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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. impactit

    impactit

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    Adam, force is strong in u ...
     
  2. tapticc

    tapticc

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    I keep trying RTP but every time I do, the hills end up with a horrible black shader flickering while you turn. So you remove RTP and the shaders remain, but you can't find them so need to start a new project. And then I think, lets try RTP again and repeat the whole process :|
     
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  3. impactit

    impactit

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    RTP is great tool but ... I still looking good solutions (shader etc.) for my project.
     
  4. Riaan-Walters

    Riaan-Walters

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    Adam, Do you have a release date for 1.5 yet? (I know you said end of month, but give us a date)

    Making us wait like this while supplying those screenshots is beyond cruel! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  5. tapticc

    tapticc

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    +1 for the auto attachment of missing textures when resetting the texture detail spawner, great idea :)
     
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  6. chingwa

    chingwa

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    @Kiwi-Hawk Hmm... OK so there goes my theory :D Everything looked good in the Tenkoku setup until the end. Send me an email at konnichiwa[at]tanukidigital.com I have a patch that will fix the constant loading loop for you. As for the terrain shading, it really is bizarre. Are you using a special shader/material on your terrain? If so you might try resetting the terrain material back to the default Unity material...?

    EDIT: Oh, and I find it best to have the Tenkoku fog camera effect placed before/on-top of the tonemapping effect, just FYI.
     
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  7. tequyla

    tequyla

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    hello,

    nice idea.

    i have a question, sorry Adam, i use your topic for that :/

    Houses seem to be closed, it' s possible to merge interior and exterior kit for creating an open world ? i would like click on door, the animation open the door, and interior is ready without loading a new scene ?

    ++
     
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  8. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    Hi,

    The houses that I provided for Gaia have been exported as single mesh houses so that I do not supply and give away the whole system that I sell in the packages and to see the Look & Feel that they provide, as well as giving the best possible out the box experience to you the user :)

    The Village Exteriors Kit is completely modular and include all the loose modular building blocks so that you can design your own and use exactly as you requesting here.
    The Village Interiors Kit data then can be used for the internal geometry and snap right into them.

    Here is a Interiors + Exteriors Web Demo of a basic house with the contents of both these packages being used.
    Note the cool see through windows in this case and the basement even though you on Unity Terrain in the scene.

    All Village Exteriors Kit & Village Interiors Kit owners can also download the already 276 and growing sets of pre-done, ready to use, Drag & Drop BLUEPRINTS from my website.

    I hope this provide more clarity why the buildings included are closed :):):)

    Cheers
    Cobus
     
  9. tansvanio

    tansvanio

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    I have been thinking about spawning trees as game objects with GAIA so that I can have scripts and components on them, but I started to worry about game performance.

    How much content on a tree object is too much? (Considering the terrain is heavly populated with them).

    At the moment each of my trees has a script that does not do anything per frame, it only executes a couple functions when the player interacts with it.
    The trees also have each an audio source that is played when said functions are executed.

    Do you guys think this will have a big impact on performance?

    How do you measure how much data (as in components and what they do) is too much for a gameobject that is spawned a lot in the scene?
     
  10. lundon

    lundon

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    On the Asset Store Allegorithmic notes that Substance Terrain Tool "Requires Unity Pro for best results and workflow." For us plain, vanilla non pro users can anyone comment on the workflow and results?
     
  11. chingwa

    chingwa

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    @lundon this is likely out-dated information. There is no longer any operational difference between Unity and Unity Pro.
     
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  12. YIsDaRumGone

    YIsDaRumGone

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    I have a test scene with a 2kx2k terrain, with 3,006 speed trees spawned into it as regular game objects using Gaia. You can see my FPS in the attached screenshot.

    I think the biggest thing to avoid is scripts with an Update() on them. I would try to avoid having each individual tree update itself, if that's the kind of scripts you're looking to add.

