IN­STANT LAND­SCAPES

Want to make your own nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment land­scapes? Alexis Vaisse, for­mer Ubisoft soft­ware developer and now CEO of Wysi­lab (www.wysi­lab.com), shows you how with the com­pany’s In­stant Terra tool

3D World - - FEATURE -

01 GEN­ER­ATE THE TER­RAIN

Start a project by adding one of In­stant Terra’s ter­rain generators. The View­port dis­plays a vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the ter­rain and the Graph hosts the pro­ce­du­rally linked nodes that com­pose the ter­rain. Dou­ble click on the node to open its pa­ram­e­ters and mod­ify them to be­gin shap­ing the ter­rain. You can also im­port ter­rains from sin­gle im­age files or sev­eral im­age files and mod­ify them.

02 TRANS­FORM THE TER­RAIN

Ex­plore dif­fer­ent ap­proaches by link­ing nodes, for ex­am­ple, to con­strain the el­e­va­tion, com­press the ter­rain on the Y axis to achieve a folded struc­ture, and cre­ate a nat­u­ral slope. The in­di­vid­ual nodes ac­cu­mu­late pro­ce­du­rally, and can be mixed us­ing com­po­si­tion nodes to form the dif­fer­ent ge­o­log­i­cal prop­er­ties of the ter­rain. Fo­cus first on global forms and then re­fine the ter­rain by ad­just­ing each node’s pa­ram­e­ters.

03 COM­POSE THE TER­RAIN

Com­pose two ter­rains and use the mul­ti­plier co­ef­fi­cients of each ter­rain to cre­ate a com­bined re­sult. Full com­po­si­tion gives max­i­mum free­dom when com­pos­ing ter­rains with trans­late, scale, and ro­tate op­tions. You can also com­pose two ter­rains with a mask, for ex­am­ple, paint a mask di­rectly in the 3D view and com­pose it with moun­tains and a less steep, sandy ter­rain to de­fine where the river flows.

04 SIM­U­LATE ERO­SION

Cre­ate re­al­is­tic ero­sion and deposition ef­fects caused by rain­fall and river flows. Com­bine two masks with dif­fer­ent heights, and then use the height val­ues to de­fine the area be­tween the river and the moun­tains. Edit the mask prop­er­ties or com­bine them us­ing mask com­po­si­tion nodes to achieve a fi­nal re­sult. Ap­ply global ero­sion to sim­u­late the sed­i­ment that has been washed away by the runoff.

05 GEN­ER­ATE MASKS AND EX­PORT OP­TIONS

Gen­er­ate masks from the ter­rain prop­er­ties, such as slope, height, cur­va­ture, or an­gle, and ex­port them to use them later to achieve an ef­fect. The mask cre­ated has the same size and res­o­lu­tion as the in­put ter­rain. You can also ex­port a ter­rain as a grayscale height map or a mesh. If the ter­rain has a colour map, you can ex­port it as an im­age file.

06 CRE­ATE A LAND­SCAPE

Im­port the ter­rain with a ren­der­ing en­gine, com­bine the ex­ported masks, and ap­ply dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als. The masks are used to de­fine where to ap­ply ter­rain assets, such as grass, trees, or rocks, etc, in or­der to cre­ate a land­scape. The work­flow re­mains ap­prox­i­mately the same for all of the ren­der­ing en­gines: here, we use Un­real En­gine, but you can al­ter­na­tively ex­port to 3ds Max, Unity, Maya, etc.

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