Author Topic: Terrain Geology effects  (Read 41431 times)

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Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« on: June 11, 2005, 03:44:13 PM »
Geology is a passion of mine....... Why not to make it simple use Regional Land Types??? There are 4 types in the world that i am aware of - Highlands, Coastal Plains, Continental Shield and Continental Plains... each of these distinct land features have there own look with what types of terrain is contained in each type... but i was thinking making macro's out of each type with a detailed description as well... Possibility perhaps.......... i brought up this very subject of unique land forms as land sculpting tool sets for terragen 2 and i beleave i sent it John McClusky as he sent it to the developers... probably Matt i would think..... it was a PDF file covering every single type of geology i could find in the text books... each tool had a series of functions and what it was supposed to imitate... i really went into this one........... never knew what became of those suggestions though???... i think a macro supplied with a tutorial with references to the actual terrain form could be done by someone here... me??? maybie..... if i am up to it......... after v1.0 is released these types of tutorials could be added by us world machine users leaving the basic user manual information to what will be supplied with the final release......... what does anyone think about this??????

Sethren

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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2005, 03:55:17 PM »
I think that kind of stuff is well within the limits of macros, especially in 1.0, and that it is definitely the realm of user generated content. If World Machine wanted to be a "terrain type combiner", it would be L3DT, which is to say a completely different application. :D It certainly has the flexibility and functionality to *implement* that kind of thing, but to officially create and support it, I don't know if that is what WM is about.

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Remnant

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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2005, 04:12:18 PM »
Geology is a minor passion of mine -- I'm one of those geeks who likes poking around in the mountains, or sitting glued to the passenger window of an airplane seeing the landforms pass by.

With that said, I think having guides to create the specific types of natural landforms seen in the real world is probably outside of the scope of the WM documentation. It's more of a "Guide to 101 WM Landscapes" type companion  guidebook than an integral part of the product. I think the best I can hope to reasonably do in the basic WM documentation is to give the users the know how to reason out how to produce the effects themselves.

I have thought of the same sorts of things as you though Sethren -- that it would be possible to make a well thought out and integrated Geology macro set for WM. It would be a large task, but the result would be something more "concrete" for WM  users to use rather than the more abstract, mathematical "Perlin Noises" and "Displacement" and all that.

I'd be interested in seeing that text fiile you wrote up.
-- Stephen Schmitt
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Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2005, 07:20:30 PM »
"I think having guides to create the specific types of natural landforms seen in the real world is probably outside of the scope of the WM documentation. It's more of a "Guide to 101 WM Landscapes" type companion guidebook than an integral part of the product. I think the best I can hope to reasonably do in the basic WM documentation is to give the users the know how to reason out how to produce the effects themselves. "

Yes... i agree.........
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I am still thinking on working on those geology macro concepts even if it takes me weeks and long hours to work on but for me it sounds fun..........

i was addicted to this software at one point having hundreds of presets but i went through them and dumped all but the ones that seemed the most plausible to me... some of those are based on the regional land structures that exist in real terrains but with v1.0 coming out they will need much improvement ofcourse...........

I am going to have to look for the PDF on one of my CD-Rs so it will take afew days but i can e-mail it to you... now the tool sets i made up are based on a type of painting tool concept with specialized brush types almost like what ZBrush does but based on terrain features only... all the same you might find the ideas to be very facinating......... thanks for the intrest......

CORRECTION ON THE Continental Plains - IT IS A STABLE PLATFORM!!!

OOPS!!! MY BAD...................

Sethren

JavaJones

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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2005, 12:32:13 AM »
Sethren, I'd be very interested in that PDF as well, so if you wouldn't mind CC-ing me on it... :)

- Oshyan

Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2005, 02:12:36 PM »
Sure... not a problem... i am looking for it today and should e-mail it to you and stephen momentarally..........

Sethren

Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2005, 02:56:25 PM »
Here are short descriptions of the structural land regions i am wanting to make macros out of... :)

Stuctural Land Regions

Continental Shield- Very little geologic activity, mostly flat and contains the oldest rocks, mostly igneous and metamorphic.

Coastal Plain- Marshes, beaches and geo-synclines.

Highland- Folded mountains, fault-block mountians and plateaus.

Stable Platform- Plains, uplands, lowlands and plateaus.

Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2005, 03:22:42 PM »
Did you guys get the PDF... have not heard anything!....... concerned a little...........

Sethren

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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2005, 08:14:30 PM »
Hehe, I got it, just haven't had time to look yet. Sorry. :D I'll reply soon.

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Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2005, 08:37:48 PM »
Allright....... Sometimes yahoo mail can be buggy so i was not sure weither it sent out or not.......  glad you have it.

