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Voxeland - Voxel Terrain Tool

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by Wright, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    That looks great! Much brighter. Have you read the section in the readme on how to create textures for your shaders. Those seams are very noticable, unless that the look your going for,
     
  2. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    Yep, and its also more precise in how it draws its planars too.

    I understand, and is a common blocker for alot of other kick butt assets like yours. However what i am suggesting is to add in another mesh for each chunk (just a few verts), then just pick one of your existing shaders to color that low res mesh. You are already detecting rendering distance based on when you call RebuildArea() so just generate this additionalo mesh. This will allow us to have render distances closer to 800m and not 200m. Additionally this will fix another bug i have found with your occulsion that creates lag spikes. Lag spikes are occuring right now, because of the massive amounts of verts displayed at one time. When the object/mesh culling is access by the draw functions to not draw objects behind others some of the views jump from 50k verts to 500k depending what your looking at. To fix this always display the low res mesh until the cam gets within a new range (maybe around 120 to 200m). Then switch to display the current voxel mesh that represents the oct tree. Lastly you could also only display these meshes if they have already been loaded. This way we have more time to que up chunks to Rebuild() on. Also allowing us to throttle the chunk building so to avoid these lag spikes

    The quick and dirty way would be to add LODGroup component script on each voxeland region. Regions around 200m x 200m work nicely with the current version. However these are fraken-stitched together and will require some environment design and editing to make the seams hidden. Also editing is funky on these seams so we disable that for now. Once we have the terrain generated we take three screenshots of the region on all axis. We then convert these to a height map using some fancy 3d rendering tools, or paint the height maps by hand if you are an artist. I Am experimenting now with procedurallly generating these which would be a great first step towards automatically calling this function with the voxeland chunk building. Then the LODGroup will switch between these. Hypothetically, Has anyone done something like this before.


    Yes that is it exactly. This would effect the resolution of the terrain. IE allowing you to create much larger terrains, but at the expensive of the precision of what you edit.

    In a perfect work it would be awesome to see the texture and vegetation materials scaled in inverse proportion. So that the grass materials and textures are not super imposed as well. This is what happens if you adjust the axis scale currently. You find your self playing hunny i shrunk the kids all of a sudden. Awesome effect, but not what we are talking about here =) In other words rather then using 1m per UV length we can use say 2 or 3 or n meters long. Another awesome effect we discovered with this is setting the x and z axis to say 3m distance, then leaving the y at 1. This create desert mesa's like in the southwest us. or if you do x and z 1 and y 4 you create mountains the size of Everest. totally EPIC!!! Additionally this scales the view distance too.

    Using a build distance over 4 chunks is prone to lag spikes. Another idea when vertice distance is implemented is to dynamically change the vert distance on and z on various chunks on the distance between the chunk to render and the player cam. a nice logarithmic scale would dramatically boost the appearance of the render distance without sacrificing rendering performance. This however might be tricky to line up all of the chunks
     
  3. Fishypants

    Fishypants

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    Uhm, which seams are you talking about? If you are referring to the corners of objects there is a blurring of the texture due to triplanar mapping, but other than that they are seamless.
     
  4. Wright

    Wright

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    Fishypants, awesome picture! And a high contrast makes it even better!

    XPAction, dual contouring produces very narrow and long, almost degenerated polygons sometimes. The model grid is not clean, but I must admit that it is fast and smooth algorithm. And far cleaner than marching cubes. Anyways I'm happy with current implementation, and to change it all of the plugin should be rewritten.

    krawson, I plan to add a low-poly mesh that is applied to all terrain. Making super-low poly model of each chunk is not rational as they will produce too many draw calls. Consolidation them in one mesh is exactly what is needed. I cannot promise that to v.3, but in later versions most probably this will be implemented.

    Oh. So. Uv, trees, grass and everything should not change the scale together with terrain - is that what you mean?

