Gronk
Hello,

I've been playing around with the trial version the past few days. From what I've seen lately it seems the VF team is working on the next big release all quiet-like, which no judgement there. Hopefully youre able to wow us with what you come up with.

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying what the current version is able to do. I converted an existing World Machine/UE project to run through VF and its basically working.  I would urge you guys to take a look at the way your documentation is organised, going forward; overall you have enough out there that a driven person can get it working, but its a little scattered and some aspects are documented more thoroughly than others.

I really like the way the VF world is built and rendered. I'm an artist working on the big budget polygonal stuff by day, but as nice as they look, they feel very dead and static to me. Only recently really embraced the idea of voxels as a solution to that issue for realistic work, but the more I play with VF the more convinced I become in general.

If you guys were ever able to come up with a semi-decent water flow system, it would be fantastic. I do appreciate the challenge involved there, and say it more in hope than immediate expectation.

Ive successfully tested most aspects of world building and moving over to Unreal. Resulting from that, I do have a few questions.

1) Would it be possible, either through custom code or in a future release of VF, to expose a "StampSmooth" operation in blueprints similar to "StampBlock" or "StampMesh", with size and intensity control? I imagine using a StampMesh of varyint size and shape per material/tool used, followed by a StampSmooth of varying intensities per material, which brings me on to...

2) Would it be possible, on the same conditions as above, to expose material identifiers in Blueprints?

Apologies if any of this is utter noob tier. Really liking what you've done here, and excited to see what the next evolution looks like.

Edited: OP was far too wordy, and with further exploration of the system my questions have changed.
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Gronk
Just wanted to drop a quick potato quality phone video (don't want to deal with capture setup right now) to show more or less where ive gotten to with my implementation of the voxel farm plugin.

I have to be honest, carving tunnels through mountains and dropping my deer AI into capture pits has me grinning ear to ear. Been a frustrating week or so but today i found myself feeling like i did when I first played Red Faction years ago.

Hopefully this link works

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VkGz0mU2eZ0?controls=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>


I still have a lot of intermediate functionality to build in game-wise but it demonstrates I think that it can work in concept. Going forward i would love to know/figure out/learn when it might be possible to:

- increase tree and grass spawn density. Going to test what happens if i add more separate instances/planting rules but so far have struggled to get more trees than what you see. Material planting rule density seems hard capped, and I dont see any option of that kind for terrain planting.

-get material IDs/perform a smooth operation of varying intensity, so i can change the size and shape of my carve mesh based on it each stamp, and smooth out any rough geo that results to a level that looks good for the material.

-want to touch terrain layers, caves and ores but have not got there yet/may not have the chops
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Morcrist
Speaking of planting rule densities, I completely feel you. I've had this problem for YEARS, and can't really figure out (nor had it explained to me) how to get MORE of what I'm planting. Decimate is so counter-intuitive. I mean, the description says it's how much it REDUCES density, but I can hardly get ANYTHING to populate my material in the first place. Lol! Hard to decimate next to nothing, you know?

It would be fine if it worked as expected, as in when you drop a planting rule with a mesh/voxel instance on a material, it by default literally SATURATES the material with the instances. But I'm hard pressed to get a couple flowers or rocks per square mile at default settings.

What are we wrong?

But to the original post, looking good. I particularly love the explosion effect, heh. Have you tried to get the broken pieces to "re-voxelize"? I took a stab at a long time ago but it never went anywhere.

Meanwhile, where are those carving tunnel/deer capturing videos??! 😃
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Gronk
Hahaha you know, I will definitely get around to posting some of that. Just now I created a hole under a bunny, filled it back in over the top of him and then dug him out again. Inadvertently built a phallic bridge and collapsed it into the river. I dont really know why I find it so entertaining but it needs to wear off a bit for productivitys sake.

I have not made any attempts to re-voxelise the destruct meshes, and am not entirely sure how I would go about doing so. I dont believe any functions are exposed to Unreal BPs that would help me achieve that. My experience is more art than code, ultimately, although my tinkering skills are not awful.

I'm kind of torn at the moment. I'm getting to a point where its potentially really rewarding to build more complex Unreal stuff atop this simple base and see what happens, but I also have 20 or so days left on this trial and I feel like I need to make a full exploration of its features, and maybe get some direct feedback from the development team, before i decide whether to license it.

I would love to hear if exposing cell data like material IDs, and the smoothing operation to Blueprints are priorities for near term development.

I havent yet been able to achieve the thick coating of instances needed to get at least close to my target visuals, as we've both noted. I would like to know if thats a mix of UI ambiguity and user error, or if there is some fixed cap. If so is that cap performance related, or are we simply hitting a kink in the code that will be looked at?

If I can get some solid answers to these questions before the trial period ends that sound workable, I would love to purchase a license and see what I can do with it long term. Its certainly very compelling and fun to build with.

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voxelfarmtorres
Mesh instance placing is sensitive to final triangle sizes. For this reason, some material parameters that are not intuitively connected to instance placement, like mesh simplification error, can end up affecting the density and placement of your instances. You can find working examples of this in the sample project files, like the Turtle Mountain project.

Layer instances, on the other hand, are sensitive to how much volume of the layer gets exposed in higher LODs. If you have a material layer to plant trees, and this layer becomes too thin at higher LODs, there will not be enough material to plant the trees.

In general, when planting instances, half of the behavior you get depends on the settings of the planting rules, but then the other half depends on the availability of resulting configurations, which are determined by settings outside the planting rules.
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Morcrist
Can you please explain what material parameters affect mesh instance density/placement? Instead of us guessing what settings outside of planting rules determine planting behavior, it would be so helpful to have a list.
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