Terrain Editor and Heightmap Generators for Bryce

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  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 705
    edited September 2018

    The "early access" 15% discount on Gaea has technically already expired (9/21), but it still worked a few minutes ago when I ordered it, as I hoped.  

    Now if it just came with a big bundle of spare time to learn it....

    Post edited by Greymom on
  • RasberriRasberri Posts: 158
    edited September 2018

    Horo - I also remember another MetaCreations Bryce founder by the name of Eric Wegner; I knew he was part of the Bryce UI team, but I didn't know he was also involved in the KPT UI. I had a couple of free KPT's plug-ins back in the day but lost them over time; I regret not taking the time to explore them. Though, you can find Eric in his new adventures at U&I Software (http://www.uisoftware.com/PAGES/uimain.html). 

    Mac users should note that Eric's ArtMatic software, available from U&I Software, is 32-bit only. There's a note in the FAQ that says that he hasn't decided whether to make a 64-bit version or not.

    This is significant because Mojave, the latest release of the MacOS, will be the last version to support 32-bit apps. When the next version of the MacOS ships -- probably in about a year's time -- it won't be possible to run the 32-bit ArtMatic on it.

    World Creator looks great and Steam has it for $69.00 which is a steal. Node-based systems make sense to me...as long as there's a preview window of the affected terrain :-) I'm still researching which software to get...so many great choices.

    Note that Steam only has World Creator 1. World Creator 2 is about to ship (and is already available as a 'release candidate'). 

    WC2 is currently priced at $149, but the makers say that the price will go up when it ships. They also say that they'll offer a 30% discount to owners of WC1. So if you bought WC1 from Steam, and then decided that you wanted to upgrade to WC2, you'd end up paying about $170 all told (or more, when the price goes up). So if you think you'll want WC2, it's probably better to buy it directly from its creators at https://www.world-creator.com/, rather than buying from Steam and then trying to upgrade.

     

    Yeah, you are right, at the time, though, I got the WC1 on sale.  Steam usually has some blow out sales yearly much like DAZ.  I picked up WC1 a few years ago for around 35$, so for me it was great that they still offered the WC2 discount this year.  They have a Standard ($149) and Pro ($289) WC2. I wound up purchasing the Pro edition around 200$. 

    You are right about the "release candidate"  It looks like they are going to be adding some things to it - I think they mentioned the ability to import your own objects for one (I hope they make improvements to the sky and water) - So I wonder if I will be paying maintenance by the year to get these updates (it will be hard not to pass up).

    Eugenius Maximus Thanks for the link for U&I Software - these apps look amazing especially the Voyager for the landscapes.  I have been looking for some nice fractal apps-you can see from my avatar that I love messing around with fractals. - Are these only for the MAC?

    Post edited by Rasberri on
  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 122
    edited September 2018

    Bytescapes - Thanks for the heads up regarding World Creator 2; I'm between jobs at the moment and $ is tight, so WC1 will be a huge leap for me. I just downloaded and installed GeoGlyph 2 Community (Classic Examples). I opened the application and it's slightly buggy; I may not installed it correctly and will look up the info when I get more sleep. But I can't wait to try it with World Machine...if it doesn't crash first :-)

    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 122
    edited September 2018

    Greymom - Congratulations on getting Gaea! So I guess you'll be staying home this coming weekend. 

    Rasberri - Yes, U&I Software is Mac-based only. The ArtMatic Voyager rendering software looks great and the ArtMatic Designer 7 fractals and cityscapes look really good too. I still have my G4 Mac :-)

    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 705

    Greymom - Congratulations on getting Gaea! So I guess you'll be staying home this coming weekend. 

    Thanks!  Won't have time to fool with it for a while, but since I decided to get it, I wanted to try to get the discount.  Hoping to use this in conjuction with VUE (and that E-ON will get their site back up in Oct.).

  • Greymom said:

    Greymom - Congratulations on getting Gaea! So I guess you'll be staying home this coming weekend. 

    Thanks!  Won't have time to fool with it for a while, but since I decided to get it, I wanted to try to get the discount.  Hoping to use this in conjuction with VUE (and that E-ON will get their site back up in Oct.).

    So E-on is getting their site back... nice to know

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 705
    edited September 2018
    Rasberri said:
    Greymom said:

     

    So E-on is getting their site back... nice to know

    Well, we will see...it has been nearly a year now since I lost access.

