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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. Don-Gray

    Don-Gray

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    Hi,
    Haven't read through all the posts yet, but could you give further details on this feature statement, please?

    "Water based modelling (massive visual difference)"
     
  2. HemiMG

    HemiMG

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    Is the lighting in this screen Tenkoku, which you mentioned using earlier, or Time of Day, which you mentioned in the post after this? I'm going to be in the market for some outdoor tools really soon and there are so many choices. TerrainComposer vs Gaia (if Gaia is out soon enough), Time of Day vs Tenkoku vs SilverLining. Right now the only givens are Suimono and RTP. And Suimono is only a given because I haven't looked at competitors except for the way out of my price range Triton.

    I need fairly good control of the landscape, so Gaia seems like a good choice if it is on the store by the time I finish the first model that will be plopped onto the terrain.
     
  3. Don-Gray

    Don-Gray

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    @HemiMG
    If interested in my input on these packages:
    I also have Suimono and expect continuing development but just bought Scrawks Ocean,
    which is pretty impressive as far as realism, I think.
    I'm using Time of Day here, seems to fit me, though I have spent time with it (as well as everything I mention here).
    I've had RTP for a long time but still seem to run into issues one way or another and often seems pretty complicated
    in my experience, though it can look very good.
    Terrain composer seems a little complicated though I've used it too.
    Guess I never really wrapped my head around all the features.
     
  4. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    @HemiMG Adam's using Time Of Day, and it's the one that he put me onto :)
     
  5. pixelquaternion

    pixelquaternion

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    Hi there,

    If i understand correctly this will only be good for procedural terrain so if we need to recreate a real world map from satellite imagery then this is not for us?

    Regards
     
  6. UnLogick

    UnLogick

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    Even with real world maps Gaia can be helpful, you can use water maps for foliage spawning, as well as generate color filters to aid in randomized tree spawning of specific types of trees in certain areas, so that each species of trees respects access of water, elevation, slope and your custom photoshopped mask.
     
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  7. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    You can feed the heightmap data into Gaia and then work with it from there.
     
  8. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    If you model the flow and effect of water in your environment you get a nicer and more natural environment. This feature won't be in the initial release but it is on the roadmap.

    It varies - both are great lighting packages.

    Gaia has the ability to ingest and leverage data from many sources. Here is a quick demo i did when asked to recreate Malta. I sourced some low res / low fidelity height maps from Terrain Party. The better your source material, the more you can do with it.





    Gaia ingested the raw terrain and then procedurally textured it. It doesn't have the ability to overlay satellite imagery, however if there is enough demand then maybe i will add it.



    The rather odd looking island above was sourced from the Himalayas, and morphed using Gaia.
     
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  9. digiross

    digiross

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    OMG! If you added satellite imagery overlay, that would be smokin'!
     
  10. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    I also asked me how to get good Heightmaps for reallife Terrains like the terrain around the alps, european terrains etc. without the need of buying something. Hope Terrain Party in addition with Gaia will help with that.

    Btw what Kilometer sizes for terrains are you using. Something bigger then 50km?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
  11. omarzonex

    omarzonex

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    wow
    cool generator system with terrain plus
     
  12. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Here are a few of my recent test shots with Gaia. These are on an island I created with Adam's release candidate 6. I'm using Sumino 2.1.1 preview for the water, the latest Environment Gator for sky/weather/day cycle, with Scion 1.3beta and SSAO Pro for image effects. Trees are all SpeedTree varieties, grasses are standard with some from Turboscalpeur's HQ Photographic Textures (the v1 one) and his Ferns World packs. Houses are built from the 3DForge blueprints for his Exteriors and Interior Packs including a yet to be released combo house blueprint, his forge blueprint, and a couple slightly modified blueprints from one of the mountain houses set (ones with thatched roofs). Also have a beach bungalow of my own I created with his packs.

    I'm still tweaking my lighting and the earlier screenies had a disabled directional light somehow selected within Suimono instead of EG's sun. The last two have the sun correctly selected. But still tweaking light and effects. Also last night I sketched my path system on the terrain to make a texture map which I'm getting ready to use today to imprint path textures/indent ground using Gaia's masking tools which were part of release candidate 7.

    GaiaTestIsland009b-v1-TopView.jpg
    This is the view looking down at my map. Terrain was created using a capture from terrain.party of the western-most section of the Galapogos islands. That heightmap has been combined with several other terrain features to create this map.

    GaiaTestIsland009b-v1-LandView.jpg
    An angled view of my terrain with the water mask turned off. The black dots on the terrain are houses/outposts which were automatically placed by Gaia. The ones with the little red stars are coming from a 3DForge house blueprint which has lights inside. In this capture I had not yet placed trees, grasses, or rocks. I had only spawned houses and outposts (3DForge Thunderforge blueprint and my own farm/homestead blueprint).

