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[RELEASED] DirectX 11 Grass Shader

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by Nonakesh, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. mkgame

    mkgame

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    On the terrain the brush does not appear, no chance to painting on terrain. But on one of the mesh-planes in your example project, where the 4 texture shader is attached, the removing, adding grass works well. I guess, I would use that mesh based shader anyway ;)

    How do you use this asset? On copy of the map (with just 4 grasses?), or on a mesh, which can be dropped (mesh deformed based by the terrain) frequently with different grasses on the terrain?
     
  2. MotionTracker

    MotionTracker

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    I'm tired of reading this thread...
    Really shader is very slow. Absoluttely useless for big scenes and professional projects. Just for a schoolboys. Google the "unity speed grass". It Is more usefull
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  3. mkgame

    mkgame

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    You don't have to decorate all the terrain with this grass, use uNature for that. Just use this grass spot wise, drop a plane mesh decal on the terrain and make a corn field. The effect is nice, valuable to drop this grass in the scene.
     
  4. llamaeric

    llamaeric

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    Hey Nonakesh!
    Love this product so far, really amazing tool. I have 1 question:

    -I'm getting pixels flickers between the grassblades. Do you have any suggestions to try and fix this? I've tried high anti-aliasing settings & depth of field blur, but it's still noticeable. Particularly when you're moving it's noticeable.
    GrassFlickerQuestion.png
     
  5. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    First off all, sorry for not answering the questions, I was (and still am, a bit) sick.

    You can find your invoice number in the confirmation email from Unity, but never mind that, the new version is already available through the asset store!

    I actually kind of forgot about it, we said that we'd work it out and then nothing really came from it. I'll contact him again when I'm healthy again.

    The shader is 100% GPU bound, there should be no CPU bottleneck at all. If you are using Unity terrain though, there can be a bug that causes high performance losses when you duplicate the terrain in the scene. Either you duplicate the terrain asset in the project folder instead, or you convert the terrain to a mesh. Of course the perfect solution would be something like @mkgame wrote: A script that automatically generates a static mesh for the grass, based on the terrain.
    It's also possible that the profiler doesn't recognize the performance loss correctly. In that case I'm afraid your scene is just too costly for VR. Maybe you could send me the scene via PM so I can look for ways to optimize.

    Are you sure your grass material is in a grass mode that supports density? Just look at the grass type setting, everything but Simple grass will work. In the future I will probably make updates to make this more obvious in the grass painter. What exactly did you do, so I can reproduce the steps.

    Yes, each grass material can have at most 4 different grass types, but each of those grass types could have a full texture atlas. So you could have types like "Grass", "Flowers", etc.
    If that still isn't enough and performance isn't too much concern, you could also create another duplicate and add 4 more grass types. (Move the new duplicate by a tiny amount in any direction, so the position is randomized differently)

    Well, it could be that I broke the painter in the new update. It worked on my end, but I could have missed something. Can you tell me exactly what you were doing?
     
    mindless2831 and mkgame like this.
  6. praesidenter

    praesidenter

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    Hi, two questions:

    1) I was wondering if it is normal behaviour that the grass is popping in and out depending on the visibility of the mesh that has the grass material applied?
    Found a few things in this thread regarding popping, but they were always about terrain. I use a normal mesh.
    Otherwise, the grass looks very nice, but this is quite annoying.

    2) Does the grass painter work when I my grass type in the shader is set to "Simple"? I'd like to paint where I want this simple grass to appear, but I don't get it to work. I made a new density texture, but when I try to paint, I get a "Texture rectangle is out of bounds" error and nothing happens.
     
  7. mindless2831

    mindless2831

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    Awesome to hear about you contacting Adam again. I really hope you are better soon, for your sake, not because I'm impatient lol. Yes, I figured that problem out about the duplicate terrain before I ever posted Thanks to some previous replies so that's not the issue. I saw the update like an hour after I posted that and downloaded it, thank you. Painter still doesn't work, but the Realistic Grass material had improved performance quite a bit thankfully but I still get dropped frames when it's visible. I get ridiculous spikes in cpu calculations when this is enabled. The duplicate terrain without the grass doesn't impact it much, but some, however no frame drops. The second I add the grass, my frame times go from about 9ms to 38ms on the cpu with gpu at .8ms to 1.5ms both before and after the head is added so that's why I thought it was cpu calculated... Gaia is releasing this month a gpu rendering extension that I hope takes enough off of the cpu that it will run way better and I can use this. Add for now I'm thinking about just adding planes everywhere and hoping it'll look as good as the duplicate terrain method, but I doubt it. It might even make it run worse, but we'll see. I'm thinking about removing the trees and reapplying them as game objects do that I can control the lod and maybe that'll help, but I guess we shall see. How would I go about sending you my scene exactly? Thanks again for your help.

