Thursday, January 28th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

World Machine Software ships World Machine ‘Mt Rainier’

World Machine Software – aka developer Stephen Schmitt – has released World Machine Build 4015 ‘Mt Rainier’, the latest version of the terrain-generation tool for game development and visual effects work.

The update overhauls the software’s UI to a new interface based on the industry-standard Qt library, adds support for progressive background builds, and improves performance “20% to 60%”.

New, more flexible UI design based on the Qt toolkit
The release is the first update to World Machine since 2019’s ‘Alpine Lakes‘ releases.

It’s a pretty major overhaul, introducing a new user interface based on the Qt toolkit specified in the VFX Reference Platform, and increasingly used in other CG software.

Changes include a new dark theme, the option to tear off and dock dialogs, and support for multiple viewports, capable of displaying the results of terrain builds at up to 16K resolution.

Improved build performance and support for progressive background builds
Under the hood, the software now supports progressive previews, automatically building the current visible views in the background whenever an edit is made, followed by the rest of the world.

According to Schmitt, even a “big, slow to build world will open right away without lag, even if it has to load lots of data from disk or preview a huge network”.

Build performance has also improved, and is now “20% to 60% faster” than Alpine Lakes on “representative worlds”, particularly on high-res builds, or when running on machines with under eight CPU cores.

New terrain history system and option to generate AO maps
In addition, the software now preserves edit history, making it possible to toggle back and forth between edit states at full build resolution.

Users can also save named snapshots of a project at given points in time.

Other key changes include the option to generate ambient occlusion maps from World Machine terrain for export, and updates to the software’s terrain colorisation and region rendering systems.

Pricing and availability
World Machine Build 4015 is available for Windows 7+. An Indie licence, which enables you to build terrains on two CPU cores, costs $119.

A Professional licence – which raises the limit to 256 CPU cores, and adds tiled terrains and scripting support – costs $299, while a Studio Site Licence costs $1,999.

The free Community edition has all of the features from the Indie edition, but is only licensed for non-commercial use and makes it impossible to build or output a terrain larger than 1.025 x 1,025px.

Read a full list of new features in World Machine Build 4015 in the online release notes