    Yeah! Just tried this out. Really awesome, wonder why I never noticed that. I should use it, but for now I don't know how :)

    Really tricky for now

    I guess Fishypants is using triplanar shader, so there should be no seams.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  5. stevesan

    stevesan

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    I see some discussion concerning drag-editing. The best fix I found for this is: Add a "minecraft" mode, which disables all the smoothing. I have this implemented as the TAB key. So I hit TAB, everything becomes blocky, but it's much more predictable to edit, and I can implement drag-editing (by tracking the last-hit block or something, I forget the details). Then I can quickly hit TAB again to see the smoothed terrain.
     
  6. stevesan

    stevesan

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    Btw, we have released our Terrain Test for free on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/273550/

    It's meant to be like Processing or ShaderToy for Voxeland-based terrain (heavily modified). It generates practically infinite worlds in a streaming, lazy manner. You can code your own algorithms and then see them realized immediately (the tool hotloads your mod DLLs). If you like terrain and like playing with Perlin Noise, I think you'll have some fun :)
     
  7. Wright

    Wright

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    stevesan, a'm very glad to see another gorgeous Voxeland use. Good luck with it! )
     
  8. ValrikRobot

    ValrikRobot

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    This is exactly what ive been looking for ...
     
  9. ValrikRobot

    ValrikRobot

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    Just been looking and it turns out RTP works with objects. This tool would look fantastic with RTP......
     
  10. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    http://prntscr.com/2vw963

    the circle area's. Im curious because i see them too on my shaders despite how well i make the textures. no worries still looks awesome! Love the normal and height maps for your relief shading.
     
  11. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    to clarify fishypants
    http://prntscr.com/2vwem8

    you can fix with layering over prerender mesh or other objects, maybe even a mini terrain object.. I am happy with your algorithms i couldn't code em better myself. However im very disappointed with 32 bit unity, it sucks and is the only thing bottle necking. Forcing us to work with the object at runtime which isn't too bad considering the dynamic nature of the voxeland object. I did come up with a feature suggestion to handle this... Could we add a few more settings options to control how voxeland renders. In other words the ability to turn off rendering in the editor, but keep the LOD for run time. Maybe a checkbox for "Disable Editor Rendering" And "Apply Editor LOD" The first will shut off all chunk rendering in the editor. The second will disable LOD only in the Editor. This should allow all desired combination IMO. Any thoughts?

    Well i was thinking of adding a configuration to trottle how fast it renders.. IE a skip frame options. Speaking of which, the existing per frame rendering is missing a frame skip configuration field. Also from my minecraft modding days, we changed the render near chunks methods to exclude the corners chunks of the current render range, to ,make it more speherical. Maybe that could be an options too.

    That is exactly what im talking about. Only scale the UV's of the terrain mesh. This is useful for creating extremely large terrains at the expense of the editing resolution which in many cases is okay. If you use RTP it should perlin and tile the splat textures properly. Speaking of which has anyone tried Voxeland with RTP3? I have spend 0 time investigating this yet. But it should work similiar to how terrain composer works IMO.

    Maybe we could have separate color and or splat maps to handle the shaders. This is how terrain composer does it, and it does it well. This would be an alternative for scaling.

    regardless I plan on incorporating RTP3 into voxeland very soon (sometime in march).
     
  12. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    Could you please explain where is the code / setting for smoothing? Im interested in using this feature for an edit mode view. Nice feature btw
     
  13. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    That is some awesome stuff!!! Love the concept and game idea. This game needs to be made as badly as the game im working on. We have been working on frakenstitching together the pro water asset with this asset http://www.tanukidigital.com/suimono/documentation/ This water is interactive and has a great refract camera effect and amazing liquid shaders. These water shaders can be applied to any surface. However it doesn't have a gestner displacation effect for real waves... RIght now i have to fade between water for transition. It also does caustic shading for splats an sea floor shimmering.... Its a very solid beta worth 90 or IMO
     
  14. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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    let me know if you want help or when your trying to intergrate that. I need to work on the same thing. I can imagine it would be that hard.. famous last words.
     