    EDIT: As far as the painter goes I'm using it with a duplicate terrain with the Texture 1 selection using your Realistic Grass material and then selecting the terrain is attached to, select create new Density Texture ( or whatever the button says ), then select layer 0 and add, and try to paint to no avail...
     
  8. praesidenter

    praesidenter

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    I think I managed to answer my own questions:

    1) was probably because I tested with a standard Unity plane. With a custom mesh, I do not have this behaviour.
    2) I needed to set the grass type to "Simple with density" to paint the simple grass.
     
  9. Nocturness

    Nocturness

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    hi guys . i'm ex unreal user ;)
    i gave up lightmap bake time and i switched platform to unity for realtime gi.

    testing shader for archviz project and works well.
    thx to publisher. we need more assets like this.

     
    Nonakesh likes this.
  10. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    1) You can select how the grass is popping in or out of the floor: You can select that it will change height, width, or both. On a plane, with very dense grass, this is more obvious than in a real environment, but you should try out the setting to see which one is best for your scene.
    2) I will probably either remove the simple grass, or make density a separate option in the future, so hopefully this becomes less confusing.

    You can either send me the whole project, or if that's too large, create a new project and create an example scene with the same problem. Before uploading the project you should look up which folders you can delete, Unity has quite a few temporary cache folders.

    I'll look into the grass painter again, probably either this weekend or next week.

    Thanks for sharing, the scene looks great!
    Have you tried using the new more realistic example material? I think if you modify it to have 2 texture types, one for grass one for flowers you could get great results for a scene like this!
     
  11. mindless2831

    mindless2831

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    Yay! I finally got the shader to work properly! I'm very happy! Now I have another problem unfortunately. The wind will not effect the grad properly... I am using unistorm and all the trees and foliage are blowing as they should in a storm, but the grass just stays the same slow swaying as it always does. Tried modifying the wind rotation setting in the shader to no avail. Please help.
     
  12. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    The shader doesn't support Unity's default wind. I'm not sure it would even be possible, isn't Unity's wind object based, instead of area based?

    Anyways, you can still fix this: Either you just change the wind direction of the grass shader, if it's static in your scene, or you use the displacement system for the wind. I've added an example for this in the example scene in the last patch, just arrange the grass wind zones to align with the other wind.
     
  13. Cristian76

    Cristian76

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    Hi Guys,

    good news fo OSX and OpenGL core. I had some time to dig inside the shader trying to fix issue I had (shader not compiling, popping polygons and whatever!) and finally the shader work as expected. I was using on al old version so I didn't' test with the latest available.

    There were some issue due to the way the shader are compiled from HLSL to GLSL and the generated code and the constraints of the API are different. That said, from a simple ShaderLab perspective, it is necessary:
    - fix some struct that pass data from the various stages (in particular from Tessellation to Geometry)
    - change some semantics in order to match the various stages semantic assignment
    - a fix/minor hack inside the EdgeBasedCull tessellation function due to the fact that the value of the inside tessellation factor is not correct for all the patch (randomly changed to another value)
    - change the geometry function to accept triangle instead of point and generate 3 points at time
    - some changes to the the geometry shader.
     
  14. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    That sounds absolutely great! Can you send me the code and version you're using (if you still remember that) via private message?
     
  15. mattis89

    mattis89

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    hello! Okay this is it .. I´ll buy this asset tomorrow then I have everything for my project.. SO!

    Does it work in LINEAR Color Space? Can I use this on other foliage than grass? (Like; Bushes, ferns, flowers, small sticky stuff like whatever weed) ?

    Thanks =)
     
  16. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Yes, it works in linear space. You can use it for other things, you can use any texture with the shader you want, but you should be aware that the shader was made for small blade of grass like textures, so wide textures may not look as good.
     
  17. CrystalConflux

    CrystalConflux

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    Is the web demo working for anyone else? I see nothing but a green textureless terrain.
     
  18. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Damn, I completely forgot about that thing.. Honestly, it's completely outdated. The only problem is that the shader doesn't support WebGL (yet?), so simply updating it isn't possible.
    Honestly, I'd recommend buying the shader if you are interested (of course I am). If it doesn't work for your purposes, I will try to help you with your problems or request a refund if we can't work it out.
     
  19. CrystalConflux

    CrystalConflux

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    Haha, understandable. You might want to remove it from the original post for now then, if it's not working?

    I'm interested in buying it but may wait a while as grass isn't a top priority for my game right now.
     
