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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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    Yep. Free update with a significant re-write and new functionality.

    Multi tile was always on road map so I thought the fairest way would be to deliver it for free - and for those the want the new and super fast stuff - this will be available as separate paid plugins.

    This provides a nice upgrade path for those that want it.
     
  2. Mr-Logan

    Mr-Logan

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    Heya guys

    I'm trying to make a 16kmx16km terrain, we'll I'm not just trying, I've actually done it. ^_^
    I'm having some issues with texturing though.

    I want to use RTP with the terrain (as it looks way better than the standard terrain shader and allows for snow etc.)
    But some issues have become quite clear after I started to fiddle with it.

    upload_2017-3-30_10-44-29.png

    As you can see in the bottom of the image the textures don't mix very well (I'm using the standard textures that came with Gaia).

    As you can see on the follow image the textures are mixed way smoother (over a far longer distance than on the standard 2kmx2km terrains), which I suspect is part of why they mix so badly.

    upload_2017-3-30_10-45-45.png

    There's also horrible banding in the distance (on the first image), which I don't know why is, but I suspect it's something RTP related, but haven't seen it quite so pronounced before.

    The blending was bad dirt to grass .. but even worse on sand to grass xD
    upload_2017-3-30_10-49-0.png
    There's little neat piles of sand all the way from the beach and a few tens of meters up the grass xD

    Can anyone help me figure out what I can do about it? :)
     
  3. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    @RonnyDance is your man is suppose :)
     
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  4. sebasfreelance

    sebasfreelance

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    Hi and sorry my inglish...

    When will the update to version 2.0 be?
    Buy a few weeks ago Gaia, and I can not use it because I'm 2fps in unity 5.5.2

    thx!
     
  5. kiknchikn

    kiknchikn

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    As soon as I get home from the office, I will share away. It is currently 9:24 a.m. for me and I get off at 5:00 p.m.
     
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  6. sebasfreelance

    sebasfreelance

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    thank you very much!!! And congratulations on your asset!
     
  7. Teila

    Teila

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    No worries. Maybe 5.6 will help us making bigger worlds in Unity. With better use of GPU and instancing, who knows. :)
     
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  8. kiknchikn

    kiknchikn

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    No Man's Sky??? ugh...... We don't speak of that monstrosity............
     
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  9. Steve-Tack

    Steve-Tack

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    Could just be more rope to hang ourselves with, of course. :D
     
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  10. Steve-Tack

    Steve-Tack

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    I haven't even played it, but it has become an example of spreading your gameplay too thin. Best to discuss it openly as a warning to ourselves and others. :)

    As soon as you start talking about procedural worlds, it'd pretty natural to get excited about making big environments.

    I mean, I'm doing a space game where really I don't even need any terrain necessarily. But it's *super* tempting to throw in a planet surface or two with Gaia or one of the other tools. Put in a couple of flying and driving vehicles that let you explore and let you get out and walk around in first person. Then I remember Mass Effect's explorable planet surfaces. Boring!

    So yeah, unless you're doing a flight sim, a "walking simulator", or have serious resources, maybe it's best not to give in to that temptation.
     
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  11. kiknchikn

    kiknchikn

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    The first Mass Effect wasn't even originally designed for explorable worlds. That was a last minute crunch. Me being an astrology buff, I loved it. I could sit for hours just reading about the planets. Have you seen what they did for Mass Effect Andromeda? Explorable planets with NPCs, missions, collectibles, and you can build scientific or military bases.


    Also have you played Space Engineers? That game has an incredible way of seamlessly transitioning from space into the planet's atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
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  12. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    Just a quick note... The person who responded after you asked about Gaia 2.0 wasn't the author, it was another Gaia user responding to another Gaia user's question to them. Adam is still working on Gaia 2.0 and hasn't given a release date. He is hoping to get it out as soon as possible but he still has a lot to finish up before then. Kind of hard to give a projected date because it is always hard to predict issues that will pop up and throw a wrench in things and need resolved. :)
     
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  13. sebasfreelance

    sebasfreelance

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    Ok, thanks for informing me, how funny is kiknchikn

    ;)
     
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  14. Steve-Tack

    Steve-Tack

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    Doesn't surprise me. As I recall, each surface had the same three similar outposts and you basically just drove from one to the other.