  15. Fishypants

    Fishypants

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    @ Krawson -

    Ah, haha, I see what you mean. I think its actually an optical illusion that looks like a seam. The areas you are pointing to are actually parts that are popped out, so those parts of the mesh are covering the mesh behind it. It's hard to explain but if you rotate around the mesh it looks normal, its just that the mesh is pretty low res.

    To be honest, after closer inspection the lighting was all messed up on that shader. It wasn't quite working correctly. I rewrote it, so now all the normal maps are read correctly and I think it responds to light mapping much better.

    Here's an updated work in progress testing the new shader out:
    $new-terrain-system_05.jpg

    I've been messing around with using Voxeland to generate the base mesh of the level, then using rock meshes inserted into the walls to give it even more depth and variety. Once I actually make new rock meshes it should give a better result, instead of crappy test meshes I built a long time ago.
     
  16. ZoeDreams

    ZoeDreams

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  17. ValrikRobot

    ValrikRobot

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  18. ValrikRobot

    ValrikRobot

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    I have worked on a simple way to implement this. Its not the most ideal and involved a small rewrite of the actual chunk code. Requires some specific changes but it works
     
  19. GentleForge

    GentleForge

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    This engine looks really cool. But i have a question about it, bevor i buy it.
    Is there any possibilty to implement a water system(like this)?
     
  20. Wright

    Wright

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    krawson, Fishypants - glad to see that you are making with Voxeland. Keep up doing great work!

    Got it. This could be made. As well as an option to preserve scaling (thought not sure about the grass yet).

    There's a PreRelax() and Relax() functions in VoxelandChunk. To build a cubical terrain comment them out. The disadvantage is that a terrain rebuilding is required.

    GentleForge, Voxeland generates colliders on block change. As this demo works with physX colliders it should be compatable with this water system - if you get or make it for Unity. But of course such a system is not included with Voxeland and I have no plans for creating it.
     
  21. GentleForge

    GentleForge

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    Thanks for the quick answer Wright, i have a last question, is it possible to make big landscape's with Voxeland?
    Because if i try it with 1024x256x1024, i have only big mountains but no smooth grounds.
    And sometimes, Unity is crashing, because the calculation needs a lot of ram...
     
  22. Rooster.

    Rooster.

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    Any estimated time for 3.0 to come out? Been experiencing lots of bugs with the updated Unity, and not updated Voxeland. Thank you for your reply. Looking forward to updates!
     
  23. Wright

    Wright

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    GentleForge, 1024 terrain should work with no problems. Do you have Dynamic Build turned on?

    Rooster, do you mean undo-related console warnings or they are literally a bugs? If so please send me bug report to mail@denispahunov.ru
    I plan to release new version in a month or so. Maybe a bit later.
     
  24. Tryz

    Tryz

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    Hey Wright,


    Voxeland looks great. A couple of quick questions:


    1. When testing for ground, do custom character controllers have to do anything different than a normal ray-cast?


    2. Is the mesh that's created dynamically just like any other mesh as far as collisions go? Similar to the first question, I guess I'm wondering if all the physics and ray-casting will work with voxel-based terrain.


    3. I know this was asked several months ago, but do you plan on having a C# version? Unfortunately, this is the one thing keeping me from pulling the trigger.

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  25. Wright

    Wright

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    Voxeland creates standard mesh colliders, so everything that works with mesh collider (like character controller or raycast) should work with Voxeland. This collider has quarter triangles compared with visible mesh for performance reasons. Similar to a lod mesh, actually.

    Yes, I have plans for C# version. The next release - Voxeland 3 - will have many changes and improvements, including c#. It is mostly complete (for now I'm making a new grass algorithm with various grass types). I hope that it will take a couple of weeks to finish it. Everyone who purchased Voxeland will have a free upgrade to third version.
     
