock prefabs. I think the easiest and lightest way is using pro-builder (think free will do it as well), make a rock wall, then throw on the texture. Honestly, i don't use rock terrain textures much, as other then small details, PBR rocks just look better, and you can static bake them. But yea, since your new, know that the terrain system itself is full of limitations, and your going to have to buy a ton of add-ons to make anything AAA, for instance if you want good grass, your going to end up buying advanced foliage shader. The terrain system itself hasn't been redone since unity 2 or 3 i think.
     
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  48. Tazling

    Tazling

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    (to Adam)... help... I am a new Gaia owner (just purchased from the Asset Store) trying to get my first session going following your Quick Start guide; and I'm getting loads of errors out of Unity and am unable to launch the tool.

    OSX El Capitan, Steam version of Unity.

    So far all my other tutorials and experiments have worked fine, including all the official Unity tutorials I've worked through. But now I am flummoxed; I cannot get anywhere with your QS tutorial.

    When I import Gaia (it takes 3+ minutes on my fairly capable i7 Mac, is this normal?) I not only get warnings about SpeedTrees, I get a popup saying that the package just loaded has obsolete API references and requires the API Updater. So I run the API Updater (it sounds like Unity wants me to do this). After it has completed I am still getting error messages (see below) and all items in the Window->Gaia menu are grayed out, I cannot even get as far as launching the Manager. I regenerate Speed Trees as directed, which clears those errors, but I still get these:

    Assets/Gaia/Scripts/ExtensionSystem/Extensions/CameraAndLight.cs(54,28): warning CS0618: `UnityEditor.PlayerSettings.renderingPath' is obsolete: `renderingPath is ignored, use UnityEditor.Rendering.TierSettings with UnityEditor.Rendering.SetTierSettings/GetTierSettings instead'

    Assets/Gaia/Scripts/Utils/Utils.cs(230,31): warning CS0618: `UnityEditor.TextureImporter.grayscaleToAlpha' is obsolete: `Use UnityEditor.TextureImporter.alphaSource instead.'

    Assets/Gaia/Scripts/Utils/Utils.cs(231,31): warning CS0618: `UnityEditor.TextureImporter.normalmap' is obsolete: `normalmap Property deprecated. Check [[TextureImporterSettings.textureType]] instead. Getter will work as expected. Setter will set textureType to NormalMap if true, nothing otherwise.'

    Assets/Gaia/Scripts/StampingSystem/RuntimeStamper.cs(25,22): warning CS0649: Field `Gaia.RuntimeStamper.m_currentPosition' is never assigned to, and will always have its default value

    Assets/HeightMapFromTexture.js(10,14): BCW0012: WARNING: 'UnityEditor.Undo.RegisterUndo(UnityEngine.Object, String)' is obsolete. Use Undo.RegisterCompleteObjectUndo instead



    and now I am completely out of my depth. I am not an expert Unity user, just an aspiring newbie. I have no idea how to interpret or debug these error messages, or what it means that all the Gaia menu items are gray. I hate to report "it doesn't work" (the most useless bug report in the world) but am not sure how else to describe this.

    (update) I tried a fresh start, and said "No Thanks" to the API Updater popup. Proceeded according to the QS guide. The result was discouraging. There is no Gaia item in the window menu, and I cannot go back and run the API Updater (for some reason it is now grayed out in the Assets menu). This is the first time that Unity has given me that "bang head on brick wall" feeling...

    (one more try) I saved the most recent attempt and re-opened it. This caused the API Updater popup to appear. I said Yes. Updating (presumably) happened. And (to my amazement and delight) I finally had a Show Gaia Manager item, not grayed out, in the Window menu! I am now able to proceed to the first steps in actually building a demo terrain. Gaia is pegging my cpu for many minutes at a stretch, but that's OK, it's actually Doing Stuff.

    Now that I have (sort of ) resolved this issue, I considered deleting this post. However, I think it might prove useful to any other newbie user of Unity 5.5 who runs into the same problems. I assume that all of these warnings etc will disappear with the next release of Gaia...
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  49. Goodgulf

    Goodgulf

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    These warnings happen to me too when running Gaia on 5.5 but don't prevent me from using it. However I'm not running it on a Mac anymore. The loading times for larger assets (Gaia and lots of others) can take minutes and don't seem to depend on your hardware (I'm running it on a heavy dev machine with SSD).
     
  50. Goodgulf

    Goodgulf

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    For anyone interested in making your characters find their paths across a Gaia created terrain (with animated movement) here's a video tutorial on how to do so with the free version of A*Pathfinding:

     
    Mark_01, antoripa, TeagansDad and 8 others like this.