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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. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Ah, I've only been using the default 4 textures with Gaia. Maybe someone with the same set up could confirm what is happening for them.
     
  2. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    I think that the grass spawner object contains a set of spawned objects as children. If memory serves these would be the place holders and would have transform values which you may be able to convert to world space coords.
     
  3. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Hey, I just spent the day getting familiar with Gaia. What a fantastic product. Adams prioritization of user friendliness is really apparent. This is one of the first extensions I've used that makes sense without making me feel like I need to take a college course to get it.

    I do have a question I'm hoping somebody can answer. I want to use real world height maps, which I know how to get from terrain.party.com and convert in photoshop to .raw format and then scan into my scene. But what I want to do is this: I grab a 50km area of earth, then I try to make the terrain size 50km (though it automatically adjust me to 62,000 something(not sure why, 50,000 is a multiple of 2)) so that the in game environment will be the same size as its real world map. Indeed, the image stretches out to fill the terrain, but when I try to adjust the height to raise up my elevations the stamp reverts back to a fraction of the size (to the default 2048 size I think).

    I think it has something to do with my heightmap image not being the right size or something, but I'm not really sure. Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  4. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    It may be the power of 2 thing. 2,4,8,16 ... 16384,32767,65536 etc. As to the adjusting heights, it sounds like something I noticed when you scroll a bit too quick and wraps round or thinks you have scrolled to the start. Outside of that I don't recall the reverting back stuff without pressing the appropriate buttons that do that such as Fit to Terrain and Ground. I'm not sure whether the size causes that problem but it could cause scaling issues, in a similar way that 2k stamps compact when being used on terrain of a smaller size. Did you notice any error / warning messages when the things went wrong ?
     
  5. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    No warning messages. Just tried with the height map resolutions set to half the terrain size, which was a power of 2 (not multiple of 2).

    What happens is the height map gets so stretched out that it is completely flat. As soon as I make any adjustment to the height, the stamp appears much smaller in the center of the terrain, as if it had reverted to the default size. The terrain remains unchanged underneath the shrunken stamp, which does grow or shrink in height as I adjust it, but the stamp only applies to that smaller area -- not the entire terrain.
     
  6. MoribitoMT

    MoribitoMT

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    Hi, I am really interested in this asset. I have couple of questions..

    1. Does it support multiple terrains ( grid terrains ) ?
    2. Does it run terrain to mesh without any lose ends ? ( I create games for mobile platforms, mesh performs better than terrains )
     
  7. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Gaia2 will support multiple terrains in grid format. Gaia 1, I believe does not work on Mesh although you can I believe convert your terrain to a mesh with it. Gaia 2 may have mesh workability although I am not 100% on that but Gena the spawner asset works on mesh if I recall the last time I read about it. I am sure Adam will adjust anything I said that wasn't quite right :)
     
  8. Theformand

    Theformand

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    No unfortunately not. There are no children, it looks like its being fed directly into the TerrainData (understandably)
     
  9. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Hmm, I thought it spawns colliders so that trees and objects don't spawn where grass and flowers etc are and vice versa. There are no empty game object children under the detail object in the heirarchy at all ?

    Edit: I stand corrected. Happened to have Gaia opened and checked .. no children whatsoever which means Gaia probably doesn't have a record once it is generated and added to the terrain. Whether it is something that could be added to Gaia 2 Adam would be able to say whether it is something he feels is feasible to his code base.
     
  10. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    In the default setup Gaia texturing configuration Gaia always nukes whatever was there before.

    The way I do it is to set the first texture to always spawn itself at 100% opacity. The rest of the textures just paint themselves on top. If you take the same approach this will resolve your issue. Check out the default setup with Gaia if you are not sure how to do this.

    Yes - its just standard unity terrain.

    Best way to do this would be to use a spawner extension and capture the information fed into it into a list. Obviously with grass you need to be aware that it can result in a huge amount of data.
     
  11. CaptCanada

    CaptCanada

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    Sorry to ask this again, but in my Gaia terrain, whenever I set the lighting to Evening the terrain is pink. The terrain is fine when I set the lighting to the Morning, Afternoon, or Night.

    Any ideas as to why this is happening?
     
