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Paint based Terrain/Biome Generator


iByte
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I posted this request on the discord last year but did not receive any feedback before.

Would like a terrain/biome generation system that can take a simple PNG and generate a terrain based on a color legend applied to areas - Apologies for the crude paint but i think it conveys the idea. It would *need* to retain the terrain outline shape while applying the features. (edited)
unknown.png
 
I realize Gaia is capable of making the final out come but it would require a lot of manual stamping and masking I would assume. Looking for some thing more automated but with Gaia's ease of use
Edited by iByte
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This is something VSP does really well, using essentially splines to mark out the biomes rather than painting a map.

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  • iByte changed the title to Paint based Terrain/Biome Generator

Thanks for the suggestion. It has been made elsewhere, and is high in our list of to-do's.

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On 1/15/2022 at 11:46 AM, iByte said:

VSP as in Vegetation Studio Pro?

Yup vege studio. Splats are cool and all but it is nice at edit time to be able to drag arbitrary borders around ... the implementation they use also has a blend distance and noise parameters from the generated spline shape built in 

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On 1/14/2022 at 6:48 PM, iByte said:
I posted this request on the discord last year but did not receive any feedback before.

Would like a terrain/biome generation system that can take a simple PNG and generate a terrain based on a color legend applied to areas - Apologies for the crude paint but i think it conveys the idea. It would *need* to retain the terrain outline shape while applying the features. (edited)
 
 
I realize Gaia is capable of making the final out come but it would require a lot of manual stamping and masking I would assume. Looking for some thing more automated but with Gaia's ease of use

If I understand correctly, you want more than just a biome generated from the PNG, but also the terrain itself sculpted based on those areas....hmmmm interesting.

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We currently can do the biome part (spawning certain textures, trees, game objects etc.) in the colored parts, but the world designer is lacking the capability of picking & placing fitting stamps for each color, currently it is only possible to bias the stamp selection by height of the base terrain.
But I think it could be extended so that you can pass in such an image, and it could place stamps according to the coloring. What would not be so easily is to automatically generate a river from the river drawn on the image, that would provide some more extra steps.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm curious as to if this is going anywhere? VSP is becoming more outdated and error prone with each Unity update.

The ability to drag biomes would be the last killer feature Gaia truly needs to replace VGS for many of us.

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On 2/21/2022 at 4:32 AM, Brandon Dixon said:

I'm curious as to if this is going anywhere? VSP is becoming more outdated and error prone with each Unity update.

The ability to drag biomes would be the last killer feature Gaia truly needs to replace VGS for many of us.

I agree, having the ability to drag biomes would make a huge difference to Gaia in many ways. I hope that this feature is added in the near feature cause I wouldn't need to use VSP.

I wish Gaia/Gena could take some inspirations from VSP.

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9 hours ago, KarimZoPr0 said:

I agree, having the ability to drag biomes would make a huge difference to Gaia in many ways. I hope that this feature is added in the near feature cause I wouldn't need to use VSP.

I wish Gaia/Gena could take some inspirations from VSP.

Agreed. I was just talking with a friend about how there's NO alternative to VGS out there. And it's kinda silly. 

Biomes as a whole really need embracing by PW. It's what I really want to see from Gaia going forth.

 

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The ability to paint on masks for biome spawning (or to use in any spawner) will come 100%, that is a very often requested feature. What you can do in the meantime to achieve a similar result is to paint a mask in an external program (Photoshop, Gimp) and use it in the image mask component.
You can also paint an additional texture on the paint and bake the resulting texture into a mask with the mask map exporter, which then can be used in an image mask again.
Both of these workarounds are not as comfortable as to being able to simply paint on a mask, but it should allow you to get going if you need a painted mask for a biome or other spawning urgently.

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On 2/28/2022 at 6:44 AM, Peter said:

The ability to paint on masks for biome spawning (or to use in any spawner) will come 100%, that is a very often requested feature. What you can do in the meantime to achieve a similar result is to paint a mask in an external program (Photoshop, Gimp) and use it in the image mask component.
You can also paint an additional texture on the paint and bake the resulting texture into a mask with the mask map exporter, which then can be used in an image mask again.
Both of these workarounds are not as comfortable as to being able to simply paint on a mask, but it should allow you to get going if you need a painted mask for a biome or other spawning urgently.

Hmm, I've never made a mask in photoshop, so I'm not really sure where to start. I guess I'll google and see what I can find.

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13 hours ago, Brandon Dixon said:

Hmm, I've never made a mask in photoshop, so I'm not really sure where to start. I guess I'll google and see what I can find.

You would just need to make a black and white image, where white represents the areas where you want stuff to appear. Then save it in a format that unity can use for textures (png, tif, jpg, bmp...) Ideally you want to use 16 bit color depth for better precision, but 8 bit will work as well. Put the image somewhere in your assets directory, and assign it in an image mask:

image.png

If you have a hard time painting the mask in photoshop, note that in the session manager there is a tool to create a screenshot of the terrain:

image.png

When you press that, you can use the resulting image in photoshop on a different layer to make it easier to paint the black and white parts in the right areas:

image.png

image.png

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