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[Official] New Terrain System

Discussion in 'General Graphics' started by bibbinator, Jul 4, 2014.

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  1. Arowx

    Arowx

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    Now this is why Unity needs a working large scale streaming terrain/cave/road/foliage system and demo/trial versions of asset store solutions or your money back in 30 days guarantees.
     
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  2. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    I think if Unity offered an out of the box terrain system that included weather, time of day, roads, rivers, streaming terrain, a decent water renderer, volumetric fog, triplaner textures with alpha blending, and all those little things that come with Cry...

    ...They may be able to FINALLY ditch their image of not being a AAA engine.

    Of course, I'd hate to be any one of the many people who put a lot of work into an asset just to get shut down by having Unity offer a free solution.

    EDIT: Oh, and let me take this moment to reiterate my main request. Please offer an option to lay out the rough design the map in 2d. Something that will let you lay out the dimensions, draw coast lines, draw mountain ranges, draw rivers, draw roads, and just get the general layout of a map down.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
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  3. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    Are you saying that unity's future terrain replacement shouldnt cover what RTP does?
     
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  4. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    No, I merely state that the situation isn't impossible right now, I don't make any comment about what should continue to be possible in an improved state, do I? If I did, please do direct me to where I say it so I may clarify my comment.
     
  5. Velo222

    Velo222

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    I never thought to replace the different SpeedTree LOD levels with the same material to lessen batches. I need to try that. I didn't know each level used a different material actually.
     
  6. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    I'm trying to make sense of what people are angling for in a new terrain system as well a layman to terrain, trying to figure out how the various mentioned assets fit in. I guess when you said "excess of AAA solutions" I didnt get what you really meant
     
  7. Flurgle

    Flurgle

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    @Not_Sure I totally agree with that post. Can't wait to see what terrain the improvements are
     
  8. antislash

    antislash

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    i've read that unity has acquired the asset "textmesh pro".
    why the hell cant you just acquire RTP ??
    as if no one needs a decent terrain system ...damn
     
  9. magique

    magique

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    That's the last asset I want them acquiring. I bought that a long time ago and it was a waste of money for me. It's the slowest terrain system in the store. I'd rather see a combination of MegaSplat and the upcoming Terrafirma.
     
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  10. antislash

    antislash

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    i believe what you say, my point is : if unity can acquire an asset from a third part team, how is it possible we are stuck with that shtboulder terrain system.
     
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  11. virror

    virror

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    RTP is far from a terrain system though, its just about texturing, with is just one of many parts in a terrain system. Since they want to redo the whole terrain system (texturing, mesh, grass, trees) it makes sense for them to make their own to make sure it all fits together with each other and with the core engine.
     
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  12. antislash

    antislash

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    i'm just dispointed that it doesn't seem to be a priority to them
     
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  13. jogus84

    jogus84

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    Who are you?
    Industry

    What kind of game are you trying to build or would like to build?

    Large outdoor visualization for real life training.

    How does terrain fit into that?
    Terrain must match the actual real-world terrain, else it holds no training value. Terrain must also be good looking, i.e. next-gen game like, since customers will compare with modern games.

    What use-cases, features, workflows do you have or would like to see?
    Large open world streaming support, training areas can be huge, we are talking 100x100 km with aerial footage up to 0.1m/pixel accuracy. Therefore Unity must be able to handle lods and dynamic loading of terrain chunks.

    Support for high density foliage & tree, a forest must look and feel like a forest and a wheat field must look and feel like a wheat field etc so that actual "Line of sight" correspond to that in the simulation. Also, when viewing the terrain from straight above trees must still look correct and when viewing from afar, terrain must be able to handle upward of million of trees.

    Out of the box support for GIS, i.e. we want to be able to import geoTiffs and have unity create a beautiful and correctly geo-referenced terrain. Layer file support (shape files), importing shape files that define terrain types and/or tree positions etc. Basically support for all industry standard GIS formats.

    Tools for creating roads/rivers/bridges etc.

    Weather effects, rain/snow etc.

    Should I compare our use-case to current games, Id say we are most similar to games such as the Wargame series (Eugen Systems), Steel Fury (Graviteam) and Arma (Bohemia).
     
  14. DanMeyer009

    DanMeyer009

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    So looking back it's been about four months since someone from Unity has posted anything on this board about terrain. Last I heard you guys were implementing the instancing feature and making it bulletproof. With Unity 2017.1 it's seems to be working quite well and it was going to be the basis of the vegetation system AFAIK. Can anyone from Unity post something to even let us know it's still being worked on and considered a priority, albeit a distant one. If the team working on it has been re-purposed for a different feature then also let us know. We just like to hear from you guys every now and again.
     
