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October 16, 2019, 10:04:38 am


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Topics - Stephen

Development News / 3.build3011 Available : Changelist
September 16, 2015, 01:17:23 pm
Update includes the follow new features and fixes:

* Expander device has new methods, distance now specified in meters.
* UDIM support for tiled import/export in the PRO edition
* More devices now have multiprocessing support, including Basic Perlin, Gradient generator
* All generators gain a distortion/placement input with support for better distortion, non-uniform scaling, and rotation. The current UI for this is external to the device; this may be modified with time.
* Some crash bug fixes, thank you for your crash reports!
Development News / 3.0.riverpreview2 Released!
July 21, 2015, 03:35:46 pm
Riverpreview 2 is out with a host of bugfixes and improvements!

  • Full Undo/Redo finally enabled!

  • Many improvements to the River Device, including the ability to easily add new vertices to the defined path by dragging on it; setting the start and end elevations if you're not using a defined elevation gradient/datum; and fixing the corrugated look to the floodplain in some instances.

  • Fixed curvature sensing in river device which produced bad results on high res builds

  • Fix for the layout view blanking effect when seamfixing is enabled

  • Fixed SVG parse issue affecting Inkscale imports

  • Made colorizer cancel, actually, cancel

  • Scatter device bugfix where ports don't get remade on load

  • Tiled output bug in riverpreview1 fixed

  • Fixed several crash bugs thanks to reported crashes!

Development News / 3.0.riverpreview1 Released
July 06, 2015, 06:31:05 pm

(Image is from the "Worked Example from Tutorial 3" example world file)

River Tool

As befits a Development release, there are a number of known issues currently present; they will be mentioned in a seperate post. You will likely encounter some odd behavior or bugs; please report them as you find them!

The river device is a major expansion of World Machine's path tool, providing a great deal of power and flexibility in creating "hero" rivers; that is, major rivers that should be under artist control, as opposed to those created by an automatic simulation-type process.

I highly recommend reading this post on our Development Blog, which should be educational:

Learn about Rivers

The blog post above defines a few terms that you'll hear thrown about frequently talking about the river tool, including things like Thalweg, Bankfull Width, Meanders, and more.

A number of tutorial worlds have been included in the "New Examples for River" folder, leading you from the simple to the complex. Hopefully additional guidance will be available soon to assist you.

The River Tool was created in collaboration with Dr Pasternack and Brown and their work into synthetic river valleys. It  uses a geomorphic covariance structure (GCS) to describe the variations in the river channel and valley. Realistic (or not..) river features can be easily created, especially including variations in the river channel itself (depth and cross section), that have usually been completely ignored by computer graphic artists to date!

If you have questions, please post them here in the forums; many other people are likely to have the same questions, and having the answers in one spot is immensely useful.

Joining the river tool are the following immediately useful additional new features:

Other Immediately Useful New Features

- Erosion Improvements
-- Active Masking Input allows you to have rivers and other masks carry away sediment that hits them.
-- Hardness Input allows you to vary the intensity of erosion across a terrain

- Better Curves
-- Curve device and Layout falloff curve now can use spline curves and share presets between them.
-- Curves are now a seperate datatype, and include sinusoidal, cnoidal, and perlin curve generators. More to come.

- Scene View device allows you to superimpose a water surface on the terrain.
- Advanced Perlin gains ability to specify the resulting elevation range in the device itself more accurately
- Minor view improvements : WASD keys can be used in the 3D view to navigate; View responsiveness and control now works better for render extents much smaller and larger than the standard 8km block.
- Device Versioning : To help with backward compatibility, devices can now have "versions"; when a new version of a device is available, you can update the device to the new functionality or simply keep using the old version for compatibility if needed.
Development News / 3.0.dev2 Released
October 23, 2014, 01:43:23 am
A small update keeping the dev build up to date, including the following:

