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Voxeland - Voxel Terrain Tool

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

  1. Adancin

    Adancin

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    Yesterday I bought the plugin to do some test and figure out if we can use int in our game. The goal that we have is to create a "smooth map load system" while playing the game.

    At this time we have 2 choices:
    A) Load voxelTerains, 2 at same time. when we arrive to some part of the 2nd terrain, clear the first one, move forward and do a smooth load (terrain file).
    B) Bake the terrain, do prefabs by chunk and load it in parts in a thread.

    We found some problems, trying to do it:
    1) When I try to load the file in a voxelandTerrain object it doesnt load and there are not errors in the console.The terrain was cleared the terrain before the test (button in "generate" options). Here is my code:


    Code (csharp):
    1. void Start () {
    2.         TextAsset tmp = Resources.Load("data2") as TextAsset;
    3.         Debug.Log(tmp.text.Length);
    4.         land.dataholder.data.LoadFromString(tmp.text);
    5.         Debug.Log("Aqui2");
    6.         land.Clear();
    7.         Debug.Log("Aqui3");
    8.     }
    I checked that the asset was returning the text in the file. Is there something wrong in the way that I'm doing?

    2) When I baked a terrain with grass, the grass stopped to move.

    3) I tryed to copy and paste the baked voxeland object to another scene but it was not posible, the mesh was not present, in the original object the "mesh filter" it has not a name. I tryed also created a prefab of the entire terrain but I got the same result. Is that posible?

    Wish List:
    A) Option to remove colliders
    B) Option to export a baked map to .OBJ
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  2. Wright

    Wright

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    Adancin, have you tried to load text directly from Import and Export section?

    I've added idea to idea informer: Grass animation script for baked terrain.

    Terrain editing uses raycast to determine which face is selected. But for the non-editable terrains this could be very useful indeed.

    Terrain texuring uses mesh vertex color information. Unfortunately .obj file do not support vertex color information. Maybe it's better save them to native unity asset.

    All of ideas are feasible, and most probably I'll implement them in next version.
     
  3. Adancin

    Adancin

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    Yes, I got the following error:

    ArgumentException: Path is empty
    System.IO.FileStream..ctor (System.String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, Boolean anonymous, FileOptions options) (at /Users/builduser/buildslave/mono-runtime-and-classlibs/build/mcs/class/corlib/System.IO/FileStream.cs:209)
    System.IO.FileStream..ctor (System.String path, FileMode mode)
    (wrapper remoting-invoke-with-check) System.IO.FileStream:.ctor (string,System.IO.FileMode)
    Voxeland.VoxelandEditor.OnInspectorGUI () (at Assets/Voxeland/Scripts/Editor/VoxelandEditor.cs:586)
    UnityEditor.InspectorWindow.DrawEditors (Boolean isRepaintEvent, UnityEditor.Editor[] editors, Boolean eyeDropperDirty) (at C:/BuildAgent/work/d3d49558e4d408f4/Editor/Mono/Inspector/InspectorWindow.cs:850)
    UnityEditor.DockArea:OnGUI()
     
  4. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    Ok i had some time to learn and experiment with the asset and after fighting a few errors i found some bugs:
    1) When i first load the demo scene i get 123 times this error :
    CheckConsistency: Transform child can't be loaded
    2) I also get Array out of range when i try to build bellow the allowed level.
    3) Lightning problems occur between chunks sometimes while 1 chunk is properly lit and another next to it is not..

    In this image i built a high wall and then the chunk below it became dark but the chunks near it no, and this makes a visible dark/white line between the chunks :S


    Edit: I noticed it happens every time there is a big height difference between blocks or chunks.


    Another bug i found is when in between chunks if u build with different smoothness levels this can occur:


    I can help fixing them but its my examinations period so it will take me a lot of time.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  5. Wright

    Wright

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    Adancin, have you seen my pm?

    NightmarexGR, to resolve light problems increase ambient margins. On the structures like yours its better turn additional ambient off, because margins should be too large. Check consistency error was fixed and will not appear in next versions - in current one it does not affect terrain behavior in any way. I'll look what I can do with seams.

    Btw I guess that all the bug reports are addressed to me personally, because I'm the only person who can fix bugs - maybe it's better to send them with pm or mail?
     
  6. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    Two huge questions:

    1. Can the terrain be deformed in realtime, as in, pulled up, pushed down, not just pitted out.

    2. Can 2d noise be used for terrain height generation? The game I'm writing up has hundreds of worlds, and the one chosen by the player has to be generated at runtime.
     
