World Machine Community

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Stephen on January 14, 2005, 01:40:39 am

Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 14, 2005, 01:40:39 am
Hey guys, just thought I would show off a few more new-for-V1.0 features here while everyone continues to wait for its release. Development always takes alot longer than it should, as 80% gets completed quickly and the remaining 20% of the tasks soak up hour after hour of work.

Anyways, first off, I wanted to show off one of WM v1.0's new devices. The device count is up to 40, about a dozen more than .99Registered contains. The new devices are about evenly split between available for all, and restricted for reg'd users only. here's a view of the radial gradient generator:

(http://www.world-machine.com/wm_images/WM1-1.jpg)

It's very helpful for creating island-type terrains, as well as for special effects.

Next up is a look at some of the revised macro systems:

(http://www.world-machine.com/wm_images/WM1-2.jpg)

Macros gain a great deal of power and useability in v1.0. You can create not just scalar values, but checkboxes, integers, and listboxes to allow the user to interact with your macro with. Macro parameters also can have help text associated with them to help describe to your user what effects a particular parameter has. Finally, creating a macro is easier as well, with the ability to delete unwanted parameters and work more intuitively with parameters in general.
Title: ooohs, and aaaahs!
Post by: Fil on January 14, 2005, 02:07:19 am
Unquestionably, there are a lot of Oooos and Aaaas about these powerful feature-ritch teasers that make me drewl more in one day than my monthly allowed quota! The control-power that leaks out of these images surpasses my expectations (imagination, even)..
All this made me stare at certain groups of pixels, espetialy those that form letters and say "Gaussian", and "Basic Hills" and "Inverted".. Those words kind of generated certain "uncoherencies" among my thoughs (aka quesitons) :)

So I wanted to ask them:
:arrow: What distinguishes Gaussian from Spherical in the Radial Grad Type? is spherical the shape of a "round hemisphere" or croped shpere, and gaussian the shape of a cubic polinomial with a vertical axis of symmetry centred on the heightfield?
:arrow: What is that Selection Setup, for parameters? is it a "variable" we can have for numerical values? or ranges? So can we define a name for a certain value that is used in different parameters, as if we had a "virtual Scalar Device connected to them?
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 14, 2005, 02:22:25 am
In Radial grad's:

Gaussian is what you see in the picture -- a 2D Gaussian distribution. For those who aren't math geeks, this is simply a shape that looks vaguely like a bell (the much heard-about "bell curve").

Spherical looks like a big fat sphere sliced at the equator and sitting on the heightfield.

Square is, well, a square. Or more accurately, a sharp-edged box.

Diamond is basically a 4-sided pyramid.

There is also a Cone shape that is now implemented but wasn't when that screen cap was taken.

Re Macros:

A "Selection", or listbox, is essentially what is known in programming as an enum.  That is, the string values correspond to an integer value. In the picture, "Basic Hills" would be 0, "Hills + Mountains" would be 1, etc. You can then take this integer value and send it into a new device, one that outputs different scalar values depending on what the value of the input  integer is. So yes, your supposition is right, its just done outside the actual Macro Param device, for simplification purposes.

So, for example, the selection outputs an integer inside the macroworld. Wire that to the scalar selection device, which might output one set of scalars when the integer is 0("Basic Hills"), and a different set of scalars when its 1("Hills + Mountains").

Essentially, you can create entire presets inside the macro that the user can select with the listbox. Or you could turn on or off different features of the macro with it. And so on...
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: JavaJones on January 14, 2005, 02:30:17 am
It sounds like macros are gaining an *incredible* amount of power! I can't wait to see this stuff in action. This will make macros much more "professional" looking and easy to use.

For now I'll go sit in the corner and try to be patient. :D

- Oshyan
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Rhalph on January 14, 2005, 07:06:34 am
OoooooOoooooOOOOoh macros  :D :D

*Excited*
*Joyful*
*Happy*
*And so on*
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: jstuartj on January 14, 2005, 10:06:17 pm
Sexy, can't wait to get my hand that beautyful mound. :lol:

J. Stuart J.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: manleystanley on January 15, 2005, 02:49:30 pm
:shock:    :o
Glad I regestered. :wink:
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Sethren on January 15, 2005, 09:01:05 pm
Question? What are the two icons for just below the HELP and VIEW bottons? one looks like a planet sphere???