  15. Adam-Bailey

    Adam-Bailey

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    Very keen to see what comes down the pipe (the idea that something that isn't 2005 level terrain tech might be coming soon has made me hold off on Asset Store terrain purchases). Looking through the Scriptable Render Loop repo it's interesting to see lots of recent activity about SSS and wind. Seems very terrain relevant.
     
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  16. antislash

    antislash

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    what's up ?
     
  17. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    I'm also interested in an update from the official team
     
  18. Soul-Challenger

    Soul-Challenger

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    Rumour has it that Livenda has been hired to work on the new terrain system
     
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  19. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Any other news on this one?

    To be honest, I really managed with my 2 systems to solve the grass + tree issue, so it's not a problem for me any more.

    However the fact that for a larger map I have to use tiled terrain is quite impractical. For our game's 4.5x4.5km map we have to use 4 terrains and we're forced to use 1k splatmaps, thus yielding quite bad terrain blending quality. If we use 2k splatmaps it can't register undo/redo events for painting and the painting goes slow, since I think the whole splatmap is registered for undo, instead of registering only the sub-image that was modified.

    So, since we're going to have to wait a lot of the new terrain system, could we, at least, have more control over the current terrain? Like more existing API's exposed?

    Like:
    - how it is rendered
    - access individual terrain chunks
    - intercept terrain painting
    - set materials per chunck
    - see which chunks are visible after Unity's culling

    Since I think I might be faster in solving some of those problems myself, instead of waiting till 2018.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  20. magique

    magique

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    Who is Livenda?

    [EDIT]
    I looked the name up and see that Livenda developed the Candela SSSR asset. Nice looking asset, but I can't imagine why they wouldn't have hired someone who has developed terrain systems instead. There are several good terrain authors. Very odd.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  21. virror

    virror

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    Split the terrain up in smaller chunks?
     
  22. rickblacker

    rickblacker

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    Who are you?
    We use unity at work to help external software developers with various aspects of our products/architecture, however, we do not produce games internally.

    What kind of game are you trying to build or would like to build?
    Right now my personal focus at work is on VR

    How does terrain fit into that?
    I create outdoor scenes. I've invested in WorldCreator. Nice tool.

    What use-cases, features, workflows do you have or would like to see?
    If I've painted on trees, it would be nice to select a single tree and modify it.

    This might be a huge pie in the sky idea, but... When I first started using unity and terrains. I was under the false assumption that anything under the terrain would not get rendered. As if there was some magical process that would clip off any 3D geometry / calculations under the terrain at runtime.

    On my scene I have some 3D models of cliffs. In a lot of areas I have cliffs where only maybe a small portion of the actual cliff is above the terrain, yet as I understand it, Unity will still need to calculate all the vertices that are not able to be shown due it being under the surface of the terrain. Would be nice if there was some kind of "bake" option for this as well. When you bake, Unity will somehow be smart enough to either modify the 3d asset and remove all verts under the terrain, or flag it in such a way that at runtime Unity does not have to render it.
     
  23. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    It was a joke, they've got pretty much the worst reputation of any Assetstore dev. They're infamous for making promises and not delivering. Rest assurred, they are not working on the terrain system.


    For what it's worth, I changed my own terrain workflow from using tiled meshes (which are an absolute pain to handle because the import takes forever) to loading the heightmap as texture and constructing the tiled meshes at runtime from the heightmap (just once at startup, no lods and no fancy culling, and the new terrain is only 1/4 the size of the old area).
     
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  24. Reanimate_L

    Reanimate_L

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    did you export/import all tiled terrains as one fbx?
     
  25. antislash

    antislash

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    maybe unity is in the path of becomingg an exclusively 2D engine, dunno
     
  26. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    No, I used 64 individual obj files, coming straight from world machine. When you load 1 giant mesh, Unity will auto-separate it into chunks that fit within the per-mesh vertex limit. That means your square terrain will be sliced like bread which is bad for culling. The tiled output iirc was still sliced once per each tile, but at least it ended up as 2:1 aspect ratio meshes, 2 per loaded tile .obj.

    No way, it's probably just really really hard to develop a robust terrain system that scales from highend PCs to phones or whatever the lowest target plattform is.
     