  12. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    It's power of 2, not multiple of 2. I would also be wary of creating something that large. Unity is definitely going to creak under the strain. The end result will be quite low fidelity as you are scaling things up a lot. Same concept as zooming in a lot to a photo - then end result will appear to lack fidelity.

    Not sure whats up with your stamper reverting - i have never seen it do this - so i suspect you are doing something unusual in your work flow - try fitting it to terrain and then raising the height.

    No. Gaia 2 will. Eta... not sure ... have a bunch of work on that has slowed its delivery down.

    It will export terrain as mesh and terrain splats - you will need shaders that can take advantage of that.

    As per previous comment - you will need to make a spawner extension. There are code samples included in Gaia in the Scripts / SpawningSystem / SpawnExtensions directory, and they are used to paint grass and textures on the default village spawns. If you dig into that you will see that a structure called a SpawnInfo is called, that has locations in world units.

    Create one of those and add it to your grass spawning rules. It would need to store the data it gathers externally somewhere, but that's easily enough done.

    You can see how they are applied by looking at GaiaResources / Game Object Prototypes / Small Farm 1 / Spawn Extensions sample.

    You can stack as many extensions onto the spawning system as you like. Simple but effective.
     
  13. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Nope - I just tested and it works fine for me.
     
  14. topofsteel

    topofsteel

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    I'm using Gaia on an existing terrain. I watched a tutorial tutorial about how to do this, but I'm getting odd results. The tutorial had me apply four textures to the terrain then get the get the properties with Gaia. I used all of the default settings and hit spawn. My four textures were applied based on whatever rules were in place. I hadn't had the textures in the correct slots, but Gaia did a good job of placing textures based on slope, elevation and whatnot.

    But after re-texturing the terrain, Gaia added it's own four default textures to the terrain. And those four textures are whats available in the Inspector when selecting the 'Coverage Texture Spawner', not my original four textures.

    Also, the rules don't have the variables I would expect, slope, elevation... It looks like I need to modify the Spanner Settings, but I don't see where to do that.

    Thank you.

    Gaia_01.PNG
     
  15. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    When spawning - if the resources are missing Gaia will add them. From memory Gaia will ask first.

    If you want to update resources in an existing GaiaResources file then select your resources file and Update From Terrain first. It will preserve existing settings, and replace the resource references with the resources from the terrain.

    There are videos on resource management here - as well a substantial manual that comes with Gaia : http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/
     
  16. topofsteel

    topofsteel

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    Thanks, I figured it out and came back to update my post. I wasn't familiar with modifying the base files within an assets directory. I guess I usually see an in-scene manager / inspector. or something. Great asset! I'm excited to really get into it, thanks.
     
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  17. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    This is what my terrain looks like with Evening set up.
    Grab 20170803113249 w1847h1039 x0y265z0r149.jpg
    Maybe you could post a screenshot of your landscape in this pink coloring.
     
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  18. franky_li

    franky_li

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    Thanks Adam, that seems to fix my problem.:)

    Frank
     
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  19. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The power of Gaia is that you can set things up as you want and then replicate this everywhere - at the same time - it means you need to set it up - but if you make the effort when creating your custom environments its hugely powerful.
     
  20. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Is it more intensive to use CTS to swap out textures rather than changing the textures beforehand? Because CTS is doing it at runtime? Or does it just swap them over permanently as a convenience? I just find it easier to change a texture using CTS than updating my resources template and then making a new texture spawner.
     
  21. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmm..

    So it works like this:

    Terrain has textures, Gaia manipulates terrain so that textures appear in right place, and the thing that Gaia changes is called a splatmap. The splatmap controls where and how strongly a texture will be applied.

    CTS also uses these splatmaps to control where to paint its textures. When a CTS profile is applied to a terrain CTS copies the textures from its profile into the terrain (replacing anything that might have been there), and uses the splatmaps to control where and how to paint them.

    This is very powerful as the textures are decoupled from the splatmaps, meaning that the same set of splatmaps can drive a whole range of different texture sets (profiles) to create completely different looks from the same underlying terrain.

    However - if you go back to Gaia, and want to redo the splatmaps by running a texture spawner, Gaia will see a mismatch in textures, and behave accordingly.

