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Started by Troedel, September 19, 2012, 12:57:49 am

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Hi everybody,

There is a basic understanding issue on my side i think. Problem is the use of the snow device. I want some nice snowcovered peaks, noticed the snow device but I donĀ“t know how to use it. Can somebody provide an example for me to dissect and understand the usage? That would be very nice.

Thanks in advance,



Hi there,

The snow device exists to model the accumulation of snow on the terrain; depending on the settings you can accomplish everything from light dustings of snow to glacial models..

Here's a good howto:

  • Start with a basic default world consisting of an advanced perlin noise device. Add a snow device and hook it up to the perlin.

Next we want to make sure sure you can clearly see what effect the snow device is having on the terrain.
  • Create an overlay output device and hook it up to the snow device. Then hook the depthmask from the snow device to the second input of the overlay, and turn up the "mask ambient" in the overlay device.
What you've just done is made it so that snowy areas will be indicated in white on the terrain; this makes it very easy to see what exactly all the settings of the snow device are doing!

  • Now freeze the view on the overlay output (select it, hit 'f') and open up the device window for the snow device.

  • The important controls are as follows:

    Intensity: How much snow is deposited each cycle

    Evaporation balance: How much snow evaporates/sublimates each cycle. This is a ratio, where 1.0 (the default value) means that on average as much snow is lost as is gained each year. Thus only deep accumulations will survive. If you want to accumulate snow, slide this to the left.

    Snow Amount: How long to run the simulation for. Together with Intensity determines how much snow is put onto the terrain. Why raise this instead of intensity? Snow will slowly soften and compress over time, so a high snow amount but low intensity will snuggle snow down into cracks and smooth out more than a high intensity but low amount. A high value in both will really dump the snow on your terrain.

    Snow Line: This is what you want for snowy peaks! In general, evaporation of the snow increase as the elevation goes lower; this value sets the cross-over elevation whereby snow will or will not survive. Increasing this value clears the lowlands of snow, retaining it just up high in the mountains.


    Depthmask cutoff: This scales how deep the snow is considered to be. Think of it as a scale saying "how many inches of snow do I need before I consider the terrain to be snowy?"

Hope this helps! I actually have a fantastic example world  for using the snow device for a snowy peak; it uses a currently unreleased device but I will see if I can modify it and post it to this thread soon.
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


Can't wait to see the snowy peak and new device!


November 14, 2012, 10:20:03 am #3 Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 01:55:46 am by emporio
All new to WM, so amazed what can be controlled, it's insane.

Will definately try this out. Would wish there were some more tutorials out there.

Thanks for the hints Remnant! Keep em coming :)
Cheers, Dan


Quote from: emporio on November 14, 2012, 10:20:03 am
Will definately try this out. Would wish there were some more tutorials out there.


this tutorial covers the snow device quite well... please share


@Remnant; whatever happened to the snow world illustrating the snow device's usage that you were planning on posting here?
I know it's been a couple of years since this post, but the need is still here............................


November 01, 2014, 02:54:01 pm #6 Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 02:56:38 pm by Remnant
I'm pretty sure it's this one:

Note that the Hero Mountain example is included in the example files with WM; this example was just slightly tweaked to increase the accumulation of snow on the top, while still letting some rock ridges show through, especially on the lower alpine area. Loosely modeled after on mt rainier.
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


Thanks for that.
I keep on getting mountains that are far to eroded when I try to create a heavily-snowed (Grammar?) mountain.
I have been using the height output from the erosion device instead of the snow device to work around this but this totally looses much of the snow device's creation of snow with depth, rather than just a colour map (which I suppose is OK when the mountain is viewed from a distance, but when such a feature is there for the taking/using; I think I should be taking advantage of it................

I think I should reinstall WM temporarily elsewhere as I have accidentally saved over a few of the example files (D'oh!!)..........
Thanks again.


Remnant; unfortunately, I can't open the file (yeah, I took a while - been crook in hospital  again!); apparently, it was made in a newer version of WM than mine []..............

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