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Landscape Builder 2 - Procedural Terrains, U2018.3 Support, Weather System and much more

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by sstrong, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. sstrong

    sstrong

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    I just paste my PNG images straight into page (I'm using MS Win10 Edge browser), and that seems to work.

    Fixed a few issues. The fixes are in 1.4.2 beta 4g
     
  2. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    I really love the stencils. However, I'd love to be able to specify the textures exclusively for layers within stencils. This would be great if I'm spawning a swamp, lake, hills, town, etc. I would also love to indicate prefabs that can be spawned only in those areas. Lastly, (I know, I sound needy :rolleyes:) I'd love to be able to spawn prefabs with a flatten option (so if I spawn a house, for example, it looks proper.)

    In reality, Landscape Builder sits nicely between the simplicity of Gaia and the power MapMagic. In my opinion, that is a great position to be in. You are working towards taking the best of both worlds into one do-all package.
     
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  3. sstrong

    sstrong

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    If I understand you correctly, you can do most of what you're asking in v1.4.1. Features like Mesh/Prefab terrain flattening have been around for a while. See here.

    Here is a simple scene I mocked up in Landscape Builder to demonstrate.
    upload_2017-10-24_14-56-44.png

    Here's what I did:
    • I create a 2Kx2K landscape using 1Kx1K terrains and the Canyon Base Topography
    • Add a Stencil which showed where on the landscape the small town/village would be located
    • Added some small houses, filtering by the Stencil Town Layer and flattening the terrain (see below)
    • Add some ground textures, filtering the forest floor texture by the Stencil Town Layer (see below)
    • Add a tree type filtering by both the Stencil Town Layer and the forest floor texture (see below)
    • Added 2 grass types filtering by the forest floor texture (see below)
    upload_2017-10-24_15-8-10.png upload_2017-10-24_15-10-7.png upload_2017-10-24_15-11-17.png upload_2017-10-24_15-12-40.png

    I'm not sure what you're asking in your request. Can you please give an example or elaborate?

    "I'd love to be able to specify the textures exclusively for layers within stencils."
     
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  4. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    Thanks for the reply. I just overlooked that this was possible which isn't surprising to me since you have so many features in your asset :). Thanks for explaining this to me.
     
  5. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    Sounds like, based on your example, that this is already possible.

    How am I going to suggest features if you already have them all?? LOL :D

    Edited to add: Okay, if you get bored: CTS, Microsplat and R.A.M. (River Auto Material) support. I never really got good at Megasplat but I was going to dive back into that soon (which you already support.)
     
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  6. sstrong

    sstrong

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    :) River Auto Material looks interesting.
     
  7. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Was wondering in the terrain engine you can paint detail meshes but in LB you have to apply them down as meshes even tho the terrain can have them along side the terrain grass.

    Will this feature be added so you can hit the Populate Landscape with Grass button and it will populate both grass and meshes together? Since in the terrain engine these two can go together.
     
  8. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Good question. Recently we've noticed that some grass asset packages you might purchase from the Asset Store come with mesh grasses rather than texture-based grasses. We're hoping to release a beta soon that will cater for these.

    If you're adding rocks or prefabs like buildings, poles, custom trees etc., use the Meshes tab as it contains a bunch of other features not available in Unity terrain detail meshes. e.g. Align with Terrain, Deploy as Clusters, Grass/Tree Proximity, Flatten Terrain, Proximity layer and tag filtering etc.
     
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  9. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Ya but for like small plants, ferns and flower type meshes and grass meshes being able to use the detail distance slider and density slider and it bakes in the lightmaps with it does really help being able to not have to worry about how other smaller meshes get culled out besides just using LOD's and Occlussion culling. So yes being able to use this feature with LB is greatly needed. Also playing around with detail meshes for this part of the terrain engine I just figured out you can bake in AO in the vertex colors to help out a bit since they dont bake shadows into the terrain. I wish it did but just another limitation of the unity terrain engine we have to deal with sigh*.
     