    So... as long as you are not re-doing textures with Gaia afterwards then you are cool - otherwise you need restore the textures back to the original textures first.

    Easy enough to do -> After texturing with Gaia, create a new profile and store the Gaia textures there.

    Then apply new profiles etc and do your things.

    If you decide you want to re-texture with Gaia, just re apply the original profile so that the original textures are put back into the terrain and everything will operate as usual.
     
  22. mk1978

    mk1978

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    Could somebody help me get started with GAIA? I own pretty much every tool that Adam has created (GAIA, Gena, Pegasus, CTS) but I have never really managed to start using GAIA in my workflow. I would like to start using GAIA also because the combination of these tools is getting quite powerful.

    I am using Unity for architectural visualizations and in my workflow I need to repeat the work with creating terrain multiple times. On of the most critical thing is to texture terrain with the help of colorID/texture map (see image) that is created in other software. Basically each color represents different texture position in terrain and I would like to paint the terrain with the help if this kind of mask/colorID map. Currently I am using Terrain Composer 1 for doing this but now I would like to test if I am able start using GAIA also for texturing the terrain.

    Is there any easy way to use this kind of multicolor mask in GAIA when texturing terrain? I checked the masking tutorial and it seems that in GAIA it is possible to use at least black and white masks to position spawners. This could mean that I may need to export black and white texture map for each individual color and it would mean that I would need to do it 10 times when using 10 different textures.

    I will keep watching GAIA tutorials but I just wanted to check if somebody can already say if this is not possible to do in GAIA or if there is some video tutorial available which is already dealing with this kind of challenge.

     
  23. AdamGoodrich

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    Yep you will have create black and white mask with current version of Gaia. I will add colour masks for Gaia 2.
     
  24. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Tips like these need to be archived somewhere. I know this is basic stuff, but it's mastery of the basics that separates the champions from the rest, right?
    I spent several hours when I first started using Gaia and CTS yesterday backtracking back and forth only to kind of get an idea about ways to workaround having to start over from scratch with each terrain when I messed something up. Maybe I'm just a bit of a dummy, though.

    I guess it's just part of the learning curve with any new endeavor. Don't get me wrong, the tutorials are great, but little tips and tricks like this to speed up the workflow make all the difference in alleviating tedium and frustration. Anyway, I've got a nice looking terrain which is the first self-made graphics asset in my game -- and it looks very nice and realistic -- so I'm pretty stoked right now.
     
  25. mk1978

    mk1978

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    It sounds great if you are able to include this functionality in GAIA 2! I see that this kind of functionality would be essential when creating urban environment including roads, paths, parking lots, grass fields, etc. when there is a need to have multiple textures with defined locations.
     
  26. topofsteel

    topofsteel

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    Is it possible to add a mask to control a spawn texture? I thought I saw the option once, but now I cannot find it. I looked through the tutorials, but they seem to only cover stamp masks. Thanks.
     
  27. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I am playing around with Gaia and CTS and am starting to develop my own workflow. Now, before I commit to doing things a certain way, I want to check that this is the most efficient method.

    So, I want to make a terrain that is pretty big. Lets say, 16 square kilometers. My initial thought was to make multiple default 2k terrains and just bump them up against each other, but that didn't seem like a good idea upon practice because you can only stamp one terrain at a time and it has to be centered at the origin and the other terrains need to be deactivated, so making borders match up is practically impossible.

    So then I just made a big single terrain, and I can size my stamps however I want to fill the terrain out with many different features. This seems like the best method. But in order to make a big terrain and not have it look like minecraft (small exaggeration), I have to up the resolution, which is currently a problem for my inadequate computer, whereas when I had multiple smaller terrains they still looked good but didn't bog my machine down.

    Is having to scale resolution with the terrains size just the way it is? I don't understand why a larger terrain with 1024 res looks different than a smaller terrain with 1024 res. It's not just scaling the terrain, is it?

    Thank you to whoever can explain this.

    BTW, Gaia deserves its own forum.
     