    For reference, I'm running a GTX970 video card.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. magique

    magique

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    I have a feature request for POI that I think would be very useful to everyone. Although it might be nice to spawn POI assets using a random spawner, I'm not necessarily going to want these sorts of things just planted wherever Gaia thinks they should be. Yes, I can just manually place them myself in specific places, but then I don't have the ability to have them automatically conform to the terrain as you are adding to the POI system. So, might I suggest that you have some way of selecting a POI resource and clicking on a terrain area and having it use the Gaia spawning algorithm to place it and conform it to the terrain?
     
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  14. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    Basically planting them in selected spots and using said method ?
    I must agree, that could be super awesome
    Almost like a RTS game that you click the "building" that you want to place and then you scrub the landscape and place it, BAM
     
  15. magique

    magique

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    Exactly.
     
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  16. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    This is already supported via masking in version 1. Export a terrain heightmap - as this will provide you with a good idea of where to mask. Then add a layer and paint in where you want the spawner to be able to spawn. The same technique will work just fine with POI. I am focussing right now on just getting release out - but will do a video on the technique after release.

    The next release has a Spawner extension system and you can stack as many spawner extensions on a resource as you want. The extension is passed information about the spawner and the spawn point and can provide overrides for GetFitness(), Spawn(), and PostSpawn(). You could easily plug your own systems into this :)

    I wrote the grass and texture extensions for POI in order to provide a sample of how to do this.
     
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  17. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    About 95% of what Adam has worked on for 1.5 were already planned. A couple of the things were things he came up with while testing and a couple were thing that he had planned but wasn't planning originally to put in this release. A couple of them are my fault, but I'm sure when you see the scope of the new things and what they can allow you to do, you wont be disappointed. Just browse through Adam's screenshots! The new POI spawner and the Extension system are the two things that have probably ate a majority of Adam's time for this release. Not because they took so long to code, but because they are both such big systems that literally tie into all the other parts of Gaia, it took time to get it right. I know it sucks to wait, but hopefully you can all appreciate the time and effort Adam is putting into the update which he is essentially doing for free (no additional income) and he is already practically giving Gaia away. Price is MUCH lower than what it should be imo. :)

    At any rate, with the POI system it takes spawning to the next level. Sure you could spawn camps and houses with items scattered around them if everything was in a single prefab. Or you could use proximity spawning by tagging and referring proximity to those tags before, But now with POIs you can take the objects from that single prefab, reassociate them with their original model prefabs, and drag the house and all of the surrounding ground objects into the items array of a game object and it creates a POI. Each of those items can be grounded. So if the terrain isn't completely flat, your stuff will still fall to the ground!

    And with the extension system, it will be easier for asset authors to extend their assets to work with Gaia better. They can tie directly into the spawning system and other systems. It again takes Gaia to the next level. And it also goes hand in hand with Adam's work collaborating with other asset producers.

    These two things alone are HUGE and could have, in reality, been two different updates all on their own. But the way they both transformed in preparing this update wouldn't have happened if they were done separately. They both evolved around each other in a lot of ways.

    I don't think you guys will be disappointed once the release is done. I know how hard it is being patient. I have been guilty of not having enough of it with other assets, but in being closer to the development and actually seeing what is going into it, the time sacrificed from his family as well as other factors, I kind of get it now. And Adam is not the type to push out a release just to have a release. He takes pride in Gaia and wants it to be the best it can be. When a release is made public, it will always be awesome! :)

    Sorry.. Didn't mean to respond with so much.. Just want you guys to know, this update is really a huge one. And not because there are tons of new things to learn, but because the scope of the few things in it are major. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  18. magique

    magique

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    This is certainly viable, but not really the same thing. Having the convenience to just explore the terrain in the scene editor and point to a spot where I want a POI is more enabling for the creative process. If, for example, I have 8-10 POI assets that are good for making a small village or farm then I can simply find a good location on the terrain and do a few point and clicks to build an entire community with the features in the specific spots I want.

    I understand you are focusing on getting a release out so no pressure to do this right now, but I hope you'll consider it for the future.
     
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  19. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    There is another way of doing this as well. Just reduce the size of your spawner and drag it to where you want the POI to be placed. Its not quite as simple as what you have suggested - but it also will just work.