  10. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Fair enough. If you would use Unity terrain detail meshes in your project, we'll make it a priority. BTW - what are you currently working on?
     
  11. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Making a autumn type mountain scene. Im using LB to place all of my speed trees and big rocks all around the landscape and all the grass textures. I really love the noise feature when planting down grass so you can have your general look of grass then have other types such as flowers and weeds randomly grow in spots very cool feature.

    The way LB can plant down grass textures nothing like it out there being its so simple to use and the options to use it I never needed to read the docs so kudos to making it very artist friendly to non coders like myself.
     
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  12. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Glad we can help. If you haven't tried it out yet, we also have the new Stencil painting tool to help with more regional procedural placement. Here is an example of how it might apply to your project.

    I'm hoping to get a beta version out today that includes the grass mesh option.
     
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  13. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Detail mesh prefabs are now available from the LB Grass tab and can be mixed and matched with detail textures. See here for more info.
     
  14. Migueljb

    Migueljb

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    Great to hear ill be trying that out see how it works.

    Got a question tho. Why does LB break the prefab connection? I laid down a bunch of speed trees and rocks that were all prefabs. Soon as I generate them thru the meshes tab the prefab connection is no longer blue and I can't change the LOD distance slider on the speed trees and make all trees update as I work on optimizations in my scene. Really need LB to not break the prefab connection so everything stays in tact being there's always tweaks needed on something that only working thru prefabs can provide.
     
  15. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Just tried R.A.M. (River Auto Material) with Landscape Builder path and river tool. It works fine. Just apply a RAM material to a LB Map Path, click "Create Mesh" from LB and tweak the material as required.
     
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  16. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    Awesome. I'll give that a try.
     
  17. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Hmm, yes, we can re-pro your issue. We are still investigating as to why this happens. However, we have revised some of our code and added support for imported 3D model prefabs (previously we only supported user-created prefabs). So, for example, you can now add SpeedTree model prefabs directly from the imported SpeedTree folder with no other changes required. It is also now slightly faster when combined mesh is not required. The changes are in v1.4.2 Beta 6a.

    HOWEVER, we do encourage you to use the Trees Tab for SpeedTrees unless you have a compelling reason not to.

    But yes, for non-tree mesh prefabs (like rocks), the LOD does in-fact get disconnected from the prefab. And given that multi-select doesn't work with LOD Groups, this is a bit of a problem. Hopefully we'll find a solution soon.
     
  18. sstrong

    sstrong

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    We have a "fix". We will provide an option to enable keeping prefab connections. The reason we aren't providing this as default behaviour as it would break other scenarios with multiple scenes. It should be available in the next day or two.
     
  19. Migueljb

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    Great to hear for the fix thanks for that def needed.

    Our project uses unity 5.5.0 and in this version unity does not bake in tree shadows from speed trees or any other trees when they are planted within the terrain engine only when planted outside the terrain engine manually. It's a bummer but one of those unity terrain engine things we have to deal with as usual.

    So for me what I have been doing is I let LB plant all my speed trees and big rocks around the scene based on height and inclination to start. Then after that work has been established I go in manually and paint small rocks and vegetation around the work LB has started. When I look at nature it likes to be in groups. Got your big stuff first then all little stuff goes around it.

    Here's an idea what if I could pick say 2 or 3 BIG rocks then say 2 or 3 LITTLE rocks. Then some ground vegetation say ferns, weeds, grass, flowers etc then you group all these together and say plant these down around the terrain. Each group pretty much keeps the same options you have now in the Meshes tab with other options as needed. Could even say if all these meshes are in this group in my terrain only plant 10 of these groups have an option to say how many of them you would like in your scene. Stuff like this would really speed up my work flow as others Im assuming.
     
