Gaea takes terrain design toe-to-toe with the rest of the CG landscape. Designed with artists and their vision in mind, Gaea brings together advanced toolsets in an easy-to-use package where you can get Hollywood quality results in minutes.
Gaea's myriad workflow conveniences were painstakingly designed to maximize your productivity, and save you time and aggravation.
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The Graph mode provides sophisticated and flexible tools with no limit on how you can put things together. You're given a broad scope to create your own techniques.
Gaea's procedural workflow gives you the distinct benefit of not having to repeatedly reinvent the wheel. If at any point your project requirements change, especially the core shape of your terrain, simply modify the beginning of the graph and the rest will automatically adapt.
For fast prototyping or just riffing with an idea, the Layers mode lets you swiftly put a terrain together without worrying about how to manage it. You can convert layers into a graph anytime.
Once your base elements have been shaped, or you want to improve a terrain created elsewhere, you can take it into Erosion Studio to artistically fashion the final look by actually sculpting erosion.
Graphs are great, until they become complex. Then it's war between your sanity and the connections, which are fighting, overlapping, and routing around the graph.
Portals are the vanguard of our graph convenience initiative. They not only improve your quality-of-life, but also dramatically change how you think of and use graphs.
We believe that software aesthetics are as important as functionality. If you are going to live in an application, it should be a pleasing experience.
Gaea comes with 3 node styles (Small, Medium, Large), and 4 connection routing styles (Circuit, Bézier, Efficient, Straight), giving you a wide scope to customize how the graph looks and feels. These styles are also advantageous when presenting graphs in your project portfolio or sharing online.
For precise control, you can paint a mask on your terrain using freehand drawing tools. The mask can be post-processed for added flexibility and options. Once painted, the mask becomes a node with all the opportunities and facilities of the graph.
Post Process Stack
The Post Process Stack, a discrete panel under the node properties, lets you apply optional adjustments to your node's output - such as Clamp, AutoLevel, Invert, etc.
In Gaea's R&D, we observed that user graphs often became cluttered with nodes that made minor adjustments to an output. Clamp, AutoLevel, Bias/Gain, and Invert were the top offenders.
Gaea gives you the option to skip the use of a common adjustment node by simply enabling it in the Post Process stack.
When you bake a node, a higher resolution preview is displayed in the viewport, while the rest of the graph remains at the normal preview resolution. This will enable you to visualize the baked nodes with greater detail and save you a lot of time.
When part of your graph is finalized and you aren’t anticipating changes, simply bake that part to prevent it from being reprocessed. As other nodes are finalized, you can bake those as well.
Bakes are stored in memory for temporary us, or to file for long term use.
Instead of dealing with fractals and functions, you can work directly with primitives, such as mountains and valleys, to put together an entire world in moments.
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With Gaea's primitives, you no longer need to build your own terrain elements. Simply select a ready-to-go primitive to integrate into your terrain, and refine as desired. Choose from Mountains, Dunes, Plates, Fault, Lakes, Craters, Constant, Gradient, Perlin, LineNoise, SlopeNoise, and more.
Primitives are automatically geared to promote quality erosion.
Realism is important, but sometimes you need to alter reality to achieve your artistic vision. Gaea's unique effects help you quickly create a look congruent with your goals by producing characteristics that go beyond the results of erosion and other natural processes.
Quickstarts are refined recipes from which you can speedily learn techniques or use as a springboard to create specific types of terrains. These formulas have been put together with practices we utilize on major productions.
Gaea ships with conveniently catalogued Quickstart files - including Alien World, Distorted Ridge, Hero Slope, Ocean Cliff, River Canyon, Thousand Mesas, and many more. New quickstarts are added frequently.
If you want to skip the procedural starting point and create the essential shape in your favorite modelling tool, you can make the base shape anywhere and import the 3D object as a heightfield into Gaea.
This can be a great time saver when someone else has blocked out a terrain and you need to turn that into a procedural asset.
Scheduled for release soon.
Gaea features the industry's most advanced and flexible erosion algorithm. You can create superb, believable worlds from your imagination.
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Our advanced R&D positions Gaea well ahead of existing erosion solutions. In fact, Gaea creates erosion in ways that haven't been seen before. The procedural nature is so precise that you get the same result across any resolution.
