Fake Plate Tectonics

On the surface, this terrain seems fairly standard and honestly kind of boring, but it represents my first “successful” attempt at creating a semi-realistic subduction based plate boundary. It comes complete with inland mountains/uplift where the oceanic plate pushes up the continental plate, accretion at the boundary, varying amounts of uplift due to non-uniform plate density, and since the plate shapes are driven by Shape devices, it’s really easy to iterate on to simulate further subduction.

Terrain with water

Bare Terrain

Spatial parameters have been a complete game changer for me, as you can almost fake 3D noise with it, allowing me to do things I never thought I could! I’ll probably work on some basic textures for this tomorrow, but all in all, I’m really happy with how it turned out, and really excited for the kind of stuff I might be able to do now!


Here’s a basic textured version if anyone is interested!

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This is really interesting! I wonder how you did it and will probably be playing around with it as well, coming up with my own version. Have you noticed any benefits other than “realistic mountain placement”?

Honestly? Not really! I mean, one could argue that the terrain under the water is a bit more realistic compared to a terrain with just the Costal Erosion applied, but I wouldn’t even say it’s in a noticeable way, especially as I did use a Coastal Erosion device in the network still.

I mean, this wasn’t for a specific project or anything, I can upload the file if you’d like to take a look at it! I’ll just need a little bit to actually organize the device network in a readable way ahaha!

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Sharing it would be sweet! In case this proves to be a useful method and something I can recommend others to use, would you mind it if I were to create a tutorial on it, of course mentioning you as the OP. It sounds like a beautiful out of the box application for World Machine and a good learning source.

Also, as soon as I have some time to work/play around with this myself, I’ll be sure to post the results :wink:

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Apologies, work has gotten away from me for awhile, so I’ve been a little too stressed out to work on cleaning up the device network. I’ll just upload it as-is tonight when I get home, and apologize in advanced for how messy it is!

That being said, I don’t mind you making a tutorial on it if you want, though I can’t imagine it’ll be super useful ahaha! It’s really simple, if I recall correctly (I’m at the office right now, so I can’t pull it up to look) just Shape devices to define plate areas, and then combining them to create masks and the like. Like I said, though, I’ll upload the file as-is tonight when I get home.

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Here’s the file! Again, apologies for the unorganized mess that it is!
fake tectonics.tmd (2.1 MB)

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Will take a look at it asap! And no worries, I’ve seen some advanced mess :wink:

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