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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. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

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    any news on the commit to asset store?i would like to believe we only have few days left. Im so eager to finally use this plugin, me and my project is waiting for your asset Adam.
     
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  2. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I had planned to spend most of last week doing doco, however the beta group found an issue with interpolation that would happen in some scenarios. Rather than get bad reviews I decided I would resolve it once and for all. At same time had to also create a bunch of the multi-terrain infrastructure. Almost done as of today. Tomorrow morning with fresh eyes should have the last of it sorted, then back to doco for launch.
     
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  3. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Added some new capability today to enable the best mix of procedural and non procedural control over your environments.



    A simple path cut into the terrain - notice the bottom layer in Photoshop is an export of the terrain as a height map to guide you in where to draw your path. Is switched off here as I am about to export it as a mask.



    A view of physical terrain deformation based on that mask, plus mask specific texturing. In this example i dug the path into the terrain a few meters. Same concept could be used for rivers, lakes etc. The stencil mask I used also has the ability to be inverted - so you could add height as easily as you can remove it. That could have been a wall as easily as a well worn path.



    A quick tweak of the mask and I have added trees around the path.

    Also cut RC3 today. The interpolation issues I had last week should now be a thing of the past. Also, created the base infrastructure to create multi-tile terrains - which will be in the first update post launch.
     
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  4. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    this just adds SOO MUCH to what can be done and control in the user's hands
     
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  5. closetgeekshow

    closetgeekshow

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    I was just wondering the other day if path tools like this were included in GAIA, i guess i have my answer :)
     
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  6. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Simply awesome addition!

    And thanks, Teila :)
     
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  7. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Just a quick pic showing how procedurally spawned trees, etc. in Gaia works nicely against already placed objects on the terrain - the maple trees on the left here and the line of bushes near to the houses in the background were placed before I got Gaia to put in the other trees, grass details, etc.

    screenshot61.jpg
     
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  8. mk1978

    mk1978

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    Is there some video available that would show how to place/paint textures or place vegetation on Terrain? For example can you use splatmaps for placing textures/vegetation?
     
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  9. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    There will be soon - doing documentation now.
     
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  10. 99thmonkey

    99thmonkey

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    I hope that it is easy to make paths that are slightly below the normal ground level. The picture you show is more like a River running through the terrain since it goes so deep instead of a path. I'm sure your intent was just to show to possibility to do masks. I'm terrible at masks, so I normally don't do them. I just hand paint my path which is a pain. So it would be cool to know that it is easy with your solution.
     
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  11. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    There's a new addition into the latest RC which should make this a lot easier to deal with. I'm hopefully doing some testing on this tonight :)
     
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  12. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @99thmonkey There is a depth setting as well as the grey-scale factor, so that the whiter or the blacker it is, the more or the less the chiseling will be into the landscape as far as I understand from @AdamGoodrich
     
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  13. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Okay... here's the result of some experimenting tonight using the latest RC version. Now, this is just rough and is without any real documentation or examples of the whole process that you need to go through (other than some brief examples Adam showed the beta testers in a private chat as he was developing this :D ), so muddling through all of this, it took me about a half hour or so, but I would guess that once the whole process is understood it'll be very quick to add in pathways/rivers/whatever you want...

    First off, I painted a path across the terrain using Unity's own terrain texture tools. I wasn't worried about this as I knew I'd be retexturing the whole terrain anyway.

    Untitled-5a.jpg

    Gaia then let me export this out as a mask, which I then pulled back into Gaia so that I could use it to create the data Gaia needed to then be able to depress the terrain so that the path had a worn look from lots of foot traffic.

    Then it was back to texturing the terrain, but this time I used the mask once more and this time telling Gaia that the strength of the textures on the terrain was directly proportional to the greyscale image (black - don't bother, full white - 100% strength of that texture)

    After a bit of further experimenting, I ended up with this

    Untitled-5.jpg

    So I dare say that once I get used to this then paths shouldn't be a problem any more :D
     
  14. 99thmonkey

    99thmonkey

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    Looks neat. I guess you can't assign the mask a dirt or path texture. I could even imagine a mask for a village that might be carved into the terrain. Looks good though!
     
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  15. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep. You can draw on the terrain using the standard terrain texture paint brush and then export that as a mask that can be used to both modify the terrain and also control where things spawn.

    It was one of those simple ideas, was surprisingly easy to implement, and it works so well.

    I have some ideas on how to make this even better, and will explore them post release.
     
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  16. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Another cool use of masking is rivers. When I was testing I bought up a satellite map of the Amazon river and took a screen shot. Then I used Photoshop to make a mask of just the river. Then I used Gaia to apply it to my terrain. All up it took 10 mins.

    It was one of those, I wonder what would happen if... type ideas. And I was super happy with the result.

    In the documentation I am creating a recipes section. I will show some of these things off to stimulate some creativity :)
     
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  17. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Just noticed this - you can assign the mask anything you like - grass, dirt etc, or rocks or trees, or any other game object in the spawner :)
     
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  18. 99thmonkey

    99thmonkey

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    Fun. Especially the object spawner part
     
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  19. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Here is a simple example with some trees - its rough and done in a few minutes - but shows off the power of the technique.



    1. Paint the mask you want onto your terrain.



    2. Spawn some trees there.



    3. Texture as normal.
     
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  20. jdraper3

    jdraper3

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    So many awesome tools being made by the community - it's a great time to be a Unity dev :) I bet that many AAA studios don't even have something internally that compares to this.
     
