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Generate PLANETS

Started by vooood, July 18, 2008, 05:08:59 am

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vooood

Hi!

I'm interested if World Machine can (through tiling in the Pro version) generate maps that can represent whole planets (or at least whole continents)? I need to generate some very large scale maps for a game - whole continents that will form a planet - but have some heavy hard time with it. I found only one application that can generate a whole planet but i don't really like the way it generates (and there is absolutely no possibility like erosions, etc). One great feature of it is that it can calculate climate and generate river flow (and export that as a separate layer that makes coding in the game easier).

So basically I'm asking would that (or at least most of it) be done with World Machine?

marmil

Woah, intense project!  Sorry I can't answer your questions, but your project sounds very iterestng to me.  Would you actually be warping the outputs from something like WM to fit onto a curved surface?  I would think dealing with blending the poles together would be rather tricky if there is actualy land in those areas.  How far above the planet's surface are the game's players allowed to go--ie. would they actually be able to get high enough to see the curvature of the world?

Rhyek

I am interested in the answer to this as well.  My desire is to also find a program that will allow me to pretty much do an entire planet (I'm fine with it being a flat Earth and not a sphere).

The most important thing is having a multitude of different terrain types connected smoothly with each other.  From what I can tell, Pro will(?) be able to accomplish this with tiles?  I hope a trial version is released so I can see if it works to my liking before I put up the cash.

VorpalBlade

Quote from: vooood on July 18, 2008, 05:08:59 am
I found only one application that can generate a whole planet but i don't really like the way it generates (and there is absolutely no possibility like erosions, etc). One great feature of it is that it can calculate climate and generate river flow (and export that as a separate layer that makes coding in the game easier).


What program is this? I wouldn't mind checking it out. Maybe you can import heightfields or meshes.

vooood

Quote from: VorpalBlade on July 18, 2008, 04:58:24 pm
Quote from: vooood on July 18, 2008, 05:08:59 am
I found only one application that can generate a whole planet but i don't really like the way it generates (and there is absolutely no possibility like erosions, etc). One great feature of it is that it can calculate climate and generate river flow (and export that as a separate layer that makes coding in the game easier).


What program is this? I wouldn't mind checking it out. Maybe you can import heightfields or meshes.


it's Fractal Terrains from ProFantasy.. The only problem with it is that when you export tiled terrain (virtually unlimited resolution) it exports it as a low quality JPG meaning that there will be distortion in the heightfield. I'm not sure if they will or plan to change this.. When exporting heightfields as one image it crashed on me everytime i tried more than a few thousand pixels per side.. But it's only good for a general shape of the world.. I need much more (and better) details for a game..

When talking about the game it's a web (browser) based MMORPG where the people move around by click on links/images so I can (and will) have a world with a billion of locations. And I prefer realism and diversity so that's why I'm searching for an alternative to Fractal Terrains.. I don't even need to create so realistic terrains as FT can do but huge continents (and possibly rivers and/or climate) that can be exported at huge resolutions as a heightmap (or grayscale BMP) is pretty much a must have feature..

latego

The original developer of Fractal Fantasy Pro has also created another program, free as beer, Wilbur http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~jslayton/software.html (actually, Wilbur predates FFP). The only other solution for creating whoile worlds is Mojoworld http://www.pandromeda.com/.

Generating a tiny area is already enough hard job so there is not much activity in whole world generation.

As a last remark, if you need to create whole planets for space scenes, there is also LunarCell http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html.

Bye!!!

vooood

Quote from: latego on July 19, 2008, 09:03:54 am
The original developer of Fractal Fantasy Pro has also created another program, free as beer, Wilbur http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~jslayton/software.html (actually, Wilbur predates FFP). The only other solution for creating whoile worlds is Mojoworld http://www.pandromeda.com/.

Generating a tiny area is already enough hard job so there is not much activity in whole world generation.

As a last remark, if you need to create whole planets for space scenes, there is also LunarCell http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html.