    There is a lot of capability that I haven't really communicated well - been too busy developing - for example there is no reason a spawner or group of spawners need to be the full size of the terrain. You can easily create biomes by making the range of the spawners smaller and placing them where you want the biome to be. There is also an area mask - which allows you to fade the effect of the biome out at the edges so that you get more natural borders.
     
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  20. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    @magique - Another thing you can also do is duplicate your game object spawner in your hierarchy by selecting the one there and press Ctrl-D (if on windows, not sure about mac). Then for the new game object spawner, drag it so the center point is in the middle of the area you want to spawn and change the size. Then remove everything other than the POI or POIs you want to spawn in that area. Adam's way is best if you have multiple areas you want to do this with, but if only one or two, I find this method easier. When you run your spawners, make sure you run this one before your other Game Object spawner to ensure it has priority in that small area.

    I do something similar with the default resources file. I always duplicate it and in one, I leave the rocks. And in the second, I leave the houses. That way I can spawn my rocks to make sure I have adequate rock coverage and then spawn my houses afterwards. In my case I generally want less houses in the scene. With POIs, I will probably strip them out and run them first, just lowering the max instances, since they cover a bit more ground.

    EDIT: LOL... @AdamGoodrich - we must have been replying at the same time.
    @magique - a lot of times what I do is roam around and if I find a specific area I want to do something different in, I'll go to the middle of that area and then copy my transform in the inspector. Then when I stop game mode, I'll create new spawners like Adam and I mentioned, go to the spawner's transform and copy values. That puts the spawner's center point at the point we copied earlier.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  21. kerrmedia

    kerrmedia

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    Just a question, purchased both interiors and exteriors recently, how do I tell what version I have?
    The Blueprints look great.
     
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  22. magique

    magique

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    Sounds good.
     
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  23. tapticc

    tapticc

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    Thanks @Shawn67 it is worth the wait :)
     
  24. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    1. If you open the Asset Store in the editor,
    2. Pick the tray/download icon and scroll down to the packages
    3. It should indicate that you can update any of them them.
    4. If it does not show that it would mean you do have the most up to date ones on your machine.

    At the BLUEPRINTS section I have a HUGE section with many Exteriors Only BLUEPRINTS
    And a section that have Combo's, so Interiors + Exteriors

    Exteriors BLUEPRINTS

    Interiors + Exteriors BLUEPRINTS

    Enjoy them :):):)
    Cobus
     
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  25. MrIconic

    MrIconic

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    Multi-tile supporttttt?
     
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  26. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    As far as I know, that is what is planned for the update after this one.. From talks with Adam it sounds like it will be a lot of work to get it added since he will have to go back and touch everything. So like this update, that one may take a while as well. There is a multi-tile workaround that Adam just re-posted a few posts back. Not a full solution and far from ideal, but should work using one of the terrain stitching tools that are out there if you need multi-tile before it is done in Gaia.. :)
     
  27. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    I would say an audio source on all of your trees might be a bit of overkill. Why not just do an area based audio source for a forest instead of individual trees? Or attach an audio source to your player that is triggered when they hit certain colliders? I think that would probably be a bit more efficient.

    In the end a lot of your performance will probably depend on view distances and how you set up occlusion of objects so only objects that the player can see are drawn. This is an area I really need to dig into more myself since I am developing on a lower end GPU. It supports DX11 but definitely at the lower end of the spectrum.. lol

    Also, as I suggested before. For trees I highly recommend Elroy's Trees Manager System. I don't have link handy at the moment, but if you type Trees Manager System in the search box on the asset store, it will be the first asset in the list. It does a great job of managing colliders, enabling/disabling when the player is in range, enabling you to interact with terrain trees (chopping), etc. It is WELL worth the extra $20 for removing the burden of trying to figure all that crap out on your own. Elroy has already done all the heavy lifting in it!
     