    But they finally gave a detailed explanation for the lengthy down time.  Apparently their order, update, and product management software, which had a very secure, complex, and draconian DRM system, was a custom job just for them, and it was way ahead of its time when put in place.  When they had problems and realized they would have to start all over again (due to inherent security issues), they apprently had maybe 10,000 people in the system, and a huge number of Cornucopia3D products.  Transferring all the accounts, data, products, etc. to the new system, once it had been setup, was partially manual.

    They have said that they are testing the new system now.   I really hope so, as my investment in VUE and add-ons, and rendering hardware,  is way more than I like to think about.

     

    Post edited by Greymom on
  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 1,501
    edited October 2018

    I created some terrains using World Machine (free version). My very first attempts. Still quite a lot to learn in this tool and mostly, to experiment.

    First one is one terrain, while the second one is a duplicated terrain, where the duplicate has some noise added, to facilitate the texturing.

    So I saved the 512*512 output from WM and added it as picture in the DTE in Bryce. Then I enlarged the terrain and changed the horizontal / vertical ratio to create the view I wanted. Skies are more or less defaults, slightly changed.

    WMland1.jpg
    1754 x 875 - 2M
    WMland2.jpg
    1754 x 875 - 2M
    Post edited by Hansmar on
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 2,444
    edited October 2018

    Hansmar - lovely terrains, I think I'll give this program a try too.

    Post edited by mermaid010 on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,541

    Hansmar - cool terrains you came up with.

  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 1,501

    Mermaid, Horo: Thanks. Consider this is just playing a little with example settings. Much more is possible, I guess.

  • Here I exported a World Machine Basic Edition Canyon 513 x 513 mesh and modified a DTE in order to cover up the low resolution. I also covered the rougher "blocks" of the imported mesh with its shadows and added a Distant Light to balance the overall look. I imported the Height Map in Bryce's Terrain Editor (not shown here) but had mixed results; still a work in progress. 

    Canyons Experiment Project.png
    1114 x 819 - 1M
  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 122
    edited October 2018

    World Machine exports several kinds of height maps it can export. The upper left terrain is from the Primary Height Map Output, the middle terrain is a Blend of the Primary and Flow Map. The last terrain to the right is the Blend of the first 2 plus a Wear Map blended in. It also exports a Deposition Height map as well. This is the same WM terrain in my previous post.

    Canyons Experiment Bryce Terrains.png
    1114 x 819 - 768K
    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 1,501

    Eugenius Maximus: Nice to see the difference in the three height map you created. The last one is more complex and that is probably why I prefer it.

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 2,444

    Eugenius Maximus - nice experiments. I tried the free version of World Machine this weekend, without much success. sad

  • Hansmar - Thanks for your kind comment. I'm still learning it myself.

    Mermaid010 - World Machine has a learning curve and not everyone is comfortable macros or node-based software. You can open up one of the Example Worlds in WM and see how they are built, experiment with them and have fun; you just might be surprised. 

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 2,444
    edited October 2018

    Yes Eugenius Maximus I think it is the macros and nodes. I had a look at a few examples but they did not make any sense to me, I will play with this program again later.

    Post edited by mermaid010 on
  • mermaid010 - While doing research, I came across a free terrain synthesizer and renderer called Picogen (https://picogen.org/). Though it is still being refined by the programmers and community, it just might be a better fit than WM. Here's their Deviant Art website which shows the interface and some rendering images that it can generate (http://picogen.deviantart.com.)

  • SlepalexSlepalex Posts: 699

    mermaid010 - While doing research, I came across a free terrain synthesizer and renderer called Picogen (https://picogen.org/). Though it is still being refined by the programmers and community, it just might be a better fit than WM. Here's their Deviant Art website which shows the interface and some rendering images that it can generate (http://picogen.deviantart.com.)

    Can you tell me in which format you can import a terrain file from this program into Bryce?

  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 122
    edited October 2018

    Slepalex - You can't; I just tried Picogen and in my personal opinion, it sucks. I am currently playing with Terre Sculptor Standard Edition; the UI is a lot better.

    mermaid010 - Don't even bother with Picogen. Please accept my apology for now trying it out first and wasting everybody's time. I'll let you know how I do Terre Sculptor when I get a chance. 

    Terre Sculptor Standard Edition.png
    1280 x 1024 - 845K
    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • mermaid010 - This software may be more suited for creative endeavors.

    Terre Sculptor Standard Edition is free to download, exports 1024 x 1024 16 Bit Height Maps and a multitude of masks (such as Altitude, Direction, Flowline, Slope, Rain Erosion, Rain Sediment, Slope Erosion, and Thermal Erosion) in PNG format (among other formats). It has a friendly UI and a big Preview Window.