Bye!!!


i saw wilbur.. what i do like about Fractal Terrains is that it can generate the whole climate and precipationa and calculate river flow based on that.. it does miss some basic features like erosion and a bit different terrain features.. generating world require a lot of post editing

lunarcell looks nice but i need heightmaps, climate maps, precipation maps.. and i was not able to figure out mojoworld so war :D

nikita

Well.. just create a pi x 1 heightfield and map it onto a sphere?
The real difficulty would only be the distortions but I think you could handle them with displacement. And maybe the poles.. you'll have to think of some trick for that.
"Every time you read or write beyond the end of an array, somewhere a fairy dies."
Richard Buckland

vooood

Quote from: nikita on July 20, 2008, 07:01:17 am
Well.. just create a pi x 1 heightfield and map it onto a sphere?
The real difficulty would only be the distortions but I think you could handle them with displacement. And maybe the poles.. you'll have to think of some trick for that.


I'm not really mapping the map to a sphere.. it's a 2D game after all and a sphere would be only needed if i decide to show the planet to the players..

Fil

Well, if the game is purely 2D, you may not need to show the sphere, but you somehow need a spherical mapping for players to move on. For instance, if you are 80 degrees in latitude and walk East, you walk less to reach the same spot you are than if you were at the equator. Similarly, if you walk North always, there will be a time when you suddenly are walking South. For that you need a spherical mapping, and the resolution of the terrain should be kept constant there.

Quite some while back, there was a discussion about how to map tiles to a sphere, as it had some resolution problems near the "poles"..pixel size would effectively need to chenge.. I don't remember how that ended..
But you may consider making a sphere out of a cube, for instance. If you inflate a cube so that it fills to a spherical shape, you might have one of the best ways to put a multiple of 6 tiles onto a sphere that least distorts everything.
Fil.

vooood

Quote from: Fil on July 23, 2008, 11:18:09 am
Well, if the game is purely 2D, you may not need to show the sphere, but you somehow need a spherical mapping for players to move on. For instance, if you are 80 degrees in latitude and walk East, you walk less to reach the same spot you are than if you were at the equator. Similarly, if you walk North always, there will be a time when you suddenly are walking South. For that you need a spherical mapping, and the resolution of the terrain should be kept constant there.

Quite some while back, there was a discussion about how to map tiles to a sphere, as it had some resolution problems near the "poles"..pixel size would effectively need to chenge.. I don't remember how that ended..
But you may consider making a sphere out of a cube, for instance. If you inflate a cube so that it fills to a spherical shape, you might have one of the best ways to put a multiple of 6 tiles onto a sphere that least distorts everything.



I'm not complicating things that much.. The world is represented as a rectangle with connected edges. There is a height parameter (for a bit of realism) that is imported from the heightmap. Fractal Terrains combined with Wilbur is a great tool but I still miss some other terrain generation features that more professional programs have.

VorpalBlade

Sounds like your using a toroidal topology which is pretty much top meets bottom, and left meets right.



I played around with FT. Cool little program. Other than the weather mapping, world machine should be able to manage everything it does and more.

As soon as I get back into the plugin development I plan on trying to do something along the lines of simulating plate tectonics with rifts and mountains and such. Where you could have mountain ranges close to subduction zones etc...

vooood

Quote from: VorpalBlade on July 23, 2008, 05:19:15 pm
Sounds like your using a toroidal topology which is pretty much top meets bottom, and left meets right.


Yes, basically.. I did not know what was the name of that topology. ^^

Quote from: VorpalBlade on July 23, 2008, 05:19:15 pm
I played around with FT. Cool little program. Other than the weather mapping, world machine should be able to manage everything it does and more.


I still didn't figure out how can I generate such "planets" or "continents" in World Machine.. I think I need a tutorial.. :S

nikita

Do you have a specific problem you need to solve? What exactly do you want to do?
"Every time you read or write beyond the end of an array, somewhere a fairy dies."
Richard Buckland

vooood

Quote from: nikita on July 24, 2008, 03:47:49 am
Do you have a specific problem you need to solve? What exactly do you want to do?


