Working with layouts/shapes! Some feature ideas

Hi there,

I am working with layouts (or shapes) a lot because at the moment I think they are a great device to properly shape or mask terrain manually. In fact the layout device is the reason for me why WM is my terrain generation tool of choice. I can easily create a node network and give it to someone else and they just have to work with the layouts and understand how those work instead of understanding how the whole node network functions. It’s great! But as much as I love and use the layout device it also has its limits.

Of course the main reason I would like to see improvements here is tidyness of my projects. At some point having so many layouts can get confusing and having one layout influencing another layout can get very cumbersome and even more confusing. But I think they could be even more powerful than they already are.

Some feature ideas:

  • Easier layout transfer:
    Just a simple function in the layout device that lets you copy/cut a selected layout shape or a group of layout shapes to another layout device. I know there is the import/export function but it’s very tedious.

  • Make value key-points work properly
    There is a feature where I can give individual layout shape vertices an individual height value (right click drag on a vertex) but at the moment it seems like this isn’t working or it doesn’t do anything.

  • Layout combiner/layout grouping:
    Lets say I have a layout for mountain areas, beaches and cliffs. Currently I have to edit them separately. I would love a device that can combine multiple layout shapes so I can work on all of them in one layout view at once.

  • Alternative to layout combiner - Layout output separation and flagging
    Similar to combining layouts maybe a layout device can have multiple output ports and I can just flag which layouts goes out of which output ports so I can have layouts for different purposes in the same device and thus view.

  • Layout manipulation parameters/nodes
    At the moment scaling/rotating layout shapes can only be done manually within the layout device. Of course I could take the output and manipulate that but then I am already manipulating the heightmap which might result in loss. I thought maybe it would be nice to have parameters/nodes that can manipulate the actual layout shapes.

  • Better breakup or distortion controls
    Breakup just feels very basic and raw at times and I think it could be improved a little with more distortion options and a finer scale of how it can be manipulated. Maybe the layout device could have a distortion/displacement input. Similarly to what I wrote about layout flagging and splitting outputs you could have the same for inputs and distort individually flagged layout shapes.

Thanks for reading all this, I might come up with even more ideas :slight_smile:

Cheers

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These sound like good suggestions. May I add one concerning working with layouts

. right click context menue → combine shapes respecting their role ( union or substract )

This would help reducing the clutter produced by drawing multiple shapes to get the right mask

The layout / shapes device is a very useful and popular device and I definitely want to see some improvements come to it.

These are all great ideas, thank you for suggesting them. You’ll be happy to know that a number of them are already on the docket for inclusion when the layout device gets some attention.

I’ve added a featureupvote for this improvement; please vote for it if you’d like to see it sooner than later, as I use the featureupvote results in many cases to prioritize development.

https://worldmachine.featureupvote.com/suggestions/266037/layout-device-improvements

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