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Eric Guérin has recently presented a new model that makes an attempt to build complete terrain maps from a few user sketches. The thing can potentially change the way we deal with landscape generation, so let’s start studying it.
The model was originally described in a paper called “Interactive Example-Based Terrain Authoring with Conditional Generative Adversarial Networks” by Eric Guérin, Julie Digne, Eric Galin, Adrien Peytavie, Christian Wolf, Bedrich Benes and Benoît Martinez. You can read about the idea below.
Authoring virtual terrains presents a challenge and there is a strong need for authoring tools able to create realistic terrains with simple user-inputs and with high user control. We propose an example-based authoring pipeline that uses a set of terrain synthesizers dedicated to specific tasks. Each terrain synthesizer is a Conditional Generative Adversarial Network trained by using real-world terrains and their sketched counterparts. The training sets are built automatically with a view that the terrain synthesizers learn the generation from features that are easy to sketch. During the authoring process, the artist first creates a rough sketch of the main terrain features, such as rivers, valleys and ridges, and the algorithm automatically synthesizes a terrain corresponding to the sketch using the learned features of the training samples. Moreover, an erosion synthesizer can also generate terrain evolution by erosion at a very low computational cost. Our framework allows for an easy terrain authoring and provides a high level of realism for a minimum sketch cost. We show various examples of terrain synthesis created by experienced as well as inexperienced users who are able to design a vast variety of complex terrains in a very short time.