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Gaea Landscape Generator

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Just wanted to ping the community to see if anyone has used Gaea landscape generator  (found here:  https://quadspinner.com/Gaea).

 

Interestingly enough, it appears to be developed by Dax Pandhi (http://www.daxpandhi.com/#art) who is an outstanding artist with a tremendous understanding of what makes digital nature look absolutely real.  His tutorials and work with Vue xStream is pretty impressive.   I would gather that as he is making stand alone landscape applications and plugins for World Machine, he is no longer interested in Vue (like so many of us).  Read Dax's personal info --- high school dropout that was now a guest lecturer at Harvard....gotta love it!!!!

 

Gaea looks to be a full featured landscape package with three methods to create landscapes: layers, graphs (or nodes) and sculpting.  Very intuitive.  It either outputs displacement maps or FBX geometry.  What I have yet to figure out is how to shade the terrains but then again, I have only been playing with it for a day.

 

For those waiting for the C4D plugin, Rock Engine (made by 3D Quakers - the people who brought you Forester), this may be worth a look.  Rock Engine has had a slow and protracted development cycle, and was  originally targeted for a late June release which has been pushed to late July.  I am not sure how many developers there are but my guess is that it is a single person shop.  There is a short tutorial on Rock Engine on YouTube and I have to say that, while the results look impressive, the interface is hard to follow and not as logically designed as Gaea's.

 

There is a free Gaea download available that is fully functioning but limited to 1K in the size/resolution of the terrain you can create.  For an indie version, the price is $99 (not bad at all) that limits you to 4K resolutions and the professional version is $199 (no render limit).

 

At those prices, Rock Engine will have some stiff competition.  Interoperability with Forester will give it an edge so we will have to wait and see.  Personally, I want to see Rock Engine succeed as I just love Forestor, so if those two work well together then that would mean a great deal to me.

 

In the meantime, as Rock Engine missed its release date, I would love to hear what others think about Gaea.

 

Dave

 

Dave


Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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That's really really good - thanks for sharing :) I've had a secret soft spot for landscape generators going right back to Bryce, but this is leagues ahead of that, and looks much nicer and convenient to work in than either Terragen or Vue. And it's pretty reasonably priced too. If, as you say, it plays nicely with Forester and Rock Engine (and I don't see why it shouldn't), that is a massively powerful toolset I will struggle to resist. Perhaps the only thing we'd be missing is Terragen's amazing atmosphere simulation / raycasting, which makes our Physical Sky look like it's not even trying...

 

CBR

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  • To be clear, Gaea outputs FBX or heightfield maps at high resolution so it can work with C4D, but that is about the extent that it will "play" with Forester.   To Forester, it will just be a polygonal object that has to work with its multi-scatter engine.  My hope is that Forester has more interoperability with Rock Engine --- for example, not only will there be controls that limit auto-tree population to certain terrain slopes (eg. don't place trees on a cliff face), but additional controls that limit the tree's size at high terrain elevations (just as in nature).  That "could" be possible with Rock Engine and Forester as Rock Engine could easily pass elevation and scale data to Forester's multi-scatter module but I don't think that would be possible with Gaea and Forester.  Also, and again I am speculating, Forester's global wind function could take terrain data from Rock Engine to control which trees get affected by wind forces based on how they are shielded or unshielded by the terrain.  Stuff like that could be possible from Rock Engine and  that is the type of inter-operability I am hoping for from Rock Engine as they come from the same developer. 

     

    This may be too much to hope for from 3D Quakers for a first release but it does point to a "potential" advantage that Rock Engine could have over Gaea over time.  As for now, let me learn a bit more with the Gaea.  At $99, creating 4K terrains of such quality so quickly is a low risk way to proceed while Rock Engine grows into its potential.

     

    Dave


    Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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