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WorldMachine pipeline


saindd
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I'm curious about your pipeline with WorldMachine. I'm currently using this macro to export my splatmaps:


http://www.world-machine.com/library/index.php?entry=73&type=0&sort=recent&focus=1


However, my terrains look like shit with a lot of patterns in the textures, even when using details. How do you guys make such nice terrains (that i see i many T3D screens)? :)

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@saindd when WorldMachine generates a terrain, it does so for a terrain that's typically designed to look good at a distance (at least, I know this is the case for World Creator). So, therefore you have to adjust, and smooth out the close-up detail as Duion suggested, such that the terrain becomes playable.


The reason for this is that WorldMachine aims for realism, and realistically a terrain has almost infinite detail, however we have a limited budget for rendering our terrain and have to limit the resolution of our terrain. Therefore, you typically don't have a lot of detail up close (but you do have some ofc), and then for that fine up-close detail, you use rock models and foliage.


As for the splat-map, it looks odd. You may have to turn it upside-down, can't remember if that were fixed. I made tutorial for exporting from WorldCreator to Torque3D perhaps, some of it could help you do the same for World Machine.


Edit: also remember that out-of-the-box Torque3D is set to pretty low graphics settings, the shadow you see in your screenshot is therefore of a very low resolution (but looks fine up-close) you could turn up the visible-distance of the high-resolution version of this shadow, to get a better idea of how your terrain actually looks.

Edit Edit: This is also true for the resolution of the terrain itself.

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How can you increase terrain resolution? Or the shadow resolution? When i try to smooth the terrain, the tools end up adding even more triangles, with terrible shadowing results.

There is no tool that "adds triangles".. There is a fixed amount of triangles, what you can do, is change the LoD settings, such that there you push away the distance at which the terrain loses quality.


Shadow resolution, I believe is a property on the sun or scattersky object. Can't remember though, maybe someone else can pitch in here?

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Not adding triangles, i expressed myself badly. I mean the smooth tool: when i apply it to the terrain, i get an even worse look, with lot's of unaligned triangles in the terrain and bad shadowing. Not really smoothing the damn thing. I'm pretty sure this is a resolution problem, but still, i'm using a 2048x2048 heightmap with 1 meter per pixel config. Should i be using 4092 instead? Will it work outside 64-bit builds?

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I usually use 2048x2048 and get fine results from it, I don't know what triggers your issues, can you screenshot it?


IIRC it smooths relative to the other vertices selected by the tool, try using a bigger brush, can't tell for sure what you're actually doing though.


Edit: btw, increasing geometry resolution probably doesn't help on your shadow results. The shadowmap has its own resolution.

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First you should try to apply the splat map correctly, sometimes it needs to be flipped, since Torque handels some things differently, then you can see what the other issues are.

The resolution depends on the size of the terrain, if your terrain is 2048x2048 x1 then 2048x2048 basemap is fine.

The ugly spots you can smooth out with the torque smooth tool.

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The bigger brush doesn't help either, the large triangles just get smaller and detail is lost in the process. I guess WorldMachine isn't doing a good job for T3D as it was for more modern engines, like UDK. Do you guys recommend any other application, capable of generating good terrain for T3D?

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Just for a point of reference, can you put up some screens of what the World Machine terrain you're trying to bring in looks like in WM itself?


It'd give us a better idea of the parts that aren't translating properly.

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Just to be clear, T3D is just as capable of importing World Machine terrains as UE4 and the like :P


You still haven't shown a screenshot of the issue so tbh, I'm still not quite sure what the issue actually is, which makes it hard to help you solve it. the smooth tool, smooths out the terrain i.e. it sort of flattens it without removing the slopes right away. So yeah detail will be lost in the progress, but exactly what detail is it you don't want to lose? What you want to do is to remove spikes etc right? So you need to smooth the spike, such that it looks more natural, so you use the smooth and a suitable brush to flatten it.

Alternatively you could use a "lower height" brush with 1 vert radius and use that to manually adjust the detail, this is pretty tedious however and doesn't always provide better results, so the smooth tool is the "shortcut".


World Machine is one of the 2 solutions people use (outside L3DT which I personally believes uses inferior algorithms, and provides worse looking, but playable, terrains. Many uses World Machine, I personally use World Creator.

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Check the screenshot that i posted. You can see the triangles in the terrain, as if the smoothing groups were off. Also, some terrain edges are very hard, with the triangles showing a lot.


I'll create the same terrain in another engine and see if it can be a problem with the source heightmap.

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah, the problem only happens in Torque. I have tried Unity and Unreal and there are no "strange triangles" in the terrain. I'm almost sure this is a resolution problem. Maybe the terrain computing a wrong LOD for the current camera?

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For Torque 3D I would really recommend L3DT + T3D world editor terrain sculpting tools to finish and perfecting the results. Especially the tools smooth, smooth slope and grab terrain are all real handy to use.


I kind of tried out Wold Machine but I find the results to be too realistic to be good gaming terrain.

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One of the ways to increase density in the terrain is to open terrCell.cpp and modify the value smTriCount. Line 48 is where the value is calculated


const U32 TerrCell::smTriCount = TerrCell::smPBSize / 6;


I may have modified this value but thats what it says on mine. if you decrease it to say / 2 it will result in more triangles in the overall terrain mesh. Be advised though this may cause spikes in performance and also if u have a terrain already made export the heightmap before changing this value as when u load up a terrain that has already been changed it will be glitchy as hell

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Looking at your image I'd say your data is bumpy. This is a data issue - T3D, like any other engine, pulls in your heightmap data faithfully. Try it with UE4 or CryEngine or whatever - you'll get the same results. You'll need to look at fine-tuning your WorldMachine project a little, I think. If we're lucky, one of the WorldMachine gurus here will chime in....


Looks like a very nice tool to me - you can get amazing results.


Here is Dan's Pocket Guide to T3D Terrain - and I he's linked to the sample output that he used on his site.


Edit: Looks like his site is down.... sad day.

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If you're not getting the bumps then the terrain resolution has to be different and the "spikes" are being averaged out. The data is what it is. In T3D the terrain is pulled in as one pixel = one terrain vertex. I'm not familiar enough with UE4's terrain system to tell you why it would look different, but it really shouldn't and I'm surprised that it does.

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you would be best seeing if you can increase the number of vertexes and triangles and see if it fixes the issue, other than that i think unity and unreal are using voxel based terrains, they have all updated their source code to take advantage of geometry shaders aswell and use more levels of tessellation than torque can because of the whole dx9 thing

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have a look at this


http://www.garagegames.com/community/blogs/view/22324


Bill says he implemented PolyVox for the terrains there and you can clearly tell they have a far higher vertex count than what torque allows out of the box, but again he had to create a whole terrain class from scratch so he could do this


I would actually like to see something like this make its way in to the default build to be fair its pretty darn cool :D

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higher versions of DX make use of geometry shaders which in tun bring with them better dynamic tessellation that you just cant do with dx9 as far as i know. but seriously check out Bills blog that i linked you to above to see some of the features he was able to code into the engine with the help of a library called polyvox. This library brings with it many features that would help bridge the gap

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