Summer of Code: Terrain Toolkit Released!
This blog post is written by Sándor Moldán (Nekharoth on forums) who has been working on Terrain Toolkit to help generate realistic terrains in Unity Editor. The project was one of the four selected projects that were selected for the Unity Summer of Code.
The Terrain Toolkit is an integrated set of tools for the Unity Editor which is designed to streamline and improve the workflow involved in creating realistic terrains for games. The toolkit enables the creation of large scale, realistic and playable game worlds within a very short time span.
Unity already has a powerful terrain engine as one of its core features. The Terrain Toolkit expands on this by providing the user with the ability to rapidly create a variety of different landscapes directly within Unity without needing to use third party software. An additional advantage is that landscapes can now be generated dynamically at runtime. This means a Unity game can have a potentially infinite number of levels or landscapes with a negligible impact on the file size.
Integrated terrain creation tools
The Terrain Toolkit provides an intuitive interface within the Unity Editor allowing a Unity artist to simply generate, erode and texture terrain objects. Quick and easy-to-use presets are provided for first time users, while advanced users can tweak low level settings such as rainfall and evaporation to get exactly the result they are after.
Watch the tutorial video to learn more about using the Terrain Toolkit:
A powerful runtime API
The Terrain Toolkit comes with a powerful API that allows developers to call any of the terrain generation, erosion and texturing scripts at runtime.
This Unity web player shows the Terrain Toolkit API in action: http://www.sixtimesnothing.com/terraintoolkit/APIExample.html
Where to next?
I plan to continue work on the Terrain Toolkit by both making further improvements to existing features, as well as expanding on the feature set to allow even more flexibility in the creation of procedural terrain.
Here are some of the planned features for future versions of the Terrain Toolkit:
- Texture presets
- User defined presets
- The ability to apply pre-defined presets through the API
- Realtime destructible terrain
- The ability to create multiple, maskable terrain ‘layers’
- An advanced hydraulic erosion filter based on a shallow water model
- Glacial erosion
Comprehensive documentation for the Terrain Toolkit and the API is included in HTML format. The latest version of the documentation can also be viewed here: http://www.sixtimesnothing.com/terraintoolkit
Questions and support
If you have any questions about the Terrain Toolkit, the API, or any suggestions for improvements or new features, please feel free to contact me on the Unity forums (Nekharoth) or through my developer blog: http://sixtimesnothing.wordpress.com
Get the Terrain Toolkit from our Resources section.