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[RELEASED] Streaming "Google-Earth" style terrain for extremely large datasets.

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

    MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

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    May 15, 2015
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    Hi-

    We recently released our large-terrain solution for Unity, this allows virtually infinite tiled datasets (real-world or otherwise) to be streamed in and assembled at runtime. The LOD mechanism generates a seamless textured mesh on demand for any vantage point.

    An example of real-world data can be seen here: (recorded with camera to demonstrate smoothness of camera motion).
    ----Birmingham, courtesy of USGS, 80+ GB of source data (imagery and elevations)).



    A procedural mode (for infinite background fill) and demonstration scripts are provided for game-style applications. Custom data (World Machine output, for example) can be prepped for the engine using a free tiling utility available on our main FAQ page. Instructions and scripts for downloading and processing real world data from USGS are also provided (free of charge) as a courtesy for those working in GIS.

    The Unity store package is available here:

    http://u3d.as/content/monkey-man-engineering/mmterrain-for-unity

    (From The Description)

    The MMTerrain Engine is designed to run virtually unlimited tiled terrain sets with a minimum of setup in Unity. This is mostly applicable for simulation and GIS applications that need to quickly render large terrains with an immediate level of detail as needed.

    Example videos and docs can be found here:

    http://www.freeterrainviewer.com/MMTerrainForUnity.html

    Provided that resource management and load-balancing are implemented on the client side (factoring in Unity pipeline limitations), it is also possible to use tiled data for flight simulation or constant-FPS applications that require smooth performance. A procedural game-style mode is also available as an optional bonus for artificial environments, though the intended purpose is for large geographic data that cannot be otherwise rendered in Unity at all.
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    We appreciate any interest in the engine and will be responsive to all direct queries, thank you for your time :)
    -MM
     
  2. MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

    MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

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    FYI there has been some interest in porting this to Unreal (and/or providing a stand-alone dx version). Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated, I will likely update the engine to take advantage of any new Unity features as they become available (specifically resource loading and threading), and special requests for integration are not off the table.

    If any developers are interested in using the core engine for non-Unity purposes that can be an option (under the right circumstances), I thought I should mention that for posterity :)
    -MM
     
    HeadClot88 likes this.
  3. kilik128

    kilik128

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    That's look big !
     
  4. MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

    MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

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    The original source data from USGS was a bit over 80GB, the prep stage reduced that to compressed tiled jpgs but that should give you an idea of of what goes in.

    The runtime consolidation of texture and geometry LODs works by streaming in pre-organized chunks of data to fit the current viewpoint, and smoothly integrating pieces so it appears to be one huge seamless textured mesh in the Unity scene.

    The engine was designed for extremely large datasets like Birmingham (or other USGS real-world data) for GIS and mapping applications. It's applicable for some game use (there is an infinite procedural mode that can be used to wrap smaller custom terrains), but the expected market is GIS, mapping and simulation. Artificial data such as from World Machine (or generic images) can be used as well.

    NOTE: The in-house tiling utility for prepping data has been released free of charge (though unsupported) on our main site, and the site will eventually feature a free web-based online viewing utility for streaming large terrains from any remote server (this functionality is available in the core package already). The goal is to provide a free online terrain tiling/viewing solution for general use. The license package is for developers working on similar projects that need large-scale streaming support for virtually infinite terrains.

    Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated, the size of the expected terrain data makes this a definite niche product for developers (more GIS, less games), I'll be happy to answer any tech stuff (within reason) about how this works and what it can do.

    Thanks
    -MM
     
  5. kilik128

    kilik128

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    Artificial data such as from World Machine (or generic images) can be used as well.
    << oh here you hit me

    can work on mobile ?
     
  6. MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

    MonkeyMan_TerrainEngine

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    Yes, with reduced detail settings...the phone support was actually the original reason for the Unity port, the stand-alone app is obviously more powerful, but the phone version runs well enough for our needs...

    We have some internal demos that use the phone for steering and auto-fly (using procedural and custom data), and a design doc for a game designed to run on a tablet, so these are definite options in mind. There was actually discussion of releasing a phone game first and then releasing the engine afterwards..

    I'm glad you asked the question, that was a major feature from the start and it doesn't get highlighted much in the docs (though it is buried in there somewhere). That's a great candidate for the FAQ, that will be updated very soon thanks to your input :)
     
  7. Lamont

    Lamont

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    I would like to chime in that the way this really shines is in the hands of a capable engineer or an artist who is knowledgeable about terrain databases. Someone with access to real-world data-sets and understands how they work and the hardware (diskspace/network speeds if streaming), individuals who are into Serious Games development and vehicle sims/racers.

    For artist who are into large-scale world creation, you can do it fairly easily, as the workflow works well with World Machine. You can even paint a grey-scale image in Photoshop and process that if you need to. My workflow for terrains not derived from real world locations is fairly simple, and I wanted to keep the path from content creation to MM fairly simple.

    But to really get the benefit of this software, you need to have LARGE terrain sets. There is no other way around it. I would not recommend this for someone making a terrain that is a normal terrain tile, Unity's tools are great for that and work just fine.

    What I would love to see is someone use this with Serious Games or any kind of sim (even normal map applications...). It's just that cool to see running. And now you can run it on a smartphone/tablet.

    Any questions about how I make terrains for this, please ask.
     
  8. Hodgson_SDAS

    Hodgson_SDAS

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    Does this support streaming in GeoTIFF or KML data right out of the box, or do we need to utilize your tiling tool?
     
  9. Gibbonuk

    Gibbonuk

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    Hi, I am interested in this as it keeps cropping up in my search for products such as this.

    However, on a side note, im just wondering where this Birmingham Imagery on the USGS is? I have looked over and over the USGS site and cant seem to find any descent resolution imagery of Birmingham?

    Thanks
     
  10. garyhaus

    garyhaus

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    Does this work in 5.4? Also, I am a bit lost... Is ALL the terrain data stored locally? I ask because I have a potential client asking for roughly 4000 square km area in New York state. This could help me and save the client a ton of time. Thanks and hope you see this.
     
  11. EndUser

    EndUser

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    Indeed, no maximal dimensions are explained anywhere.
    Be my will, I'd force all terrain makers to specify these data: maximal map for pedestrian-level-detalisation, for allroad-level-detalisation, airplane-level-detalisation (including sufficial airport detalisation), and I would not allow publishing any of terrain makers without these clearly revealing statements.
     
  12. lumeneo

    lumeneo

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    Hi! Can I use this on a sphere and map the planet?