The Erosion node gives you complete access to the different elements of erosion and control over how they interact with each other, helping you easily attain the desired end result.
A major breakthrough in terrain design, Directed Erosion lets you direct and control erosion in your terrains. Intended for fine detailing, this feature works in its own "Sculpt" mode at 1:1 resolution.
Erosion sculpting is made easy with dozens of erosion tools for different effects, each with key properties. Regardless of your map size, Directed Erosion is always processed at the same speed whether 2K or 32K!
Physically Accurate Snow
The same technology that powers Gaea's superior erosion also simulates physically accurate snow, which behaves as it would in real life. It can adhere to the local mass of a snow bank, flow down a slope as it melts, fall off at a particular angle, and even settle per your specs.
You can control the snowfall and the melt amount through masks. The Snow node even provides a depth mask.
Thermal erosion simulates eons of erosion caused by melting glaciers which produce realistic talus, scree, and runoffs. In addition to creating the soft slopes reminiscent of great deserts and tundra, Thermal erosion can optionally add superficial debris to slopes.
Erosion tends to hog the spotlight, but several other natural processes factor into the creation of a realistic landscape.
Gaea's tools cover many phenomena - such as coastal shelves, stratification, alluvial deposits, sand accumulation, terrain folding, and lateral hydraulic erosion.
Gaea separates the different elements of erosion - such as channels, sediments, and debris - into individual nodes, rather than lump them together as mere byproducts of a monolithic erosion process.
These nodes allow you to apply specific processes at any part of the graph with great control, never overpowering your terrain.
Gaea unique Data Maps create the foundation of procedural color production. These maps give you access to rain flow patterns, vegetation growth areas, precipitation velocity, soil distribution, and more.
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Fast Color Prototyping
Gaea supplies powerful tools to create and manipulate gradients. If you want to make a gradient from scratch, the CLUTer node has all the features of a modern gradient editor.
The SatMap node gives you access to over a thousand color gradients made from real world sources, such as satellite images and expedition reference photos. These color maps uphold realistic texture production and can save you hundreds of hours of manual labor.
Procedural color production allows you to define how to color your terrain. Gaea will apply that to any scale, even entire continents.
This workflow is further enhanced by our convenient Biome tools. Using rainfall, altitude, and other data, Gaea will intelligently craft entire biome maps, which can serve as the base for your textures or as massive Splat Maps, which can power hundreds of kilometers of gameplay terrain.
Gaea can create terrain textures from any image with a single click, whether a photograph or concept art. After registering the color patterns from the image, the gradient editor provides detailed control over every aspect of the coloration process. Post-production options let you quickly alter the texture output.
Data Maps provide powerful data about the terrain In the form of grayscale masks from which complex and layered color textures can be crafted.
They can be used anywhere in the graph, even without an erosion node present. These maps provide crucial information: hydraulic data such as rainfall, wetness, and flow velocity; geological details; and even ecological data.
Data Maps can also generate vital information for large scale PBR materials.
Whether you are working on an indie project or a AAA production, Gaea delivers all the tools you would expect from an industry standard application.
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When your terrain is ready for the next step, Gaea meets your needs with industry standard formats and export options. You can save your terrains in universal formats, whether 16-bit OpenEXR, RAW heightmaps, or meshes and point clouds.
Automate + Extend
The Open Terrain Format (.TORX) and the Gaea Scripting interface provide a flexible and easy-to-code option for automation scenarios - especially for large enterprise deployments. You can create a terrain through the interface, save it as an Open Terrain, then modify the file directly using your own tools, or automate through options within the Build Swarm.
Open Format is available in the Enterprise Edition. Scripting is scheduled for release soon for both Professional and Enterprise editions.
To efficiently process extremely large or memory-intensive terrains, Gaea's Build Swarm can distribute the build process onto multiple computers - including Amazon® AWS, Microsoft® Azure, and other distributed computing services.
Distributed Computing is not just for wide spread builds. If you are creating a massive landscape that is beyond your hardware's capabilities, the Build Swarm can break down the terrain into tiles and process them one at a time.
This feature is scheduled for release soon.