Applies to: Gaia (Pro) 2023
Gaia (Pro) 2023 consists of multiple components that can be installed individually as needed. This allows you to remove unwanted components and art assets early on to reduce your project's file size and bloat.
The Setup Window
You can also bring up this window any time later via Window > Procedural Worlds > Setup... or from the Gaia Manager Setup Panel as well. It is possible to change the configuration of installed components at any time when the Editor is idle.
The main function of the window is to list the available components, display their current installation state and selecting an action if you want to change the installation state.
The icon at the beginning of the list is an indicator for the current installation state, it can have the following states:
|Uninstalled||The component is currently not installed and is ready for installation at will.|
|Installed||The component is currently installed.|
|Update Available||The component is installed & there is an update available for it.|
|No install sources||No install sources for this component are available anymore - it cannot be installed.|
|Warning||There is a potential issue with this component, but it can still be installed.|
|Error||There is a severe issue with the component so it cannot be installed anymore.|
After the state follows the name of the component, you can click on the name or the small triangle in front of it to get a description of what this component is/does:
The Source and Install sizes give an indication of how much space this component uses on your hard drive / in your project: Each component uses an installation package that is installed into an installation folder. The source size is the size of the installation package, the install size is the size of the installation folder.
Before the installation, the component will only use the source size, after the installation will use both the install size and the source size. There is the option to delete the installer sources, both for installed and uninstalled components. (see further below)
Depending of the install state and whether installation sources are deleted or not, those sizes are printed on the UI in slightly different color:
The brighter color means that size applies in the current state. In the example of the screenshot above, the one entry which is printed in a different gray tone has not been installed yet is showing 0,00 MB as size, as soon as it is installed the true size of the install will be displayed here and the color tone will change to the "active" color.
At the end of each row, there is a dropdown where you can select an action to perform with this component. The available actions depend on the current state of the package, e.g. when the package is installed already, there won't be an "Install" option anymore.
The available actions are:
|Install||Installs the component.|
|Uninstall||Uninstalls the already installed component.|
|Update||Updates the already installed component with a newer version.|
|Delete Source Package||Deletes the install source package to save storage space.|
|Install And Delete Source||Installs the component, and deletes the install source after to save storage space.|
|Update And Delete Source||Updates the component, and deletes the install source after to save storage space.|
You can choose an action for each component, and click the "Start" button below to perform these actions. It is possible to perform actions for multiple components at the same time and mix those actions as well, e.g. you can uninstall one package while installing another.
Another setting to be aware of is the “Switch Color Space to Linear” setting on top of the package list:
You will see this setting only if your project is currently NOT configured to use Linear Color Space. For most projects Linear is the better choice so Gaia offers to switch your project to Linear BEFORE installation begins. This will save time by avoiding a second import process as opposed to switching later.
Behind the scenes - what happens during the installation?
The mechanism behind the component installation is very simple. For each component, there is a unitypackage file in the directory:
Procedural Worlds/Package Cache/Gaia (Pro)
This file is what the "Source Size" in the Setup window is referring to. When a package is installed, the unitypackage will be decompressed into the folder:
Procedural Worlds/Package Install
"Uninstalling" equals to deleting the installation folder for that component / unitypackage. The component can then be installed again by running the unitypackage again.
"Deleting Source Package" equals to deleting the unitypackage file which serves as the install source.
Gaia stores the actions last performed on a component inside the Gaia User Data folder.
When a Gaia update arrives, the unitypackage files will be overwritten when you install the new Version from the Package Manager or from Canopy, and Gaia will recognize that newer versions are available for the packages. Since it knows what action was performed last for a package, it will automatically suggest the appropriate action for each component (See "Updating to a newer Gaia version" below)
Actions and consequences
Depending on the action you choose for your package, this can have some impact on the functionality of Gaia and/or your project. Most of these should be common sense:
- Most of the components require the core Gaia installation to make use of them. E.g. if you install an Asset pack, you will be able to use the assets in the scene, but to use the biome spawners you will need an install of the core Gaia package because it hosts the scripting logic for biome spawns.
- When you uninstall a component, scenes that used functionality or art assets of that component may not function correctly anymore afterward. E.g., if you use the Gaia Water runtime component in a scene, then uninstall the Gaia Water component, the Gaia Water will not be present in that scene anymore, as you removed necessary code and art asset files with the uninstall.
When you delete the installation sources to conserve hard disk space, you will not be able to install that component again afterwards. This will not affect already existing installations, this means it is fine to install a component, then delete the install source afterwards. The already installed component will still continue to work.
Where it gets interesting though is when you then to decide to uninstall the package, you will then not be able to install it back anymore. If you ran into this constellation by accident, you can bring the source files back by re-importing the original Gaia package from the Package manager or from the Canopy Download. In this way you will always be able to return to a fully working installation, even if you accidentally deleted sources.
Conserving storage space
To conserve as much storage space as possible, do install as few components as necessary. Consider to delete the install sources for already installed packages and packages you will 100% not use in the project. The install sources take up almost as much space as the installation itself, so this can cut your space requirements in half.
You will not be able to install those components again, but the already existing installed components will still function. If there is the need to bring an installation source back after it has been deleted, this can be done by re-importing the original Gaia package from the Package Manager or from your Canopy Download.
Updating to a newer Gaia version
When a new Gaia version is installed from the Package Manager window or via Canopy download, Gaia will open the Setup Window again. It will remember the last actions performed on the components, and will display the appropriate action in relation to the update. E.g. if a component was installed before, it will suggest "Update" as an action. If it was not installed, and the install sources were deleted, it will suggest "Delete Install Sources" instead.
In other words, as long as you do not want to change the configuration in the scope of the Gaia update, you can just click the "Start" button to let Gaia automatically process the components, and it will be a one-click update for you.