  20. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Topography Layers and Noise Tiling

    I recently had a question around avoiding landscapes that looked repetitive. A benefit of procedural generation is that things become tileable and we can procedurally generate stuff that spans multiple terrains without it looking unnatural. The downside of this is, that noise will eventually look repeated or duplicated to some extent. Here is an example.

    Create a landscape 8000x8000 with a terrain size 4000x4000 and a height of 2000. Then add two Topography Layers.
    A Desert Floor Base layer with a Noise Tile Size of 2000, and a Rugged Hills Additive layer with a Noise Tile Size of 2000. I've also set the Additive Amount to 0.9.

    upload_2017-10-27_9-42-29.png upload_2017-10-27_9-46-12.png

    Add a few textures and you should get something like this:

    upload_2017-10-27_9-47-34.png

    Now change the Noise Tile Size on both layers to 4000 and now it will look like this:

    upload_2017-10-27_9-50-19.png

    You can even mix and match Noise Tile Sizes between layers.

    upload_2017-10-27_9-51-41.png

    So, in summary, you can avoid this repetitive look by varying your noise tile size and matching them to the size of your landscape.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
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  21. StevenPicard

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    I believe stencils can help with this, as well. When I get back to the procedural code (to generate at runtime) I hope to be able to randomly place and size the stencils. Right now I want to make sure I master everything that is there in Landscape Builder. That will help when I get back to the code.
     
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  22. sstrong

    sstrong

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    It is definitely on our roadmap. The first phase of this was to implement clustering with Mesh/Prefabs (which we introduced a few versions ago). Do you have a screen shot that demonstrates what you are trying to achieve? (We need to think more like environment designers and less like software engineers).
     
  23. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Yes, we always recommend designing or prototyping in the LB Editor before writing runtime generation code. The benefits, are:
    • You get to see what your scene will look like and can adjust accordingly
    • You understand how changing certain values at runtime will affect the landscape
    • You get a better understanding of what LB can do
    • You can get the LB Editor to generate some of the C# code for you (why waste your life coding stuff like curve modifiers and topography layer settings?)
     
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  24. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    You are very right and that's what I realized. As a developer by trade it's my nature to want to dive into code but I quickly realized that I'm trying to run before I can walk. lol. :) I'm having fun just trying things out, anyways.
     
  25. sstrong

    sstrong

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    We've found a minor issue with our LBMapPath and R.A.M.. We're working on a fix.
     
  26. sstrong

    sstrong

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    I think we've fixed most of the issues in 1.4.2 Beta 6e.
     
  27. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Saving time with Templates

    We use LB templates a lot. I'm mean, really a lot. It's a great way of taking a quick snapshot or backup of a landscape and storing it on a file server or pushing the meta data into a cloud repository. And they are so small and fast. They are great for transferring landscapes between projects or sharing with others in your team. We also use them for trouble shooting customer problems.

    Well, we've been doing some work on them recently to include things like missing asset detection and fast recovery. Say, you want to recreate a landscape from a template in a new project. You can now rapidly re-create it in a new saved scene, then selectively update it. And you can even work out which assets you're missing from the new project.

    Once you've created a new project and imported that latest version of Landscape Builder (currently 1.4.2 Beta 6f), you can save the scene and generate the landscape with a few clicks straight from the Unity Editor Inspector.

    upload_2017-10-29_12-16-31.png

    Then you can selective update the landscape through the LB Editor Window.

    upload_2017-10-29_12-21-34.png
     
  28. Dave_2000

    Dave_2000

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    Landscape Builder with River Auto Material (R.A.M.)

    I've been working on a scene for landscape builder to demonstrate some of the new features. One of these features is the use of map paths to create rivers - both modifying the landscape and generating the mesh for the river as well.

    Here's some screenshots of the scene:

    DenseForestRiver_05.png

    DenseForestRiver_04.png

    DenseForestRiver_11.png

    Topography makes use of the layers system, and trees and grass are also populated by landscape builder.