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  28. docsavage

    docsavage

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    Sounds the business. Thanks Adam
     
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  29. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    Earlier when I was reading through the thread to catch up, I was almost sure I saw someone talking about a 32km x 32km terrain but in going back, I was unable to find it. I haven't fired it up lately, but back in the early days of beta in the July/August time frame I did something like a 16k x 16k terrain. The only thing I did while it was one big terrain was stamp it out. The I used Sectr Stream to cube out sectors and then used the Stream option to cut them into different scenes. Then I used the Sectr Stream options to load the different parts where I added spawners and spawned each Sectr one by one. It worked really well and there are several options to set up the streaming so it pretty much gives the appearance of a seamless world. The one thing you would want to be careful of tho is when you spawn textures to ensure the borders are fairly consistent between the sectrs..

    I never tried it on a 32k terrain, but the 16k one preformed pretty well for me.. And these were islands with coral / fish school spawners underwater as well as trees, grasses, and game object spawners run above ground.

    I'll have to try to do that with a new environment with the latest Gaia at some point and pull Sectr back into my project... :) Wondering if we can come up with a max size before Gaia and Unity blow up? *hides from Adam* :p Seriously though, I'll add that to my testing list.. Kind of curious now... :p
     
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  30. GamePhilter

    GamePhilter

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    What happened to version 1.5? I purchased Gaia today expecting to do some procedural generation for some levels and come to find out after examining the tutorial video I see you are using version 1.5 while the only version available in the asset store is version 1.0.0
     
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  31. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    1.5 is very close to being released. It is still in testing and final coding/checks. Shouldn't be too much longer.. 1.5 is the first update.. With the new functionality, I wouldn't be surprised if Adam just pushes it to be 2.0 instead of 1.5. lol.

    As far as the tutorials, are you sure they were done with 1.5? I'm pretty sure all the tutorials were done with 1.0. I don't think Adam has done any new ones since the changes.
     
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  32. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I have pushed out some video's of 1.5 - but the techniques generally work fine with 1.0. As Shawn said - am in the final stages before pushing out 1.5. Aiming to submit within the next week.
     
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  33. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    Doh! How did I miss some?!? *wanders off to look at youtube for videos he missed* :p
     
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  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hey guys - I love SpeedTree - simply the best trees out there - and they have a great sale on at the moment.

    If you buy the modeler subscription for $19/mth you get 15% off their tree prices... and you get to make unlimited variations of their trees. Then if you take advantage of the following sale you get an additional 20% off - so that 35% off - which adds up really fast !!

    SpeedTree-Holidays2.jpg

    You can get them here at the SpeedTree store.

    In case you were wondering Gaia comes with some free sample SpeedTree's and you see them pretty much exclusively in all my screen shots. In version 1.5 I will also be making it easy for you to take advantage of them as they will have Gaia integration's.

    Here are a couple of samples generated from the Desktop Tree Package 1 and Desktop Ground Cover Package 1 - they really take your scenes to the next level :)

    Grab 20160109144254 w1900h1200 x-156y73z246r94.jpg

    Grab 20160109144757 w1900h1200 x-708y68z290r249.jpg

    Grab 20160211204345 w1900h1200 x-245y55z-546r284.jpg
     
  35. GameTechnix

    GameTechnix

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    Make sure you read the RTP setup video first. You will need to set to 8 texture layers if using more than 4 textures, and make sure you refresh the settings and re-build the shader.
    My workflow at the moment is to set everything up in Gaia, then hand-paint/sculpt in extra details.
    Uninstall Gaia from the scene and then import RTP and set it up last.
     
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  36. KingLlama

    KingLlama

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    Can you work on multiple terrains within a scene? Not all at once but one at a time.
     
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  37. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep. Just disable the ones you are not working on. Also if you are stamping you need to center them at 0,0.
     
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  38. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    You shouldn't need to uninstall Gaia - is there some sort of issue / conflict? I have used them together with no issue.

    The flicker btw is easily resolved - just change the shadow bias on your directional light. There was a reference to this a few pages pack.
     
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  39. broesby

    broesby

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    Ahh.... plz help anyone... struggling with converting a PNG file to a photoshop raw file readable as a heightmap in unity...

