Welcome to LTE

Originally published at: https://www.world-machine.com/blog/?p=919

A series of posts describing the changes afoot for the Long Term Evolution of World Machine.

Dear blog reader, I have a gift for you.

The first public preview of World Machine LTE is now available on the Update Center!

Hello there, Build 4005: Mt Rainier


This release is named after the beloved volcano that watches over my home in Seattle, pictured above. When a gorgeous clear day dawns, you can simply say ‘the mountain is out’. There’s no need to explain to anyone which one.

Well, the mountain… is out.

The first LTE release is a pretty big freaking deal! But all the fanfare will come later. For now, this is a secret just between us 🙂 I’m sure broad testing is going to reveal all kinds of issues. But more than anything else, I want to get LTE into the hands of everyone who has been patiently waiting. It’s been an intense grind, but the beginning of the end is here.

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Go get build 4005, give it a try, and let me know what you think on the forum. I ask only for your patience as the remaining todo items and issues are resolved!

Until next time,



Here’s a copy of the release notes for Build 4005.

Major Changes at a Glance

  • Progressive, high-resolution background builds
  • Complete, granular (per-slider) edit history retained; jump into the past in your edit history to compare changes
  • Edit multiple non-modal parameter dialogs at once
  • Multiple, resizable viewpanes
  • Retain settings ‘snapshots’ of important builds
  • Devices and macros have greatly improved presentation of parameters (styling, grouping, etc)
  • Full-skin darkmode UI
  • Hit tab to quick-add a device or macro from search
  • Greatly improved high-resolution terrain display
  • Maya-style ALT navigation in all viewports
  • Tiltable orthographic layout view

There are hundreds of smaller changes and improvements beyond the above. Some of them are listed below.


We’d love to hear your thoughts on the LTE builds! What would you like to see? What don’t you like?

Leave us your thoughts on the forum and help guide the development of World Machine:


A More Complete Changelog


  • Migration from MFC to the QT cross-platform UI framework
  • Previews are high res and fully asynchronous in the background
  • Full undo/redo support with visual history
  • Visual history and snapshots that save with file
  • New immutable history model ensures that every change that mutates your world is recorded and can be backed-out.
  • Macros, Presets, and Examples now merge both an app-distributed and user-created folder. This allows us to more easily add/remove files distributed with each version.
  • Most dialogs, views, etc are resizable
  • Action Search added to main toolbar
  • License manager wizard added for troubleshooting, activation, and more


  • You can split the main viewport into multiple viewpanes
  • Multiple viewpanes of the same type are intelligently synchronized (try opening two device workviews)
  • View-panes can be toggled to fullscreen with ctrl-space
  • spacebar generally zooms-to-fit in almost every view


  • Device parameter dialogs are non-modal and you can edit multiple at once. Parameters can be docked to side of main window
  • Strongly improved GUI parameter model allows for:
    • Grouping and hiding of parameters
    • Built-in “advanced parameter” that can be shown or hidden
    • Unit suffixes, special value substitutions, and other niceties
    • New parameter types including “filename”, “range selection”, etc (not all exposed well in devices yet)
    • Cleaner API for developers
  • Eventual removal of all legacy modal dialogs. Devices with unique parameter widget needs can still display and store unique parameters in a more general way
  • Macros now support Dependencies. This allows you to enable or show groups or parameters based on the value of other parameters, just like WM devices are able to do.


  • TAB-based quick add / favorites based on usage. Sort order is automatically informed by your own personal usage data.
  • Improvements to graph handling
  • Hideable parts toolbar
  • Alt-click to lock preview on device. CTRL-click to popup device parameters without changing focus
  • Alt-click on empty space to pan view, alt-drag to zoom to an area
  • Added ability for Macros to be colored according to a device family
  • Workview wheelzoom now zooms towards/away from the mouse cursor
  • If devices can’t build, they now explain why (“a port is not connected”, “no data from source”, etc)
  • Can cut/copy multiple groups as well as devices

Left-side workspace

  • Streamlined UI
  • Collapse unwanted sections as needed
  • Can Alt/Ctrl click on devices just like workview

Layout View (Device Editor View)

The layout view has undergone perhaps the most dramatic change for the LTE branch.

This view will eventually become the primary visual editing viewport for all devices.

  • Layout View no longer shows the “explorer” preview build but instead, your final build results.
  • No more complicated layout-tab selection. You now edit only the selected device.
  • Device parameters are automatically shown on right-side panel (hideable)
  • Graphically manipulate any exposed visual parameters (noise origin, river tool, file input, shapes…)

Explorer View

Explorer is now the sole view that creates “infinite” view approximations, which is less confusing than trying to make precise edits while viewing an approximation in the 3028 layout view.

Explorer has two modes:

  1. Render extent selection. Modify or add render extents, while viewing the infinite expanse surrounding the RE.
  2. Explore the approximated world.

Most Explorer functionality is not yet implemented in this build.

3D View

  • Quick-set to overhead and perspective cameras
  • Local view locking; you can freeze the view on any device and it will ignore global device AND global view lock
  • Animated camera
  • Smoother/more precise controls
  • Added tracing aid guide. You can project an arbitrary image onto the terrain for following an existing sketch.
  • A|B comparison tool improved to allow comparing any two arbitrary devices, not just the input and output of the selected one.

2D View

  • Basically the same 🙂

Known Issues / Yet to Complete

The following items have not yet been re-implemented, or have remaining issues. They are intended to be complete by the first LTE full release, in roughly the priority order as listed.

  • Bring new GUI to remaining legacy dialogs (Tiled File Input, Colorizer, …)
  • Layout view does not yet support all 3028 operations
  • Sessions
  • Save/restore UI state in sessions
  • layout shape I/O dialog not implemented
  • Reworking of UI icons/typography/layout
  • Explorer explore mode
  • Automation support
  • Preset management
  • Explorer view seamfixing
  • Project Snapshot full management
  • ‘Save compatible’ option
  • Adv Perlin needs its custom bits finished up

Where is the download build 4005

Hi there,

You can download 4005 from the Update Center:


@Stephen: I just bought World Machine the other day so I could play with the 4000 LTE builds. Keep it up and hopefully this momentum continues!