Sethren
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: JavaJones on January 16, 2005, 12:50:56 am
I'm guessing one of those is "explorer" mode, described in the apparently still semi-active development diary here: http://www.world-machine.com/devnews.html (scroll down to January of 2004)
I don't have any ideas on the other. But I think some of the icons may have been redone, so it may be something we're already familiar with.

- Oshyan
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on January 17, 2005, 01:47:05 am
Quote from: JavaJonesBut I think some of the icons may have been redone, so it may be something we're already familiar with.


Yes, but those are "mode" icons.. Kind of "switch on/off" stuff.. So the explorer button should work like the 2D/3D preview button.. And that leaves the others in the void, regarding what they could be.. I don't remember any other thing we may know already that fits this "on/off" philosophy. It should probably be something regarding building the terrain, or previewing it.
The only possible things I am associating now is 1 or 2 possible pre-defined camera positions. The existance of these buttons would instantly solve the where-am-I problems (aka don't-know-about-spacebar problem :))..
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Rhalph on January 17, 2005, 01:59:39 am
I guess one (the sphere) is for the explorer mode, and the other one (at the left of the sphere) is for the "3d" mode, the one we are used to use.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on January 17, 2005, 08:07:22 am
Yes, but that still leaves the other two, on the right of the dice, as "unknow".
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Rhalph on January 17, 2005, 10:08:10 am
Mmmh... Main view (with devices) and 2D view ?
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on January 17, 2005, 10:14:02 am
Man! I admire your sight! I have glasses and hadn't resolved that much detail!! But now looking at it, it does make sense.. I was seeing some strange white clouds arround some mountains or something (seen from above), and the second one, did seam like the "2D" icon, but I was assuming it would be a "on/off" switch.. I guess Stephen turned the binary "on/off" into four buttons..

Thanks Rhalph!
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Rhalph on January 17, 2005, 10:24:55 am
Hey, I may be wrong, maybe this button is to make coffee and the other one to order pizza :D

WM can really do anything.
Thanks, Stephen.

:arrow:
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on January 17, 2005, 11:55:48 am
great idea! anyone for a pizza macro? I think it would be possible to do it with that radial gradient clamped to show only tha circular base.. some perlin noise for the wavy cheese..  the peperonis could probably be selecting the top of spikes caused by a very noisy perlin, thikened by an expander and clamped down to size...  hmm.. any idea of how to make the anchoves?  I don't like them, so a pizza without anchoves would work nice for me.. :D

No, really, I think it could be done!..

The real challange would be to do a macro for normal coffe and another for decaf :P It should look like a crater macro, though.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 17, 2005, 01:03:12 pm
Rhalph nailed it, the 4 new icons on the toolbar in that one shot are left to right, device view, 2D view, 3D view, and Explorer view.

and yep, I think a pizza macro could be done too. Not sure what you'd DO with it, but it would be funny. ;)
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Anonymous on January 18, 2005, 12:23:23 am
OK sense we will have this explorer mode will we be able to zoom out to see something larger then just the 120 kms we are limited to for let's say highly detailed continent scale terrains... could that render out a larger area? i was wanting to displace the landscape to were it splits into landform regions like mountain chains, continental shields, plains, coastal regions something planetary... is it possible???

Sethren
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 18, 2005, 03:18:58 am
I'm not sure exactly if I get what you mean, BUT...

Once you have Explorer mode at your disposal, you build terrains slightly differently. You tend to start combining vastly different scales of noise, etc, to create the world -- you might have one smooth perlin generator creating continent shapes (run through a Gain device to quickly make it more contrasty), another atop that that creates mountains on the continents, etc.  It's a little bit like Mojoworld with only a quarter the Mojo.