  21. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @jdraper3 That is one of the big strengths of Unity
    Many tools come along and are being developed and released that after seeing there power users state that this should have been part of Unity itself. And mostly they are correct in their statements.
    But the way I see it is that If Unity had added each of these at some stage themselves, they would have all mostly been mediocre, for they would not have had the resources to pour into each tool the resources and effort that is now being poured into each little function/plug-in by there respective devs.
    Each package is being nurtured and developed by there creators and receiving individual attention a large developer would not have been doing.
     
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  22. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Updated the first post to show what will be in initial release - getting very close now - deep in doco mode.

    Gaia capability overview...
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  23. hakankaraduman

    hakankaraduman

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    Hi adam, just curious, what is water based modelling?
     
  24. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    I think it is referring to how water flow would further shape terrain...
     
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  25. AdamGoodrich

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    Its been fascinating. The more I look into how nature works, to try and simulate it, the more I realise how important water is.

    By modelling water flow this not only shapes the terrain, but also what grows and lives there.

    So water modelling has some pretty profound implications on shape, texturing, and growth / population dynamics.
     
  26. one_one

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    Great! Completely agreed there, it's definitely one of the things that make all those elements of terrains connect. Having a system to simulate that is amazing.
     
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  27. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    A couple of pics for #screenshotsaturday :)

    I think I've got too many grasses/flowers spawning in. May have to look at the config settings...

    screenshot63.jpg

    Also, who dumped these great rocks just offshore?

    screenshot64.jpg
     
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  28. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @smada luap I like the new Thatched roof buildings from the latest Exteriors Update, they very much a countryside type roof choice
     
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  29. Shawn67

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    I need to pull some of those out and make some prefabs of them to throw in the spawners. Love the ones you donated to the project, but think little thatch cottages match a little more for the stuff I'm doing..
     
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  30. docsavage

    docsavage

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    @AdamGoodrich. Currently watching gaias progress with much interest. Those scenes by smadaluap look very professional and I like his work. As long has it performs well I think the extra foliage looks great.

    In the second picture he posts the meadow effectively runs up to beach and sea. Is it possible to control how close expected ground types spawn to each other? i.e a graduation between beach and grasslands for salt water environments. Obviously less of an issue with fresh water environments. Just a thought.

    doc
     
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  31. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    You have fairly complete control over you spawn criteria via heightmap, what textures you want it to spawn on, terrain slope, and with the latest Adam added in which he has shown in screenshots over the past week you can now even use stencils.
     
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  32. smada-luap

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    That's all possible - even though you can't see it from this angle, I have it set up so that the grass is definitely separated from the sea by the sand. The height at which the grass texture layer (or any texture really) starts is fully configurable - even down to the strength at which it starts
     
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  33. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Damn phone keypad. Shawn beat me to it :)
     
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  34. Shawn67

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    Heheh... It is usually me that has things responded to while I'm typing em out.. And I don't have phone as an excuse as I'm always responding via computer.. Just too windy I guess (or full of s#!t - depending on who you ask... lol)
     
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  35. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Thanks @Shawn67,

    Sounds like what I was thinking. I haven't seen the system but all you beta testers are producing some great results. This could be a winner of an asset. I bought RTP ages ago in a sale. Are they compatible? Is RTP made redundant by gaia??
     
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  36. docsavage

    docsavage

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    No worries. I like that meadow scene, I could live somewhere that nice.
     
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  37. Shawn67

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    Gaia works with standard unity terrain.. RTP should work without a problem. Not sure what the exact workflow would be though, but they are definitely compatible companion products.
     
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  38. docsavage

    docsavage

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    @smada luap. Was just re-reading some more on gaia here to get an idea and just realised something went mad with my browser. Your response quoted above didn't show but the others did. Strange. Thanks anyway
     
  39. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    They are compatible. You could argue that Gaia is compatible with everything, because it is vanilla unity I.e. no custom shaders or other tricks.
     
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  40. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Thanks for the reply Adam.

    Sounds great but you don't need me to tell you that. 20 pages of forum thread and it's still not released!!!
     
  41. hopeful

    hopeful

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    The folks here are chatty. ;)
     
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  42. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yeah tedious :) Seriously tho - the beta users keep having great ideas - and so do I - and I really am over calling this forum a WIP. Come rain hail or shine I am submitting to asset store this week!
     
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  43. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Any news? It's so quiet in this thread...
    Did something came up? Everything fine for submitting this week?
    Week is almost over ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  44. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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  45. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    I think he is focusing on documentation now and only doing last minute bug fixes. Not sure how much more he has to go, but user manual shaping up nicely. I would guess that as long as we don't encounter any huge bugs at the last minute that he might be able to submit in the next few days. Not sure how much tutorial stuff he has planned and how much of it needs to be done before submission for Unity to approve. Assume some of that will probably be done while waiting for it to get approved. At any rate, I'm sure he'll pop in with a response once he's awake.

    heheh... We need a launch countdown.. It is almost like New Year's.. Waiting for the ball to drop... lol
     
  46. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Almost there. Pushing hard to get that documentation done :)
     
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  47. S4G4N

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    Whoohoo, soon soon :):):)
     
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  48. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Needed to play again... :)

    Amazing how lovely raw landscape can be with some nice lighting.





    Making good progress on documentation.. doing the documentation (and the beta group) also highlighted some usability issues.

    Almost there!
     
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  49. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Right this is HANDS DOWN the most fun and most productive time i've had creating terrain, its a true creative process rather than an ordeal

    Here's an evening's work from the surreal side

     
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  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia has the ability to ingest and leverage features from other tools - here is some world machine terrain - with flow and deposition maps applied - then populated with grass and trees. Only asset not included in Gaia scene shown here is Time of Day which was used for the lighting. Time to create - 15 mins!





     
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