How do I create a large continent that has it all - mountains, plains, lakes, etc. etc..?

VorpalBlade

Quote from: vooood on July 24, 2008, 04:32:26 am
How do I create a large continent that has it all - mountains, plains, lakes, etc. etc..?


It takes some work to get what you want but you can start with is a Perlin Noise. Set the size towards continent. Add Coastal Erosion and set it to the global sea level. You can add Curves filter and tweak it till you get what you like. You can add masks to each of these devices to control where and to what degree these filters are applied.

The more playing around you do with it, the more you get the hang of it and can produce exactly what you are shooting for. There are also flow maps generated with the Erosion filter which may help you find where rivers would be.

I'm sure there will be some really cool and useful macros that will be shared here pretty soon to. If you don't see one, you can request.

Fil

Quote from: vooood on July 24, 2008, 04:32:26 am
How do I create a large continent that has it all - mountains, plains, lakes, etc. etc..?


Well, that doesn't sound much dependent on World topology, as it seems to be Holly Grail of WM usage. (this means that your world is made up of areas (need to find heightmap to use as mask for this) and each ear contains a special type of terrain there).
The problem only appears if you really what to guarantee a seamless joining of the ends of the world.. like tile#1's left-side must join seamlessly with tile#99's right-side..  If that is your problem, one solution is to have a blend of the two. You can use a Chooser device to choose between two terrains based on a third input, which can be noisy and distorted to give it a unexpected blending.. The problem is you need the other the adjacent tile for doing this, and that is on the other side of the world.

I don't know if the best way would be to generate a MxN world, and then make a new tmd which would do the blending. it would open up the 4+2(M-2)+2(N-2) tiles of the border and would blend them, producing 4+2(M-2)+2(N-2) tiles to replace the existing ones.
The trouble with this is the TMD is dependent on the number of tiles you wave. And it would have to be built as a "post processing" philosophy.
Fil.

vooood

Quote from: VorpalBlade on July 24, 2008, 05:55:26 pm
Quote from: vooood on July 24, 2008, 04:32:26 am
How do I create a large continent that has it all - mountains, plains, lakes, etc. etc..?


It takes some work to get what you want but you can start with is a Perlin Noise. Set the size towards continent. Add Coastal Erosion and set it to the global sea level. You can add Curves filter and tweak it till you get what you like. You can add masks to each of these devices to control where and to what degree these filters are applied.

The more playing around you do with it, the more you get the hang of it and can produce exactly what you are shooting for. There are also flow maps generated with the Erosion filter which may help you find where rivers would be.

I'm sure there will be some really cool and useful macros that will be shared here pretty soon to. If you don't see one, you can request.


Such a macro would be wonderful!

ckirmser

Quote from: vooood on July 18, 2008, 05:08:59 am
Hi!

I'm interested if World Machine can (through tiling in the Pro version) generate maps that can represent whole planets (or at least whole continents)? I need to generate some very large scale maps for a game - whole continents that will form a planet - but have some heavy hard time with it. I found only one application that can generate a whole planet but i don't really like the way it generates (and there is absolutely no possibility like erosions, etc). One great feature of it is that it can calculate climate and generate river flow (and export that as a separate layer that makes coding in the game easier).

So basically I'm asking would that (or at least most of it) be done with World Machine?


You could use Fractal Terrtains from ProFantasy to make the planet's surface. Then, you could zoom in on the part you want to map or the entire surface - and export it as a bump map. Then, you could import that bump map into WM and manipulate it from there.

Now, I've not tried this, as I've just gotten WM, but I noticed that the functionality is there. So, it should work.

magbhitu

here's a world-machine example for you voood http://www.nioncapul.net/pics/belnkremap_type1.jpg

i'm using a b&w eroison mask to keep my coastlines intact since much of them were draw on paper back when i was 16. the river's were draw on by hand in photoshop but i have layout vector lines carving the general paths in WM.

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