  20. CrystalConflux

    CrystalConflux

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    Regarding the "popping" issue mentioned with grass on terrain, wouldn't it be possible to convert the Unity terrain to a mesh and use that to apply the grass? Or is it not that simple?
     
  21. Cristian76

    Cristian76

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    Off course, I will send you ASAP
     
  22. mattis89

    mattis89

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    Thats cool. Im just gonna use this for grass..its interacting with player and objects? ..
     
  23. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Yes, that's the best way of handling it, in my opinion!

    There is no "physics based" interaction, I believe that would use too much performance to be very useful, but there is a interaction/grass displacement system you can use to fake all types of interaction. It's very expandable, but if you have trouble with that system you can always ask here!
     
  24. khos

    khos

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    Hi, I realise that you are super busy, would like to ask if you may have had the chance to look at how to delete areas of grass at runtime?

    Also, is there way to simulate grass catching fire and it burns according to wind direction? How t would you approach that?
     
  25. mattis89

    mattis89

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    Weeell you could create a prefab of that grass that is on fire... having combined burned grass with particle fire and then smoothly translate it just to fire and those prefabs would "spawn" in the direction the wind blows, listening to the wind direction script... you could see it something like the same way when you´re killing an enemy, fire kills grass (the grasses deathspawn = burnedgrass combo with particle fire) wich gets the win direction from script..you know =)
     
  26. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Similar to what @mattis89 wrote, you should start with simulating the fire itself, particle effects, scripts that make the fire expand to other areas and so on. You could then use the burn feature of the displacement system to remove the grass wherever the fire burned. You could simulate wind directions with the displacement system too, everything else is just work in the details, it will probably not be easy to make it look smooth, but I'm sure it's possible. Just look at the example scene to see how the grass burning works (I put an example in the grain area).
     
  27. khos

    khos

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    Thanks Nonakesh and mattis89, not sure how easy it will be, but the important thing still remains how to remove grass in certain areas at runtime, I still haven't figured that out, seems like an impossible mission as I cannot get my tiny pea sized brain around the code :(
     
  28. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    You don't need code for that at all, actually. Just look at the example scene, in the area where there's yellow, grain-like grass, you can see that an area of the grass looks darker, burned away. Now look at the objects in the scene, there's a burn map object, this is what's causing the grass to burn away.
     
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  29. NeatWolf

    NeatWolf

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    Hi there!

    I finally began using your asset but probably I'm missing something.

    Most of the scene is flat, so I just grabbed a plane, stretched it 10x, and filled the whole playable area with it. I was going to usa a coarse map to remove it where not needed and trim it a bit.

    Fact is, the number of generated strands stays the same, they're like 90% less dense now.

    I tried to bump up all the intensity multipliers, but the vector multiplier one has no effect when rising each value over 1, and the base multiplier doesn't go over 6 even disabling the limit in the inspector.

    So I believe there's something hardcoded somewhere in the code, but can't find it.

    Is there a better approach than scaling a plane 10x to fill an area (like, having 100 scale 1 planes...?)
    I thought using a plane would have been better than using a terrain, which seems overkill for a village interior scene.

    How can I override the system so that I can break the boundaries of the amount of generated strands on a scaled object, thus bumping back the original amount of world-space density (instead of keeping the per-object density constant)?

    Is it possible?

    Thanks for your time :)
     
  30. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Here's a short outline how the shader works internally: It starts by taking the mesh with the material, then it uses tessellation (which is normally used to enhance details on 3d models) to split each triangle into smaller ones. Then it uses each of the new triangle points as a basis to generate blades of grass.
    This is very fast, but has a few disadvantages. The largest one you've noticed: The grass density depends on the base mesh. I'm sure you've guessed it by now, but there's a easy way to fix the problem: Don't just scale up the plane, create a new one with more subdivisions in blender or some other 3d modelling program. You can of course always reduce the density of the grass, but it has a fixed upper limit depending on the tessellation pipeline.
     
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  31. NeatWolf

    NeatWolf

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    Woa, what a blazing fast reply, thanks!

    Yes, I suspected it depended on the base geometry but didn't think of the tessellation level limit at the moment.
    Well, at this point, I think I'm also going to boolean cut out all the zones with buildings to optimize the number of generated blades.

    I also found the number of segs per blade while tinkering with the shader file and I thought:
    I know it's not very grass-system related, but would it be possible to have instanced geometry (a single prefab or a mesh) instanced in place of the blade, to add some extra detail (cobblestones, but also full featured bushes or 3D grass meshes?