    I fear that my game would end up more like that if I tried to have planet surfaces. Creating the purdy terrain in Gaia (or whatever) is just a small part of the process unfortunately. It's easy to lose sight of that.

    Still, with a hobby game I can do it just because it's fun for *me*.

    I did get the impression they tried to improve on that. I'll have to check it out after a few more patches come out. Sounds like they took it out of the oven a few minutes too early.

    No, I'll have to check it out. Is that sort of transition pretty quick? It seems like if it was too elaborate, it could get repetitive. Are they doing any sort of interesting terrain stuff?

    We may be drifting a bit off topic here. :D
     
  15. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I don't use RTP very often, but I recall this issue. The terrain texturing setup in Gaia is optimised for the standard terrain shader and is nicely blended.

    RTP has some sort of option to change the blending and make the delineation between textures more pronounced.

    Alternatively - change the rules that control how Gaia blends to make the borders between textures more defined : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/spawners-unity-terrain-textures/.
     
  16. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    It seems like I mention Gaia release date every 4 posts. Am glad there is such a lot of interest.

    It will come out soon - when its ready. ETA... a month or two give or take. Am putting in crazy hours to try and get it out ASAP. Problem is that I like bright shiny objects, and there are some features I have really wanted to add - and unfortunately they take a little time. Great from your perspective though - you will get a better system as a result.

    Re 2fps. There is an infinity of ways to make Unity run poorly. Low end / integrated graphics, or putting too much in a scene, or writing or using very badly written code.

    At our school last year we had some old machines with very poor graphics cards and I improved the frame rate to 70+ fps by using the tips n tricks described below.

    The reality is that if you want to do this then you are going to need learn your craft, and get a graphics card that is at least reasonable by today's standards. Until recently I was using a 3 year old GTX 770 and was able to get great performance even at high quality settings.

    Hopefully these posts will help you with your learning process:

    http://www.procedural-worlds.com/ga...ng-speedtree-with-gpu-instancing-in-unity-55/
    http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/mobile-unity-scene-optimisation-with-gaia/
     
  17. sebasfreelance

    sebasfreelance

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    thanks for answering.

    I have a good computer, 12 cores, 32Gb of RAM, i7, GTX960, the computer I do not think is the problem, I think it has to do more with compatibility with unity.

    I believe a project, Import Gaia, I create a scene and puff, I go to 2fps, impossible to work or do anything, restart unity and still the same, instead for example with previous versions of unity, 5.1.5.2 and I think remember until 5.4 goes Well, the problem that my project is in unity 5.5 any idea of what happens to me?

    I will look at these links that you have sent for if you solve something, but the problem is that I can not move through the unit, I can not work because unity is wrong, not the game once compiled.

    thx and sorry my inglish.
     
  18. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmm... sounds very strange. As you say - some sort of incompatibility issue with Unity :(
     
  19. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    @sebasfreelance Try upgrading to 5.5.3
     
  20. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    @AdamGoodrich

    What do you recommend for optimizing the terrain? I am trying to do that, removed all trees and grass so I could optimize terrain for my GPU (660Ti 2GB, I know, ancient :p) and have managed to go from 24 FPS average to 28-30 by increasing Pixel Error to 50 (acceptable, any changes will be hidden by grass or other meshes) and Base Map to 1000. Though the problem is, Base Map at 1000 leaves distance terrain looking dark, as in black. I assumed that Base Map would just generate lower quality texture for distance but still keep the terrain lit, but it seems to turn it dark like it's hidden in shadows (does not look good, so have to throw in fog in there).