  7. Joachim Gugenberger

    Joachim Gugenberger

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    I would like to buy this tool. But at the moment i use unity free. Does this tool work with unity free?
     
  8. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    Ok sorry i didnt know about that, anyway i have a question, i was able to do it my way but i need something more official , how can i disable the lod system ? I mean i want everything to render in high quality all the time.
     
  9. Wright

    Wright

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    davidsirmons, blocks could be set in realtime - they could be added and removed. They could be set one-by-one or by large missives. Every block change changes terrain - all in realtime.
    Land creation algorithm - Generator - has a feature to use perlin noise as a base terrain. Along with terraces, plateau, and erosion.

    Joachim Gugenberger, Voxeland is fully functional (including terrain lod) under Unity free.

    NightmarexGR, Voxeland uses 2 lod types - the closest one is just a low-polygonal version of non-lod voxel mesh. And the furthest is a bended horizon plane - it build out-of build range. Horizon plane could be turned off in settings. And other lods could be turned off by setting lod range more than build range + chunk size.
     
  10. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    Hmm. So there's no way to raise up a large area, then? I'd have to add cubes onto the existing terrain?
     
  11. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    I find the ability to add terrain interesting in a way, since it could be like some tarry mass, 'pulled' up and stretched into random shapes in realtime. That's nice. It would be also good to be able to uplift a pre-formed area like a hill or rocky structure.
     
  12. shwa

    shwa

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    Hi,
    Big fan of this tool.

    LOD distance.
    If i set this to zero, will performance improve, or does it improve when set higher, say, 200.?


    LOD and Dynamic Build – sets the terrain dynamic display parameters.
    • LOD Distance – the distance of turning high-poly chunk mesh off and enabling it's low-poly version,
    which has 4 times less triangles. This feature does not use Unity's LODGroup component so it
    works with non-pro version.
     
  13. Wright

    Wright

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    davidsirmons, how large the areas should be in your view? If you change areas that are smaller than chunk size (about 25*25 units) it could be said that terrain changes in realtime, with a small delay (0.1-0.2 seconds). If a

    shwa, lods are made to increase rendering performance. If lod distance set to zero no hi-poly chunks will be displayed - this will make frame rate higher. Increasing lod distance will enable chunk hi-poly meshes, increase number of triangles, and will slow down rendering. Lod distance does not affect build speed, though - main calculations are made to get the form of the mesh, not to smooth it.
     
  14. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    Change areas would have to be pretty huge, and IN-GAME. This is a must. Not 25x25, but about twenty times that. Seems I may have to go with a standard terrain solution unless some pretty deep optimization method can be found that meets that need.
     
  15. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    To increase performance maybe add Occlusion Culling to the editor and an option to split the terrain into new terrain parts. By adding many terrains for example 10 x 10 of them side-by-side at size 10 for staggered terrain units that make hills/mountains to utilize it. (Occlusion Culling is a Unity Pro Only Feature unless you implement your own culling script) Occlusion Culling (enabled by default) Together working with LOD may give us all that extra boost we need. [h=2][/h]
     
  16. shwa

    shwa

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    Great tool.

    Got 5 scenes in a webplayer. One uses voxeland.

    I'm noticing a decrease in performance in my other scenes after i've exited the voxeland scene.

    Is there a script i should be implementing to clear out memory or something?

    thanks,

    shwa
     
  17. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    A memory leak. It's the biggest drawback to third party plugins. If this ever is to be taken seriously, it's going to have to be seriously cleaned. It's certainly worth it though.
     
  18. Wright

    Wright

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    Ascensi, terrain is already splitted in separate meshes called Chunks. And it is possible to use occlusion culling, but with one caveat: occlusion culling requires some baking which could not be made in realtime. So Unity's occlusion culling works only with baked terrain, which could not be changed in playmode.

    shwa, web demo is still from the old version. As soon as I complete the demo scene I'll publish the new version.
     
  19. sagron6015

    sagron6015

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    Wright - if we make updates are you interested in receiving changes and if so how should we send them (email of patches, full modified files, asset bundle, ?). The current solution I'm using almost completely eliminates the GC problem (still has a slight stutter dealing with collider updates that I'm still working).
     
  20. Wright

    Wright

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    sagron6015, sure - it would be interesting to look at your solution. Actually it would be most convenient if you could describe the basic principles, maybe give links to the articles describing them, maybe code examples, so I could implement them to Voxeland in a most seamless way. But I can accept your updates in any way you like )
     
  21. sagron6015

    sagron6015

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    Didn't realize your new version was up, works great (also upgraded to 4.5, so not sure if that helped but awesome either way!) Basically I had implemented a priority queuing system (using a generic LinkedList) so it would load the nearest chunks first instead of trying to load all the chunks within the load distance at the same time. I can shoot you a code snippet tomorrow sometime with the meat of it.
     
