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Thread: Landscape Architect

  1. #81
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    This is awesome Ali, I can't wait.
    Storyteller - An immersive VR audiobook player

    Dungeon Survival - WIP First person dungeon crawler with a focus on survival and environmental gameplay ala roguelikes

  2. #82
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    @n00854180t Thanks!

    I've added more generator nodes (constant, gradient and radial gradient)

    Here's an example of the radial generator:


    You can combine this with other nodes


  3. #83
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    I'm thinking of adding Landscape Theme Volumes. You drop in this volume over your landscape and assign a theme to it and it the landscape would blend that theme over the volume area. Alternatively, we can also have like a theme brush where you paint the various theme influences on landscape

  4. #84
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    What you really want is a gradient remapper Ali (aka curves tool).

    That way you'll be able to modify your raw noise into all sorts of interesting variations e.g. multi ridged fractals.

    *edit* sorry, more useful pic:

    Name:  multiRidgedFractal.JPG
Views: 1291
Size:  16.5 KB

    It's just straight noise, but you invert the [0.5..1.0] values to go from 0.5 back down to 0 again.

    By itself it's a bit ugly but mixed with other things one of the greats
    Last edited by ioFlow Studios; 08-17-2016 at 07:29 AM.

  5. #85

  6. #86
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    Added a curve tool

    With / Without the curve node




    Another example with erosion

  7. #87
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    Added a clamp node. The strength of the clamp can be customized to retain the rough surfaces


  8. #88

  9. #89
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    hello Ali Akbar,


    the radial node make me think about a simple feature, I don't know how you handle the height map, if they are texture or material or a specific format that fit better your needs: but would be great if it was possible (or in the future) to have a nodes that allow to went in/out to epic mat. Would allow to use all the power of the already existing material editor.


    question:
    what are the map size limit of your generator ?

  10. #90
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    Quick question, is it possible to create a seamlessly tileable piece or series of pieces?

    Thanks!

  11. #91
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    LOVE the curve stuff

    EVERYONE should buy this!

    Sweet mother of God those voxel landscapes make it hard to stay focused on non voxel based stuff

  12. #92
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    This looks REALLY good!
    Any idea on release date/cost?
    I'm a poor man but holy **** this is worth it!
    Thanks!
    -Josh Steinhauer ~ HERO ~ My Blog ~ My Twitter

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvain_l View Post
    hello Ali Akbar,


    the radial node make me think about a simple feature, I don't know how you handle the height map, if they are texture or material or a specific format that fit better your needs: but would be great if it was possible (or in the future) to have a nodes that allow to went in/out to epic mat. Would allow to use all the power of the already existing material editor.


    question:
    what are the map size limit of your generator ?
    @sylvain_l That's actually a very good idea. I'll add a Material Input node that builds a heightmap generated by a material.

    I'll also be working on the coloring framework soon and will dive into the engines C++ material system to get a better understanding

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by sylvain_l View Post
    question:
    what are the map size limit of your generator ?
    Quote Originally Posted by hippowombat View Post
    Quick question, is it possible to create a seamlessly tileable piece or series of pieces?

    There are no restrictions on the map size. The node based graph eventually turns out to be a big math formula with the xy coordinates as input. So it can be as big as you want and placed anywhere. It can also have infinite scroll / streaming. However, I need to confirm if the engine lets me modify the landscape data during runtime
    Last edited by Ali Akbar; 08-19-2016 at 12:26 AM. Reason: typo

  15. #95
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    @ioFlow Studios, @joshcamas Thanks!

    I haven't decided on the price yet but it should be affordable

  16. #96
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    Added a texture input node so you can provide your own height maps if needed


  17. #97
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    Forums finally back. It's been a busy week

    Erosion Algorithm Improvements
    I fixed a silly bug in the erosion algorithm which was causing lots of eroded sand to be lost. When a water drop was destroyed, it was taking the sand it was carrying with it. I drop it back into the landscape when the water evaporates and the result looks much better. These images are also using the new color framework with flow and deposition maps from the erosion node












    The erosion node takes in a curve so you can adjust the intensity of the flow and deposit colors for different range of values


    Color Framework
    Nodes can emit weight maps which you can assign to different layers in the landscape.




    Material framework Integration

    The theme editor is fully integrated with the material editor. It automatically manages a material for you. The master material will have a blend layer node with layers automatically assigned to it (whenever you create a corresponding node in the theme editor). It will also take care of creating a landscape layer asset file and saving it on the disk. In the material node, each layer will call a function, which is mapped to the theme editor's node. Double clicking the theme editor's node opens up the material editor for that function so you can define you own complex functions. I'll create a video demoing this later


    Voronoi Curvature
    You can control the curvature of the Voronoi node



    Some more screens:








  18. #98
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    Hi Ali,

    Amazing work on this plugin so far! I'm really interested in buying this when it comes out and I had a few questions:

    In the description above, you mention that LA will be able to "automatically takes care of setting up the materials, foliage, world composition etc." Does this mean that you will automatically texture the landscape similarly to Landscape Auto Material from VEA Games? If so, will the material be able to automatically populate terrain with grass, bushes, and other specified meshes based on slope, height, etc?? I'm currently considering buying LAM when it goes on sale, but if you have this functionality planned, then I rather wait for LA to be released

    For the Heightmap generator - Will we be able to generate the procedural landscape, then manually modify it with the UE4 landscape tools, and then somehow reapply your material so it takes into account the new landscape geometry (Say I make a new mountain - will your material then auto-texture the landscape again to take this into account?)

