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  • Big Environment Pack Reforged Spawner Pack - Documentation


    Peter
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    Tutorial Video


    Installation

     Ensure that you have installed the following packages from the Unity asset store / Canopy before installing the Big Environment Reforged Spawner Pack. This will ensure that all object references are correctly maintained.

    Big Environment Pack Reforged By Philipp Schmidt

    Gaia Pro 2021 - Terrain & Scene Generator | Terrain | Unity Asset Store
    Please make sure to use Gaia Pro Version 3.2.6 or higher!

    GeNa Pro - Terrains, Villages, Roads & Rivers | Terrain | Unity Asset Store


    It should still be possible to install the assets in any order, but you might see errors & warnings when e.g. the configurations from the Spawner Pack cannot find the original prefabs from the Stylized Big Environment Reforged asset.

    Then install the Big Environment Reforged Spawner Pack from Procedural Worlds. It will be installed into the following directories.


                Procedural Worlds

                Content Packs

                Philipp Schmidt

                Big Environment Pack Reforged

                Content Resources: Resources used by the pack.

                Prefabs: Prefabs that were used for constructing the spawners.

                Materials: Custom materials

                Documentation: Big Environment Reforged Spawner Pack documentation.

                Gaia Biomes: Gaia Pro Biome and Spawners.

                GeNa Masks: Handy masks for GeNa Terrain Flatteners.

                GeNa Roads: Contains a Road Profile for the use with the GeNa Roads system

                GeNa Spawners: GeNa Pro spawners, categorized

                Lighting: Lighting Profiles

     

    Forum Thread for active discussion: https://canopy.procedural-worlds.com/forums/forum/59-bepr-big-environment-pack-reforged/

                

    Render pipeline / Gaia shader support

     The Big Environment Pack Reforged officially does not support HDRP & URP, but we included unofficial support packages that allow you to utilize the Gaia shaders to use the pack in HDRP and URP. Even in built-in there is an advantage to utilizing the Gaia shaders, as it will allow you to use the dynamic snow coverage in combination with the Gaia Pro weather effects.

    There is one drawback when using the Gaia shaders over the ones that come with the Big Environment Pack itself: Most of the larger vegetation in the Big Environment Pack was created with the Unity Tree Creator, which automatically creates billboard LODs for trees. This automatic billboard creation does unfortunately not work with custom shaders, which is why you will lose billboard trees when using the Gaia shaders. You can compensate for that by increasing the tree draw distance instead.

    Please read the following instructions thoroughly if you intend to make use of the Gaia shaders in one of the render pipelines.


    image.png


    Built-In Pipeline:

    Install the support pack “Built-In BEPR Package” found in the directory

    Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Content Resources\Gaia Support Files\SRP Packages

    This will update the Gaia and GeNa spawners to use prefabs that utilize the Gaia shaders. There is no additional setup required. To restore the original state where the prefabs out of the Big Environment Pack are used directly, please reinstall the BEPR Spawner Pack.


    HDRP:

    1.  Install the support pack “HDRP BEPR Package” found in the directory 
      Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Content Resources\Gaia Support Files\SRP Packages
       
    2.  Make sure you switch Gaia to the HDRP Pipeline from the Gaia Manager Setup Panel. If it is not switched to HDRP, you should do so to make all surrounding systems of Gaia like the sky, water, etc. work in HDRP as well.

      image.png
       
    3.  Run the material update command for the HDRP Render Pipeline:

      image.png

      Note that there is an update command for ALL builtin materials and one only for selected materials. If using a lot of materials and / or you are not sure if the conversion might cause issues with other materials from other assets, you can search for all the materials included in the Big Environment Pack like so:

      image.png

      Now you can select all materials in the search result, and run the update command only for the selected materials. In this way you can make sure only the materials from that pack will be affected.
      This will update all materials that use e.g. the unity standard shader.
       