    GaiaTestIsland009b-v2-Day.jpg
    GaiaTestIsland009b-v2-Evening.jpg
    GaiaTestIsland009b-v2-Night.jpg
    Day, evening, and night view of my bungalow/fishing shack. Like I said, lighting still needs some work and the lit up underwater part was due to user error. Still not sure how that disabled directional light got selected there.. Bungalow is a combo of 3DForge interior/exterior kits and was placed in that spot by Gaia's spawner based on placement criteria I had setup.

    The only thing I had to do after spawning was go through my houses and sink them into the ground to a depth that fit their location. Gaia can do this but I'm a little more picky, I guess. All of the houses were pretty much set well out of the box, I just wanted to tweak a bit more and moved/rotated a few to give more of small community feel to their areas.

    EDIT: Oh, since making the first screenies above, I also used Gaia's tools to tweak my terrain texture spawning to remove some of the sand area and have larger areas of grass ground texture
     
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  13. Tovrin

    Tovrin

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    There are a couple of water assets that require flowmaps to create realistic waterflows (such as this one). Could GAIA possibly (in the future) use its modelling to create these flowmaps?
     
  14. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Maybe :)
     
  15. Tovrin

    Tovrin

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    You tease. ;) :) That would be an AWESOME feature.

    One other question (I'm not sure if you've answered this or not): Does GAIA import tiled heightmaps? I have some rather LARGE areas that have quite a few tiles built in World Machine.
     
  16. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Gaia uses standard Unity terrains so technically right after release you would be able to work with tiles already converted from heightmaps to Unity terrains by using Gaia with each of the tiles. Not sure about actually creating the tiles initially with Gaia though unless you do each one individually. Adam will be better at answering that. I'm assuming that is one of the roadmap points he is probably looking at for after release. Here is the list of Roadmap updates listed in the first post:

     
  17. pixelquaternion

    pixelquaternion

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    Hi Adam,

    Thank for the reply and explanation but i bought world composer and terrain composer and RTP a few month ago so i think that those package are doing the same if i am not missing something here.

    Our main concern is streaming the world and float point precision.

    Regards
     
  18. Fenris2

    Fenris2

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    Might want to look at this then http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/re...ame-memory-usage-and-create-big-world.325673/

    On my list, but I have not tried it yet. Should work with Gaia as it deals with std terrains. However their float solution may or may not require some fun/modification in regards to say weather systems, networking and so on. Have to ask them how they worked around float precision.
     
  19. John-G

    John-G

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015
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  20. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    I played a little with Sectr Stream using it to chop an 8k x 8k terrain into a grid of smaller tiles back in August. I then used Gaia to spawn my environments on the individual tiles with no issues. I'm assuming the same could be done with the tool @John G. and @Fenris2 linked as well to deal with multiple tiles. Personally I'm going to hold off on digging more into any of those until I have a better idea of what @AdamGoodrich has in store for Gaia's multiple terrain support. Wondering if tools like that will still be necessary. He has been keeping the specifics to himself. He probably things if he talks about it too much, the beta group will get him too excited about it and he'll end up delaying release again working on it.. :p
     
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  21. Tovrin

    Tovrin

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    Yeah .... that's not what I mean. Unity does a TERRIBLE job of natively importing tiled terrains. You have to align everything manually which is a lot of manual work. One of the great features of terrain composer is it does it all for you (and it even caters for World Machine's idiosyncrasies in naming tiles). Does Gaia import tiles and line them all up for you in the right place?
     
  22. digiross

    digiross

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    If i'm not mistaken, @AdamGoodrich said that after the initial release that tiled terrain support was on the roadmap
     
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  23. pixelquaternion

    pixelquaternion

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  24. pixelquaternion

    pixelquaternion

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    Hi Fenris,

    Thank for the link and i have already stumble on it while doing a search on the asset store the other night.

    Look like this one might be the one we are looking for but if i remember correctly Nathaniel the developer of TC was suppose to implement such a system in TC.

    Regards
     
  25. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep it is - for the moment the work around is to just disable the ones your not currently working on then re-enable when done.
     
  26. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Documentation is done. Going to sleep on it, review in the morning, and then submit package to the asset store tomorrow :)
     
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  27. Roni92pl

    Roni92pl

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    Can it create heightmap from some slider's(for example: amount of hills, max height difference etc), ? Or you must import heightmap/create it with standard Unity brushes tools?
    Also I saw GAIA features, and no offense, but I dont exactly see how its something better or new compared to terrainComposer, can someone enlighten me?
     
  28. UnLogick

    UnLogick

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    It's not a tool to generate a random terrain, it's a tool that lets you make awesome (non-random) terrains in minutes. You select the mountain rich with details move it to location and press apply... and it's there.

    It also has helper tools to fade out near the edges to get clean transitions, you can scale, rotate and use various filters as well as translation curves.
     
