Tips on World Machine Landscape Production
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Tips on World Machine Landscape Production
1 June, 2017
Opinion

Sungwoo Lee shared some nice tips about using World Machine to build amazing landscapes in Unreal Engine 4. 

Introduction

Hi, my name is Sungwoo Lee and today I’d like to share some of my World Machine tips. I hope this article would be helpful to you. These terrains are made in World Machine and rendered in UE4. In this case, I just made general shapes and color distribution, so I didn’t use splat map to combine detailed materials. It’s all for the far distance view of terrains.

Shaping

I think the most important thing is to understand the structure of terrain. If we have very reasonable logic of terrain then there is no necessary to connect such a many nodes in WM.

Geoglyph is the most powerful WM plugin I ever seen. There are too many powerful macros in geoglyph. One of my favourate macro is Neoflow. Neoflow can break some regular erosion to get more natural shapes.

Texturing

The texture directly shows the naturality and beauty of terrain, and this(texturing) is also the most difficult and confusing part in making terrains. I use two 3rd party texturing macros normally. One is called procolor from AtrusDesign(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BITD6fAlQDM),the other is called TeTo from Iri Shinsoj(https://gumroad.com/l/TeTo).

These two macros contain several color templates and they are easy to control, these are very good solution for most cases, but both of macros cannot customize color. If you want make some special textures they couldn’t help.

Geoglyph also provides many satellite color table. You can find these color tables in colorizing node or just click set terrain color button. For my case,the WM will stop running when I click this button.

I normally reduce erosion,flow,wear,deposition using by geoglyph macros (Mainly use geoshape and reflow) then combine these color tables by these masks.

Combining the above three points/marcos you could get most result that you wanted. If you want more color distribution Substance designer is also a good choice.

Rendering

As for the rendering in UE4, there is not too much to talk. It’s really simple, Just import height map in terrain system and apply base color and normal map then you will get good result.

Of course, you need to add some post processing, directional light and skylight. You also can use decimated mesh instead of terrain system.

PS: Quadsnipper(Geoglyph developers) is developing a terrain tool called TOR, this is a standalone software and may become a next generation terrain tools. I think we need keep eyes on it.

Thank you for your reading! Oh, Please ignore the erosion on the moon.

Sungwoo Lee, 3D Environment Artist

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