    4. Double check that the Diffusion profiles are assigned in the HDRP settings – this should be set up correctly already if you went through the Gaia Pipeline installation process, but if the profiles are missing the vegetation will be tinted green:

      image.png
       
    5. You can now start using the pack as usual. Note that the foliage on the converted trees reacts rather strong to reflected light, this can be reduced by tweaking the reflection lighting strength on the indirect lighting component:

      image.png
       
    6. If you find Gaias default lighting a bit too cheerful for the pack, you can load the included lighting settings for HDRP from
      Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Lighting

      image.png
       

    URP:

    1. Install the support pack “URP BEPR Package” found in the directory
      Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Content Resources\Gaia Support Files\SRP Packages
       
    2. Make sure you switch Gaia to the URP Pipeline from the Gaia Manager Setup Panel. If it is not switched to URP, you should do so to make all surrounding systems of Gaia like the sky, water, etc. work in URP as well.

      image.png
       
    3. Select all materials in the “BIG_Environment_Pack_Reforged” folder by searching for them in the project hierarchy. You can filter by type and select only materials from that specific folder:

      image.png

      Then run the material update command on the selected materials for the URP Render Pipeline:

      image.png

      This will update all materials that use e.g. the unity standard shader.
       
    4. Now you should be able to use the pack with the converted materials in the URP Pipeline. If you find Gaias default lighting a bit too cheerful for the pack, you can load the included lighting settings for URP from
      Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Lighting

      image.png

     

    Using the Big Environment Reforged Spawner Pack

    Typical Workflow

    The Big Environment Reforged Spawner Pack is designed to be used with Gaia and GeNa.

    A typical workflow would be to

    1. Create a Unity terrain with Gaia using the Stylized Village biome;
    2. Populate it with GeNa;
    3. Optionally finish it off with a full Biome Spawn with Gaia;

    Please note: While this is a suggested workflow you do not need to follow it. With GeNa Pro you can quickly add enhance any Unity scene. Most of the spawners will work on both Meshes and Unity terrain, however you will lose access to some features such as terrain flattening as this only works with Unity terrains.
    You could decide to use all, some, or none of Gaias Runtime system for lighting or water. 

    Asset Layout

    Here is a brief overview of the more important content directories that you would browse to find the Gaia and GeNa spawners to apply to your scene:


    Gaia Biomes:
    Gaia Pro Biome and the spawners used in that biome.

    GeNa Spawners / Houses:
    Gena Spawners to spawn variations of the complete houses in the pack.

    GeNa Spawners / Misc:
    GeNa spawners to spawn miscellaneous smaller objects you can use to flesh out your scene. Includes also a spline spawner intended to create a fence along a GeNa spline.

    GeNa Spawners / Nature:
    GeNa spawner for forests, bushes and rocks.

    GeNa Spawners / Villages:
    GeNa spawners for complete village parts that allow you to assemble a village quickly.

     

    World Creation with Gaia Pro 

    In this example we will create a base world with Gaia Pro 2021 that we then populate with the help of the spawner pack.

    image.png

    Select “BEPR Biome” as the Target Biome and generate a base world either manually with the Gaia stamper or with the World Designer. We will use the World Designer for this example.

    image.png

    The world designer is a tool that is more explained in detail in the Gaia Quickstart Guide and in the documentation. If you are not too familiar with it, you can press “Randomize All” to get a new world each time.

    When you are happy with your preview hit Generate World.

    image.png

    This will create and texture your terrain, and when it is complete it will select the biome object and present you with the option to Spawn the full Gaia Biome.

    Do not do this yet – it is far easier to work on a clean terrain than on one that has already been filled with content. You can optionally do this at the end if you still think you need more content in your scene.

    The next optional step is to add the Gaia runtime into your scene. Gaia runtime sets up lighting, post fx, water, camera etc. You do not need it, but it makes the development experience nicer. You can remove it later as desired.

    Click on the Manager button to open the Gaia Manager. You can choose lighting and water presets that you like, and then hit Create Runtime.

    image.png

    Magic happens…

    image.png

    Though this default lighting and post-processing is good, it doesn't give the soulslike feel we want for this pack to fix this go to Gaia Runtime/Gaia Lighting in the hierarchy and press “Load From File”

    image.png

    Then Navigate to Assets/Procedural Worlds/Content Packs/Big Environment Pack Reforged/Lighting and open the file you find there.

    image.png

    image.png

    Much Better!