    Right now playing Far Cry Primal, I can see pretty far in that game (running it pretty much maxed out at 45-50 FPS) but if I look closely, distance terrain is pretty low quality, but it's lit at least.

    So I need some advice on which settings to tweak for performance gain.

    Thanks.


    PS: Using it with MegaSplat, so there is performance impact of that, else I'm pretty sure I would get higher FPS without tessellating terrain.

    PPS: Can't wait for MegaSplat integration. :p
     
  21. Tuskony

    Tuskony

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    @AdamGoodrich What is the correct syntax in the tree spawners to match up multiple textures in the "Matching Textures" field. IE I want to paint bushes on textures 4 and 7
     
  22. curator

    curator

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    Thanks for all your work @AdamGoodrich - I have been checking this thread (and the asset store) daily in anticipation for v 2.0. Although I can't wait to get onto it, I am sure I can find other things to distract me for a month or two until it comes out the way you want it to be :)

    Anyway, will still be lurking on this thread as there it still lots of good info and screen shots from users.

    BTW has anyone been able to build a Gaia landscape for use in WebVR?
     
  23. Mr-Logan

    Mr-Logan

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    I think I may have the solution for you
    Window->Lighting
    and at the very bottom, uncheck auto.
    Unity can crash almost to a standstill if it automatically tries to re-render lightmaps for the entire terrain every time you make any small changes. :)

    upload_2017-3-31_12-7-19.png
     
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  24. Mr-Logan

    Mr-Logan

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    I'll look into it.
    Thanks! :)
     
  25. Mr-Logan

    Mr-Logan

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    I think borders is the correct approach to go, it seems that with a standard 2km terrain the blending 'distance' between two textures is about right, but on a 16km terrain, the distance is at least 8 times longer, which is why it looks so .. peculiar .. ^_^
    However, I can't from the video you linked, figure out what settings shorten the blend distance.
     
  26. Teila

    Teila

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    Look a couple of posts above yours and you will see links from Adam for optimizing for older systems.

    How large is your terrain? One of our team members has a system maybe a bit better than yours and he has trouble running my Unity terrain. This is without Megasplats. I am making one for him that may work.

    I am eliminating the rock piles since those are pretty heavy. Changing the grass distance and density, tree distance, taking out some of the tree collides, and hoping it works.

    None of this is Gaia's job since it is my job to take out objects, details and trees to heavy for an older computer. Makes me sad though, since I love the fully featured terrains. :)

    Can one not turn off tessellations in Megasplats? I wouldn't even try that on Ryan's computer. Also, terrain size matters. My 2k x 2k was so lagging on his machine that it just wouldn't work. Trying a 1k x 1k now...we are using it just for a test scene so not worried about size. But you will be very limited with your computer specs.

    And while raising the pixel error may help, no way are you going to be able to use enough grass to cover that up. :) Grass is very heavy, in my experience, it is much heavier that a few pixel error adjustments.
     
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  27. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    The thing is, new current gen display cards will easily run what I'm running at 30 FPS at 50FPS and more.

    So I am optimizing game to run at 25-30 FPS on my system intentionally. Reducing terrain size is pointless since my computer is ancient compared to majority of rigs on Steam (check the Steam stats, majority has more powerful PC's than most of us Indie developers lol). I assembled my PC back in 2012-2013 and my GPU was like medium tier back then as well.

    I want to know the optimization tricks to get an acceptable level of FPS out my project only. Turning off tesselation in MegaSplat is not an option, that's the whole point of getting that shader in the first place. Tesselated terrain is now in every other game these days (Battlefield especially).

    I can use highest possible grass and trees with only 5 FPS drop (actually, thickest grass clasters possible). The problem is that default trees do not have many LOD transitions so I removed them to create custom ones from scratch later, grass on the other hand gives only few FPS hits.