    I know that probably the wind is going to mess up the geometry if enabled, but I was curious about knowing if somewhere in the roadmap you've got grass mesh instancing (maybe 3/4 quads, one orizontal for covering the ground when looking from above, splitted evenly on the Y axis to allow some swaying), maybe making the wind effect affect all kind of meshes, with the chance of disabling it on a per-grass-type manner (even if, I believe this very last one is already possible)?
     
  32. khos

    khos

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    Oh that sounds interesting, the burn map sounds what I need. Sorry to sound a bit daft, how do I use that at runtime? Is there a tutorial I can follow?
    Many thanks for your suggestion and help with this :)
     
  33. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    I've actually thought about instancing different types of mesh like this, but the only solution I've thought of was to create a code generator that generates shader code for instancing each mesh. Even then there would probably be extreme polygon restrictions, apparently the count of polygons from the geometry shader * the amount of shader verted data variables (which is like 10, I think) has to be below 1024 (if I remember correctly)... So even if I'd optimize it for just that purpose, it would only be very limited in use.

    You can animate the burn map like any other object, but if you want to change the burn strength, you'll have to look up how to change the shader variable responsible for that. From the back of my head it's something like renderer.material.SetFloat("_BurnStrength", newBurnStrength).
     
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  34. khos

    khos

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    I suppose I can instantiate new BlopDisplacement objects in areas where the grass should be removed. COOL!
    Wish I knew this ages ago :)
     
  35. DuvE

    DuvE

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    For some reason grass becoming pure black when there is no directional light in scene, even with 0.01 intensity.

    And one more bug:

    Shader error in 'Stix Games/Grass': invalid subscript '_ShadowCoord' at Assets/StixGames/DirectX 11 Grass Shader/GrassFrag.cginc(119) (on d3d11)

    Compiling Vertex program with POINT LIGHTMAP_SHADOW_MIXING SHADOWS_SHADOWMASK GRASS_CALC_GLOBAL_WIND ONE_GRASS_TYPE
    Platform defines: UNITY_USE_DITHER_MASK_FOR_ALPHABLENDED_SHADOWS UNITY_PBS_USE_BRDF1 UNITY_SPECCUBE_BOX_PROJECTION UNITY_SPECCUBE_BLENDING UNITY_ENABLE_DETAIL_NORMALMAP SHADER_API_DESKTOP

    This happens in the scene with Shadow Mask in Lighting Mode in Mixed Lighting GI settings. Sometimes it disables grass completely, and sometimes grass stays but with weird flickering at certain camera angles.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  36. tvirus06

    tvirus06

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    Heres some Bugs I've found. If you use Grass Painter, the hierarchy game objects cant be selected unless project reload. Basically keeps selecting the game object if you select it.

    Another bug is the grass is pure black with certain tags?

    Using Unity 5.6.2p2
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  37. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Alright, that's strange, I'll look into it and if possible include a fix in the next patch. You should probably just disable lightmapping for the grass object (or not set it to static).

    The grass painter actually blocks selecting other objects on purpose, so you can continue painting, unless you select another grass object in the hierarchy. Closing the grass painter should fix this. But there might be a bug in there, I'll check it out again and try to make it more obvious.

    I've never heard of the tag problem, do you have a specific example?
     
  38. tvirus06

    tvirus06

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    The grass can't be set on default tag for some reason, it uses a custom tag I've made for all other objects. Any other tag's the grass becomes black. Not quite sure.

    Could you add in the ability to scale the shader to any size you like? At the moment, I have a custom terrain and using simple plane meshes for the grass placement. However, when i scale up the plane to the size of the terrain, the grass becomes really spread apart.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  39. DuvE

    DuvE

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    Planes with grass materials are not static. I did a few tests, and grass becomes normal when I disable any of my 5 Mixed point lights in a room. I tested another scene with realtime GI only, and grass works fine in it. But Mixed lights causing bugs and errors.

    Here is a quick video:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  40. JDrem1

    JDrem1

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    @Nonakesh

    Hello.
    Help needed please.

    I bought this amazing looking asset earlier today. And I love the look of the grass.
    I purchased it specifically to use with VR. and in conjunction with Gaia.

    So I created a basic Island in gaia, all good (a few trees, 2 huts, no creatures, NPCS.
    A few flying birds.)

    And then I brought the grass on, and it simply destroyed my frame rate, even without checking in VR. It took me from everything (on the monitor) pre-grass running smooth a silk. to grass on... like a slide show.

    I tried altering the settings, shortening, etc but no joy.

    Can you help please. Im not sure if you have ever used this with Gaia, (or failing that any world builder.) I realise that some hefty concessions have to be made for VR.) but this was on the monitor.