  22. Wright

    Wright

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    Yeah, Unity - well done! They work quickly: yesterday I submitted a new version - today it's available. New in 3.10:
    - far mesh GC bug fixed
    - speed up playmode change a bit
    - data size decreased
    - data could be saved as a separate asset
    - seams between terrain lod0, lod1 and far mesh hidden
    - bake meshes to assets
    - grass animation script for baked terrain
    - 'Check consistency' error fixed
     
  23. shwa

    shwa

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    re: I'm noticing a decrease in performance in my other scenes after i've exited the voxeland scene.

    Is there a script i should be implementing to clear out memory or something?

    ========

    David Sirmons wrote: A memory leak. It's the biggest drawback to third party plugins. If this ever is to be taken seriously, it's going to have to be seriously cleaned. It's certainly worth it though.

    Wright: shwa, web demo is still from the old version. As soon as I complete the demo scene I'll publish the new version.

    Shwa : If David is correct, how does one stop or fix the memory leak?
    Or optimize voxeland settings to prevent it from happening in the first place.

    *Wright, i am referring to my own web player that has 5 scenes, not your demo webplayer.
    One of those scenes in my web player demo uses Voxeland 2.01.
    I'm running Unity 4.2.1f4 and would prefer not to upgrade to a higher version of unity at this point.

    ?

    thanks.
     
  24. davidsirmons

    davidsirmons

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    Mm, from what various programmers have conveyed to me over the years about memory leaks, it's a matter of how the software handles/accesses memory. So it can't be helped or resolved by usage methods, but rather by reworking the core code.
     
  25. shwa

    shwa

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    Thanks for this info, David.
    Wright, have you heard about the issue i'm talking about with other users?
    Do you have a way to test for memory leaks, so this can be fixed, if it is indeed a memory leak?

    thanks.
     
  26. Wright

    Wright

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    To be honest, I don't understand how David took information about memory leaks. I've just tested 22000 chunk rebuilds (200 full demo-scene terrain rebuild), with lods and horizon plane, and the amount of free memory have not changed. Neither did performance.

    PS I've tested the latest version, 3.10
     
  27. Joachim Gugenberger

    Joachim Gugenberger

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    I got version 3.10

    But there is big problems with rendering grass on the ground in game. Some grass is rendered some grass does not. Also there are bug problems with the 3d meshes and the textures.
    Here are the screenshots:

    in unity editor (everything ok): http://gugenberger.co.at/shot1.png

    in game(Same picture but problems like said before):
    http://gugenberger.co.at/shot2.png

    Other Problems:
    If i use the voxeland generator to auto generate terrains unity says outofrangeexception.

    to say it to the point: i can not use voxeland. its to bugy at the moment. when do you guess to update to a working version?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  28. Wright

    Wright

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    There's a web demo on the internet: http://www.denispahunov.ru/voxeland/Voxeland.html
    It is the same demo that was linked in a plugin description, it was made with Voxeland 3.10. And, as you can see, everything is ok with grass, meshes and textures. Could you please pm me this Voxeland scene and your build settings? I'll try to find out what's wrong.

    Neither I could reproduce array out of range exeption on rebuild. New and demo terrain could be generated without any errors, both infinite and finite, with camera position and fixed one. I definitely need your scene to test.
     
  29. Joachim Gugenberger

    Joachim Gugenberger

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    Maybe is the memory the problem. my Machine has 4 GB RAM. Is that to less for voxeland?

    EDIT: I checke, if the memory can be the problem. its not the case. When the argumentoutofrangeexception accours, there are 2 GB of memory free.

    I will send you the scenes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  30. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    Hi Write, could you optionally if possible add in the area to add voxeland terrain game object, allow us to add textures, add/define the grass material and other prefabs before having having it to be only set up in the voxeland terrain script after a new voxeland has been created/generated? - it would be great to have everything all-ready after the land has been generated and feel it would be quicker for scene building rather than adding all the materials and prefabs to the slots for new land added to each scene manually each time.
     
  31. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    I've had problems in the past with trying to replace textures on a big mountain scene.. some would get replaced and others wouldn't unless I fully erased the block that had a particular texture applied to it.. This latest update however I haven't yet tested this fully to see if it is still an issue but if you're having the issue now removing the block completely (complete area with current texture applied) may be a work-around.
     