* Multithreading support for expander, voronoi, bias/gain, and terrace
* Increased thread maximum from 32 to 256 (UI only allows up to 4*#processors)
* File Input fixed to produce the proper (requested) type in all circumstances
* BT format support now extended to older versions of the format
Announcements and News / WM 2.3.7 Now Available!
October 23, 2014, 01:02:08 am
A free bugfix and minor feature release, including the following:

* Multithreading support for expander, voronoi, bias/gain, and terrace
* Fix for route points not being deleted
* Fix for groups unable to be deleted
* BT format support now extended to older versions of the format
* Various crash fixes, thank you for your reports!
* Fixed regression regarding bitmap output not showing output properly
* Various smaller fixes
Development News / WM 3.0.dev1 Known Issues
August 18, 2014, 07:23:13 pm
The following is the list of minor issues currently known in 3dev-1:

  • Localspace packets cannot yet be a different aspect ratio than the main world

  • Not all devices that could be multi-threaded are multi-threaded yet, including the rescaling operation

Macros and Plugins / Basic Splatmap Macro
May 30, 2014, 02:55:13 pm
Hi Folks,

I've uploaded a new "Basic Splatmap" macro to the library, suitable for people using Unreal Engine, Unity or other realtime engines that need texture weight maps.

The Basic Coverage macro from which it is derived has proven a very convenient way to create simple textures, and this macro extends the concept to produce Splatmaps as well.

An example file showing how to use is included here for your convenience!

Here's the link to the library entry:

Basic Splatmap Macro
A small but important bugfix release for 3 crash bugs. Thank you for everyone who has been reporting their crashes to us!


- Fixed crash in Layout View when selecting shapes
- Fixed crash in Bitmap Output when provided bad input
- Fixed crash when loading world file containing out of date session
- Fixed splash screen obscuring the 'about file' dialog when opening file
A new bugfix release is now available for both the Release and Development channels.

Upgrade Center

Adds the following features:

- Mesh Output: Added support for multi-tile UV coordinates during tiled builds
- Added degrees readout to slope selector

Fixes the following issues:

- Dev Channel can't load the 2.3.6 Release channel worlds
- Fixed leftside preview blacking out when large world extents are selected
- Memory conservation status is finally loaded/saved in your world file
- Tiled Build: Fixed bug where text packet data caused tiled builds to fail
- Automation: Fixed automated builds not using memory conservation
- Automation: Automation variables now work correctly inside macros
- Automation: Added additional verbosity to Automation (report settings, build progress)
- Automation: Fixed bug where <tile> sometimes didn't set current extents properly
- Automation: Added console launcher to run WM better from command line: launch with WorldMachineCMD.exe.
- Automation: Added ability to save all console output to a file with WorldMachineCMD.exe <yourfile.tms> -log yourlogfile.txt

And from WM

A number of changes relating to the Colorizer device:

- Fixed gradient blacking out regression introduced in Whoops!
- Added numerical entry ability for color values
- Added numerical entry ability for keypoint value
- Added scrollbuttons to cycle through keypoints
- Improved selection logic to allow you to manipulate closely-spaced keypoints
- World Machine will now indicate build progress in the toolbar with Windows 7 or above.
- World Machine now understands elevation values of 0..1 as a scalar and will automatically interpret to the appropriate meter value. You can override this by appending an "m" to specify meters still.
New bug fix releases are available on the Release and Development channels, respectively. One of the important fixes is for customers using NVIDIA quadro cards -- they will no longer experience corruption in the device workview!

Here's the changelogs:

WM 2.3.6:

A bugfix release to fix the following issues:

- Fixed display corruption issue with NVIDIA Quadro cards
- Fixed issue with sizing slider in file input sometimes responding erratically
- Fixed RGB PNG export failure for >2GB file sizes
- Modified Project Settings dialog to allow you to set the render extent corners more logically (WM will no longer swap corners around)
- Fixed linked sliders issue in Height Selector
- Fixed layout boxes from WM 2.2 not importing correctly
- Reverted command line console modification from previous that sometimes caused crashes when executing a script from the command line
- Added metadata carry-through for PNG format
- PDK: Added 'canonical' query methods for determining if your device should be considered the definitive version instead of a copy (useful for communicating with outside applications)


All of the above plus:

- File Input device now reads the alpha channel information from files and will output on the 'Extents mask' output, if present.
- Fixed a crash on world load error
- Fixed a Library Input crash if the file referred to does not exist
Development News / 3.0.dev1 Released
November 14, 2013, 09:01:33 pm
This is a major release, the first in the official line of development releases leading to World Machine 3.