    This scene also demonstrates how Landscape Builder can be used to create rivers for use with Asset Store products such as River Auto Material.

    To make the river, it was a simple matter of:

    1) making a path in the scene,

    2) adding a map path layer to topography, to "cut" the river into the landscape (my settings can be seen in the screenshot below),

    RAM Path - Editor 2.png

    3) creating a map with the map path, to exclude trees and grass from the riverbed and texture the river with rocks,

    4) creating the mesh with the map path (my settings can be seen in the screenshot below)

    RAM-Editor2.png

    And then I just applied the appropriate River Auto Material material to the mesh, and it was done!
     
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  29. StevenPicard

    StevenPicard

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    I have a question. What I'd like to do is to create a subtractive layer that creates lakes, ponds and wetlands\swamps (the opposite of adding a layer that gives me hills and mountains.) Is this possible and if so how would I go about doing this?

    Edited to add: I mean a subtractive layer using perlin noise. I'm thinking of an "invert" option on the presents.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  30. sstrong

    sstrong

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    The latest Beta (1.4.3 Beta 1b) now supports importing and exporting RAW heightmap data
     
  31. StevenPicard

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    I updated my previous question. Let's say if I select subtractive on a layer and if there were an option to "invert" and I selected that option on the rolling hills preset, for example, it would lower the instead of raise where the hills would appear making areas for lakes. This is just an example. Maybe it can do something like this already but I've just not been successful in getting the results I was hoping for.
     
  32. Dave_2000

    Dave_2000

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    Yes, using a subtractive layer is the correct way to go about it. Use the additive presets (you can "invert" a preset by adding an "output curve modifier" and selecting the "invert" preset). You may need to turn "remove base noise" off - we have discovered an issue where it basically disables the effect of the subtractive layer if it is turned on - we will hopefully have a fix for that soon.

    As for creating lakes, ponds and wetlands/swamps specifically, we are hoping to eventually cover that with an improved procedural version of our modifiers system, integrated with the layers system. This would allow you to choose where each lake would be and define its size and features. But for now, subtractive layers are the best way to go about it.
     
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  33. StevenPicard

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    I noticed that spawned trees do not have random rotation (the forests look really bad.) Is this something you plan to add (or am I overlooking a setting?)

    I have random rotation for the meshes but I don't see them getting rotated either.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  34. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Which version of Unity and LB are you using? Random Tree rotation should be working ok. Also, which Tree assets are you using? Maybe you could send us a Template for us to investigate.

    upload_2017-11-5_6-43-12.png
     
  35. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Relief Terrain Pack Integration

    We're found a small issue with RTP 3.3i (latest version) and Landscape Builder. If using 1-4 Textures, we don't turn off the 8-layer (texture) first-pass option in the RTP shader automatically when you change the terrain Material Type in the LB editor. The issue is fixed in the latest Beta.

    For those new to LB and RTP Integration, here are the basic steps to get you started.

    To enable RTP perform the following tasks after importing the RTP 3.3i into your project:
    1. Create and save a new scene.
    2. Ensure Landscape Builder and RTP (v3.3i or newer) has been imported into their default locations in the project.
    3. Create a new Landscape
    4. Add one or more Topography layers (e.g. Rolling Hills Base and Hills Detail)
    5. On the Advanced tab, enable “Show Texture Heightmap”
    6. Texture the landscape using the built-in LB tools (e.g. use Rocky Hills preset)
    7. Replace the Texture 4 “Texture” and “Normal Map” (bot_CliffBlue) with “Rocks_diffuse”, “Rocks_normal”, and “Rocks_height” from the RTP pack.
    8. Add the heightmap textures for the first 3 textures (e.g. GrassHillAlbedo_parallax, RockLayered_parallax, and rock1_parallax).
    9. IMPORTANT: Ensure the textures are all the same size (this is a requirement of RTP). Note: the heighmaps can be a lower resolution.
    10. On the Landscape tab, expand “Terrain Settings”
    11. Change the “Material Type” to “Relief Terrain Pack”
    12. Enable “Tessellation”
    13. Click “Apply Terrain Settings”
    14. Then use the RTP documentation to tune your RTP shader settings.
    To disable RTP on the landscape, in the LB Landscape tab, change the Terrain Settings “Material Type” back to “Built In Standard” and click “Apply Terrain Settings”.