  32. Wright

    Wright

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    Ascensi, I've add your idea to Idea Informer.

    After all of the texture changes the terrain should be rebuild. This could be done by pressing "Rebuild" button.
     
  33. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    In the previous version even the rebuild function would not resolve fixing/allowing the ability to paint textures over existing ones after all the textures you wanted to use was set up. Some places just wouldn't change.. but in this latest version I haven't tested it out in the same way I was getting the recurring issue previous -you might of fixed the problem in this last update.
     
  34. sagron6015

    sagron6015

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    Only time I've seen the out of range exception was when I tried to generate chunks outside the area where the terrain voxel data was generated for, not sure if this is what joachim was seeing or not.
     
  35. chillersanim

    chillersanim

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    Hello.

    I'm looking out for a voxel terrain engine for my game.
    I would need an engine, that can work with large terrains (2000x1400 meters).
    The engine should also support RTP3.

    Could you please tell me, if this engine would be a valiable solution?

    I've already asked TeraVol; they do support RTP3, but not a terrain of this size.

    Thanks
    Chillersanim
     
  36. Wright

    Wright

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    chillersanim, I have not tested Voxeland with RTP. It seems that RTP works with both terrain and meshes, so theoretically it should work. There were people on forum who tried to combine both plugins, don't know if they succeed thought.

    Voxeland can have almost infinite terrain, _but_ it will not be displayed in whole from one camera position. For large terrain a feature called 'dynamic build' is used. When the camera comes to un-displayed part of terrain - it builds the unbuilt chunks (this operation requires some delay - usually less then a second depending on machine performance).
     
  37. chillersanim

    chillersanim

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    @Wright
    Thank you for your response.
    Do you use a level of detail for the terrain?
    That would be important for me, as my targeted world is prety big...

    @All
    If someone already has tested how Voxeland works with RTP3, please post the results in this forum thread.
    Thanks.

    Greetings
    Chillersanim
     
  38. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    I keep getting a
    NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object
    Voxeland.VoxelandTerrain.Display () (at Assets/Voxeland/Scripts/VoxelandTerrain.cs:432)
    Voxeland.VoxelandTerrain.EditorUpdate () (at Assets/Voxeland/Scripts/VoxelandTerrain.cs:287)
    UnityEditor.EditorApplication.Internal_CallUpdateFunctions () (at C:/BuildAgent/work/aeedb04a1292f85a/artifacts/EditorGenerated/EditorApplication.cs:224)

    I've been reading on this issue and many say this: "Unless the terrain is at position (0,0,0) it won't work as expected". Does this mean I can't reposition multiple Voxeland parts? If I click rebuild trying to fix this, the voxeland disappears. What serialization mode is Voxeland fully compatible with? In my scene have 16 terrains at size 50, all spaced to create land/mountain since the brush size is limited and would take forever to build up that kind of volume. My aim is to bake them later and then have Occlusion Culling in a webplayer/WebGL project. If it's true that Voxeland terrains must not be moved then maybe I'll try making a landscape at 250 or so, bake it then slice it up with other tools but for now all these errors are making me want to abandon using it.. I've spent A LOT of time sculpting, detailing then this error shows and I am then unable to use what I've worked on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  39. Wright

    Wright

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    So exception occurs when terrain position is not in 0,0,0.This is very valuable information. I'll do testing sculpting terrain that is randomly placed. While you can use terrain center value in settings on non-infinite terrain.

    Btw what is the reason of having 16 terrains in the same scene? Single terrain is internally divided in separate meshes (chunks) so occlusion culling will work with it.
     
  40. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    I separated the land into big land mass sections -

    (1) because the brush is too small to create a large mountain through sculpting (exactly what I want to do rather than height maps) I tried editing the brush size in the script from 6 to 30 at one point but in runtime mode the cursor will eventually not respond to the correct distance that I am pointing at for sculpting.. for example; it may work for a moment when aimed where I am standing but a few clicks later it disappears into the distance. It takes about 30 seconds in Voxeland V2 on my computer to build a chunk/brush stroke at size 30+, I haven't been able to get into the sculpting with this new Voxeland v3.. I just placed the 16 terrain blocks, prepared all the same textures for each (took a long time) - which is why I asked you if possible to allow us to add the textures upon new terrain creation and remember those settings which can also speed things up for building new scenes.