    Will it be possible to add new layers to your material (weighted and un-weighted)?

    For the Voxel terrain - How far after the initial release do you think you can add it to LA? Will the Voxel landscape also have the auto-texturing and foliage placement?

    As far as updates - if we buy the plugin directly from you - how do you handle updates? Do we get all future updates for free?

    As far as pricing, I saw DA for $99. Is this the price range you are considering for LA as well?

    And most importantly - can you give us a general idea of when you think the first release of LA will be available for purchase? I want to make sure I can get it as soon as it comes out!

    Thanks a lot!

    -Jorge

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoquiGames View Post
    Hi Ali,

    Amazing work on this plugin so far! I'm really interested in buying this when it comes out and I had a few questions:

    In the description above, you mention that LA will be able to "automatically takes care of setting up the materials, foliage, world composition etc." Does this mean that you will automatically texture the landscape similarly to Landscape Auto Material from VEA Games? If so, will the material be able to automatically populate terrain with grass, bushes, and other specified meshes based on slope, height, etc??
    @CoquiGames Thank you. The texturing is done automatically. LA doesn't work with texturing. Instead it creates weight maps on layers and lets you assign any effect you like from a material function (that works on that layer). The material, and the material functions are automatically created and managed for you. The default material function has a basic texture (white grid) and a color multiplied to it. You can change it to anything you like. So, automatic texturing is working right now

    I'm currently considering buying LAM when it goes on sale, but if you have this functionality planned, then I rather wait for LA to be released
    I haven't gotten to foliage yet, but procedural foliage would be supported. I haven't used LAM yet so I'm not sure.

    I'll contact the author to see if our tools can work together. I've also contacted the awesome Road Plugin's author to see if we can have seamless interoperability between the plugins.

    For the Heightmap generator - Will we be able to generate the procedural landscape, then manually modify it with the UE4 landscape tools, and then somehow reapply your material so it takes into account the new landscape geometry (Say I make a new mountain - will your material then auto-texture the landscape again to take this into account?)
    That's a useful use case. I'll think of a way to implement it.

    Will it be possible to add new layers to your material (weighted and un-weighted)?
    You can add new layers by opening the auto-generated material. It needs some work (I wipe out the unused layers if not used, in the development build)


    For the Voxel terrain - How far after the initial release do you think you can add it to LA? Will the Voxel landscape also have the auto-texturing and foliage placement?
    I need to add tooling on the voxel terrain. It will support auto material management and procedural foliage placement

    As far as updates - if we buy the plugin directly from you - how do you handle updates? Do we get all future updates for free?
    All future updates are free and will be supported for the lifetime of UE4

    As far as pricing, I saw DA for $99. Is this the price range you are considering for LA as well?

    And most importantly - can you give us a general idea of when you think the first release of LA will be available for purchase? I want to make sure I can get it as soon as it comes out!
    It should be around that price, although I haven't decided yet. It depends on how much value I think the plugin can create for you, so I'm focusing on the features

  20. #100
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    Added Spline rasterization support. You use the existing UE4 editor's spline tools. But you control the rasterization in the graph



    Here the spline is added to the height map before the erosion node








  21. #101

  22. #102

  23. #103

  24. #104
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    Hi Ali,

    Thank you so much for the answers! Great to hear you will be able to assign materials to each layer. For reference, I would recommend you check out this showcase of LAM so you can see how it works - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkypCxc2Mzg.

    Basically, you assign a master material to the landscape. This material has 5-6 layers that include grass, sand, mountain side, rocks, etc. And as you sculpt the terrain, the material updates in real time (blending and painting the landscape). The biggest benefit of LAM for folks like me is that the blending of layers is seamless and the materials all work well together.

    However, the two biggest downsides of LAM are:
    -Its very heavy on performance - many people complain that they cant really use LAM "out of the box" with anything outside of very highend cards.
    -Since its realtime, the material compiles every time you make a change - The constant shader compilation can be disruptive as you cant do quick landscaping

    If I were to have my wishlist, I would imagine the workflow to be something like this:

    - Create base landscape with your node interface (heightmap or voxel)
    - Do manual edits to the landscape (for me this is a necessary step 90% of the time to make landscape game-ready)
    - Once I'm done with an initial edit - I press a button or run a function that "re-textures" the map based on slope, height, etc and populates the terrain with the foliage

    This would be ideal because you don't have the constant compiling of shaders (since its not "realtime" like LAM), yet it keeps almost all the benefits since you can just press a button to have the whole map compile at any time.