Sethren

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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2005, 11:24:35 PM »
I suppose this replay about Sethren's PDF isn't strictly on topic for this thread, but what the heck. :D

What you have put together is a great set of tools for landscape creation and editing. However they don't seem to particularly fit into the World Machine procedural paradigm. In their current described state they'd fit with an application like Leveller better, I think. The Bryce editor actually included "brushes" and other tools that created many of these effects, so clearly they're possible and desirable. Doing them in realtime as "brushes" might be another story though. ;)

One possible way to approach it would be to use spline paths as guides. You drag your brush stroke where you want the effect to go, and then it calculates the effect afterward, so you have freedom to "paint" in realtime, smoothly, without needing a "monster" machine (I don't think some of those effects would be possible even with the best available today). The downside there of course is that it doesn't give you truly realtime feedback. It's possible the effects could be applied at quarter resolution (for example) and lower accuracy, while painting, and then at the end of your stroke it would calculate the full effect or (optionally) only when you pressed a "calculate" button or a checkmark to confirm changes. Using lower resolution proxies for realtime editing is common where processing time is an issue.

Anyway, it's a great overview of some great geological operator tool types. Now you just need to find a dev to create them, and an app they fit into. Talk to Joe Slayton of Wilbur http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/wilbur.html or Ray Gardener of Leveller http://www.daylongraphics.com/products/leveller/index.htm

Of course all of those are things that could potentially be implemented into WM, but they'd be done as devices/filters with masks, rather than using painting input, so many of your controls (Size, etc.) wouldn't be applicable in that context. But they'd still be a great set of devices to have available for WM! I'd definitely like to see more real world oriented "geological operator" devices like fault generation, etc.

Of course Stephen will now chime in telling me this is exactly the kind of thing that WM will have in the future and I'll shut the hell up. ;)

- Oshyan

Remnant

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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2005, 11:47:32 PM »
Split this topic off into its own thread as its interesting in its own right.

I'll post a real response to this in a bit :)
-- Stephen Schmitt
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Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2005, 12:25:50 PM »
well... i never intended these tools to be for world machine heh,heh allthough they would be grand as devices rather then brushes so i am with that... my greatest apologies if anyone here thought i wanted to see these brush tools integrated into world machine... did i give that impression???  :?  :?  :?  i was thinking about this for terragen 2's sculpting tools... The spline paths are a great idea and thank you for mentioning that neat idea... some of those more complex effects in a realtime function reminded me of something simular to ZBrush's PIXOL technology with the ability to paint very complex 3D effects in real time... but that is there own technology and i had never seen anything else like it... perhaps the 3D aspects of these tools can be dumped and only apply to 3D displacement in other software maybie leveller and the 2D can still easily be applied... i had dug deep into Bryce 5's terrain tool editor SLOW, VERY SLOW but some very nice terrains that just needed higher resolution and speed... i beleave i sent stephen a short e-mail sometime back wanting to see these very same terrain types into world machine like sub-contours, lava flow, metamorphism and so on... he showed interest in that so that was cool... anyway back to the tool set ideas, i was particulally interested in the river tool that paints L-System effects over the general terrain... what had me thinking on that particular tool was MojoWorld's River Generator developed by some astrophysist but ofcourse getting massive continent size river networks was a pain to work with, render time, ram, CPU power etc... MOJOWORLD HAH,HAH!!! and i gave up and thought why not paint river networks instead... i think a more complex river device is something to look into so i can atleast mess with that idea and perhaps allthough this may be pushing it abit getting it to properly grab to the contours of the terrain starting up a mountain and spreading into a plain going towards open water WHO KNOWS???... anyway when world machine 1 emerges i will have to work on many of these geology types and see where it goes from there................. EXCEPT FOR THE 3D ONES heh,heh..........

Allen

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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2005, 12:40:59 PM »
Sethren, I think you were clear in what the document was originally intended for, I just lost sight of that by the time I read it and misconstrued your intent (it having been discussed on a WM forum, I presumed you intended it for WM use). I think they intend to have some of this kind of stuff in TG2, but I don't know how extensive it will be. There was talk of a very powerful new terrain editor a few years back, but it's unclear if that is now going to be a part of TG2, or what.

ZBrush is indeed a very impressive and powerful application. I would love something like that tailored toward terrain creation. In fact the Middle Earth DEM Project is looking at ZBrush for our final "beauty pass" in detailing our terrains. But specific facility for geological operators like this would be great. Is ZBrush very pluggable/expandable? If so, perhaps a terrain editor plugin could be created that would setup the UI specifically for terrain use, and add tools such as these.

By "3D" vs "2D" tool types, are you referring to such things as the overhangs mentioned in one or two of the tools? Most of these sound like "2D" tools, from that definition.

The l-system river network idea is a good one. I don't know how well l-systems are able to be tuned to adjust to outside parameters such as terrain slope, etc. but it seems like something worth looking into. If nothing else you could do it in reverse, laying down the river network first then using it, with an "effect distance" parameter, to control an erosion or other strong terrain affector to create the path for the river carved into the terrain itself. This is less desirable since your river creates your terrain, rather than being able to apply a river logically to an existing terrain, but it'd be a start.

