You need Terrain Creation software when you need to create a virtual world and your existing tools, if any, just won't do. World Machine provides you with proven, industry-setting terrain effects to help you create your vision.
What were your terrain needs, and why did you choose World Machine?
We were making flight games, [and] our editor had the industry standard array of terrain tools ... those tools quickly proved inefficient when we switched to the next generation of console hardware (Xbox 360, PS3, and even the Wii). Hand-authored terrains simply didn't contain enough visual fidelity to do our new terrain rendering justice.
How did World Machine improve your work and workflow?
I'd back up a step, and say that World Machine made things possible that wouldn't have been possible at all. The erosion passes allowed us to create terrain detail that would have been impossible to paint by hand, and the "basic coverage" macros quickly generated masks we could use to generate textures to go along with the heightmap data. We had various macros that would take the basic height data the level designer had generated and would spit out fully eroded and masked out terrains ... We're talking 16x16k textures here, but luckily the 64bit Pro edition with tiled terrains helped out with that.
...It's unfortunate that of all the game we used World Machine on, only the very first iteration, Lair, made it to stores. Towards the end, we had fully normal mapped and mega-textured landscapes that looked even more spectacular than what shipped with Lair.
Read the full interview for more insights!
The Professional Edition includes a slew of features targeted towards your needs, including 64bit and massive multithreading support for speed, along with tiling, automation, mesh generation, and more.
Frederick Hopp and EightVFX used World Machine to help put together a television ad for HP's Summit on the Summit initiative.
The miniature mountain is modelled in WM, as well as the background behind the people climbing, and the background of the packshot. Shaded and rendered in Maya/MentalRay.
World Machine's graph-based approach and rapid previewing for terrain design is a huge help, allowing you to experiment with many different effects and looks on the fly.
World Machine's erosion results in stunning rock details, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Simon Britton, lead developer of the Waking Hour mod project for the Crysis engine, chose to use World Machine for his team's terrain creation pipeline. He says:
For our mod project we started a thorough search for a solid natural-looking terrain generator that was able to handle terrains with some pretty extreme dimensions. It was not long before World Machine came into our view. The very good looking natural filters are what dragged us in, but what keeps you addicted is the inmense amount of creative freedom.
Right now WM is the very basis of our level design - it not only builds the terrains, it also puts the colour on the landscape and tells our game engine exactly where it should plant the vegetation. World Machine's ability to quickly build entire batches of extremely high quality heightmaps has also been invaluable to our game design process. It came to a point when we realised that this program didn't just save us a couple of hours. It saved us months.
Everywhere around the world, terrain enthusiasts are creating fantastic images. World Machine works in concert with your 3D rendering software such as Terragen or Vue to create your vision.
At the same time, small groups and independent developers work to create their dreams. For the indie developer, powerful but affordable tools are your best friend.
The free Basic Edition and extremely reasonably priced Standard Edition ensure that World Machine is within the reach of everyone.