    Pixel Error gives nice boost in FPS so far and can be easily masked when I will start decorating terrain manually (I am not going to auto generate grass and trees, that was for test only). I can use fog to cover distant textures or LOD on terrain. I would prefer if documentation came with all the tips and tricks (my net keeps breaking these days), but will now go through posts to see where Adam posted his tips here.
     
  28. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    Check the link http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/
    It's Adam's official page for Gaia. There are some optimizing tutes under Advanced.
     
  29. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    Heh I missed the optimization page there.

    Wait, GAIA doesn't do this by default? I assumed it did, the reason why I bought it, else I was just going to RAW import my terrain from VUE. I guess I am just used to Unreal landscape and was expecting that from GAIA. Well that sucks.

    Maybe Unity will improve their S*** terrain in next version, we can only hope, cause I can't spend more money on buying assets (I am an Indie afterall).
     
  30. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    I myself am an Indie and a hobbyist trying to get into game development for a change of career even. So my honest advice to you. Do not assume anything about an asset. Got a burning question, always fire away, ask the community, ask the author, get it out of the way. Plus if you read the forum thread ( I know it's 158 pages haha ) you'll notice Adam mentioned a numerous times about his vision for Gaia as a terrain generation tool and even for Gaia 2.0 he specifically mentioned that he's not going to implement streaming, because that's simply not part of terrain generation. Gaia has always been a terrain modeller and a coverage texture and object spawner. It will always be :)

    This opens up several avenues for Adam to explore and better improve his tool too. Rather than make something like Opsive with a bunch of bloatware features no one tends to use at the end of the day.

    Sorry that you had this experience though. Next time I honestly suggest questioning the community or authors on the forum or mail to get an idea on what you want and how the asset can help you get there. Trust me I learned it the hard way too .
     
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  31. Teila

    Teila

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    So, the editor doesn't run well in your game and you have issues with the fps, but you know that and you want to make sure it runs on computers with better cards.

    Hmm, seems difficult but I see what you mean. I do the opposite, go for the higher end, test the lower and adjust. :) I can't imagine trying to make a PC game with a low end card and trying to optimize for high end. Seems backwards but you seem to know what you are doing.

    Totally missed this so editing. lol Gaia does what it does best. Try World Streamer, really nice. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  32. Quast

    Quast

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    Adam, make a video shows the new features of Gaia2.
     
  33. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Of course :)

    In the mean time this is a competitive environment and I have already had some of the key features of Gaia copied by competitors.

    The video's will come when I launch.
     
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  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia 2 creates your terrains from the start in chunks - at whatever size you define. There will be no need to use other tools to do this.

    If you want terrain streaming, to get best performance on large worlds, then Sectr or World Streamer is the go.
     
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  35. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Example of terrain tiles. Terrain was a fractal, that was then terraced and eroded. 10k x 10k all up, terrain tile size 2k x 2k.

    All numbers arbitrary - just what happened to be there. Tile size could just as easily been 500m x 500m.

    2017-04-01_9-16-17-Tiles.jpg

    2017-04-01_9-21-32 - tile 2.jpg

    Camera far distance is 10k.
     
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  36. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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  37. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    So that means performance boost right? But with lower Base Map, you can only see distant hills in complete dark, does that mean with lower chunk sizes, distant fields will be dark too or invisible?

    Meh not really a big deal. I'll just break down the levels into smaller places. Not like I am creating an open world game or something, I just thought that it would allow me to create better vistas, but I can always go Matte painting route for distant "terrains".

    Besides, I read somewhere that Unity will release performance improvements for their terrain in 5.6? (I am surprised they didn't leave that too for asset developers)




    EDIT: Spent some time going through optimization tips, went from 12-20 FPS to 40-45+ FPS in most areas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
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  38. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    That's awesome!

    Depending on time I will often test and profile, test and profile to work out exactly where the costs in my scenes are and its surprising what you can discover.

    It is quite some time ago now, but even running a smooth on your terrain can have a measurable impact.
     
