Special benefits for new and existing users.
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In 2018, Gaea 1.0 started to change how terrains were created. Our signature erosion, data maps, color generators, and cutting-edge graph made a big impact.
Gaea terrains became a staple across several industries. In entertainment it found homes across various major IPs such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Top Gun, and more. In other sectors, it has been used by organizations such as Ford, Lockheed, NASA, Tesla, and many others.
Gaea 2.0 is geared for even greater impact. We rewrote the engine from the ground up to be lighter, more efficient, and flexible. This newer tech will outperform Gaea 1 by several magnitudes. The latest toolset will prompt you to rethink how you approach and work on terrains. You might even ponder, "Why wasn't this the norm years ago?!"
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"All these new features are really hitting the points that
we've been longing for in terrain generation!"
Jianfeng (Allan) Li
Environment Generalist TD, DNEG / Gnomon Workshop Instructor
TOR Engine 2.0
Nearly 7 years ago, we wrote the Gaea engine to modernize terrain design and move it forward from its outmoded state.
With Gaea 2, we rewrote the engine to propel it to the next level.
The rewritten engine builds on emerging technologies and future-friendly workflows, with faster results and a smaller memory footprint. It opens up new avenues for us to keep adding new tools quickly, and for you to build your own tools with macros, scripting, and even compiled nodes with the Gaea Engine SDK.
- Faster algorithm processing.
- New physics and simulations.
- Hybrid Builds (see God Mode below).
- Redesigned nodes to reduce learning curve.
- New shapes and processes not previously possible.
- Node modifiers to create lighter graphs.
- Macros, groups, scripts, and compilable nodes.
- GPU-enabled processes with CPU fallbacks.
"Gaea has become one of my favorite software packages."
Visual Effects Artist, Luma Pictures
Gaea revolutionizes CG erosion - again - with a major new algorithm.
Instead of replacing our current Erosion, the new one will be available side-by-side giving you broader erosion capabilities and choices than ever. The existing Erosion_1 will also feature enhancements.
Here's an example of the new algorithm's versatility. Erosion_2 is used to erode the same terrain in 4 different ways.
- Powerful new erosion options.
- Shapes previously unavailable in erosion.
- Better preservation of the original terrain character.
- Works side-by-side with Erosion_1.
- Easier to control and master.
- Fully deterministic without performance loss.
Erosion_2 can achieve speed boosts of up to 10x compared to the existing algorithm (Erosion_1 from Gaea 1.x). And this is just on the CPU!
It provides a powerful new balance between realistic results and arbitrary art direction. You can quickly create shapes that were either difficult or improbable in Erosion_1.
Speed comparison at 8192 x 8192. Results in seconds (less is better).
Terrain Workflow 2.0
With Gaea 2, we reexamined the terrain design process after gathering feedback from dozens of major studios and hundreds of artists. We aim to address the biggest problems artists face in achieving control over procedural shapes. The Primitive + LookDev workflow has been redesigned into a more versatile Primitives + Landscapes + Surfaces workflow.
A considerable hurdle while building a larger terrain is preserving specific shapes and surfaces. The new Surface nodes apply medium and small-scale detailing to any terrain after the fact. This feature, in conjunction with Erosion_2's shape preservation, frees you from worrying about surface details when working with the larger picture.
In this 3-step example, you see the base primitive, the eroded result (with shape preservation), and a Surface applied to a part of the terrain.
This effectively breaks the terrain construction process into large-scale and small-scale shaping, so you don't need to worry about preserving the intricate visual quality of the surface.
Specifics on this revolutionary process will be revealed soon.
This new workflow also aims to overhaul how large-scale terrains are made for modern games and visual effects.
Workflow 2.0 introduces new features such as God Mode, Hybrid Builds, and Team Terrains. These features address the key needs for creating consistent, art-directable worlds of any scale. Most importantly, it decouples outdated processes and workflows which have stagnated terrain design in general.
- Visual tools to put together large worlds.
- Individual users can create super high resolution terrains.
- Teams can work on detailed worlds that span dozens of kilometers.
- Team members can work on different parts of the terrain simultaneously.
- Teams can integrate source control into terrain projects.
- Infinite "base" terrain.
- Multi-resolution workflow with a consistent scale across assets.
- "Glue" tech seamlessly merges disparate terrains together.
- Export as hybrid-resolution meshes (Nanite-friendly) or tiles.
- Automatically rebuild updated portions of a terrain.
With God Mode, you can modify specific portions of large scale worlds and the surroundings will react to your changes. Separate biomes and areas can be managed independently while sharing procedural characteristics.
Unreal Engine Tools
Gaea 2 will include a full-featured Bridge to UE5 that will make importing, re-importing, and terrain modifications a straightforward process.
The Bridge can automatically import the terrain (mesh or heightfield) and set it up with the right materials and masks as you had set up in Gaea. You can even expose specific properties from your Gaea terrain and edit them without having to leave UE.
Making tiny adjustments to a procedural terrain can be a cumbersome job. With the Gaea Terrain Modifiers in UE, you will be able to make adjustments by hand right inside your game and not have to worry about modifying anything in your terrain graph. Gaea will automatically learn what changes you have made and apply them procedurally to your terrain graph.