Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adjusting terrain settings

From: Unity 4.3 Essential Training

Video: Adjusting terrain settings

Designing a landscape is like any other design. My terrain looks neat, although it's a little bit brown.

Adjusting terrain settings

Designing a landscape is like any other design. It's an iterative process of trial and error, rinse, repeat and do more. Well, maybe not rinse, but we're going to get in there and put stuff in and adjust and test it out and see how it looks. So don't be afraid to get in and really move things around once you've got it kind of set. What I'll do, is once I get some of the terrain features in, go back through and see what needs adjusting, keep going on it, often getting a fresh pair of eyes to look and see if there's anything obvious I missed while I'm worrying about the details.

So far, I've got in trees, grass, and a detail mesh for cattails. I'm ready for the actual water, and probably some additional terrain texture at some point. Because that brown dirt is looking a little bit on the barren side. I'll give it a quick play test and see if I notice anything else that really sticks out, and then go back through and catch some of the items on that list. My terrain looks neat, although it's a little bit brown. There's a clipping distance on the grass that's a little too short because the grass seems to materialize as we get closer, and I know that I painted it up those hillsides, so at least the foreground wet areas next to the lake have grass on them.

And then the trees themselves can stand on more of the dirt. The wind is also a little bit too strong. I can really see the cat tails sliding around, as well as the grass waving a lot in the wind. And I'd like it to be a little more still. Eventually I'll need to make a wet texture for the dirt to paint along the shoreline, but I'd rather have the real water in first to see how much I'll need and what I can camouflage. The trees look good although the fog is a little heavy. So I'll need to address that in the render settings. As I run along the lake surface here the grass does seem to materialize, so that's probably a big one to hit.

There's some grass growing out of the water here and there. And as long as I take down the wind that's okay. It really gets the idea of that marshy lake across. There's that wind in action in the cattails, and it's a little bit on the big side, so that'll be the biggest one to look at. I think that the bright color on my grass, the dead color, is a little too strong as well. It's a little bit on the yellow side I'd like it to read more of a dark green overall. So I'll go back and do some adjusting, and look at some global parameters in the terrain, to be able to tweak everything. Back here in the scene I've selected my terrain object and gone into the last tool over here in the terrain script, the terrain settings.

There's our base terrain and this is really a question of casting shadows, map distance and is there a material on it. At the moment there's not, it's just the textures I put on. But I could actually put in the material if needed. There is a tree detail distance and a density and I'm okay with the way that's looking. Although, the distance in trees is a little short. I feel like I'm seeing some of them disappear. I'll leave it alone and see how it looks once I adjust the fog. There's a billboard start and this is really for the trees to billboard or become flat planes at a certain distance.

I'll set them to billboard at about, let's try 100 so they're a little more dimensional out there. Now look at the wind. There's our wind speed and size. I'm going to take this way down. I'll try .1 for wind speed and size and see if that mutes down the grass moving a little bit. There's also bending, and I'll pull it down to point two, so it stays fairly straight with a little bit of wave, but doesn't have this giant overall sway. Here's our terrain with height and length, and we can adjust as needed. There's also our height map resolution, and detail resolution.

With this lets us do is control the terrain detail when we're getting into it, and make sure we're not seeing too many pixels showing. I'll leave that alone, because I think it'll look okay in the resolution I have planned. Now, there is a section for a height map, and that's one we haven't brought in. If you've got a height map for a terrain, maybe generated in another program, such as MudBox, or WorldBuilder, or something similar, and you'd like to bring that in, you can. You can even draw one straight in Photoshop as a grayscale. A height map brings in a raw map, so it's got a full color range or rather a full luminance range.

Which is what we're going to use. And pops out the terrain based on that. You can also even export out a height map of the terrain you've sculped by clicking on export raw. And exporting out. An image that is your actual terrain as a height map so you can use it somewhere else if you need or reapply it as needed. Where this is especially useful is if you're trying to match a height map for a particular known locale. Let's say you're game is set in the Grand Canyon, and you've actually got a height map for a section of it.

And so, you want it to really match into the real geometry that real people have seen and thereby might recognize. So you can bring in true data. I'm going to try this out and see if the settings I've put in make a difference. I did want to adjust that grass. And I'll go back in and tweak that here in my detail settings. There's my grass one and grass two. I'll click on edit details with grass selected, and edit. And there's that dry color. What I'll do a lot of times is to eyedropper Straight from the scene and this way I get a really nice match all the way through.

Its a slight variation in green and I'll just take a little bit of color out of it, so I have a little bit of variation across what is dry and not but not this really screaming yellow. I'll apply it, and see how the other one looks left alone. I like how my cattails are working. And now I'll see if it's a little more lush looking and a little more still. I'll hit play and run through the building. And there's my serene lake. My grass maybe has a little wave to it here and there, and not much bend at all.

In fact it feels eerily still, which is really what I want for this game. My cat tails are barely moving, which is good, they're not swaying back in forth in the wind like they were. It's working like I'd want. It's just a little bit of waft to the grass so it's not perfectly still. But it's definitely not this giant zig that I had earlier. My trees are holding up nicely and I still need to reduce that fog, but I like the way that the trees are handling themselves. Now I've got to work on that clipping distance. I'll exit out of playing, go back into those settings one more time, and see if there's a place to take care of how those are clipping.