    Demenzun Media Inc (Terre Sculptor) - http://www.demenzunmedia.com/home/

    Attached you should find a screenshot of the software's UI of the terrain, and a Bryce render image of that same terrain. The terrain resolutions are 2048, showing the upper-left terrain's normal height map. Upper-Right has Rain Erosion Mask blended. Lower-Left has Thermal Deposits Mask blended. Lower-Right added texture. 

    *Note: The masks will show you the file paths; you can change them where you can find them.

    Terre Sculptor UI.png
    1280 x 1024 - 627K
    Terre Sculptor Research.png
    1114 x 819 - 774K
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 2,444

    Thanks Eugenius Maximus I'll check it out for now I am working on Horo's pdfs the Warped Terrains : https://horo.ch/docs/mine/pdf/WarpedTerrains.pdf.  and Smooth Terrains https://horo.ch/docs/mine/pdf/SmoothTerrains.pdf.

  • mermaid010 - No worries, whenever you get to it. You can never go wrong with Horo tutorials :-)

  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 1,501
    edited October 2018

    Here is another render with a terrain made with World Machine. I think you can do great things with the tool, but it does need quite some effort to learn it. I looked at some World Creator videos and that looks like an amazing tool. But not free. I will play more with the Machine.

    WMlake1.jpg
    1754 x 875 - 1M
    Post edited by Hansmar on
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 2,444

    Hansmar - that a very nice render

  • Hansmar - Nicely done. WM is definitively a different way of generating terrains and not intuitive at first glance. On the bright side, it seems to use the same geology terms as other terrain generators so when you're ready to jump to World Creator, your learning curve could be reduced. 

  • SlepalexSlepalex Posts: 699
    edited October 2018

    Here are some examples of working in GeoControl2. I create an elevation map in TE, then I can change it in a 2D editor. After that I upload to GeoControl2 and apply various filters. I save it as a PGM file (16 bits gray tint) and import it into Bryce. The program is intuitive and even a novice user can figure out the use of filters.

    The latest file is an elevation map for scrambled eggs. You can download it and do something similar. Do not forget to mark "solid" and cut off the bottom part with the help of the bracket. :-)

    Terraces.jpg
    640 x 360 - 41K
    горы2-4.jpg
    640 x 360 - 166K
    Дальние горы2.jpg
    640 x 360 - 182K
    Туманный Альбион2.jpg
    640 x 360 - 157K
    яичница-map.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 68K
    Post edited by Slepalex on
  • SlepalexSlepalex Posts: 699
    edited October 2018

    Here is the interface of this program.

    Буфер обмена02.jpg
    1041 x 799 - 197K
    Post edited by Slepalex on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,541

    Slepalex - you're lucky to have GeoControl 2. I got GeoControl 2 for free with a 1 month license after Johannes Rosenberg had sold it to Cloddy. Then I purchased World Creator from Cloddy. The difference is that the controls are at left, not at right on the interface, it uses 2 CPU cores to render instead of only 1,the terrain and the maximum size was increased from 4096 to 8192. Otherwise it is much the same as GeoControl. GeoControl generated terrains stored in the preset library are compatible. It also has the post filters. You can load any terrain and modify it with the filters, which go up to 8192 resolution. The new World Creator 2 (Standard) has again only 4096 resolution, misses several filters, isolines seem to be missing as well and it is quite expensive, around $149. The pro version has all the features (and some more) than standard version but with $289 is not cheap.

  • SlepalexSlepalex Posts: 699
    Horo said:

    Slepalex - you're lucky to have GeoControl 2. I got GeoControl 2 for free with a 1 month license after Johannes Rosenberg had sold it to Cloddy. Then I purchased World Creator from Cloddy. The difference is that the controls are at left, not at right on the interface, it uses 2 CPU cores to render instead of only 1,the terrain and the maximum size was increased from 4096 to 8192. Otherwise it is much the same as GeoControl. GeoControl generated terrains stored in the preset library are compatible. It also has the post filters. You can load any terrain and modify it with the filters, which go up to 8192 resolution. The new World Creator 2 (Standard) has again only 4096 resolution, misses several filters, isolines seem to be missing as well and it is quite expensive, around $149. The pro version has all the features (and some more) than standard version but with $289 is not cheap.

    Practically, the resolution of 4096 is quite enough to work in Bryce. I have never used a resolution of more than 2048, as this is too much load on the memory and file size.

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