    In photoshop I cannot seem to be able to select 16-bit and windows order as before.... Only non-interleaved... I have Photoshop CC

    Jesper
     
  40. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I didn't have any issues. I did a video on this - you can find it below - check out about 3:35:

     
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  41. ibyte

    ibyte

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    These speedtrees are burning a hole in my pocket :(
     
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  42. magique

    magique

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm looking over the deal now and I think I just might take the plunge and get the subscription and a mobile tree pack. I'm just doing some performance comparisons with other trees I have to see if they are going to work well for me on the Wii U.
     
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  43. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    They are very customisable LOD wise. Also, in Unity 5.4 I think they are getting a significant performance boost due to the new GPU instancing being introduced.
     
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  44. magique

    magique

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    Right now they just don't perform well at all from the tests I've done. I did end up getting the SpeedTree subscription though for continued testing. I'm working on a solution for trees and grass right now using the Advanced Foliage Shader. But I'm also going to take a look at InfiniGRASS to see how that performs.
     
  45. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmm - i had a rich environment working nicely with lots of SpeedTrees and grass yesterday - mostly 100+ fps on a GTX 970 based desktop on fantastic settings.

    You can instantly increase framerate by decreasing the detail density and distance in your terrain settings.

    Another massive frame rate eater is unity water. The reflections of your vegetation filled terrain really kills fps. Try with water enabled and disabled. In my demo it was chewing up 30% of my framerate even though I could not actually see it in the scene.

    There is another very cool technique where you can keep water and keep your framerate!

    What you do is duplicate your terrain - and on the duplicate turn off vegetation. On your original turn off terrain drawing, but keep the vegetation.

    Put both on different layers and set your water to only reflect the pure terrain layer - not the vegetation terrain layer. This allows you get get nice reflections and also maintain a good framerate.

    After the version 2 (multi tile) release I am considering making a separate optimisation asset that will do this and a whole bunch of other tricks to improve framerate while not also killing your beautiful environments.
     
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  46. sarum

    sarum

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    hello again :)
    i got the 1.5 beta a few days ago .. just awesome !!!
    nothing was hand placed in the following screenshots, it is all the new Point of Interest feature .. so much fun !

    Assets used : Gaia
    SE Natural Bloom & Dirty Lens
    1 skybox from All sky

    1.jpg 2.jpg

    3.jpg
     
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  47. sarum

    sarum

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  48. jonfinlay

    jonfinlay

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    Nice! Can't wait for 1.5 :)

    Here is a recent island I made using Gaia and Aquas for the water plus various free assets, in particular this skybox and these animated palm trees. In fact you could pretty much create the whole scene just using free assets if you were to use the free version of Aquas, although the fauna and coral was from this paid asset which is recommended as there are plants and for every environment. No day and night system or terrain shader was used.

    Literally took less than an hour to get it all done, which included getting the coral to spawn underwater and sourcing the textures from textures.com. Also there is very little FPS hit either. Looks better with SSAA but for some reason the screenshot taker doesn't work with the one I'm using.

    screen_2560x1270_2016-02-07_13-06-23.jpg screen_2560x1270_2016-02-07_13-06-42.jpg screen_2560x1270_2016-02-07_13-07-44.jpg screen_2560x1270_2016-02-07_22-26-35.jpg
     
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  49. magique

    magique

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    Yeah, well unfortunately, the Wii U isn't anywhere nearly that capable.

    Nice tip. I'll give that a try later on when I get water added to my scenes.
     
  50. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    So a few days ago, I thought I saw someone mention a 32k x 32k terrain wanting to know if it is possible, so I decided to do some tests. Keep in mind, I don't consider actually using a 32k terrain practical. But creating that size terrain to try to stamp and then using a tool like Sectr Stream to slice it into more manageable sized pieces for streamed scenes is a little more conceivable.