Infrastructure Improvements

* Massive framework changes to support Localspace packets
* New file format improves forward/backward compatibility of all 3.x versions
* Set-preserving rescaling operator (selects value only from input values while being smoother than nearest neighbor)

Group Enhancements

* Group-based overrides for resolution and spatial type
* Hierarchical group membership (including group override processing)
* Groups can now be easily converted to macros
* You can choose to build or export only group members

UI Enhancements

* Can select any output port for default output
* Re-organize macro parameters
* Right-click context menus are now everywhere in the Device View
* WM now gives more feedback on why a device is not building (wrong inputs/etc)
* WM now explains more when a device is flagged with a (!) symbol
* The device network now can show you the build times and memory consumption for each device from the last build
* Can now set device name in properties window
* Improved all device descriptions

New Devices & Improvements

* Mimic Device
* Chooser gains a "Height-Matching" mode, which allows you to seamlessly match to the surrounding terrain on an insertion.
* Blur device now scales much better, and can be thousands of times faster with larger blur radius sizes. It also supports an extended range of radii
* Erosion results are improved: varying resolutions no longer produce dramatically different results with Geological Time Enhancement
* Object-placing (singular or tiled) device
* Object-scattering device (with support for jittered-grid fractal instances)
* Mesh output now supports Y-up or Z-up export
* Combiner gets new modes, including new "Extract Differences" function
* Select Convexity gains new abilities and is now stabilized better against scale changes

Take note of the currently known issues as mentioned in a seperate thread.


As always, visit the Upgrade Center to validate and download this release.
Development News / Known Issues in RiverPreview1
November 08, 2013, 05:19:06 pm
If you've found bugs not covered in this list of items, please make a new topic on that issue!

Known Issues in RiverPreview1

The follow issues are currently present and known about in riverpreview1:

River Issues

  • River paths with significant curvature suffer from self-intersection artefacts that are beyond the current approach's ability to fix. This manifests in noisy spikes/cliffs/linear artifacts, especially at the valley edges farthest from the river. Research is ongoing on ways to solve this that are both efficient and effective.

  • The endcaps of rivers don't properly "merge" the left and right profile shapes together at the ends yet.

  • Under some scene geometries, "corrugations" are visible in the river floodplain. This will be fixed in the next version.

All other Issues

  • Having "Use Seam Fixing" checked in Graphic Options causes an odd blanking of the Layout View on some video card/driver combinations. Uncheck if this happens to you.

  • "Linear Ridged" Erosion does not respect active masking in some circumstances

  • Full-scene erosion is slower than before, even when not using an active mask. This will be fixed.

  • When viewing Curves, the graph doesn't indicate vertical scale currently

  • Scene View doesn't show water surface if the 3D view is showing a reduced-resolution version of a high res terrain

Here's a ready-made thread for you to chime in with your thoughts and ideas about the initial implementation of this feature.

It should work and has been tested against both normal and tiled builds. The only gotcha is that the resolutions reported in the UI will not be right, as the tiled build resolution is different from the world resolution. I'm thinking about adding a toggle to display normal or tiled res in the device net.
Development News / Available on the Dev Channel
November 06, 2013, 09:31:49 pm
This thread will contain a new reply every time a new version is posted. To update:

Visit the Upgrade Site:


It is a major release, and includes three new features:

  • You can now set different devices to operate at different resolutions inside the same world.

  • You can choose the method of resampling for file inputs and/or when scaling resolutions;
       included methods include cubic and fractal methods.

  • Library Input and Library Output devices are included. These allow you to load and save
       many data packets at once; this is useful for multiple-stage worlds, libraries of textures, etc.