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  29. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia takes a totally different approach to TC. There is room for both in my opinion.

    One of Gaia's strengths is the complete and intuitive control you get over how your environment is shaped. Even when you are new to it, creating a nice environment from scratch is not much more that 10 minutes work.

    I will post some video after I have submitted it to the store.
     
  30. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Sliders etc would be one way of doing it, but Gaia uses a much more predictable and controlled way, making it as easy (and fun) as building lego but allowing you to create exactly what you're imagining - with extreme detail (nothing like Unity brushes!). If you have heightmaps, you can use them as a start. If not, no need - create something awesome fast.

    And if you are all out on imagination, then it will inspire your creativity by just messing around. You'll never have boring terrains with Gaia ... unless you want them as such. Gone are the days of basic terrains in Unity ... now your 10yr old kid can create amazing landscapes. If you already have a boring landscape, use Gaia to spice it up.

    Until you experience Gaia in action, you'll have no idea of how it compares - features are pretty general.

    TerrainComposer is a good product (I found it a bit intimidating initially), but I want both the ability to create awesomely interesting terrains with speed, as well as the granularity to work on specific point-of-interests and customize the hell out of them by adding features where and how I want, with simplicity. There is nothing like Gaia for this. As a Gaia tester, I don't have any need to touch TC anymore.

    Not long to wait now ... docs are being finalized. So I advise to not empty the cookie-jars!
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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  31. John-G

    John-G

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    If you know how to get good looking terrains from TerrainComposser then there probably won't be much on offer for you from Gaia to acheive the same.
    But for users that find TerrainComposser composser user interface counter intuitive then Gaia is a God send.
    I've had terraincomposer from beta and have yet to finish a terrain yet. I find it far to complex to use, usually end up so frustrated that I delete the project after a few hours. Also have worldcomposser and while it's easy to get terrain out of that that is above sea level, if you want anything below water level - good luck with that.
    Not knocking both of those products, they are very powerful pieces of software it the right hands. But for most users the time required to get the results required is not practical for most.

    Gaia offers those users the chance to create fantastic looking terrains in a fraction of the time, and with a much easier learning curve.

    I for one can't invision myself using terrain composser outside of creating/stitching multi tiled terrains until Gaia supports the same.
     
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  32. 99thmonkey

    99thmonkey

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    I agree - TC is very difficult to get it to do what you want. It's an amazing tool, but I still can't figure out how to get the terrain that I have in my head.
     
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  33. jdraper3

    jdraper3

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    This is what I'm interested in. I make my terrains in WorldMachine, which I'm guessing anything (Gaia included, but correct me if I'm wrong!) will have a hard time touching as far as quality. But WorldMachine is hard to work with when it comes to specific details in specific places. Possible, but slow and tedious. I'm also hoping that Gaia will be able to do a great job with splatting and natural looking placement of vegetation, which is something that can be tough with TerrainComposer since it's curve or noise based and doesn't have any logic for growth, water, etc.
     
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  34. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    For me, I had issues creating terrains with Terrain Composer. The biggest issue was I would get a good feel for how to use it and once I spent a few days hacking out a terrain, I would move off to work on something else. The next time I needed to use it, I had to dig through docs and watch videos again to relearn it. Unfortunately my memory retention isn't what it used to be. During the Gaia beta, I haven't had that problem. I've been able to pick up where I left off (or easily start from scratch) and keep working. Don't get me wrong. TC is a great and powerful terrain tool for those who can figure it out and remember how to use it. I just needed something easier to remember how to use, for me. And other than the multi-tile functionality currently in TC, I'm not sure of anything else that TC can do that I can't do easily in Gaia. And there is multi-tile functionality on the road map for Gaia. Not sure exactly what Adam has planned, but hopefully it will at least be comparable to the multi-tile available in TC.

    As for the better or new, ease of use is the major one that I've found. But if you find TC easy, then that wont be the case for you. It was for me and it sounds like some others, too. And as others mentioned, the whole terrain creation process is totally different from TC. Definitely watch for Adam's tutorial videos when he starts releasing them.

    Adam and at least a couple of the beta testers use World Machine to initially create terrain and terrain features to use in Gaia. The erosion and a lot of the detail work you can do in World Machine is pretty much like you said, beyond the capabilities of any of the unity terrain tools. At least the ones I have used. Gaia does make it a little easier to incorporate terrains or parts of terrains into your terrain you are working with in Gaia. Again, watch the videos when Adam starts releasing them. I can't say much more without talking about stuff I'm not supposed to be talking about yet.. :p
     
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  35. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Yeah, thats exactly what I did with beta ... if u look at my earlier post (http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/ga...signers-here-soon.327342/page-19#post-2315874) that was an old terrain - partly created in WM, partly handpainted. In that example I just detailed one area ... but its extremely easy and fast.