  28. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    I don't know whether it is better but this is similar to how I have been working on for my planet sized terrain generator. I have been using 64m terrain blocks with 512/1024 resolution based on distance. It seems to work well barring having to spend additional time scaling the stamps to fit the terrain. Check back a few pages and you can see some examples I posted.

    https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/g...d-scene-creation.327342/page-173#post-3157760
     
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  29. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    That seems like a good idea. Building lots of mini terrains that you can put together could give you some modularity. I think that would be harder for me to do because my project is a flight sim, and you see much of the terrain from the air, so any mismatching textures at the border will be very noticeable.

    Image of terrain:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9WAXB_f4gMQaS13UExEdk1hc1ZHN09JMy1DVTd1OV9fQVpJ/view?usp=sharing

    See the how at the edges I will need to match things up realistically with the next terrain? This is why I think it is best to just use one big square and lots of stamps.
     
  30. topofsteel

    topofsteel

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    I'm getting an odd checker pattern on my recent tests. I've been adding 4 textures to the terrain and then getting the terrain settings with Gaia. From there I've been tweaking the default spawn criteria. Is there a way to start fresh without any spawn criteria? So I can slowly add settings and see those results? Thanks.

    Gaia_Checker.PNG
     
  31. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Yes thats why I cheated and made the *features* inside the tile and the outer tile levelling down to a set height so that all tiles have matching edges... in theory. And yes it was for modular support but where you are using larger terrains for flight sim, you might want to consider adjusting the distance to change detail level on the terrain. If you also then programmatically neighbour the tiles up, Unity will give these neighbours the right level of detail helping to keep the edges level.

    And don't forget that Gaia 2 will have multi tile functionality which will hopefully resolve your edge line up problem.
     
  32. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    I would suggest making a copy of the resource file and using that to play with and disable the features you don't want and see the effect of the others and then enable and add the additional features as needed.
     
  33. nomax5

    nomax5

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    Workflow Question / Advice

    Hi Adam,
    I’ve recently bought Gaia and am enjoying using it:
    I created a Unity project called GaiaTest specifically to learn about the Gaia, it contains everything including all the demo stuff. Now it also contains my own terrain assets Textures, Trees and Tenkoku with its Demo stuff and Suimono with Demo stuff etc.

    So this GaiaTest project is bloated but its like my Terrain production system capable of creating a wide variety of terrains and environments.

    My question is this:
    When I have made a terrain with my GaiaTest Project what is the best way (in your opinion) to get the terrain out of that bloated project and into a new clean “Game” project.

    Also is this a good plan? having a project specifically to produce terrains using Gaia like a Tool?

    Kind Regards
    Roy
     
  34. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    This is exactly how I have mine set up. I have a development project for creating the terrains and, although I haven't tested the feasibility of it myself, also in practise mode, it seems likely that exporting the elements needed to work in a game project is all you will need to do. With Gaia all you will need is the terrain (maybe create a prefab) and the textures and objects added to it, don't forget that the gameObjects are stored in the the Gaia portion of the hierarchy and not the Environment part.
     
  35. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yeap - I added color based masking when I made GeNa - but its not really an exact science. Would be lovely to have the time to explore image processing in more detail. I have some ideas i want to explore with machine learning.

    The amount of 'detail' that can be stored in a terrain is determined by the resolution of the underlying heightmap. So if you want highly detailed terrains then make the heightmap and terrain size match. However this comes at a cost, and my general rule of thumb is to set the heightmap resolution to half the terrain resolution. With a pixel error of 5, this seems to be a good middle ground.

    The issue you have is that the bigger you make things, the more it 'costs' i.e. the worse your framerate will be. You have an array to store the heightmap, then arrays for each texture that control where they are drawn (alpha/splatmaps), then arrays for each grass / detail. Trees are stored in a list, so their cost is based on how many there are.

    I am offering limited access to Gaia 2 - but its not for beginners - the polish that you have in Gaia 1 has not been applied yet. If you have a decent level of skill and patience then send my a PM for access. G2 works nicely with multi tile terrains already but still has a lot of rough edges.

    Just create a new resources file. Theres a button for it :)

    Store the scene, and the related terrain data files and any related resources in a separate directory and export the directory.
     