  26. Tryz

    Tryz

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    Awesome! Thanks
     
  27. Jacob-Williams

    Jacob-Williams

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    So I had a couple of hours to play around with this today, and added the ability to use both smoothed and non-smoothed block types. By checking a box, I can control which voxels are smoothed (terrain, etc), and which ones are not (structures, mostly).



    I tossed together a quick "structure" to test everything out. Please ignore the horrible programmer textures.



    As a happy accident, it seems to play well with the blocks that are smoothed and adjusts the vertices accordingly.



    And of course, just for fun, I turned smoothing on for that block to see what it would look like.



    Anyway, I just wanted to stop in and share my initial experience with Voxeland so far. Some improvements can be made for sure, but this is the most complete voxel rendering solution I have found for Unity so far. There are still quite a few things I want to do with it, specifically with procedural level generation, but this was a solid first step.
     
  28. Fishypants

    Fishypants

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    @ Jacob - Thats awesome! Nice work! :D
     
  29. Jacob-Williams

    Jacob-Williams

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    I spent a little more time working on the textures for non-smoothed blocks, and finally got that sorted out by adjusting the UVs.


    Now the only real issue left is the amount of blocks that can be used per Voxeland Terrain.

    @Wright - I assume the issue here is that the terrain shader only supports 4 textures. Am I going to have to rewrite the code to create a new mesh + texture for every additional block type? I know Unity Terrain uses a splatmap approach for this problem, but I am not sure something like this would work for voxels. Do you have any other ideas? Has anyone else solved this problem already?
     
  30. hopeful

    hopeful

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    What Jacob is doing brings up a conceptual question I've had about Voxeland right along. I've read this thread in the past, but I don't currently have Voxeland, and I'm not entirely sure how it works. As I recall, the initial product was pretty basic, and there have been additions since then, with maybe a big update of some sort on the way.

    I have in mind a project that I might do at some point in the future. I'm contemplating creating a modern urban area that would be more like a real urban area. The urban land would not be entirely flat, and there would be a river on one edge and a forest or park on another. So urban and natural terrain types would be mixed, with the city looking like it was placed upon existing land. There would be roadways, walkways, and bridges in the natural environment, and not necessarily the clean break between urban area and nature we so often see in games.

    If I use Voxeland, could I make an underlying voxel terrain with flattened areas for my buildings and streets? Would I struggle with placing urban items on smooth slopes, always ending up with sharply stepped slopes?

    Would I be able to use procedural road assets (like EasyRoads3D or Road Architect) with Voxeland?

    Since my urban area is based on a real world area, could I import a heightmap to Voxeland from one of those various store assets that use satellite data?

    How would the limitations on Voxeland terrain size (memory) affect my city? Would I be encouraged to build the city in small sectors to load / destroy as a player moves around (like, is there an easy or built-in way to do that), or would it be far easier to have players move from area to area via scene change? (The tech target is high-end tablet and/or low end PC.)

    Would the LOD effects of Voxeland affect my urban areas? What would be a good way to handle this? (I'm using indie, and have InstantOC.)

    If it makes any difference, I would also be using Time of Day for natural lighting (sun, moon), and be focused more on a procedural, dynamic workflow as opposed to lots of baking and static scenes.

    Are there any particular advantages or disadvantages to using Voxeland in this way?

    I know that's a lot of questions to ask, but if there is a major update coming, it might be a good time to re-establish just what Voxeland does now and what works with it.
     
  31. MrScary

    MrScary

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    I'd be interested in having what Jacob has added to Voxeland make it into the release version.
     
  32. Wright

    Wright

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    Jacob, MrScary: adjusting the block smoothness will be added in next version as I once promised:
    $Untitled-2.jpg

    Jacob, I see that you are taking average vertex value between smoothed and non-smoothed blocks, and it makes your wooden structures a bit skewed when contacting smoothed blocks. It's better to make a smoothing-test before relax: if one of the vert blocks is not smoothed than vertex should not be relaxed.

