Just to start I have been doing a lot of research on this and have found tools such as World Machine, World Creator, Geoglpyh, Houdini, Vue and more. Cost isnt an issue, im more looking at what direction to take and what program to target my learning on.
I tried out World Machine and found it really unpleasant on the UI/friendliness side, It didnt seem very natural to create natural looking terrain, or atleast I struggled to find a tutorial where the results were something like I would like, a lot of them looked very unnatural.
One thing that has stumped me mainly is the tiling. So from what I understand from using Unreal Engine 4’s World Streaming, I can create a maximum of 8000m x 8000m in one tile, which I can then duplicate to make a 16x8km map, 16x16km map etc. In world Machine, tiling really confused me, obviously you get a preview of a tile but I couldnt find any tutorial explaining how to make say a 16x16km map then split it up into multiple tiles.
From what I understand World CREATOR does this by default when exporting but you view the entire map in one instance?
What im looking to do really is create a 16x16km terrain and just get myself a base, where I have some mountains, hills, flatlands, lakes rivers etc and have them all cut into the terrain so I can work on them inside unreal. Any tools that will aid in creating realistic materials onto it, or trees or anything of the sort to help compliment the terrain built is obviously a really nice plus, but I think I could learn a lot from a fellow map maker here to really understand where to just start.
That tutorial is correct and works. Only thing is i personally find the Z is still off and i use a much lower value than they recommend. Anyhow, this should help you understand tiling in WM.
The res that they are using per tile will require a bit of experimentation as well, recommended landscape resolution sizes can be found here:
Again experimentation is key.
What i suggest you do is you break this process up into 2 parts when hunting out learning material.
Learn the program for the landscape (ie World Machine) using tutorials just about that.
Then learn how to use world comp in the engine just by using those referenced docs and practicing.
To see it in action in engine and working (that tends to be how i learn, backwards, lol). Download the ARK mod kit. And load up some of there levels and have a play, you should be able to figure out world comp easy enough from that…
Remember, patience, and experimentation.
World Machine will be your best bet. You just have to learn how to use it properly. It’s pretty much the industry standard for world creation. Geoglyph is just an IDE for WM that expands on some functionality.
There are some other promising alternatives like World Creator, but they are still heavily in development and are just as UI unfriendly(in other ways).