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  27. antislash

    antislash

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    i was just trolling unity :D
     
  28. Reanimate_L

    Reanimate_L

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    i see, well gotta be honest working with terrain mesh in unity are bit troublesome due there's no proper workflow for this (afaik)
     
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  29. WinterboltGames

    WinterboltGames

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    Who are you?
    Abdelfattah Radwan, Independent Game Developer From Eygpt, Cairo.

    What kind of game are you trying to build or would like to build?

    A voxel-based open-world sandbox game with a destructible and buildable environment.

    How does terrain fit into that?
    it doesn't do anything at all I created my custom buggy voxel engine which generates smooth destructible voxel worlds up to square 200km but it eats a lot of resources and needs at least 16gb ram!

    What use-cases, features, workflows do you have or would like to see?
    Ability to create and edit voxel terrains or blocky voxel terrain with the ability to randomly generate worlds water physics simulation and ability to change texture at runtime since unity is a full-suite for making anything as the welcome to unity video says I don't want to find myself working 32 days to get crappy voxel engine or cry while reverting to the old, bad, useless terrain system.
     
  30. Velo222

    Velo222

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    That's the problem with Unity right now :rolleyes: They're restricted to the lowest common denominator due to being a multi-platform engine. Which means if you're a PC developer that wants the latest cutting edge stuff, you basically have to wait 3 years for the other platforms to catch up -- and then for Unity to implement it :(

    I feel like maybe Unity should have a "PC/console version" (that doesn't care about multi-platform, mobile, or 2D), and then a separate "Mobile/2D multi-platform version" for those people that want multi-platform but don't care about cutting edge graphics.

    You could then say, well then why don't you use Unreal or some other AAA engine -- and you'd be partly right, but the answer is because Unity is so easy and fun to use lol. And lots of us have taken the time to learn the engine and C# already. Would love to use Unity as much as possible -- but it's self-imposed limitations are pretty hard to get over sometimes.

    All that being said, I would love to see a new better looking Terrain system as soon as possible. Notice the very first post on this thread was from 2014! :eek: It's been 3 years.
     
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  31. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    Has the terrain system even received incremental updates over the years? I sincerely hope they have something to show at the next unite
     
  32. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    They spend so much time on it it better have terrain generation like no man's sky MINIMUM!
     
  33. Stardog

    Stardog

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    No, but please vote for a touch up here - https://feedback.unity3d.com/suggestions/terrain-system-touch-up, and comment with some minor easy additions they could make.
     
  34. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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  35. thelebaron

    thelebaron

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    Well I voted and commented. But terrain has its own category seemingly for some time, so I'm not feeling too optimistic about our chances here :)
    Or just open sourcing the old version while we wait for a real replacement
     
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  36. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Yea, my point exactly :)
     
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  37. moxi299

    moxi299

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    After a very long wait and no news, I decided to write a love letter to the people who are responsible here.
    • First of all. Where are the news! This tread exists since 2009 and we have not seen anything yet. You cannot imagine how frustrating that is, to work on a project and hope that Unity is one day finally releasing a usable Solution for Terrain.
    • Whats about that Foliage thing you talked about? Is it Dead? That could be a groundbreaking thing for a new Unity terrain system. For example massive amounts of procedural Foliage. But we don't get anything! Or did i misunderstood that you have planed that Feature?
    • Why are we still limited to two Splatmaps per terrain when shadermodel 5 is Standard these days? (even on Mobile). You don't need to replace the old version of the terrain if you want to stay compatible.
    • The LOD of the current Terrain is plopping and Slow.
    • The Standard Shader for Terrain has the absolute minimum of possible controls. And just don't look good. But fortunately there are a lot of Assets out there to fix this. (Which are also limited in their possibilities by the current terrain system)
    • The Speedtree Importer really need a reasonable Update. They don't use GPU instancing by default. I have to click through all materials to enable "Enable Instancing" and that are hundreds! why?.
    • Why couldn't we just get a none Sealed version of terrain so we can modify it by our own? I thought Unity is so much more liberal than other engines?
    I think if Unity would decide to develop a terrain system which is just for current "High End" devices instead of adapting everything for Mobile and low performance devices etc., they finally would have a usable solution for people who want to create "REAL" games not just apps and mini games.
    I don't think anyone has planed to create a huge World for mobile.

    @Unity... Please Unity put more effort in those things and don't lose the focus.
    Because that's the things what a real time engine is made of.
    Or at least, some news would be great, so we know what and when you do something.
    Otherwise we need to Re-invent everything from scratch.
    I'm really sorry for the criticism. But good looking games is also good advertising for you!
     