    Voxeland uses vertex color instead of splatmap. Actually, it is a splatmap painted directly on mesh. Four color channels for the four block types+ambient. The main difference here is that the mesh has only one four-channel vertex color, while you can create as many splatmaps as you like. It is possible to create a separate mesh for the other material, but it will not be blended with the terrain.

    hopeful, creating of building and cities with Voxeland is beyond it's ideology. I do not aim to make a super-universal instrument for creating of everything. The best way to create a city for me is to model houses using modeling tool and place them on terrain using city generator or level-design tool. We should not expect replacing of three different tools in one.

    It is possible to place roads with EasyRoads instrument in scene with Voxeland terrain. But you cannot modify a terrain with this tool - actually, EasyRoads knows nothing about Voxeland and cannot adjust terrain for it's purposes.

    Importing a heightmap is a really nice feature, but I'm not sure that I will have time to implement it in an upcoming version.

    Voxeland can build the part of terrain as you approach non-build area.

    Theoretically InstantOC and Time of day should work with Voxeland, but I have not tested them. Unity interprets voxeland terrain chunks as a standard meshes, so probably there should not be issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  33. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Just to be clear, I was not thinking of using Voxeland to make a city architecture out of voxel blocks. What Jacob's picture reminded me about is that if you go through the Voxeland thread there are no examples of using standard urban models along with the voxel terrain. There are only pictures of voxel-based structures, plus the kit's own trees and grass. I'd always assumed you could place urban models on Voxeland terrain, but the fact that there were no pictures of it made me think I should ask.
     
  34. M4R5

    M4R5

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    Is there any chance of the rest of us getting our grubby paws on your wonderful addition? :rolleyes:
     
  35. Wright

    Wright

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    Hi world, I've got good news. The Voxeland 3.0 nearing completion. It is a C# version with theoretically infinite terrain, triplanar shader, multithreading support (however there is much to be improved further), various grass types, and other delicious pieces. And oh, yes - with type block smoothness control.

    Now I would like to create lists of people willing to test it. Please feel free to sign up emailing me: mail@denispahunov.ru (you should be an owner of previous Voxeland version).
     
  36. Fishypants

    Fishypants

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    @ Wright - Awwww YES! I sent you an email. :D
     
  37. sefou

    sefou

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    Hi Wright ,
    cool ; just sent you an email. ;)
     
  38. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    I am very very excited about this tool, i read all the posts in this thread and watched as much videos as possible and i am really keen on buying it but i really want to know , how many block types can i have ? And how is memory beeing handled ? cause in the web demo i run out of memory after placing hundreds of blocks !! i run a test and say that every time i was placing a block or removing one or just moving the blue cursor pointer on the terrain only a few Kilobytes were added to the memory and never beeing released !! (at the point of 1Gigabyte was needed and at 1.5Giga it crashed) Anyway these are the worries that i have and i also would like to know if it is possible to have the terrain fully static in the build game like exporting it and using it as a .obj or .fbx so it doesnt need any scripts running, idk just a thought. Anyway i am worrying so much about memory cause i want to have a huge world like Oblivion - Skyrim (Static with Lod systems ofcourse ) and i tried this on my own with a Minecraft terrain i created a year ago but i am soo much tired improving it and i cant stand anymore so i am willing to buy someone's tool :p

    Btw (Using Unity 3.5.6 pro and i am a fan of Javascript will the newer version be able to work on my Unity version ? )

    Edit: Is the price going to change with the new version ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  39. Wright

    Wright

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    Yeah, the initial version (which is the base for demo) had memory leak on chunk rebuild. It was fixed and hope that the new leak will not appear in new version (right now I'm testing it).

    Voxeland 3 will be compatible with Unity 4.3.1 and later. It will not work for Unity 3.5.6 - it is very tedious to maintain compatibility, and since the new undo system - almost unreal.

    Since Voxeland became something more than small voxel terrain editor, now it brings terrain auto-creation, and will bring the features I mentioned before the price will be slightly increased.
     
