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  • Using the Procedural Worlds Stamp Packs


    Peter
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    Introduction

     With each Canopy Stamp Pack you own a collection of high-quality stamp images that you can use both in the Gaia Stamper and in the Gaia World designer. It is also possible to use these stamps without Gaia at all with the brush tools in the terrain inspector. This document details how you can use your new stamps with these different methods.

    Please Note: Using the stamps is a generic process that is the same across all Stamp Packs – all Stamp Packs work the same way, the only thing that changes is the type / category of stamps being added. 


    Prerequisites

    There are no prerequisites to install the stamp pack – if you plan to use the stamps in Gaia, you would need to have Gaia installed of course. The stamps work both with the Pro- and non-pro versions of Gaia.

    Render Pipeline Compatibility

    The stamp images have no dependencies to the render pipelines and can be used the same across all render pipelines. If you are using Gaia, make sure Gaia is setup correctly for the render pipeline you are using in the “Setup” tab in the Gaia Manager (more info on this can be found in the Quickstart Guide in the Documentation folder of your Gaia installation).
     
    Installation

    You can download the package from Canopy and install the .unitypackage contained in the download via Assets > Import Package > Custom Package.

    The stamps will install themselves into the directory

    Assets\Procedural Worlds\Gaia\Stamps\

     

    Using the Stamps

    In the Gaia Stamper
     

    To use your new stamps in the Gaia Stamper, simply select one of the new stamp categories for the stamp browser:

    image.png

    You can of course also drag and drop stamp images from the project hierarchy into the stamper directly:

    image.png

    The new stamps behave exactly like the ones that come with the Gaia installation, so with the new stamp selected you can just continue to use the stamper as you are used to.

    Pro Tip: The stamp browser also displays folders that you create under

    Gaia User Data\Stamps

    In this way you can create special folders with your own stamp collections that you can copy / reorganize from the existing stamp folders:


    image.png

    In the World Designer
     

    The Gaia World Designer also uses Stamp images in the background to assemble its terrains. You can add the stamps from your stamp pack so you can see features from these stamps on your generated terrains, or you can influence the entire look of the generated output by setting the chances that a certain stamp type appears in the output.

    You can find the different stamp types in the “World Detail” section of the World Designer. Each entry here represents one type of stamps from the stamp folder that will be used for generating the output.


    image.png

    The easiest way to get your new stamps to appear, is to swap an already existing category to use your new stamps instead. To do so, open the rule, and simply select a new Feature Type:

    image.png

    When you do generations now, the world designer should use the stamps from the new folder instead for the output. Depending on which category you used, and how the probabilities are for such a stamp to appear, you might not always see your new stamps on the terrain for each generation result. (e.g. when no instance of your category was spawned, you can see the number of stamps on the output in the brackets () before the category name)

    The more complex way of adding in your stamps is to create a new rule to add your new category as an independent new feature in the output. To do so, click on the “Add New Rule” Button at the bottom.


    image.png

    This creates a new feature for you to maintain. Select the Feature Type to use the stamp folder from your newly installed pack, then configure the following parameters:

    image.png

    Spawn probability – This is the same slider as in the list display and influences the overall chance that a stamp of this feature type will be selected. 

    Height probability – how the height of the base terrain will influence the chance of the stamp to appear (left side of the curve = minimum height, right side = maximum height). Note that you can activate the visualization with the eye icon to see the impact of this setting directly in the preview.

    image.png

    Stamp Height Modifier – controls how the underlying height of the base terrain at the spawn spot will influence the height of the spawned stamp. For example, if a mountain stamp would be drawn for spawning at a beach, it should receive only reduced height to not fully destroy the underlying base terrain shape.

    Invert Chance – Chance the stamp will spawn inverted (A valley instead of a mountain)

    Width Range – the possible width range for the stamp when spawning

    Mix Height Strength – Stamps are spawned using the Mix Height operation to blend in well with the already existing stamps. This slider controls the minimum and maximum strength for this operation according to the Stamp Height Modifier above)

    Mix Height Midpoint – another setting from the Mix Height operation. This setting controls whether the features found on the stamp should be elevated above the terrain, or rather should cut down into the terrain. 

    The more the slider range is to the left, the more this operation will use the stamp to elevate features above the terrain (Which you would want for mountain-like stamps) The more it is set to the left, the more it uses the features in the stamp to lower the terrain (Better for valleys, rivers, lakes).

    It is recommended to turn off all other stamp types while developing these settings, so you get an idea how those settings impact the output and you can assure the stamps come out in a good size and shape for your generation.

    If you are happy with your world designer settings, please note that it is possible to save and load world designer settings from the advanced tab:


    image.png

    The Gaia settings object also has a slot for the default settings that should be used for the world designer – if you make a setup that uses all your favorite stamps, you can configure Gaia to always use those settings instead when opening the world designer:

     image.png

    Using the stamps with the Unity Terrain Inspector


    It is also possible to use the stamp images without Gaia at all directly in the Terrain Inspector. To do so, select the terrain and select the “Paint Terrain” tab in the inspector. Select one of the modes that alter the terrain heightmap (Recommended: “Stamp Terrain”) and add the desired stamp as a new brush. You can edit the brush setting, stamp height etc. to your liking. When you hover the mouse over the terrain in your scene view, you can see a preview:

    image.png
     

    When you then click on the terrain, it will stamp the shape onto your terrain:

    image.png

    Please note that the terrain inspector is only a rudimentary replacement over the Gaia stamper and can e.g. not rotate the stamp images per default.

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