It sort of is the missing link in WM, actually - because before, although you could hit the Dice button and get a new random terrain, that was somehow unsatisfying. Now, you create the world and then start flying around until you find some cool features somewhere that you want to see in better detail. Then you just mark the current location so that WM shifts the focus to where you are, hit the build button, and out pops a 512x512 or 1024x1024 or whatever size you want render of that area of the world.

If you have a decent enough computer, you can fly around a pretty damn high resolution world all things considered, and it becomes almost fun just in of itself.

What are the caveats?

#1) Devices that are either global in nature or not scaling-stabilized (Blur, Equalizer, Displacement, Erosion, etc) give results ranging from not-quite-right to bizarre. Erosion actually handles pretty good -- there's often not even a seam between terrain tiles. Blur and Equalizer tend to go all to hell very quickly because of the nature of the effect. So some devices aren't quite right when viewed through the Explore mode.

#2) By and large, WM was not engineered for pedal-to-the-metal speed.  With that said, Explorer mode works very fluidly on a AthlonXP 1600 and a good video card. It works best on a 3ghz+ machine with a top end graphics card, as you'd expect. You can set the resolution of the terrain tiles to scale the quality of the graphics. Later, this might be chosen on the fly by the engine itself.



So this (very long) answer is a way of saying that Explorer mode is not Mojoworld. ;) But it IS a very useful tool. It's also a lot of fun. It may change the way you put together WM terrains.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Sethren on January 18, 2005, 10:13:06 pm
My apologies... i did not word it correctly... perhaps the explorer mode may get me closer to the entire planets idea rather then just small areas of the terrain... it allmost sounds like what you are saying is that the terrains can be layerd and scaled in such a way to where one can create a more realistic way of displacing the lands and sense there is not often a seam between tiles it sounds like these terrains can get very complex and huge... sounds neat though......

Sethren
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Anonymous on January 19, 2005, 06:25:16 am
:shock:

Something tells me the first time I try to run WM1 I'm going to see smoke role out of my comp.  :lol:
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 19, 2005, 02:44:54 pm
I think we're actually talking about the same thing, Sethren. The act of going to a larger scale encourages (and requires) layering more noises together.

Maybe a picture would help. Here's a few screen shots from Explorer mode. The world files that produces those terrains are example files in the 1.0 distro.

(http://www.world-machine.com/wm_images/WM1-3.jpg)

Upper left, you can see a "Typical" noise based terrain. One perlin generator, all features are more or less one scale, etc.

On the upper right, you can see a terrain that has about 3 noises + sculpting done. There is one perlin that creates the islands/continents, another that creates rolling hills, and the last puts mountain-type terrain in place on the high areas.

Lower left shows the same terrain plus erosion. You can see the grid pattern that results from using erosion in Explorer mode. There are a few things that I might be able to do before 1.0 release that will minimize this, but it is a fundamental problem with heightfield-based effects.

Lower right shows a different (and I think pretty cool) terrain. The river is made using the ol' river technique from the first WM tutorial, but it seems to work alot nicer when you can crank the scale to very high levels.


PS: For what it's worth about the "smoke out of the computer", the framerate was fluid in all those example screenshots. Although granted, on a nice machine...
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Sethren on January 19, 2005, 09:47:00 pm
You're right we were talking about the same thing... my bad... a late night without a coffie  :) ... looks very nice... looking foward to it dude.....

Sethren

thanks for the visuals...
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on January 20, 2005, 01:14:59 am
That explorer mode really looks interesting.. I am eager to try it to see if it makes me more confident with my modelling techniques.. I have a feeling my still is not the best to make a desired terrain, but that may be because I am not seeing the "right tile"..
I want to discover if the explorer mode makes things look better than they are, or if I really have a bad still in terrain modelling :)

That river is draining all the water in my mouth.. Very impressive.. It makes me want to use my browser to edit the river path sligtly :P It forces me to think of how would that river look when it found that other coast line..  I am also interested in finding out if the river macro would produce one a single river, or if it would make a random spray or rivers.. I can probably look into it by sneaking inside the river tutorial to check it's behaviour..
Oh well, nice images.. how many tiles are visible there? 3x3 (with us standing on the middle one)?
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 20, 2005, 03:42:58 am
it makes multiple rivers, just like it always has -- the nicer thing is that you can now explore and find the river scenario you want rather than just clicking random a bunch of times.

