Originally published May 26, 2018. Scroll down for news about the 1.13 update.
Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.1, the first update to the 3D landscape generation tool since its release, adding new noise-based generators, support for color maps, and new options for generating masks.
A fast and lightweight procedural tool for generating terrains for real-time work
Instant Terra was released earlier this year and is a quick and easy tool for creating terrain, especially for real-time work.
The development team has a background in game development itself. CEO Alexis Vaisse was the lead programmer for Ubisoft's internal physics and material simulation systems.
The workflow is primarily based on graphics – the first version included over 50 separate nodes, including a hydraulic erosion system – with the option to paint masks to control the effect of nodes.
The software imports DEM data or source images and exports terrain as an FBX mesh or elevation map, supporting a number of popular 2D image formats including OpenEXR.
Users work directly with the final resolution of a site, with real-time 3D previews of changes.
New in 1.1: New noise-based Perlin generators, support for color cards, new masking options
In addition, Instant Terra 1.1 adds two new terrain generators, Ridged Noise and Billowy Noise, which are both based on the Perlin noise algorithm and are supposed to generate hills and ridges.
Users can now also work with color maps in the terrain – mixing two terrains also mixes their surface color – and automatically generate masks from the orientation or curvature of a terrain.
There are also new Min and Max nodes that take the minimum or maximum values of input terrains. and the option to create a mask by comparing the height of two entrance areas.
Updated September 2, 2018: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.2. The new update introduces an experimental new rock erosion system that is still officially in beta.
The new knot simulates the movement of sediments due to gravity: a geological process known as thermal erosion, thermal shock, material slip, or talar deposition.
The hydraulic erosion system receives an update with new presettings for common types of weathering as well as the option to export the river map generated by the simulation as a mask.
There is also a new set of Compute nodes that can be used to perform basic math operations. and new nodes to multiply masks or adjust their minimum and maximum values.
The new output options include the option of exporting normal maps in TIFF, PNG, TGA or BMP format and exporting them as tiles when working with large areas.
Workflow improvements include the option to create and color-code groups of nodes to organize a diagram and a new automatic backup system.
Updated December 4, 2018: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.3. The update introduces the option to generate terrain from any imported 3D mesh, as shown in the image above.
The speed of imports has also increased, probably quite significantly. The Wysilab test case shows that a 16 GB import completes more than 30 times faster: in 6.4 seconds compared to 201.3 seconds in the previous version.
Workflow improvements include a new Diagram Explorer panel that shows all of the nodes used in a scene. Nodes can be dragged from the Explorer into the node diagram itself and stored there.
Updated February 13, 2019: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.4.
The update adds a single feature, although this is quite important to the workflow: subsections of the diagram can now be collapsed into new component nodes and exported for reuse in other scenes.
Updated March 5, 2019: Readymade components can now be downloaded from the Wysilab online library.
At the time of publication, four are available, including tools for transferring details from one terrain to another, a split view for comparing terrains side by side, and tools for working with masks.
Updated April 6, 2019: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.5.
One of the new functions is a rock erosion node. It simulates the effect of rock weathering over time and creates more uniform slopes and less sedimentation than the existing hydraulic erosion node.
Other changes include the option to adjust the sun and ambient light when viewing a terrain, as well as the option to export 3D terrain in OBJ format and masks in F32 RAW format.
Updated July 2, 2019: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.6.
The version introduces new water properties – water level, color and transparency – and allows the display of water in a terrain to be switched on and off.
The update also removes the maximum size limit for color cards, enables the division of the RGB channels of a color card into separate masks and the export of color or normal cards as a tile set.
Other changes include a new Quick Build contextual menu, new Crop Terrain and Crop Mask nodes, support for UVs on exported meshes, and the option to export meshes in Alembic format.
Updated October 30, 2019: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.7.
The update overhauls the erosion simulation system, adding a new system for smoothing the terrain through sediment deposition, as well as the option to create river maps to mimic the flow of water over the terrain.
With a new multi-erosion add-on it is now also possible to combine the effects of several types of erosion in a single terrain, including the existing erosion effects for hydraulics, rock and mountains.
Workflow improvements include a C ++ API to link Instant Terra live to a game engine so that updates to a terrain can be viewed in-game in real time. It is only available in the Pro Edition.
Other changes include the option to duplicate nodes in the software's node diagram or insert them into existing links. and a new multiplication node for multiplying entrance areas.
Updated December 13, 2019: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.8.
The update provides the ability to run Python scripts in the software, accessed through a new custom node type in the scene diagram, and create what Wysilab calls "GPU scripts".
There is also a new vortex distortion effect and a new gamma correction node.
Updated February 4, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.9.
Building on the Swirl Node in the previous update, the version adds three new Warp Nodes to warp the terrain based on input vectors or masks.
Other new features include an equalizer for setting the relative strengths of different frequency details in noise effects. and a new filename parameter for specifying custom node inputs and outputs.
Updated March 12, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.10.
The version includes a stamping system that allows features to be replicated across the site in a customizable distribution. and a new crater generator node.
There are also new blend modes for terrain and masks, as well as the option to set black and white thresholds for masks and the option to tile color maps.
Updated April 27, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.11.
The update adds new tools for texturing terrain, including a new Colorize node that can be used to apply one of 15 preset color themes, or the option to apply a custom theme.
In addition, the Swirl, Warp, Directional Warp, and Vector Warp nodes can now be used to deform color maps as well as the terrain itself.
New features for terrain generation include a Terrace node for generating stepped terrain and a constant value brush in the Painted Mask node for manually creating areas of constant height.
Updated June 11, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.12.
The version includes a new snowmaking system – both a two-click version and an expanded snow knot – as well as a MultiBlend knot that can be used to mix an unlimited number of terrain layers or masks.
There are also a number of workflow improvements and options for processing terrain color maps. Instant Terra Pro users get new Python callback hooks for pipeline integration.
Updated July 8, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.12.5.
While it's not a full version – Wysilab describes it as "Waiting for … 1.13" – it adds new water level and extended water level nodes so that standing water can be added to the terrain.
In contrast to the existing water level indicator, water can be generated at one elevation relative to the terrain or at several elevations, which means that both lakes and oceans can be created.
The result can be colored to reflect the water depth. There are 10 preset color themes available.
Updated September 25, 2020: Wysilab has released Instant Terra 1.13.
The update adds a new world browser that connects to the OpenTopography database and allows you to download elevation data for any region in the world and generate a corresponding terrain.
A new satellite map node for coloring helps to quickly create colored renderings of the result.
Other changes include the option to display isolines in the terrain or to place a mannequin in scenes for scaling.
Pricing and system requirements
Instant Terra 1.13 is now only available for Windows 7+.
The software was originally intended for rental only, but Wysilab has now switched to perpetual licenses for users with revenues less than $ 500,000 / year. They cost $ 149 for 8K export. $ 199 for unlimited resolution.
There is also a Pro Edition for larger studios that includes functions for generating very large areas, exporting multiple files and a Python API. The price is on request.
For a full list of what's new in Instant Terra 1.13, see the online changelog
For more information on Instant Terra, see the product website
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