Dev Build 4027 'Artist Point' available

World Machine LTE

‘Artist Point’ Development Preview

Build 4027

Download from Update Center

Welcome to the first development preview for the new release of World Machine!

Artist Point is a major upgrade that brings Physically Based Rendering to World Machine.

Create worlds using PBR materials, import your existing texture libraries, and easily export all scene elements in one click using glTF.

This build should be ready for immediate use, and we’re looking forward to your feedback! There are only a handful of known blockers/issues, listed at the end of this changelog (Basically: tiled builds)

High Level

Here’s a high-level overview of what’s new:

  • Author, View, and Export PBR-based materials
  • Export entire scenes using glTF, and create optimized meshes with tangentspace normals
  • Powerful new texturing devices
  • Many useful device improvements, including spatially-varying parameters and the powerful new Strata device

For more details, here is a mostly-complete list of the changes in Artist Point to date:

What’s New

General Features

  • Spatially-varying Parameters. Some device parameters can now be varied across the terrain by providing a heightfield, changing a single value into a range.
  • Universal generator transforms - you can rotate any generator directly in its parameter dialog
  • Device parameter inputs hidden by default in workview. Connect to a parameter by wiring to the device itself.
  • Device parameter dialogs now remember their previous geometry when re-opening
  • Reduced memory usage in complex networks, some minor speed improvements
  • Added new memory conservation modes - Minimal, which removes data from unused ports only. High, which removes all data except from Outputs and Checkpoint data.
  • Added error message for ‘blocked by firewall’ licensing errors
  • Improved reporting of multiple datatype ports in UI
  • In toolbars or menus, the data type(s) that a device can process are now displayed in the tooltip.
  • Added automatic cleanup of temporary files on next startup after a crash

Viewport Changes

  • Configurable viewport lighting - select from menu, or right-click on lighting toggle in sidebar. Adjust colors, exposure, fog, etc
  • Toggle to display color/material
  • Tile overlay guide
  • Contour Lines overlay guide
  • Physically based rendering used in 3D views
  • Viewports now display water using an animating PBR water material
  • Workview: When wiring/dragging onto a wire containing a composite type, WM will automatically prompt if you’d like to tap a specific channel
  • Workview: When wiring/adding into a wire, the set of devices displayed into the quick add window are filtered by the wire’s datatype
  • 2D View: now shows a list of channels when viewing a composite type (water, material, etc)
  • Added ‘Copy Viewport Image’ command to quickly copy a screenshot of the active viewport to the clipboard.
  • Added back mesh wireframe display
  • Compositing devices like the Scatter and Layers device can now show partially-transparent results in the 3d viewports
  • Device parameter view resizes to be larger when previously unshown parameters appear
  • Changed Scene Setup to not require a ctrl-drag on a render extent to move

New Devices and Improvements

Color/Material Related

  • Material (New) - Define a PBR material. Can load maps from disk or create from input maps.
  • Material Output (New). Output all channels of a PBR texture with a single device.
  • Layer Combiner (New). This is an extremely useful new tool that lets you blend together many inputs in one place with a Photoshop-style layer interface, instead of chaining Choosers. Abilities include:
    • Full compositing support for partially-masked layers
    • Layer Over, Layer Under, and Add blending modes
    • Two heightblending modes (heightblend replace and heightblend merge) These are incredibly useful to create convincing blends with materials, but can also be used and are quite powerful when supplied with height or bitmap inputs.
  • Levels (New) - Similar to Photoshop tool, adjust domain, range, midtones of heights or colors
  • Tint (New) - Adjust an input so that it averages to the given color. Quite powerful color adjustment tool!.
  • Crop/Transform (New) - Take a section of an existing packet as a new packet. Can transform/repeat boundaries
  • Adjust Color (New) - Colorize and adjust hue/sat/bright
  • Normals Combiner (New). Properly combine two normal maps by doing the necessary vector rotations to produce accurate results.
  • Create Normals - Supports tangent space normal maps, and has a convenient OpenGL/DX toggle
  • Instance Tiling - Gains support for Materials and new ‘Random Tile’ mode
  • Instance Scatter - Gains support for Materials, Variations of Size/Rotation/Opacity
  • Channel Split/Combine - New support for LAB & HCL channels
  • Splatmap/Weightmap device can now optionally export a RGBA splatmap directly, rather than forcing you to jump through hoops.
  • Meshify (New) - Converts heightfield to Mesh for later export. Supports highly optimized mesh generation and automatically creates a tangentspace normalmap for the mesh.
  • Scene Output (New) - Export an entire scene via the glTF format (possibly other formats in the future)
  • Masked View (New) - View any texture or heightfield with an alpha cutout applied to it

Other Devices

  • Strata (New) - very powerful new device; Etch strata detail using horizontal displacements into the terrain. Also produces addt’l masks for the strata
  • Crystallize (new) - Create columns taking their height from the input. Supports square/hex shapes
  • Snow - added new simple mask output
  • Equalizer - Supports RGB, new Distribution parameter lets you set to Uniform, Gaussian, Log-Normal, or Exponential distributions. Very very useful!
  • Clamp - gains a Histogram report
  • Basic Noise - New version supports solid noise, spatial params
  • Voronoi - New version with solid noise input, ‘Crystallize’ mode
  • Gradient - New tiling mode, curve variable inputs for height/width, spatial params
  • Radial Gradient - New types, ‘repeating’ checkbox
  • Spatial parameters added to various devices in smaller ways
  • Tap - Replace or extract an individual channel from a composite datatype
  • Report Color/Height/Extents - Analyze an input and extract valuable information such as the average color, minimum height, etc
  • Re-added “track viewport lighting” to Lighting Generator (renamed Bake Lighting). If this is enabled, adjusting viewport lighting will trigger a history entry and the lighting information in the generator will be updated.
  • Added Shadowmap input to scene view - feed it a shadow-only output from the lighting generator to have raytraced shadows in your viewport

Known Issues / Remaining to Implement

  • New device do not have icons
  • Tiled builds do not support Materials or Meshes yet. This will be in place for the next dev build.
  • Advanced compositing modes in Scatter device not available yet.
  • ‘High’ memory conservation mode does not function properly yet.
  • Additional new macros and example files

Looking great! Can’t wait to test this!
I hope you won’t forget this feature for the full release Allow Colorizer to have a color image input for macro purposes - #2 by Stephen
It’d be right in line with the artistic theme of this update


Hi Jak,

I pulled the device from this first release because some of the UI of it needs further thought, but yes - the image colorizer device will make an appearance for sure! Hopefully by the next build.


Very exciting! This is the first time I’ve wanted to jump in on a Dev channel build, so I thought I’d ask if there are any conflicts between stable release and dev release being installed and run on the same machine?

The Dev channel installs under a separate folder and name, so you can have both installed without any issue.

There should not be any file compatibility problems between versions; as long as you don’t use any of the new devices that is :slight_smile: They will show up as an “Unknown Device” in older versions if so.

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Got it! Thanks!

This gives me a lot to play with (and learn)! :grin:

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