In each of those pictures we're seeing roughly 8x6 worth of tiles.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: trebor on January 20, 2005, 04:35:33 am
Hi

Can you give me some idea as to when v1.0 will be available?

Ideally I want to use 4096 size tiles and I've read some posts about crashes when building 4096 tiles with ver0.99, that v1.0 will fix.

thanks
tre
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Stephen on January 21, 2005, 03:53:20 am
Hi Trebor,

that's the million dollar question. :) V0.99 was released in 3/03, which means it's been almost two years of development now for V1.0, although admittedly the vast majority of that time has not been spent in active development -- the rest of life has kept me from working much on WM. Things have been really picking up in the last while, though.

I'm not going to venture a timeline for it. "When it's done" is the most frustrating answer to hear, but its all I can give right now for fear of promising too much. It will be feature-complete and to bugtesting to the testers group within the next couple months, though.
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Anonymous on February 14, 2005, 05:39:56 pm
Hmmm... I'm really late on this one. It's great to hear about the upcoming new "stuff". I have enough of a handle on WM to be looking forward to v1.0. I was unaware of this community until I followed a link to this subject posted by manleystanley on Terranuts. Good stuff here!
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: manleystanley on February 15, 2005, 07:54:43 pm
Well I'm sure you have enough help, but I'm well know for tripping over program bugs. I do it all the time :lol:

V1 looks great, but I have a bad feeling it wont run to well on this Yugo of a Gateway of mine. It will be fall before I can up grade, maybe I'll get my new comp built before WM v1 is done :wink:
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: padawancats on February 17, 2005, 01:39:46 pm
Wow! The previews look awesome! I really like #4 :D
Title: Spherical feature request
Post by: jgwinner on February 27, 2005, 09:54:12 pm
Speaking of spherical ..

I'd like to see a way to 'wrap' a piece of terrain around a sphere (preferably oblate) to simulate the horizon curve.  I'm not sure this is exactly what you were showing.  

Basically, the (rectangular) part of the height field would have params for degrees lat / long and equatorial radius.  Even better would be oblate spherids (x/y/z radius) so things like the lumpy moons of Mars could be done.  (clearly there are limitations with height fields and odd shaped spheres, but for small amounts of arc it could work).

I'm trying to take MOLA (Mars Altitude data) and make some terrain by adding detail to various files with WM, and I'd like to be able to make the horizon look curved.  I can sort of do that with POVRay with iso surfaces, but it would be so much faster to be able to do this with a height field.

Thanks,

     == John ==
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Fil on February 28, 2005, 05:54:07 am
Quotea way to 'wrap' a piece of terrain around a sphere

There are three answers for that question.
1) no, it can't be done. because rotating a terrain in that manner would cause the heightmap representation to be inadequate, having two heights per pixel (in the case of mountains near the equator of the sphere)
2) yes, it can be approximated in WM. By simply adding a terrain to that sphere, we move "pixels" up in the chape of the sphere.
3) that is not WM's problem: I can do it in the application that renders the terrain (if it allows that sort of transformation) That's because it would now be a planet, not a heightmap, and WM is not good at planets :)

PS - Just as a small remark, what I mentioned in 2) is what I did in the Leaned Strata macro, which is described in the Tip Of The Month #4 (in the "help" section of //www.world-machine.com).
Title: A few looks at new v1.0 features...
Post by: Anonymous on March 01, 2005, 09:16:24 am
I'm not talking about an entire world, just a section.

You don't need to 'rotate' the pixels as much as just displace them slightly from the center outwards.   This wouldn't require wrapping, just a spherical section displacement upwards.

it would always be possible, for small arcs, to generate a height field for this - if you are thinking of 'wrapping' you are stretching the height field, and that's not part of the assumptions behind height fields.

After having said that, it different new feature would be nice if there was a way to generate wrappable edges so that a height field could be wrapped around a sphere with an external program; this would be great for asteroids.  But that wasn't really what I was looking for.

     == John ==