    And you can now press play to survey your (currently still empty) new scene. A cool trick is to hit F11 to go into Photo Mode with Gaia Pro 2021 where you can play with lighting, post fx etc.

    image.png

     

    World Population with GeNa Pro

     

    Spawning

    image.png

    To use the GeNa spawners, drag one of the GeNa spawner prefabs into your scene. Hit Shift+Left Mouse click to sample your terrain. GeNa will also give you a visualization of where the structure can be spawned.

    image.png

    Press Ctrl+Click in any valid area to spawn. GeNa will child any prefabs or splines it spawns into your scene underneath the terrain of the scene it was spawned on. This is so that things like Gaia’s Terrain streaming system can manage object loading and unloading correctly.

    image.png

    A wood house asset was automatically assembled out of different prefabs. Note that usually you would need to pick a random house prefab yourself– and place the vine and interior decoration by yourself, then adjust the terrain so it is flat underneath – all by hand, while here you can spawn a random new house with a single click.

    Iterating

     

    Many of the GeNa spawners offer multiple variations on the same basic structure, so you can have fun ‘iterating’ the spawn result until you get the one you want.

    To do this, first hit Ctrl+Left Mouse click to spawn, and then without de-selecting the spawner Iterate the spawn by hitting Ctrl+Shift+I to get another version of it. Keep Iterating until you get what you want.

    GeNa will switch the visualizer off while you are doing this in order to make it easier to see the final result.

    Here is some iterated variations of the same wood house spawner:
     

    image.pngimage.png

    image.pngimage.png 

    Undo 

    You can undo any GeNa spawn or spline operation by hitting Ctrl+Z.
     

    Fixed Rotation Spawning

     Some GeNa spawners are set up to operate in Fixed Rotation mode. Fixed rotation allows you to change the direction that the object will spawn.

    Fixed Rotation is indicated with a blue arrow that shows the direction that the object will be rotated in when it is spawned.

    Hold the left Shift key, and click and drag the mouse to change the direction that the object will spawn in. The blue direction pointer will update to show you the new direction.

    When you have selected your rotation then spawn as usual with the Ctrl+Left Mouse click.

    This technique makes precise orientation of your structures easy to achieve. It is also very useful when used in conjunction with splines.

    image.png

     

    Paint Mode

    Some GeNa spawners are set up to operate in “Paint Mode”.

    With these spawners you can hit Ctrl + Left Mouse Click to spawn, and then drag your mouse to continue to “Paint” your objects into your scene. The flow rate is the distance in meters that you need to move before the next spawn iteration is executed.

    If you do not like what it did, you can then hit Ctrl+Shift+I to Iterate and get another version of the paint operation, or Ctrl+Z to undo it.

    image.png

     

    Splines 

    Paths, fences, hedges, and other interesting path-based effects can also be spawned along GeNa Pro Splines.

    To add a spline to the scene right click in the hierarchy and select “GeNa -> Add Spline”

    image.png

    Hit Ctrl+Left Mouse click to add nodes to the spline.

    image.png

    Drag and drop a spawner onto the spline.

    image.png

    Adjust the flow rate – this controls the distance between spawns.

    Click align to spline – optional but is often used in conjunction with Offset Rotation Y to change the angle of the objects along the spline. You can experiment with these settings to get the look you want.

    Hit the spawn button to spawn along the spline.

    image.png

    You can further refine this by clicking on the spline nodes and modifying them (note – only works with prefab spawns). If you are unhappy with more permanent spawn types such as terrain trees, texturing or carving then hit Ctrl-Z first.

    image.png

    Using Spline Extensions

     

    GeNa Pro allows you to mix and match as many spline extensions as you like. You can consider to build on them one at a time, and then bake the result when you are done. Baking is the process of finalizing the operation being performed by the extension. In general you want to do this when you are comfortable that you are done.

    To carve and flatten the terrain along a spline, for example when creating a road, you can use the carve extension.

    image.png

     To texture the terrain along a spline, you can use the terrain extension in “Texture” mode:

    image.png

     And finally, you can also add spawner extensions to spawn things along the spline. For example you can spawn the tile prefabs in a row:

    image.png

     

    GeNa Decorator System 

    GeNa comes with an exceptionally powerful decorator system, and this allows you to exert a high degree of control over how your content is spawned into your scene.

