ryobg
I wonder how rivers & lakes are foreseen to be created. 

There is the ocean, that's clear, you have the 3 biomes for zero height water. Then you have this Water Bodies item, but it just generates random water here & there, no control.

What I want is, add a Biome Layer, saying this is river or this is lake, add again displacement and heightmaps, use a mask to tell whether to apply it and that is. Throw some materials, planting rules and voila. 

The reality though is that this is too complicated now. The only way to achieve similar effect, I can imagine, is the following:

1. Add A Biome Layer for the river/lake bed and proceed as with the rest.
2. The mask of this layer has to be negated along the other masks in this Biome, or the river/lake can accidentaly disappear due to the way how VF chooses which to show where.
3. Then add another Layer for the water, it should use the same mask, just material based on Water. Now the tricky part is to tell that the displacement of the water has to equal the ground around, otherwise the water will just look barely sitting over the river bed. So you have to invert somewhat the displacement so its top, equals horizontal level.

I would appreciate any know-how on this.
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voxelfarmtorres
The Water bodies component does not generate exactly at random. Given a heightmap, there are only a few configurations that can hold water as a lake. In fact, many heightmaps are not capable of holding water. The generation ensures the water is at the same level for the entire lake shore, which can span many kilometers.

If you were to place lakes manually, you would find the same challenge in computing a valid mask for your terrain.

Your suggestion about how to place water bodies is very good. We are considering a quick way to add this in the new terrain component.
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ryobg
Consider easy way to specify concretely or with probability where a river or lake should appear. Don't forget the bed, it is lame to see the water bed of same material as its surroundings. 

Mentioning your upcoming terrain system, I suppose there could be enhancement or additional input to the meta-material. Have a layer descriging the fluid medium. You can assign one or more different material to it, thus painting over. I suppose you can see this in the nature: in the lakes you have different colors, some parts are covered with algae, spring lakes are covered with flowers, lava lakes are covered with melting rocks and etc. 

So, you describe the bottom and the fluid top separately. Having pixels of the same meta-materials next to each other you can combine them and thus extend the lake/river in many directions. I suppose the algorithm which you have for the Hydro layer can be reused mostly too.
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ryobg
Currently there is no any way to add river/lake at specific location. If we put water biome all the height goes to zero level, so if used this approach 1 biome has to be sacrificed and 0 level lakes & rivers. Also I tried to use 2 layers on same place, 1 for water, 1 for under river bed, only the water is visible down to the end of the terrain (the special masks "Under river" and "Under lake" does not change the behaviour).

Option coming in mind is to code VF extension, but then you can't rely on VF studio tools like layers, planting rules and etc. you have to dublicate all the stuff...  grrr...

Too many obstacles, at the end maybe I code one extension which to output all the voxels of the world... [crazy]
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ryobg
Hellow rivers and lakes! [biggrin]

A month later I was able to implement such biomes i.e. I can paint them on the continent map, cover the river/lake bed with other layers and etc. Still some stuff to do, but that's the first view... Don't mind the pesky blend with that brownish biome, I was too lazy to move it out.

vf17.PNG  vf18.PNG  vf19.PNG  vf20.PNG 
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cybervr
Well done, I am bringing in a 200km by 200km islands height map from world machine.. Bit new to voxel but can see it as a future terrain solution..on my map I have places which could be rivers..so will play around with this myself and post my results [smile]
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rjohnson
@ryobg can you provide any clues on how you implemented rivers? Did you end up coding your own VF extension?
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ryobg
@rjohnson the default terrain in VF is kind of too specific and hence limited, but they provide a satisfying enough API extension. So yes, its custom extension. As my rivers are painted in advance, they need a starting point. From there on its all about finding an way to make the water flow downward. This might cause too deep grooves though. 
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rjohnson
Thanks for the insight! I may end up going the extension route, not sure yet. I've been playing around with the elevation map. I noticed if I make it high resolution enough, like 1px/250m , I can paint rivers into it. It's not very realistic and the rivers are a bit on the large side. But it might work for my purposes as I think my rivers will be sort of paths to places with interesting resources that the players can send boats to.

river.png    
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ryobg
Yeah, don't bother about the scale. Good luck!
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