    I really appreciate any help.
    Because I really want to use this asset., and in VR.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  41. Nyxeka

    Nyxeka

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    I am getting the weirdest issue here:

    https://streamable.com/cu9da

    All of the blades of grass are rendering in one spot.

    Machine specs:
    • ROG Stric GTX 1060 video card
    • Intel i7-4790@3.6GHz
    • 16gig DDR3 RAM
    • running Windows 10 Pro 64bit
    • Nvidia graphics card drivers up to date
    • Using 3 monitors (2 1920x1200 and 1 1920x1080 cintiq)
    I also know someone else who is having the same problem, and he's got a gtx1070
     
  42. Shinao

    Shinao

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    Any fix to remove these artifacts from the realistic grass ? (Unity 2017.f3)
     
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  43. sipon

    sipon

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    Maybe your texture wrap mode are set to "repeat" instead of "clamp" ?
     
  44. JDrem1

    JDrem1

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    A week ago I wrote this post. And haven't seen any reply or help from the dev. In fact in that time I have seen no help to the few following posts either.

    I have not used it since it essential broke my scene. And as I was awaiting some help.
    So I will ask one more question to see if I can remedy this situation. I specifically bought this asset because of all the reviews saying how VR friendly it was.
    Even with the concessions we have to make for VR, I wasn't expecting a slide show once we have some things going on.


    Question.
    I wondered if there was a way of painting the grass onto the terrain like a texture.
    I'm new to Unity, have learned a lot in the last few weeks. But I cannot figure the grass painter.
    I tried searching "painting shaders." But didn't come up with a lot.

    In the manual it mentions, the "Grass painter. Great, but then what do you do?
    The brush painter box gives options for brush control etc, but none that give access to the brushes that I could see?

    If anyone can help I appreciate it. And at least I could cover parts of the "grassed areas" of the terrain. not idea, but trying to make it work.

    Thanks.
     
  45. Shinao

    Shinao

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    I tried both, same experience. I mean it's in a new project with nothing else, it's even the demo, am I the only one to have this artifacts ?
     
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  46. turboscalpeur

    turboscalpeur

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    Hello there, this is simply coming from the "bad" Unity 5 atlasing;

    In order to avoid this, you only need to readjust each Grass Textures from its Layer (in Ps or so) with empties spaces all around edges like this for example in a Layer of 2048x2048px, I left an empty Space of 48 Pixels all around clearly visible with these blue lines:



    For a 4096x4096, will be 96 Pixels all around etc..

    You also need to have a Perfect Adjustment of your Alpha Layer like this too:




    When using so the Grass only as Billboard, you will have an empty space below which can be fixed too by coupling each Grass billboard in a basic Plane or so (mean doing whatever you want with your Meshes) which need to be well placed when creating it below its Y=0 Position (as Y=-0.25 or so), using a Grass Texture to check this can help you visualising how to correctly positioning your Meshe, then rescaled at the end at 1,1,1, to get when importing it in Unity its correct size of your choice and mostly the correct placement of your Grass from the Grounds and without these bad lines above.

    I hope this will help definitely Unity 5 users by waiting a great Update of the Unity 5 Terrain System :)
     
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  47. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Sorry for not being responsive lately, I will be able to look into all the issues and questions in the coming week.
     
  48. Nonakesh

    Nonakesh

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    Because of technical reasons this isn't possible. You will have to either create a plane with very high polygon density, or use multiple planes. I've you're interested in the technical reason, just look a few posts above, I've described it a few times here, or look in the manual.

    Yeah, that definitely look really buggy.. I think it might actually be a combination of problems.. I will look into it!

    I'll answer to your PM.

    That's a problem with the texture, I'm not really a texture artist, but I'll try to remove the artifacts.. It's basically the grass from one part of the atlas leaking into another.

    I'm pretty sure this isn't Unity's fault for once! I made the texture atlasing myself in the shader, but the solution should be pretty much the same!
     
  49. turboscalpeur

    turboscalpeur

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    Didn't knew you did yourself the Texture Atlasing in your Shader Asset; I had the issue long time ago using Unity Native Terrain Editor or with your Asset and yes just by positioning correctly as well Billboards on their Layers as well Planes from their Base will fix this issue even from far distance view;

    This is only from my experiences and how I use your Asset, but it works.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
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  50. liero116

    liero116

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    Is there a way to have textures displayed without using any sort of billboard? This may sound like an odd request, but due to the camera angle of my game and the types of textures I'm using, this is sort of necessary for me.



    The grass at the bottom of the screen rotates towards the camera as my character walks through it. It's a bit strange looking. Is there a way to make the planes not rotate at all? Maybe even a way to randomize how they rotate?