There are a couple example worlds that show the basics of using the multiple resolution support; but fuller details will be forthcoming. For how-to information on how to use these new features, I am going to mostly turn to another very-soon-to-be-released community feature: WM will soon have a wiki that is publicly editable for everyone to help out with workflows, methods, techniques, etc. It's a whole lot of work to get the wiki filled out, but eventually I would like to have the bulk of the device reference, etc moved to there. I will be starting with the new features just introduced, and going backwards from there. I hope to have the wiki online soon.

Also, note that files created with this branch will not be compatible with the release branch, as they contain new features.

Finally, I'm sure there will be bugs and issues, so please do report them in this forum as you find them! Your help makes World Machine better for everyone. And please, please do provide your feedback and ideas.
A small maintenance release is available on the upgrade site:

World Machine fixes an issue where occasionally the build process would hang.

If you're run into this problem, make sure you visit the Upgrade Center!
World Machine now has a facebook page to call its own! "Like" the page to keep tabs on what's happening and have WM news at your fingertips.

You can find it at: facebook.com/World Machine Software

The FB page will stay up to date with the latest news so that you can stay on top of what's happening in the World Machine world.


Stephen Schmitt
Founder, World Machine
Announcements and News / World Machine 2.3.5 Available!
September 24, 2013, 08:17:57 pm
The latest maintenance release is now available!

It adds the following improvements and fixes:

Layout Boxes may now be rotated to any angle instead of always being axis-aligned
Layout Boxes and Circles now scale/rotate as a group correctly
Fixed bug where macros start misbehaving when copy'pasted.
Fixed major building bug where sometimes a world or macro would not completely finish building!
Fixed issue that required macros to be rebuilt even when not needed
Fixed issue where outputs always kept their results, even when they shouldn't (for example, when disconnected)

It can be found at the upgrade site:

Announcements and News / World Machine Tutorial Videos
August 23, 2013, 06:02:46 pm
One of the most frequent requests we receive is for more tutorial videos on how to use World Machine. I'm happy to announce a great new 3rd party resource for your training needs!

Vladimir from Geekatplay Studio has just released a set of tutorial videos on World Machine. 4 videos are freely available now, out of a total of 29 that will be unlocked weekly.

You can find them here:

Discovering World Machine from GeekatPlay Studio

I have reviewed the videos and found them to be a great introduction to using World Machine. He plans to release more videos in the future covering deeper and more advanced features as well.
This post is for discussion of the following new feature just mentioned in this blog post:

Library Inputs and Outputs


Feel free to discuss or post commentary on this feature here, especially once the dev build drops!
A new PDK version matching the current release version is available from the Developer Center.
World Machine is now available for all users. This is a recommended upgrade as it fixes some crash issues and includes a host of other fixes and small enhancements.

Fixes from

- UV coordinates for meshes are now always properly normalized
- Fixed layout view stopped responding when certain conditions are met
- Made sever device connections actually behave like delete in terms of keeping wires intact
- Made drop to surface behave better: if the layout generator is selected it will automatically use the source input if it exists, otherwise it will use the currently selected. Will also now report failure and tell what to do to make it work.
- Fixed layout view crash when viewing macro parameters / parameter devices
- Made layout view display parameter devices

Fixes from 2.3.4:

- Cancelling a build causes builds to not work
- Built-to now works inside macros
- Fixed memory leak with meshes
- Layout view now works inside macros
- Route points are now retained when deleting or disconnecting devices
- Connecting ports above the first one  to a route point would connect the wrong port
- Crash when moving device origins in layout view
- Device list on left side now updates when devices/groups are moved
- Device disconnect now reconnects the neighbors, just like delete does
- Notification API now provides correct value for notifyBuildEnd()
- Fixed parameter devices following outputs not showing up in the 3D view
- Moving devices sharing route points might cause route points to move too fast
- Automation scalar generator not correct in tiled builds
- Too-long param names cause garbage
- Giving/Taking layout shape parameters wasn't updating the dialog or including the fade parameter

New things:

- Mesh output now has scale output options for both kilometers and meters
- Mesh output now has option for keeping the exported terrain at the origin or putting it where it lies in the WM world
- "Coverage band" option that was not enabled before in Height Splitter is now available. Without a falloff parameter its not too useful, but that can be added soon...