  40. noanoa

    noanoa

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    Hi, Voxeland looks really nice. I've read in your post that version 3 is under development but would I be able to upgrade from version 2 for free? I'm thinking of purchasing it but I will probably wait till version 3 if it's a separate product. (depends on how long it will take till the version 3 release though, any ETA?).
    Thanks! very impressed
     
  41. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    Ok since the leak was a know issue i am more relaxed about it :)
    I think i will wait for version 3 too , take your time and make it as good as possible as for the Unity version problem i think i got my own solution, thanks in advance !! Keep up the awesome work ! :cool:
     
  42. Wright

    Wright

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    Thanks! Now I taught the 2nd version, and try to find out and fix as much problems as I can before release. For now the work is mostly complete, there are only-only fix all the bugs which voluntary testers will find and documentation update. The time it takes depends on complexity of bugs, I hope it is a matter of days.
     
  43. noanoa

    noanoa

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    That's good to know. I hope the debugging will go smooth. I'm going to check the asset store every day from now on xD
     
  44. M4R5

    M4R5

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    Regarding the idea of creating plateaus and other kinds of geological features, I think that additional algorithms might be necessary. I've noticed that a possible and quick solution for plateaus has arisen; when the voxels extend farther than the bounds of the Y-axis they are immediately cut off. If there was a script that found voxels that touched the maximum Y and somehow stitched them together to create a flat layer you may receive a similar effect to plateau-like erosion. This is the cutoff I'm referring to.
     
  45. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    @marstheplanet If you mean for the ground to be solid and flat in the max Y limit like being able to walk on it and collide , this can be easily achieved by modifying the source code. There has to be a point somewhere in the code that says "if chunk.pos.y >= max.y .. then dont render the normal" in that case u simply remove the "=" and let it like " chunk.pos.y > max.y ". If i am correct , i donk know i may even be out of topic :p
     
  46. Bluie

    Bluie

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    I wanted to know if its posible to use Unity wikis script: TerrainObjExporter to get a .obj file and if the shader can be reapplied
    to the terrain after?

    Is it posible to have small areas diggable in a larger obj terrain?
     
  47. Wright

    Wright

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    marstheplanet, I'll add plateaus to generator. I feel that options like plateau level and plateau strength should be necessary. Any ideas on additional parameters?

    Bluie, the only reason why Voxeland has no obj-exporter is that obj files do not support vertex colors, which is vital for terrain texturing. But you can bake terrain in Unity meshes and save them with scene. voxeland always modifies only a small areas (chunks) where changes were made, remaining the other chunks untouched. Chunk size could range from 15 to 40 units.

    And I'd like to say couple of words about current testing and bugfix progress: right now I'm fixing build and namespace errors, that were found by volunteers (I'd like to thank them a lot for their feedbacks). The next week I'll deal with minor bugs and publish beta with all the bugfixes.
     
  48. tbg10101_

    tbg10101_

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    I just spent the last few hours reading evey post in the thread. It is amazing to see how the product has evolved.

    Now, at the end, I want version 3 to come out. (C#) But I am not going to wait. +1 purchase tonight!

    I can't wait to hook this into a networked game!
     
  49. Marcurios

    Marcurios

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    I'm curious, can this be combined with standard terrain, so that i can have a terrain and make caves with voxeland embedded in the terrain ?
    A bit like just placing a cave mesh into the terrain, but then just draw it in so to speak.

    If that can be done, i will certainly buy it..
     
  50. Wright

    Wright

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Posts:
    1,834
    I've got good news: Voxeland 3 is now in beta stage. All the bugs found in alpha were fixed, all the features testers asked for were added. If someone would like to test new version - the procedure remains the same - sign up emailing me: mail@denispahunov.ru (you should be an owner of previous Voxeland version).

    But the feedback form is now located at Idea Informer. Please feel free to add your own ideas. I've already added feature requests from alpha.

    Marcurios, Voxeland does not use standard terrain in any way. There is no way to make a cave in unity terrain with Voxeland. You can use both terrains in a single scene, but you cannot smoothly blend terrains in one.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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