  38. DanMeyer009

    DanMeyer009

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    I almost wish they would have the new terrain/vegetation system on git like they do everything else that they are working on so I can spy on it from a distance. Currently stalking the progress made on the render loop daily.
     
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  39. Baldinoboy

    Baldinoboy

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    No git because there is nothing done on it. '(fingers crossed)Call me out Unity please!'

    Really though there was one or two post saying there was progress on the vegetation system, which is the main thing that is severely wrong with the current terrain system, but nothing else since. Roadmap is still showing it under research so that is not promising. So I am hopefully wrong but strongly believe there has not be one bit of work on a new vegetation system or terrain system in the last year if not more. Was a mistake to open this thread and have no idea why they will not close it. Just a tease.
     
  40. magique

    magique

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    All I need is Terrafirma and Awesome Vegetation and I'm good to go. Both will be available soon.
     
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  41. Baldinoboy

    Baldinoboy

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    Looked over Terrafirma. Looks amazing! Not much detail on vegetation system yet. Could not find Awesome Vegetation though.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  42. magique

    magique

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    It's going into beta any day now, but has no official thread yet. Keep an eye open for it. It truly is awesome.
     
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  43. TabuuForteAkugun

    TabuuForteAkugun

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    Probably a silly suggestion, and I hate saying this for fear of sounding ungrateful (cuz I love Unity with a passion) but performance updates. Terrains are sometimes, depending on its mood, laggy like heck, especially with detail textures like grass and flowers. And I use a 16GB memory machine, brand new top-of-the-line.

    And I'd like, personally, more Terrain shader possibilities. I wrote a custom shader I wanted to use for grass, fur, carpet, hair. etc. just to be told by the Editor that my shader wasn't supported by the terrain engine, seriously dropping my FPS to about 7 - 20 fps while I'm building a 60FPS adventure game. I tried to make more believable grass for the Terrain's "base material" instead of my previous normal mapped flat plane.
     
  44. Gokcan

    Gokcan

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    I guess new unity terrain will be old technology again untill terrain team develop it:)
     
  45. lawsochi

    lawsochi

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    Hope dies last. My already almost died ... 4 years of promises, a team of 3 people, and nothing ...
    Gpu instancing is certainly a huge plus .
    But listen, if today start developing the game, with the plan of release in a year, at least in the middle of 2018 (and even in 2019 ;-)) there will be a game with terraine quality as in 2009 .
    This is nonsense, or I'm wrong ....
    Or, for the Unity team, compatibility with phones and consoles is so important, what to develop that either worthy of РС has neither the time nor the desire? Then you need to change the name. Instead of "Unity" to call the "Separating" ....
    Forgive me if this sounds a little harsh, and I do not want to offend anyone, but that's the way I see the situation. This is because I really love Unity and it hurts to listen to some kind of fair reproaches in the inferiority of the engine.
     
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  46. antislash

    antislash

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    hopes dead too here, i can't figure out how i have to build the vegetation and other assets for an hypothetic terrain.
    unreal is tempting
     
  47. magique

    magique

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    I've been around the terrain/vegetation roller coaster for a very long time so I feel your pain. I think there are finally assets coming/already here that will fill the need where Unity has dropped the ball. I'm going with MegaSplat shader on Terrafirma terrain and using A.W.E.S.O.M.E. vegetation. While Terrafirma and AWESOME are just around the corner, I am confident from what I've seen that those tools will do the job and better than I had hoped for.
     
  48. Baldinoboy

    Baldinoboy

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    Awesome Vegetation is like the Captain Tuttle of Unity to me but I am sure looking forward to seeing it! ;)

    I am not asking for detail but just want to know if it is a solution for foliage placement management? Whoever makes a working, more compatible vegetation manager first will be a rock star in Unity for a long while.
     
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  49. magique

    magique

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    http://www.awesometech.no/
     
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  50. Baldinoboy

    Baldinoboy

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    Did so much Google searching and could not find anything on it and there is a whole site:mad:. Thank you

    All I did was read the introduction so far and I am already doing a dance around my desk:D

    Edit- My word this is insanely amazing! Support for more than just one type of tree creation workflows and it can fill that large of a scene! Grass touch bending! This is going to be amazing! Now I know why Unity is not working on a new terrain system. They are just waiting for someone like this. They will make a lot more money through the Asset Store commission from something like this than from making their own. I would like a builtin solution of course but as long as this system is under $200 and it supports custom models I am a happy camper.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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