Anyway, good ideas and good discussion. You'll definitely have a lot of room to play with these kinds of concepts in WM 1.0 and just maybe you can create some of these operators as macros. :)

- Oshyan

Sethren

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Terrain Geology effects
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2005, 02:34:11 PM »
Yes... the 3D tools were based on overhangs of some type... but most of them are 2D... that river idea you have is something i will absolutley try out in world machine... alot of the times i go to the ZBrush user forums and get alot of scripts for plugins but no one had ever based anything on terrain functions but i think i have an idea concerning alpha maps based on terrains exported from world machine for 3D use... hmmmmm i think i have an idea!!! if i can save bitmap alphas from world machine renders and import them into ZBrushes' alpha tool sets next to the default's i may have something neat going on here... i want to try that... then i can add 2.5D and 3D tools to those terrain alpha maps and come up with something nice i hope... an idea is forming............. sorry if there was a mis-communication there as i am not very good with people in general... bit of a loner type........... i really need to keep the focus on what this forum is intended for... my mind tends to wander alot... thanks for the enlightening discussion though....

Allen

Remnant

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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2005, 07:27:34 PM »
The problem with any sort of geological-based effects and generators is that, well, to put it simply, the problem is downright hard. Most of what we do for terrain nowadays, in any application, is based upon fractal noise, which has no direct correlation to geological reality (there are arguments to be made about natural processes and 1/f noise and so forth, but I wouldn't call those direct).

To have a set of tools that actually works geologically is very powerful, very rare, and if they are well created, very valuable. :) It's not a matter of applying man hours of coding to the problem, or implementing the latest popular algorithm like a lot of graphics is; there's fundamental R&D that has to go into creating each effect. Hell, for more than a few geological processes, geologists agree on the generalities but disagree vehemently over the specific mechanics of the process. This makes it hard to create a very realistic model for asthetic use. :)

As a side note, I actually met with Jim Bardeen to pick his brain on his river systems for Mojo -- mostly since he's in the neighborhood, so to speak, as he's a professor of physics at the UW (where I went to university). From what I recall of our conversation, essentially, his method grows the terrain and the river system together, where each is able to influence the values of the other.  It was a couple years ago now so my memory of it is a bit hazy.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2006, 07:08:07 AM »
Hello all :)

 Kind of late to this discussion hehe, but this thread seems so relevant now to what's afoot.
 What Sethren suggested is exactly what we want to do over at ME-DEM. Basically set up a taxonomy that (preferably) a group of developer's (or at least a body of users) can agree on. A first approximation is better than none: in theory anyway.

 I think with WM, you can either:
 create the morphologies by mimicking the processes
 create them through visual 'hacks'

 The first option looks preferable but I have my doubts as to how feasable that would be.
The second imo is probably the one to go for. Looking at the feasabilty of mimicking processes would be useful though wouldn't it? See how far it could take us.

 The latter will simply demand people getting together and building the macros under an agreed taxonomy.

 ZBrush was mentioned and that's still very much on the agenda for ME-DEM EVENTUALLY. I had a good search but was surprised to find very little terrain related discussion.
 Ray Gardner has some ideas on custom brushes: painting rocks, talus, erratics, etc: Planned for version 3.0 I believe.

 L-Systems is something that Joe Slayton is definately looking into. The idea of generating the rivers simultaneously with the terrain is interesting. That's a little inflexible for what we're looking for. The difficulty is generating interdigitating networks (Surface networks: ridges, channels) from one network. Both the latest Wilbur release and Geocontrol have demonstrated that there is some promise in L-Systems. The ME-DEM problem domain is really map transcription, which I think is pretty demanding.

Another thing which I think terrain modellers absolutely need is an ice model. A simple distinction between land:water:ice. In the right places ice has volume just like terrain.

Could WM generate ice like terrain and import/export of ice maps. At present, snow surface is added as part of erosion right? Sediment layers. Would it be possible to have more control over ice/snow per se?  

Scale is another driver. with larger scales: continents, worlds you need to start to create geography as oppposed to terrain; systems of interrelated topographies. Rivers are really the narrators for the story that is the creation of the land mass. You have to be able to trace them logcally from mountain top to the sea.

monks

Sethren

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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2006, 12:24:23 AM »
Perhaps with what we have seen with what World Machine Pro is offering when i check out the blog is that version may offer us a closer possibility of more close to realised Geomorphic approaches with the freedoms of the newer drawing and blending tools as hand and with larger scales being a factor as well this should open up some very nice ideas to experiment with... for the basic regional land types i want to put together the four types but with current World Machine i am finding it very hard to achieve this... Some World Machine Pro beta testers may want to see what is possible with these particular subjects... hint,hint!    :wink:

monkschain

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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2006, 08:51:46 AM »
Hi Sethren- is there any chance that you could dig out that pdf you did? I'd like to have a look. There seem to be a number of approaches to classification: it just depends on what you want to mesure it seems. I was thinking that maybe one path would be to use a process classification, but that may be difficult as a lot  of control is needed: process emulation, etc and as Remnant said, geologists are not entirely agreed upon these.

monks

nikita

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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2006, 09:30:55 AM »
Interesting Thread...
Quote
Could WM generate ice like terrain and import/export of ice maps. At present, snow surface is added as part of erosion right? Sediment layers. Would it be possible to have more control over ice/snow per se?

That shouldn't be a problem with a good macro.

In General, most of the problems discussed in this thread could be solved with a macro and some general knowledge about the topic.  :)
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