    The textures we've selected aren't ideal candidates for Tessellation but it least will give you an idea of the basic workflow. The above steps work with a landscape with one terrain or multiple terrains.
     
  36. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Real-world heightmap data - GeoTIFF Native Support

    For some time now, Landscape Builder has supported importing real-world or off-world (moon, mars) data using Topography Image Layers. This is fine if you want to get data from sources such as Terrain.Party or the Lunar Obiter Laser Alignment (LOLA) program.

    However, what if you want to just go to a data source (like the excellent Open Topography site), download data from anywhere in the world, and import it into Unity?

    Landscape Builder now natively supports importing GeoTIFF data into Unity.

    So, we can go from an empty scene to a fully contoured landscape heightmap in less than 2 minutes – using real world data from almost anywhere in the world.

    upload_2017-11-10_14-0-0.png
    Death Valley, USA

    For those technically minded, we support 8, 16, and 32-bit GeoTIFF files. For 32-bit files, we support INT and FLOAT data sets. Internally in the scene, we store the data in 16-bit RAW format within the Topography Layer.

    The GeoTIFF files can be:
    • NASA Space Shuttle raster data from the Satellite Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) in 30m or 90m pixels
    • Dgital Elevation Model (DEM) layers computed from aerial Lidar surveys. These are typically 1m or 30m pixels.
    The thing to note is the pixel size. For large areas, 90m pixel data "may" be okay. Typically 30m data is okay for medium sized landscapes. For smaller areas, 1m data is a must. Obviously a very small area, like 100x100 isn't going to work with this type of data - you would be much better creating it with the Perlin Topography Layers.

    So, a really fast way of getting real world data into Unity, is to import GeoTIFF files with LB.

    upload_2017-11-10_14-0-27.png
    Golden Gate Rec Area

    This material is based on [data, processing] services provided by the OpenTopography Facility with support from the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Numbers 1226353 & 1225810.
     
  37. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Real-world terrains using GeoTIFF - Landscape Builder Tutorial

     
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  38. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Landscape Builder Roadmap [OFFICIAL]

    Recent Feature Releases


    Native support for GeoTIFF realworld data
    Stencils - paint procedural placement 2D maps in the editor
    Native Stencil filters for Topography, Texturing, Grass, and Mesh/Prefab placement
    ImageFX Screen Space Ray-traced Reflection quality and performance upgrade
    C# Runtime shortcuts and sample prefab updates
    Import terrain data created outside LB (heightmaps, trees, and grass)

    Feature Roadmap (1.4.4... 1.4.x timeframe)

    Bug-fixes and minor updates

    Feature Roadmap (2.0.x timeframe)

    Thermal Erosion

    Hydraulic Erosion

    Topography Layer-based Modifiers

    Placement Groups
    • Uniform - similar to existing prefab placement but with grass and textures too
    • Clearing - procedural or user-defined central point with items around this focal object
    • Stencil - similar to Clearing but with no central point or object. The area uses input from a Stencil
    Placement Group in-editor visual designer

    Watch this space for more details

    *** Add your feature request here!! ***
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  39. eaque

    eaque

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    Hi,
    Now that LB can deal with RAW maps, is there a possiblity to merge 4 tiled terrains Raw maps into a single Map?
    I have 4 terrains and 4 heightmaps i wish i could convert into 1...
    Cheers
     
  40. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Can you tell us a little more about the scenario? How were the terrains generated (with or without LB, with or without LB Layers, image or perlin layers etc). Also, why do you need to convert 4 into 1? If we understand your situation then I'm sure we can help.
     