    (2) I also have the Asset "Sectr Complete" and want to take advantage of its more advanced streaming and culling capabilities along with "Pool Manager" I can have more control over the culling like amount/percent & set time and maybe reduce draw calls if the same prefabs are populated on each terrain (still in planning/testing stage) With more terrains I can build one super large scene without loading any additional scenes, instead the terrain will load and the player wont notice any delay terrain/prefab loading. I wont be providing runtime editing in my project, it simply requires close to photorealism as possible for the landscape but performance and the ability to add new terrains/upgrades to provide more play/experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  41. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    Hello i realized that rebuilding the terrain adds more memory that is never released. ( Brand new project only with the voxeland plugin ) and not only that but when i save the scene then i get an error saying :
    When in game mode inside the editor memory is increasing little by little for like 10 minutes and then thankfully it stops.
    Using Unity 4.3.4 Pro

    Edit: Since my terrain is static and not infinite is there any way to export it with the textures and uv's in something like an fbx or i dont know so there are no leaks or anything for sure ?
     

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  42. pixelR

    pixelR

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    Is the following online game scenario possible?

    1. Very large terrain is generated then uploaded to a server.
    2. Whenever a player changes a block state, it is written to the terrain file on the server (then announced to every connected player to make them have a synced terrain).

    In other words, can the API read from/write to a remote terrain file? I assume it is possible without any problems, but I may also be wrong and this would cause performance problems (although if I did use the terrain remotely, users could only chnage blocks very slowly, so write requests would not spam the terrain file on the server, but there could be obviously a lot of read requests in an area of interest with e.g. 100 users entering at the same time).
     
  43. Wright

    Wright

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    NightmarexGR, I've tried more than 200 rebuilds one-after-one, amount of memory used by Unity increased about 10 first rebuilds, then increasing stopped. It seems that it's internal Unity processes - when Unity needs more memory it performs gc. There was no memory errors or other problems during all the rebuilds. I could go on testing after 200 rebuilds but the situation seems to be stable.

    You can bake all the terrain to Unity meshes (in .asset format) and then turn Voxeland component off.

    pixelR, you can perform these actions using Voxeland out of the box:
    1. save all terrain to byte list and load it from byte list
    2. set the blocks with script functions

    All the interface with remote server you'll have to do yourself. You can use the first function for sending terrain to server, and then add some code to SetBlocks function so when one of the clients changes terrain changes will be send to others with rpc. On receiving rpc all of the will use 2 action and set blocks at given coordinates.

    Or you can save terrain to byte list every time client changes blocks, and then monitor and sync differences in byte list.
     
  44. NightmarexGR

    NightmarexGR

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    I didnt know i had the option to bake the terrain !! AAA-asset then best quality and performance all bugs and errors fixed thnx !!
     
  45. Rod-Galvao

    Rod-Galvao

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  46. Wright

    Wright

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    NightmarexGR, thanks!

    If you bake assets to scene then meshes are stored in scene itself. If meshes are baked to .asset file then meshes are stored at a folder you choose.

    Rod Galvao, vertex color information is used exactly to set a terrain texture type, but you'll need a special shader to convert pure red, green or blue to the color of your choise. Or you can use 1*1 terrain textures.

    Voxeland does not use voronoi. In what way it could be used?
     
  47. JC_LEON

    JC_LEON

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    hI I0m new to unity and want to ask if I can have procedural terrain with voxeland or if must I paint all terrain manually.

    in other words..an voxelnad generate a terrain like terrain toolikt or terrain composer make for standard terrains??

    thanks in advance

    leon
     
  48. Ascensi

    Ascensi

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    H Wright, were you able to reproduce the errors that occurs after creating multiple terrains, repositioning & rebuilding them? It might only be noticeable after the scene is saved and Unity is restarted. It could also be in combination of adding textures and then maybe the terrain texture mapping/position isn't remembered -just guessing at this point.
     
  49. nikita68

    nikita68

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    Hello!

    How easily could islands be made with Voxelland? Could we make a large number or islands, each with indivdual parameters?

    Also could i make non-grass stuff spawn? For example trees, NPCs, villages etc..?

    Thank you!
     
  50. Wright

    Wright

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    JC_LEON, there is a terrain generator that creates random terrain based on your settings. It is not a realtime feature, but the created terrain could be saved and used ingame.

    Ascensi, thanks for advice. I'll make a more thorough tests with saving and restaring Unity and using different textur per each terrain.

    nikita68, you can generate mountainous area and fill it with water plane, that will create islands - just like in a default terrain. And if island size is much more than chunk size each island can have its own terrain and textures grass textures (even if all the islands share the same terrain).

    You can spawn any prefab as a block. Tree and light types are given as an example in demo.
     
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