    You see how many of the prefabs used in the spawners were configured by looking at them in Procedural Worlds/Content Packs/Philipp Schmidt/Big Environment Pack Reforged/Content Resources/Prefabs.

    Here for example we have a miscellaneous slot that uses a transform decorator:


    image.png

    When this miscellaneous slot is being ingested by a spawner, GeNa will recognize the decorator and apply those settings to the transform of the miscellaneous slot when being spawned.

    You can also find a “One Child Of” decorator on the parent object.


    image.png

    This decorator will cause GeNa to unpack the prefab, randomly choose to spawn only one of the children as decoration for the box when spawning. This leads to the boxes looking slightly different with each spawn, having different decorations (or none) on them:
     

    Study how these prefabs were configured and use the ideas to set up your own content decorators.

    For more information on Decorators, please read the GeNa Documentation.
     

    API Based Runtime Spawning

    GeNa Pro can be controlled via API to spawn at runtime. Please check out the GeNa Pro documentation to lean more.

     

    World Finalization with Gaia Pro

    In some scenarios you will want to use Gaia Pro to finalize your world. This will fill out all the areas you did not design yourself with GeNa & other tools. To do this select your biome under Gaia Tools and hit Spawn Biome.

    image.png

    image.png

    You can opt out of individual biome spawners and just spawn the ones you want if you would prefer this instead of all of them.

    image.png

    NOTE: You can add Gaia biomes to your scene at any time by selecting the biome and then clicking ‘Add Biome To Scene’.

    image.png

     

    Important Info on the Grass & Flower Spawners

    The grass and flower spawners found in the biome use the GPU Instanced mesh rendering feature of the unity terrain detail system introduced in Unity 2021.2. These spawners are pre-configured to use Flora as well, which will display the grass at a higher density during runtime than the default unity grass:

    image.png

    If you are using an earlier version of Unity, you can find compatible legacy spawners working with the older terrain detail rendering systems in the folder
    Assets\Procedural Worlds\Content Packs\Big Environment Pack Reforged\Gaia Biomes\Legacy Spawners


    image.png

    To use these spawners you can either select them and add them to the scene individually, or you can swap them out in the Biome preset like so:

    image.png

    If the biome is used now, it will call those legacy spawners instead which are compatible with the earlier rendering system.

     

    Mesh Based Terrain Generation

    A powerful capability of Gaia Pro 2021 is its ability to convert your Unity terrain to a mesh and then to remove the original terrain completely.

    The upside of this is that meshes are generally much faster than Unity terrain, but you also lose the ability to render unity terrain grass and terrain trees.

    This would typically be done as one of the last things you do before finalizing your scene, as the GeNa spawners can flatten Unity terrain, but not flatten meshes (e.g., under buildings).

     

    To convert your terrain to a mesh terrain, or a low poly mesh terrain.

    1. Open Gaia Manager
    2. Select Advanced Tab
    3. Select Gaia Tools Foldout
    4. Click on Terrain Mesh Exporter button.
    5. Choose the option you want e.g., Low Poly Mesh.
    6. Start the Export.

    image.png

    Here is an example low poly mesh export:

    image.png

     

     

     

    Scene Finalization

     

    When you are finished creating your scene the following things can reduce the size of your build.

    1. Remove Gaia Tools. They are used only for creating environments.
    2. Bake and then remove all your GeNa splines.
    3. Delete your GeNa spawners.

     

    Spawner Examples

    (A few of many variations obtained by iterating on the spawner using Shift+Ctrl+I)
     

    Castles
    image.pngimage.png

     

    Cliffs

    (best used on a location with “natural” cliffs / steep areas, spawn the cliff at the bottom of the slope with the arrow pointing away from the slope for the best results!)
     

    image.pngimage.png
    image.png

    Houses

    image.pngimage.png

     image.png

    Rocks

    (many variations and sizes of rock spawners exist)
     

    image.pngimage.png

     image.png


     

    Ruins

    image.pngimage.png

     image.png

    Vegetation

    (Many different sizes and variants exist, also spawners for specific sorts of trees.)

    image.pngimage.png

    image.png

     

    Gaia Pro Biome Examples

    BEPR Biome
    image.png

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