    "...which I'm guessing anything (Gaia included, but correct me if I'm wrong!) will have a hard time touching as far as quality..."
    not too sure on that tbh :) ... but u should find out in a few days!
    I think it depends on the user ... some might prefer one tool or the other for certain things, but Gaia is a serious toolkit, and for many will be all they need.
     
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  36. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Here's the results from a quick test I did earlier this evening with the latest rc for Gaia which allows you to effectively paint in where you want a path to go and then use Gaia to depress the terrain to give it a worn in look as though there's been a lot of foot traffic over time. To give you an idea of where the terrain started out - it was level all the way around each of the houses in this shot before I put the dirt path to the doorways. No doubt there's a lot finer controls that can be applied to this but the fun is in the experimenting to see what comes out :)

    screenshot73-20151026_234358.jpg
     
  37. gregorypierce

    gregorypierce

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    A lot of these tools are designed around machines with excessive rendering prowess. How does Gaia deal with generating something that might be used in a mobile or console environment where there may be more constraints than 64GB of memory and 4GB DDRM? What are the target environments in which this system is designed/expected to be used?
     
  38. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @gregorypierce at the end Gaia spits out standard Unity Terrain, so whatever that rig could have handled without GAIA,
    it will be able to handle with Gaia

    Gaia is not something that is going to throw this weirdness into your project.

    It is a COMPLETELY new, VERY intuitive, FUN way to take what is in your head and GIVE IT BIRTH ON THE SCREEN

    Cheers
    Cobus
     
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  39. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep, as Cobus says, Gaia just spits out standard Unity terrain. You can go as dense or as sparse as you please in terms of what you generate onto that terrain. You will need to make your own decisions on how much your target platform can handle.
     
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  40. Roni92pl

    Roni92pl

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    The bigger question is... do you plan to support creating terrains using standard meshes? I personally don't like Unity terrain system, takes a LOT of time to process in runtime when you have more than few tiles.
     
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  41. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia has the ability to export terrains as meshes, however it can not texture them yet.
     
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  42. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia has finally been submitted to the asset store and is pending review !

    It will be on special for the first week for $25 as a thank you to everyone who showed their interest and support over the ten months it took to develop.

    Website, documentation and videos will come online in the next few days :)
     
  43. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

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    its pretty much unrelated with Gaia but with the density of detail you used, last week i made a terrain for mobile game using Gaia. I used AFS shader for vegetation, first generate the terrain in high resolution, spawn the textures on it high res version then increased pixel error to 30 which result in a very low resolution terrain, baked occlusion culling with all details.
    it run at 60 fps on my ipad 2 mini with a terrain 4x4k large. few things, using afs shader you can place as much grass as you want on your terrain it have no impact and only one draw call, using camera object culling for small distance at 60 meters large object culling at 300 meters, the trees however are a bit more expensive, so you will have to limit their amount, use LOD and disable cast shadow on distant LODs. this is for the rendering part, if you want your game to generate the maps at run time (so have a very small build size) you can use an empty terrain and call your Gaia spawner at run time.
     
  44. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Wow! 25$ really? Thats a great gift of you! I can not wait to buy and test this great asset...
    Thanks a lot Adam for your big effort and great asset that will hit the assetstore in some days!
    Looking forward for the documentation and How To Videos.
    Congratulation!

    Cheers
    Ronny
     
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  45. Hadryel

    Hadryel

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    Im really looking for this asset, and specially for all the info to come about it. Great first week price also!
    I have many troubles doing the terrain all y myself with unity tools, so i was just waiting for it to release hehe.
    thanks :)!
     
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  46. digiross

    digiross

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    Soooooo looking forward to getting my hands on this! Thank you very much @AdamGoodrich for what looks to be the future of terrain generation for both noobies and experts alike.
     
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  47. mk1978

    mk1978

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    That 25$ intro price sounds good. Nowadays, I am using Terrain Composer and pretty much happy with it. But, with 25$ special price I don't even need to consider, I will purchase GAIA immediately.
     
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  48. Tortyfoo

    Tortyfoo

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    Been subscribed to this thread for a long time just lurking. $25 is far better than I imagined. Like mk I also own Terrain Composer although as of yet never used it as I bought it when it first dropped to $45 for "future" use. $25 though will make Gaia an immediate buy rather than an add to the Wish List.
     
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  49. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Apologize in advance for the off-topic comment, but @Tortyfoo... Your Jedi Tigger avatar ROCKS! Tigger meets Star Wars! Love it! lol

    Ok, everyone.. Back to your regularly scheduled Gaia programming... :p
     
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  50. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    ahoy, grats to adam on the release, on request here's a pic of something im doing that's a tad leftfield but was made very easy to create a base for with gaia, and has a few of my fave assets happening in them, as i was suggested i'll do a writeup later when the environment is more of an environment

     
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