All users (including Basic Edition) can upgrade now at the Download Center
Development News / 2.3.4 Available on Dev Channel!
July 29, 2013, 08:31:15 pm
2.3.4 is now available on the development channel!

This is again a bugfix release targeting a variety of minor issues that people have reported. Keep the bug reports coming!

Because it made some "deep" changes involving macros, I'm holding it in the dev channel for a little bit until it is certain that there are no unwanted side effects. However, I believe that it should be stable and correct.

Bugs fixed:

Cancelling a build causes builds to not work
Built-to now works inside macros
Fixed memory leak with meshes
Layout view now works inside macros
Route points are now retained when deleting or disconnecting devices
Connecting ports above the first one  to a route point would connect the wrong port
Crash when moving device origins in layout view
Device list on left side now updates when devices/groups are moved
Device disconnect now reconnects the neighbors, just like delete does
Notification API now provides correct value for notifyBuildEnd()
Fixed parameter devices following outputs not showing up in the 3D view
Moving devices sharing route points might cause route points to move too fast
Automation scalar generator not correct in tiled builds
Too-long param names cause garbage
Giving/Taking layout shape parameters wasn't updating the dialog or including the fade parameter

New things:

Mesh output now has scale output options for both kilometers and meters
Mesh output now has option for keeping the exported terrain at the origin or putting it where it lies in the WM world
"Coverage band" option that was not enabled before in Height Splitter is now available. Without a falloff parameter its not too useful, but that can be added soon...

Available at the Download Center.
Works in Progress / What this board is for
July 05, 2013, 01:58:03 pm
Hi guys,

This board is a place for sharing anything you're working on in World Machine, OR for showing off any of your completed works (be they images, games, etc) that used World Machine in some way.

The intention is to not just be a place to show off, but also to get feedback and improvement advice on accomplishing your goals. We have a friendly and helpful community, so bring your questions here!
Development News / Development Updates
July 03, 2013, 06:41:26 pm
Just a note to mention that I will be posting on the Development Blog updates about whatever I'm currently working on. You can visit the blog here:


The two latest posts detail some of my thoughts on development direction and also on the next new major feature to be added to WM:

Development News / What is this board?
June 28, 2013, 05:35:55 pm
The Development forum is the re-named open beta forum from previously. The purpose of this board is to provide a centralized place for feedback and discussion concerning Development builds.
Hello everyone,

World Machine 2.3.3 is now available on the upgrade site. The change list is below.

The major push in 2.3.3 was getting important bugfixes out to people. In addition, some small but very useful improvements such as the "Show Info" button in the 3D View are likely to be appreciated!

More important though, the major focus on this release was paving the way for future releases that will be more feature-focused. To that end, the upgrade checking was improved to allow you to subscribe to either a release (stable) or development (beta) channel -- From here out all new features and improvements will occur on the dev channel before finally migrating over to the release one. Also, WM will now (optionally) check for updates every week so that its easier to stay up to date.

I'm going to be sharing more information about development direction for WM in the next few weeks. Look for a newsletter about it as well as posts here in the forums. But for now, enjoy the 2.3.3 release!


New features:

Improved upgrade checking feature: subscribe to different update channels, weekly upgrade checks, and more detail in-app about whats new.
Added Show Info button in 3D View shows the max and min extents of the current heightfield
Added flip-common-edge to meshes, optional on mesh output. Slightly improves meshification quality of WM.
Clamp Device improvement: "find extents" now uses the full-resolution build, if available
32bit TIFFs on input are now normalized if they exceed a 0..1 input range
Double clicking on shape in layout shapelist now scrolls to that shape
Added notification API for plugin developers to support better communication with external programs
Added support to the automation system for scriptable tiled subsection export
Automation builds now report time required


fixed mesh bugs: tiled builds exported flat meshes, always_export had no effect
extra windows now work on single monitor setups
Fixed file inputs not taking UNC path regression
clamp now updates sliders/reports when finding extents
crash bug fix when updating view with no device selected
Fixed bug where user-specified scale was incorrect in file input, tiled file input
Fixed terragen .TER extents import bug
Fixed issue with output-morphing devices (Combiner, Chooser, routing devices) not morphing correctly, causing problems with devices being disconnected in the network
File input: blank areas not blank with user-specified heights

Some of the above will require a bit more documentation to use (such as the automation scripting support). Look for that coming up soon.