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  36. Rockwall33

    Rockwall33

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    Hello Adam,

    This is truly a amazing asset!!! :D Out of curiosity, what is the difference between Gaia1 and Gaia2? And for access do I need to send you my invoice number? Thanks!! :)

    Cheers!
    NuclearRasberry
     
  37. gecko

    gecko

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    I coulda sworn I saw something in the terrain texture spawning tutorial about per-prototype masking, but I sure can't find it now, nor anything in the docs. I have distribution maps for each type of ground cover texture -- is there a way to use those to affect where the textures are applied?
     
  38. CaptCanada

    CaptCanada

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    Fixed it. I had to adjust the reflection setting in the Lighting inspector.
     
  39. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    I agree, it is well worth the money for the result you get out with just a few clicks of a button or two.

    As to Gaia2 and Gaia1 differences, there are way too many additions to Gaia 2 to name them all but one main feature alot of us are waiting for is the multi terrain functionality. I'll leave the rest for Adam to answer :)
     
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  40. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Here is a screenshot of what I believe is what you will want to use for your masking image.

    texture spawner.png

    To get it to work on individual texture spawns you have 2 options. Either have a texture spawner per texture or before you spawn each texture ( deactivate those not needed ) change the mask to apply for the next spawn.

    I haven't used this facility so can't say whether it will definitely do what you want so worth trying to see if it does what you want.
     
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  41. gecko

    gecko

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    Thanks, that's what I thought at first, but it is a global filter for the spawner, and not per-texture....which, unless I'm missing something (always possible), makes it extremely undesirable for what I want. Nice to have for other purposes, but not for per-texture filtering.
     
  42. Rockwall33

    Rockwall33

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    Thanks @Xrystal!!! :) Yeah that multi-tile terrain looks awesome!!

    How do I get access to Gaia2? Is it a closed testing?

    Cheers!!!
    NuclearRasberry
     
  43. kerrmedia

    kerrmedia

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    Working with Gaia, CTS shader and Gena as well as most of the assets mentioned here.
    Wondering if anyone has worked with the UBER Standard Shader Ultra? With Unity 2017 out, is this shader from 2015 something useful? It looks great in the demo on the Asset Store. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but a lot of assets come together here. Just got Volume Fog 3 when I saw Adam was working on integrating it with Gaia.
     
  44. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Your best bet is to send Adam a private message expressing your interest.
     
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  45. Rockwall33

    Rockwall33

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    Yeah I will, Thanks again @Xrystal!! :)

    Oh forgot to ask as well. When I hit the random spawn everything button, and insantiates the terrain, trees, detail, grass, etc. It all spawns in well, but the trees don't load as well (which start looking like poor made low poly trees), and it starts to lag, is there a way for me to fix that? I'm using Invector TPC as well, could there be a problem with that? Or my hardware?

    Cheers!!
    NuclearRasberry
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  46. Xrystal

    Xrystal

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    Hmm, doesn't sound familar to me. Are you making sure that your speed tree materials are recreated properly? Which random button/stage are you talking about? Perhaps you can talk through steps that you are taking for empty scene to the effect you are having with a few screenshots to help portray the issue you are having. I've not heard of Invector TPC so can't comment on that being a cause.
     
  47. Rockwall33

    Rockwall33

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    I just remembered, I think I have been forgetting to recreate the trees, honestly that might be my issue, I'll try that tomorrow, and I'll get back to you. Thanks @Xrystal :D

    Cheers!!!
    NuclearRasberry
     
  48. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Its up and running - have been waiting for some feedback from the author, but as it turns out he wants to get the next release out - so you should have it soon.

    For image masks i think its per texture. Just make one spawner per texture and run them consecutively.

    Hit regenerate materials on the trees. This is a speedtree / unity issue and nothing i can do about it.
     
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  49. Rockwall33

    Rockwall33

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    Thanks!

    Cheers!!
    NuclearRasberry
     
  50. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I want to create the same terrain in multiple resolutions. I know that with CTS, I can save multiple effects profiles which can make a dramatic effect on performance, but for the sake of prototyping on my current substandard machine, I'd like to build my terrain with a low resolution (to make up for its large size).

    Will it be possible to simply update the terrain I build now with a higher res version later? Do splat maps still function correctly if the terrain resolution has changed, I guess is the main question.

    I'll just try it out myself to see, but any illumination on the subject is very much appreciated.
     
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