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A few looks at new v1.0 features...

Started by Stephen, January 14, 2005, 01:40:39 am

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Stephen

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:



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:



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.
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine

Fil

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?
Fil.

Stephen

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...
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine

JavaJones

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

Rhalph

OoooooOoooooOOOOoh macros  :D :D

*Excited*
*Joyful*
*Happy*
*And so on*

jstuartj

Sexy, can't wait to get my hand that beautyful mound. :lol:

J. Stuart J.

manleystanley

"What forest? All I see are fricken trees"

Sethren

Question? What are the two icons for just below the HELP and VIEW bottons? one looks like a planet sphere???

Sethren

JavaJones

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

Fil

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 :))..
Fil.

Rhalph

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.

Fil

Yes, but that still leaves the other two, on the right of the dice, as "unknow".
Fil.

Rhalph


Fil

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!
Fil.

Rhalph

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:

Fil

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.
Fil.

Stephen

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. ;)
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine

Anonymous

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

Stephen

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.
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine

Sethren

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

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