    At this point I have verified that Gaia Manager is able to create a 32k terrain and stamp it with no issues. Well, I should say no errors. The only issue (which really isn't an issue depending on what you want) is by default, the stamp will stretch across the terrain. This will end up stretching the detail and get rid of any fine terrain features. BUT, this can be really nice if you are just looking for some overall surface definition where you are going to stamp other features (with Fit to Terrain unchecked) on top of (or into) that initial stamp. This could be good for something like an ocean floor where you are only going to and detail to certain underwater areas or, in the case of the screenshots below, you want to stamp an island stamp stretched in order to be the outline of a continent where you will be stamping detail on top of it.

    So I've started capturing a series of screenshots to go through the process. I'm not finished yet but I wanted to share this part of it to maybe help some of you who are planning to do something like this in the future. It can also serve as a way to set up a multi-tile area now while waiting for Gaia to add the multi-tile support coming in Gaia 2.0 which Adam is going to start working on at some point after Gaia 1.5 is released. The screen shots below will get you up to the point where you have your initial continent stamped and are ready to start planning and stamping features onto the continent. I will work on getting the next section done this week and post next weekend. That is the goal, anyway! Enjoy!

    1-32kGaiaDefaults.jpg

    The first thing you want to do is duplicate your GaiaDefaults file in the Gaia -> Data folder. I renamed my duplicated defaults file to 32kDefaults. You shouldn't really need to duplicate the resources file since you wont actually be spawning anything until after the terrains are sliced (future tutorial). However, in my test I duplicated it anyways and renamed that file 32kResources. I made sure my sea level matched in both files and changed the Terrain Size in 32kDefaults to 32768 (32k). I also changed my height to 2000 just in case some of my mountain areas got a bit high in any part of the continent. I left the other Resolution Settings the same, mainly because I struggle with the concept behind all of them but also because my goal terrain size is actually going to be a 1km square terrain (although it might actually be more practical to go to 512 since we will be streaming and loading several tiles at the same time in the end).

    2-32kTerrainCreated.jpg

    At this point I have gone into Gaia Manager, dragged my new 32kDefaults file into the defaults field, dragged the 32kResources file into the resources field, and in the Standard tab selected clicked the first button to create terrain and add stamper. As you can see, the 32k terrain was created with no issues. So far so good!

    3-CreateGridUsingSectrTerrain.jpg

    Next, I decided to go ahead and get a grid setup so I could see how my terrain would be splitting when I get to the point of cutting it up. For this, I installed SECTR Complete into my project and then (as show above) I navigated to Window -> SECTR -> Terrain. This opens the window shown below.

    4-GridOptions.jpg

    For the terrains window, make sure you have the terrain you want to create your grid for chosen in the list. Most likely it will be the only terrain in the list. In my case I wanted to divide everything into a 1k grid. So I set my width and length to 32 and left all the other settings at default. Actually, I'm not sure if Split Terrain is on or off by default, if it is checked be sure to uncheck it. We don't want to do that yet. :) Once you have changed your settings, press Sectorize Terrain.

    5-TerrainGridof1kmSectrs.jpg

    At this point, you should see a grid similar to the one above and your hierarchy is now LOADED with a bunch of SECTR objects! Each square on the grid in the end will represent a 1km x 1km terrain tile. One thing I did at this point, as you'll partially notice in the screenshot, is create an empty game object and rename it SECTR and then two empty game objects as children (one named Terrain and another named Portal). I then highlight all of the portal objects and in the inspector I uncheck them to disable them. Depending on how powerful your computer is, this may take a little time and your computer may seem to hang (mine seemed that way), but once the checkmark is gone it should run a bit better. Then I click and hold down mouse button and drag them up to be children of Portal. I then do the same for the Terrain files (except leave them enabled) and drag them into Terraiin. I then fold (close) both those groups to have a more tide Hierarchy view.

    At this point we are ready to stamp. Unfortunately Unity is limiting the number of images for the post, so I will save that part for a midweek post. :)

    Hope this helps to spark some thoughts on how to handle the huge terrain dilemma. And remember, to follow along with this, I am using SECTR Stream (available in either SECTR Complete or as a separate product) which is not part of Gaia.
     
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