Head over to the Upgrade Site to upgrade. As always, if you encounter any problems or difficulties, please post about it in the forums here!
World Machine 2.3.2 is a bugfix release with the following changes and fixes:

Tiled Terrains: Layout shapes with breakup tiling regression fixed
Tiled Terrains: Limit on tile resolution removed
Build Window now asks for cancel confirmation if build has been in progress for more than a few seconds
Thermal Erosion : 2-step algorithm improved (see below for more details!)
File Input Device: RAW files >2GB in size are now imported correctly
Right click->delete on a wire now properly updates the network
Non-polyline DXF shapes are now properly skipped on Layout Shape Import

Registered customers head to the update site to upgrade!

Full details of the most significant changes are below.

Thermal Weathering:
The algorithm for two-phase thermal erosion has been improved. This should not only eliminate the "black hole" problem, but also fixes several other longstanding numerical instabilities in the simulation and produces more useful results. Another important improvement is that the thermal device will now effect the entire terrain rather than producing one-pixel unaffected borders around the terrain.

However, these changes mean that any world files that use Thermal Weathering in two-phase mode may now produce different output.

In addition, the Talus Depth output in two-phase mode now exports actual talus depth rather than a normalized map, which means that texturing that previously relied on this value spanning the whole 0..1 range will need to be reworked -- add a Clamp(Normalize) device to the output to fix. By changing this to use actual depth you can actually just subtract the talus depth from the terrain to get the "rock" terrain without any talus, which can be very interesting/useful.

Tiled Terrains:

There was a regression where layout shapes that used fractal breakup were exporting distorted/mixed up shapes in 2.3. This is an important fix!

Announcements and News / Server Move
May 09, 2013, 03:54:37 pm
Hello folks,

We're going to be moving our primary web server this evening to a new host. Access to the forums and the site itself might be spotty during this process; if you have any connectivity issues this is likely why. The new server should be much faster and provide a better environment for growth of World Machine, allowing us to add more features in the future like a proper customer support ticket system and possibly a wiki.
2.3.1 is a minor bugfix release with the following changes:

  • DXF Importer no longer hangs on some DXF files

  • File Input device makes best-effort attempt to autodetect RAW format bitdepth when file extension is simply .raw

  • File->Export dialog improved wording, now doesn't complain trying to export Overlay devices.

  • Bugfix when WM converts relative paths to absolute ones, which could lead to placing the files in the wrong place

Registered customers head to the update site to upgrade! The Basic Edition has also been updated to 2.3.1.

Several users have reported receiving a spam email purportedly from the world-machine.com domain. These have NOT been sent by me or anyone else associated with World Machine.

We are in the process of investigating the cause of this and will keep everyone up to date with more details when they are available.

World Machine 2.3 has been Released!

Check out the list of the new features and additions. Existing Customers can upgrade for free, and WM 2.3 is now available for Basic Edition users as well.

I'm very proud of this release; it contains some very useful improvements, example files, and fixes some serious bugs. Enjoy!

Have questions, feedback, or just want to talk about 2.3? Feel free to post any threads in the forums on it!
Plugin Development Forum / WM 2.3 PDK now available
March 22, 2013, 10:32:46 pm
The 2.3 preliminary PDK is now available from the PDK page of the main World Machine website.

The final PDK release will include full documentation, but there's enough example files to get started currently!

Please note that WM is now compiled with MSVC 2010, and requires that compiler of its plugins as well.