Guadalupe Ocean Cliff

Hey guys. I’ve been trying to recreate something very similar to the picture attached, but due to how vertical the terrain is, I’m having a difficult time. Any ideas on how I might achieve something similar?

It might help to let us know what project world extents you are using. I am not a WM pro but I think a perfect cube shaped extent is helpful for making good cliffs. So try a world extent of 16k x 16k x 16k. Once you have a nice shape for your island (either imported file or layout generator to mask it out) you can use the height selector, angle selector and/or the slope convexity selector to apply noise, erosion etc to the near vertical sides of your cliffs. The beach erosion filter might also help draw out this island shape you are after.

I think the best way to get help around here is to upload the project file you are working on so the advanced users can quickly make some edits instead of trying to explain their thoughts here which can sometimes cause more confusion. Hope this helped! Cheers.

Here it is man. I’ve tried doing what you said but I’m pretty newish to WM. Hopefully you can take a look at it.

Hi there,

I spent a bit of time tweaking your file above, but unfortunately did so in the dev channel build – I don’t know if you will be able to open the file. Instead I’ll just describe a few things:

  1. In general, steep cliff sides are hard to pull off because of the limitations of heightfields – the detail will get increasingly stretched out as the slope gets higher. Going above 45 degree slopes starts getting pretty problematic.

  2. I recommend layering a few shapes together to create your island – in the model photo you posted, there are extra cliff plateaus about half the way up – put those in manually by drawing more polygon shapes set to a height about halfway up in your layout generator.

  3. Use fractal noise to add additional detail to your shapes. This is almost always superior to just trying to erode your shape directly, and will probably give you the quickest bang for your buck difference. There are a bunch of different ways to do this, but an easy way to start is to connect an advanced perlin noise between your layout shape and erosion device (the layout shape will enter the “Shape Guide” input). Then also connect it to the Mask input of the perlin noise as well – this will ensure that the overall shape of your island is respected.

  4. I added some terracing to capture some of the layering happening in your model.

I have a dev build, so if you could post the file, that’d be awesome. Any way, I appreciate the help as always. I knew about adding extra polygons, but the file I uploaded was one I threw together extremely fast after the first reply to this thread.


You were right. I’m running 2.9 on the dev channel I think and I can’t open it. I really, really hate to ask, but could you just post a screen shot of the node network? This simple (so it seemed) cliff has given more trouble than any other geography I’ve made to date. I didn’t know how much of a factor slope/angle was until now.

The network:

Thanks for the photo. I’ve been trying to recreate your model for hours now to no avail, and I’m thinking it might be due to differences in builds. What I have isn’t bad looking, it’s just nothing even close to what you posted.
Bothering you like this was not my intention with this thread, but it seems it has come to that. I’ve attached my newly edited file, and if you could look at my settings and see what’s happening, that’d be awesome. For some reason the erosion gradients aren’t working like they should no matter what I change.

You’re most of the way there. Here’s my recommendation:

The sidewalls are too steep to actually capture any detail as is – I would increase the layout shape falloff even a small amount (to, say, 2.4km) to give the walls of the island the ability to hold detail.

The gradients plugged into the terrace modulation input were there to cause the terraces to be placed at angles; and the two terraces being choosen between to give two different angles. I would ditch that idea for now and simply use a single terrace device, set to Sharp or Smooth with a fair number of terraces. You can always get fancy with it later. Incidently, the gradients will work the best if they have one ramp across the entire terrain, not a whole sawtooth series of them.

You should be able to start honing in on a look after tweaking the above things.

I totally missed this interesting thread :slight_smile:

Thanks for the example Stephen.
It really shows I need to invest more time in exploring terrace modulation and especially height choosers, as I never use those.