  39. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    Yeah, apart from Quality settings (LOD Bias and Half Texture quality), biggest gain came from smoothing. After I discovered it first time, I kept pressing it like 10 times for 10+ FPS boost. :p
     
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  40. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    See if you can instance your speedtrees as well - this will also make big difference. Also, don't use unity water.
     
  41. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    Yes, I will be creating trees from scratch and will go through optimization process in GAIA docs.

    Funny thing is, I forgot that I added Enviro and MegaSplat, right now created a blank project with large GAIA terrain and whole thing rungs at 140 FPS default, with tweaks I mentioned above, 150+ FPS easily in editor. So I will start optimizing default terrain, then added new textrues and grass/trees, optimize, then later add MegaSplat and Enviro. Though honestly, I am waiting for MegaSplat integration cause it's PITA to add it and then mess up somewhere.

    My game is a small adventure game basically, so default terrain size is pretty nice in GAIA. Must squeeze all performance out of (using FarCry Primal as a guide, their terrain popups up even at max but it's all hidden under grass and tree cover).
     
  42. evilangel89

    evilangel89

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    wow that is awesome. thanks for this conversation. I personally gained some valuable tips out of it. I am aiming for an open world game in a very minute scale since I am still learning and don't honestly have the time to create or learn how to make 3d models.
     
  43. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Is it me or did this wellbeloved dog food advert use Gaia to make its external scenery ?

    https://www.wellbeloved.com/2017/03/mega-city/

    If not it is definitely a good advert for Gaia rofl.

    And just in case the video doesn't play, he is a screenshot of a piece of the video in question.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  44. Mr-Logan

    Mr-Logan

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    Wouldn't really make sense to make the terrain in unity for a video, also it doesn't strike me that there's any way of knowing one way or the other.
    What made you think they'd used Gaia for it?
     
  45. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    Advertising companies or movie studios use apps like Vue to create the vegetation or massive landscapes.

    Even IF they would use a game engine, Unreal with Landscape rivals tools like VUE, along with lighting engine.
     
  46. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    Now that Unity 5.6 is out, I've been playing around with the new GI features and post-processing stack. It made such a huge difference in how my test scene looked, I wanted to take a few pics to share. I was a bit disappointed by how Gaia's Screenshotter handled them though. It seems to capture most of what I'm seeing, but leaves out the bloom and flare effects. Here are some comparison shots Taken using the Print Screen button on my keyboard (Top) and Screenshotter (Bottom):

    Airship1.jpg Airship2.jpg Airship3.jpg

    Is there a way to get Screenshotter to capture all of what I'm seeing, or does the process it uses ignore some types of post-processing? If so, will it be updated at some point to use all of the features of the new stack? o_O
     
  47. TalkieTalkie

    TalkieTalkie

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    Wait, Screenshotter actually works for you guys?

    I used PrintScrn for all my shots since Screenshotter didn't do anything.
     
  48. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    It's always worked for me. You need to add Screenshotter to your scene from the Gaia Manager Advanced Tab > Add Common Game Objects section. Then, create a folder in Assets called "Screenshots" for it to save them in. You'll also need to pick a camera in the Screenshotter Inspector, and adjust any other settings as needed. After that, just hit whatever hotkey you've selected while in Play mode, and you'll have as many pictures as you want waiting when you finish, set to whatever size you want, with no need to stop and paste them into a graphics editor each time. :)
     
  49. RPKMN1

    RPKMN1

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    could you explain the issue? it is a performance reason or a visual quality reason?
     
  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep screen shotter is a massive time saver. Most of the images I share here were created with it - ergo it works!

    The one trick I have found however is that you need to check the "Use Screen Size" button instead of using the fixed screen size which is the default.

    The default use fixed size setting used to work well but has increasing numbers of issues with Post FX in the newer Unity versions. I will change this in the next release of Gaia.

    I chucked it in more as a convenience than as a core feature. Saves you spending a bunch of money on another more specialized asset.
     
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