    If you could somehow make your material run well on mid-range cards, then I truly believe you would have the best landscape solution for Indies and Hobbyist out there


    Another project that might be worth checking out is this - https://www.artstation.com/artwork/QoA48. I really think LA could benefit from a road tool similar to the one in this project. I especially like how the road adjusts to changes in the terrain (if you lower the terrain, the road becomes a bridge, etc).

    Sorry if I'm making too many suggestions, but I want to make sure LA is the best landscape plugin it can be - its going to be my preferred solution afterall

  25. #105
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    Luminary
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    Do manual edits to the landscape (for me this is a necessary step 90% of the time to make landscape game-ready)
    IIRC Ali is adding in a brush tool or set of brush tools. Not sure which to be honest. I will need to go back and read up.
    It would be great if the brush textures were just alpha textures (similar to Zbrush) as those are really easy to make.

    @Ali Akbar - Got two questions

    1. Will this work seamlessly with your other plugins such as Dungeon Architect, City Architect and the like?
    2. Would It be possible to have Landscape Architect import and render NASA SRTM data? You can find more details > here < Just a fair warning the whole dataset is massive and covers all of the Earth.

  26. #106
    0
    Luminary


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    Is the voxel terrain based on the GPU Gems 3 example, perchance?

  27. #107
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    @CoquiGames Thanks for the feedback. I haven't gotten to reducing the compile time yet but it is in my todo list.

    I believe if the code exposes all the necessary parameters from the auto-generated master material and change those params from the assigned dynamic material instance, it would not trigger a recompile (also the result in the viewport is immediate). Since the master material network wouldn't need to be changed when you are modifying the geometry or painting the landscape, it shouldn't trigger a recompile when the height or weights are modified on a layer. I briefly experimented with this and it looks like it should work, i might be wrong though


    - Create base landscape with your node interface (heightmap or voxel)
    - Do manual edits to the landscape (for me this is a necessary step 90% of the time to make landscape game-ready)
    - Once I'm done with an initial edit - I press a button or run a function that "re-textures" the map based on slope, height, etc and populates the terrain with the foliage
    That makes sense. I'll support a workflow like this


    Sorry if I'm making too many suggestions
    Not at all Your feedback will help improve it

  28. #108
    0
    1. Will this work seamlessly with your other plugins such as Dungeon Architect, City Architect and the like?
    2. Would It be possible to have Landscape Architect import and render NASA SRTM data? You can find more details > here < Just a fair warning the whole dataset is massive and covers all of the Earth.
    @HeadClot Yes it would work seamlessly with the DA and CA. I have a prototype of a basic rasterization framework that lets other plugins draw shapes on the generated heightmap and interpolate the sides with a falloff. So DA would draw the generated layout on the landscape heightmap at a certain point in the theme graph. It will also influence the weight maps on the layers to give the landscape different color, add remove foliage etc (wip)

    I had a look at SRTM and it looks like a good source for lots of free test data for Landscape Architect. I went ahead an added support for it

    Just drop in your *.dt2 files from the data archive into the content browser and it should create an asset. Assign that asset to the SRTM node in the theme graph



    It also supports correction maps (HEM) if it is assigned to the node






    I also added a blur node. I pass the SRTM data through a blur filter to remove excessive noise

  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambershee View Post
    Is the voxel terrain based on the GPU Gems 3 example, perchance?
    @ambershee Yes it is I have a multi-threaded CPU implementation (as opposed to the GPU implementation on the paper) as I am not bound by a runtime-only constraint

  30. #110

  31. #111
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    Thank you for taking my workflow into consideration!! Can't wait for the plugin to be released - keep up the awesome work!

  32. #112
    0
    Luminary
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    Hey @Ali Akbar -

    Got a few questions -

    1. How scale-able system spec wise is landscape architect?
    * Can it run on high end mobile devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV?
    * What is the min hardware required for landscape architect?
    * Would it be possible to get a mobile setting for landscape architect?

    2. Does Landscape Architect support multi tile Terrain?

  33. #113
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    Bro.. Your too Good... @.@ Seriously.

  34. #114
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    Infiltrator
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    Definitely interested in this. I hope it comes out soon!

  35. #115
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    Absolutely brilliant
    I expected challenges - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.

  36. #116

  37. #117
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    4.13 contains lots of nice landscape improvements. Notably this:

    Landscape now compiles dramatically fewer shader combinations for landscape materials, improving first-load shader compile times, improving editor iteration and reducing memory usage and shader cache size.

  38. #118
    0
    Luminary
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Akbar View Post
    4.13 contains lots of nice landscape improvements. Notably this:
    That is awesome - Totally missed that

  39. #119
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    My only thought while reading through this thread was "World Machine is going to lose a lot of UE customers."

  40. #120
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    Luminary
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    Hey @Ali Akbar

    Check this out -



    Would it be possible to make something like that for landscape architect?

    I can see this being really useful for rapidly creating biomes (themes?), continents and / or large islands.

    Just curious,

    - HeadClot
    Last edited by HeadClot; 09-11-2016 at 08:53 PM.

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