As a user of both World Machine and Gaea, after using Gaea’s latest river node, I would like to make some comments on WM’s river system.
First, WM devices have problems in calling CPU threads. When I tested it I found that Flow Restructure only uses single thread for building, and Create Water only calls multi-threads in the second half of building. Gaea, on the other hand, uses almost all of the CPU’s performance during building. As a result, Gaea’s water system builds much faster than WM at the same resolution (especially noticeable at high resolution). For comparison, at 8k resolution, my computer takes only 1 min 23 sec to build the Gaea water system, while WM takes 2 min 05 sec to build Create Water and 4 min 55 sec to build Flow Restructure.
Second, Gaea is now able to implement more complex water systems with a single node. While WM’s algorithm only allows rivers to converge but not to create new branches, so the only way to achieve a braided river is by stacking multiple Create Water. Besides, since Gaea river have a seed option, it is much easier to stack rivers like WM.
Third, Gaea rivers perform well on both very steep and very flat terrain
That’s all, I hope that WM can draw some inspiration from this for the development of the river system.