There's a detailed distance in the tree and detail object section. This detail distance draws those details out to that number of units, 80 meters. I'm going to boost this up a little bit and see how, let's say, about 175 or so, looks. I'll play it one more time. It'll take a minute. And now I'm seeing a little more of my grass. This is working nicely, so if I can get a green texture under some of it, it'll hold up really well as it fades off under the trees. This is a case where in the design we need to plan for the distances we'll see things.

I've got this nice marshy grass at the edge of the lake and the cattails and then trees beyond and as long as I've got some camouflage in the texture, so it's sort of green and grassy enough under the close trees, the illusion will hold up that it seems like these trees are growing in a grassy area. In reality, I've painted grass on and only left some of the grass, where I really need it. It's a balance in here. So don't be afraid to, again, do it, test it, do it and test it, and do it and test it again, to make sure it's really working.

Now I'm out here on my lake and there's my gallery, which eventually should vanish once I make it out this far.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Unity 4.3 Essential Training
Unity 4.3 Essential Training

78 video lessons · 14239 viewers

Adam Crespi
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 57s
    1. Welcome
      41s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      52s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
  2. 21m 21s
    1. Designing the game
      4m 39s
    2. Setting the project
      4m 9s
    3. Exploring the Hierarchy, Scene, and Inspector windows
      5m 45s
    4. Creating and transforming objects
      6m 48s
  3. 21m 34s
    1. Organizing the Assets window
      2m 55s
    2. Exporting objects from 3D modeling programs
      8m 33s
    3. Importing and configuring models and textures
      4m 54s
    4. Setting properties for models and textures in the Inspector
      5m 12s
  4. 29m 8s
    1. Introducing the game environment
      4m 27s
    2. Placing the player controller
      4m 29s
    3. Publishing project settings
      5m 32s
    4. Adding sky and fog
      8m 17s
    5. Fine-tuning the First Person Controller
      6m 23s
  5. 57m 25s
    1. Creating the terrain geometry
      3m 29s
    2. Forming the topography
      9m 54s
    3. Painting the terrain textures
      7m 9s
    4. Painting trees and forests
      10m 55s
    5. Painting grass, shrubs, and 3D geometry
      9m 38s
    6. Painting detail meshes
      8m 46s
    7. Adjusting terrain settings
      7m 34s
  6. 39m 45s
    1. Creating materials and assigning shaders
      8m 56s
    2. Handling multiple materials
      7m 13s
    3. Adding textures to a material
      3m 57s
    4. Manipulating textures
      5m 20s
    5. Adding reflections to materials
      8m 1s
    6. Creating lit materials
      6m 18s
  7. 47m 12s
    1. Creating GameObjects
      5m 2s
    2. Understanding components
      6m 15s
    3. Using colliders for barriers
      6m 22s
    4. Using colliders for triggers
      8m 1s
    5. Exploring physics
      8m 22s
    6. Working with Physic materials
      5m 3s
    7. Adding joints to rigid bodies
      8m 7s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Setting up prefabs for animation and batching
      5m 8s
    2. Animating an object
      6m 32s
    3. Adjusting timing in an animation
      3m 50s
    4. Animating transparency and lights
      5m 3s
  9. 11m 58s
    1. Importing skinned meshes
      4m 51s
    2. Separating animations into clips and states
      3m 14s
    3. Creating transitions between states
      3m 53s
  10. 30m 22s
    1. Customizing ambient light
      2m 59s
    2. Creating the sun using a directional light
      5m 49s
    3. Using layers and tags for lighting
      3m 32s
    4. Adding spot and point lights
      4m 25s
    5. Using point lights for fill
      4m 30s
    6. Adding and fine-tuning shadows
      5m 10s
    7. Creating lighting effects with cookies
      3m 57s
  11. 9m 15s
    1. Adding scripts to GameObjects
      2m 42s
    2. Using correct script syntax
      6m 33s
  12. 23m 7s
    1. Setting up a 2D project
      3m 13s
    2. Importing sprites
      2m 30s
    3. Slicing in the Sprite Editor
      3m 6s
    4. Layering sprites and setting the sorting order
      5m 12s
    5. Creating 2D colliders
      3m 12s
    6. Adding 2D physics
      2m 25s
    7. Animating 2D elements
      3m 29s
  13. 30m 25s
    1. Creating light shafts and sunbeams
      5m 20s
    2. Using ambient occlusion to add gravity
      4m 37s
    3. Adding depth of field
      8m 40s
    4. Applying motion blur
      5m 46s
    5. Tuning color for mood
      6m 2s
  14. 38m 16s
    1. Exploring water effects
      7m 36s
    2. Working with wind zones
      2m 8s
    3. Using an audio source
      4m 3s
    4. Creating a sound zone
      5m 59s
    5. Triggering audio
      3m 37s
    6. Adding audio effects
      3m 13s
    7. Creating particle systems
      2m 26s
    8. Adjusting particle systems
      9m 14s
  15. 25m 23s
    1. Setting up occlusion culling
      5m 52s
    2. Enabling batching to reduce draw calls
      3m 28s
    3. Testing in the game window using statistics
      4m 27s
    4. Building a development build and debugging
      6m 0s
    5. Building the executable
      5m 36s
  16. 49s
    1. Next steps
      49s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Unity 4.3 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.