Monday, November 20th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

BiteTheBytes releases World Creator 2023.4

Originally posted on 24 August 2023. Scroll down for the World Creator 2023.4 update.

BiteTheBytes has released World Creator 2023, the latest version of the GPU-based terrain generator.

The update overhauls the software’s user interface, adds new systems of biome layers, shape layers and mask layers, and makes it possible to generate terrains of unlimited size.

A procedural GPU-based terrain generator used by leading games and VFX studios
A GPU-based terrain generator combining procedural and manual editing workflows, World Creator has been used by artists at games and VFX studios including Blizzard Entertainment, Crytek, Blur Studio and Cinesite.

The software began life as a plugin for the Unity game engine, before evolving into a standalone application in 2017, and becoming independent of Unity with last year’s World Creator 3 release.

Artists create terrain using a layer-based workflow, sculpting or stamping the basic 3D forms, and generating linear land forms like mountain ranges, rivers and roads along vector paths.

The terrain can be modified using a large set of filters, including those mimicking the effects of erosion and sediment deposition, previewing the results using World Creator’s built-in ray tracing renderer.

Users can export terrain to DCC applications and game engines in 3D formats like OBJ, FBX and glTF, or as 2D texture maps, including height maps and flow maps, with support for 32-bit EXRs.

World Creator 2023’s new UI, showcased in an official video on Tyler Puryear’s YouTube channel.

World Creator 2023: new interface handles terrain layers more intelligently
Available in early access since the start of the year, World Creator 2023 has gone through a series of preview builds, but got its first stable release last week.

The most visible change is the new UI, intended to reduce the number of clicks needed to create terrain.

Workflow stays layer-based – announcing the update on Discord earlier this year, BiteTheBytes memorably described nodes as “ugly spaghetti wired crap” – but is intended to handle layers “more intelligently”.

New systems of Biome Layers, Mask Layers and Shape Layers
New features include Biomes and Biome Layers.

Biomes describe the look of a region of terrain, including the filters, materials and colour palette used to generate it, while Biome Layers act as masks for generating variations within Biomes.

The update also adds a more general system of Mask Layers, and the Path and Shape Filters from World Creator 2 have been reinstated in the software, also as layers.

Size limit on terrains removed, and Bridge Tools updated
Other new features mentioned on the product website include “powerful sediment and erosion filters, sat-maps [and] presets for everything”.

In addition, where the previous release capped the resolution of a single terrain at 4,096 x 4,096px, it is now possible to generate terrains of unlimited size and detail.

The Bridge Tools – a set of plugins for exporting terrain directly to other DCC applications and game engines – have been expanded, and now cover Blender, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Unity and Unreal Engine 5.

You can find more details in the online documentation and the announcements channel of the Discord server, although as far as we can tell, there isn’t a complete overall changelog.

Updated 20 November 2023: BiteTheBytes has released World Creator 2023.4.

The update adds a new system of Simulation Layers for distributing sediment and related materials over terrain – initially sand and fluids, but ultimately snow, mud and glaciers.

The distribution pattern for the sediment can be controlled through paintable masks, or by referencing Simulation Layers in Filter and Material Distributions.

Other new features in World Creator 2023.4 and the bridge plugins
Other changes in World Creator 2023.4 include support for infinite width in Path Layers.

New options for controlling terrain generation include a new Steepness Distribution, and support for rain maps and soil maps to control erosion filters.

Workflow improvements include the option to display a terrain grid to help visualize scale, the option to import animated cameras in FBX format, and a new set of presets for gradients.

Cost of perpetual licences cut for individual artists and small studios
With the 2023 releases, BiteTheBytes has also cut the price of World Creator for indie artists.

Whereas perpetual licences used to cost $349 for individual artists or $689 for companies with revenues under $1 million/year, BiteTheBytes has now moved to pricing based on number of employees.

Professional licences, for freelancers or firms with five or fewer employees, now cost $289; for larger firms, the cost of Company licences remains unchanged at $2,489.

Availability and system requirements
World Creator 2023.4 is available for Windows 7+ only.

Perpetual Professional licences cost $289; Company licences, for firms with over five employees, cost $2,489. Companies can also rent the software for $1,289/year.

Read more about World Creator 2023 on the product website

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