  41. eaque

    eaque

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    I don't want to bother you much with that thanks for asking:) Here is the case: I have bought on the store some terrains and heightmaps for a 4*2000 terrain tiles. In order to simplify the process i would like to have one big Raw heightmap...But i didn't try the last update of LB now that it can use terrains made in 3rd party tool as a landscape.
    I will try that and let you know...

    BtW, if i use those 4 terrains already textured i have and put them into the landscape field of LB, if they are recognized will i be able to use the "detect textureArray module" to play footsteps sounds ? or do i have to texture my terrains in LB in order to make it work?
     
  42. sstrong

    sstrong

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    The LBLandscapeTerrain.GetTextureNameAtPosition(...) method will work on any terrain (and texture) that has been importing into Landscape Builder. So, no, you don't need to re-texture the imported terrain.

    There is a demo class in scripts\behaviours folder called LBCheckGroundTexture.cs that shows how to take action when say a character walks on a given texture.

    To recap, here is the link that gives some context around this feature.

    Some of the new features coming in LB 1.5.x require combined heightmap passes (e.g. hydraulic erosion). So we're currently writing internal code to handle these scenarios. It wouldn't be hard for us to use something similar to combine your RAW files into a single heightmap then write it out as a single RAW file. I'm assuming all 4 terrain tiles are the same heightmap resolution, right?
     
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  43. sstrong

    sstrong

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    We are currently considering providing integration with the new Thor lightning system. If you own both, let us know if you'd be interested in testing this integration with the Landscape Builder weather cycles.
     
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  44. antoripa

    antoripa

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    I got that asset . so i can support test. I have already access to your beta area
     
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  45. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Ok. We'll let you know when it is ready for testing.
     
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  46. sstrong

    sstrong

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    Working with small GeoTIFF files.

    If you have a GeoTIFF file that has a small data set (say 100 x 100 pixels at a resolution of 30 metres per pixel), you may get a landscape that looks like it was created in Minecraft. That's great if you're going for that blocky look and feel but not so great otherwise.

    The next major release of Landscape Builder (v1.5) will allow you to apply a smoothing modifier as a Topography Layer to overcome this issue. In the mean time, you can do the following:

    1. On the Landscape tab, expand Terrain Settings and change the Heightmap Resolution to a lower setting (say 129 or 257, or for extremely small data sets, 65).
    2. Apply Terrain Settings
    3. On the Topography tab, import the GeoTIFF file and apply the heightmap
    4. Go to the Modifiers tab, change the Modifier Type to "Smooth" and set the "Smooth Rate" to something like 0.4
    5. Turn on "Select Entire Landscape", click "Enable Highlight" and click once anywhere on a terrain in the Scene
    6. Now go back to the Landscape tab, change the Heightmap Resolution back to your original setting and "Apply Terrain Settings"
     
  47. eaque

    eaque

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Posts:
    516
    Yes they are same the same resolution. Wow definitely great features out to come for LB!! LB is getting bigger and bigger!! :):):)
    Thanks for the link, i'm so happy it can recognize textures so easily on an already textured terrain!
    Cheers
     
  48. sstrong

    sstrong

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,004
    30% OFF SALE - offer ends with Mega Sale on 8 December 2017.

    Soon we will be releasing a major update for Landscape Builder. Here is your chance to pick up the asset for a lower price before the release. You can also purchase some discounted extra seats for other team members.

    Go to Landscape Builder on the Asset Store
     
  49. sstrong

    sstrong

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,004
    Here is the first of our Landscape Builder v2.0 videos. A little sneak preview into what you can expect in the next major release. Lots of other great stuff coming too.

     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  50. sstrong

    sstrong

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,004
    Here is the second of our Landscape Builder v2.0 videos, and the first in the Groups series. A little sneak preview into what you can expect in the next major release.

     
    antoripa and StevenPicard like this.