Thursday, 16 October 2014

Making a Landscape with World Machine (Part 2)

On this post I will continue what we started on the first part, and I will assume that you have already done everything to the last step where you got 5 files (though we will be using only 4 of them).
But before building our landscape, we should have a very basic landscape material. Just check the node schema below.

Landscape material network 1

From that material I created also a material instance which will save me some shader compiling time. (be warned, making changes to landscape materials is very time consuming, so try to use material instance for tweaking and testing colors)
Right now, I'm not really sure about what textures I will be using with this terrain so I've chosen some funny colors just to easily locate the weightmaps in my landscape

So, let's open a new map and create a new landscape. When prompted about input parameters, we will just import our heightmap (the .r16 we produced with World Machine). Regarding to parameters we will just hit the "Fit To Data" button and we should modify the Z value in the scale so it matches the max height of our landscape (in this example, the height of the original "draft" landscape was 300 so I will choose that value).

Also make sure that our recently landscape material instance is set. This will pop the Layer subpanel where they will ask us for input weight maps (The 3 slope mask we rendered as .raw file) as well to create a layer information for each channel. We are using weight-blended normal layers.
Note that we don't have a mask for color4 layer and I did this on purpose because I wanted an extra empty layer for painting purposes

Heightmap import

Once everything is set, just click import, wait until unreal it's done and check the result. In my case, I've got something like this:

Landscape funny colors

Now, because I made a material instance I can quickly change the funny colors to something more coherent.
Landscape coherent colors

In some landscape, a plain color diffuse should suffice if it's going to be seen from very far away but I believe we all want to give it some texture, so let's go back to our landscape master material and tweak it!

Landscape material network 2

Almost everything is parametrized so we can change things on the fly. Also I kept the vector colors to tint the input textures. Notice we are also controlling the tilling of the textures through a parameter

Don't forget about normal maps and roughness of each of your layers. Be warned that there is cap on how many textures you may have on a single material so try to don't use mask textures if you can use parameters instead.

Landscape material network 3

And we are almost done, now you may invest some time tweaking in your own the landscape you actually have. Since I wanted from the very beginning to make an island, this is what I've got so far spending an hour of sculpting, texturing and tweaking my scene. Please note I have only used the sample textures shipped with a default project template and the result has been greatly improved through post-processing.

Island landscape result 1Island landscape result 2

Island landscape result 3Island landscape result 4

I've also used the sea material I described some days ago with some tweaks related to vertex painting. I may talk about that some other day, but for now, I think we are done with this tutorial.

Thanks for reading this so far ^^


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