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Thread: Current World Making Software

  1. #1
      Sigurd is offline
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    Help Current World Making Software

    When I got Fractal Terrains I was absolutely floored.

    I love being able to zoom around a world and carve out bits of it for gaming.
    I love being able to go back to the same data file and slice off another chunk of land to develop - and everything fits!
    It was Google Earth before Google Earth!


    It is a great program and has always done me for everything ....but


    I can't live with the silly string curls on the surface of the land. I can't hide em and I can't blend em without losing the quality of the render. I just want cleaner land renders but I want to be able to work from a globe.

    The only options on the program for me are Rigid Fractal and Brownian motion. I don't like the brownian motion either .


    My question is...

    Is the latest Fractal Terrains the smart choice? When will Profantasy have a CC3 enable Fractal Mapper? Will it be a free upgrade from the current Pro?

    Has anyone used Fractal Mapper's world generation routines and can you export slices of land from a globe with it?

    Is there another program I'm not considering?



    Sigurd

    I appreciate any answer. Its got to be better than blending silly string.
    Last edited by Sigurd; 04-18-2008 at 10:02 PM.

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      RPMiller is offline
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    I'm not sure if you know, but Joe Slayton is a member on this forum. His username is Waldronate I believe. You might want to shoot him a PM.

    In fact, here is the link to his profile:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/waldronate.html
    Bill Stickers is innocent! It isn't Bill's fault that he was hanging out in the wrong place.

    Please make an effort to tag all threads. This will greatly enhance the usability of the forums.


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  3. #3
      waldronate is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    When I got Fractal Terrains I was absolutely floored.

    I can't live with the silly string curls on the surface of the land. I can't hide em and I can't blend em without losing the quality of the render. I just want cleaner land renders but I want to be able to work from a globe.

    The only options on the program for me are Rigid Fractal and Brownian motion. I don't like the brownian motion either .


    My question is...

    Is the latest Fractal Terrains the smart choice?
    I am always in favor of folks having the latest version of the software. Not just because it's revenue for me but because the features that I add usually give better results than in prior versions. http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/CGTutorial/ was done with the current V2.3 FT Pro version and shows many of those tools.

    FT was always intended to be more of a world-level and region-level editor rather than a village-level tool. It does what it was intended for pretty well, and fails hopelessly at things that it wasn't intended for.

    There were some serious limitations in the V1.X versions of the program. Version 2.X were much better. A serious limitation of the V1 product line was the fractal basis function (more precisely the poor implementation of the basis functions caused by bad choices during speed optimization). They tended to leave all manner of strange artifacts on the surface. Version 2.X has the analogous shaders straight out the Wilbur software, which suffer much less from this effect. However, there is a practical limit in how far you can go down in the FT zooms because I capped the number of octaves for performance reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    When will Profantasy have a CC3 enable Fractal Mapper? Will it be a free upgrade from the current Pro?
    FT3 will be out after it gets written. PF had hoped to get one out before the summer convention season, but I have used my vacation from my day job on silly things like getting married so progress has been slow. I can't say for sure when delivery might be. I cannot speak for ProFantasy on pricing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Has anyone used Fractal Mapper's world generation routines and can you export slices of land from a globe with it?
    When I last used Fractal World Explorer a couple of months ago, it let you specify a fixed resolution for the world and that was what you got. You could output a whole globe image, but you were always limited by the original resolution that you picked so zooming in just made the pixels bigger. FWE is a useful tool for generating images of worlds using fBm but it didn't do much for me otherwise. I will admit bias in favor of FT, but that's because FT is my child.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
    Is there another program I'm not considering?


    Sigurd

    I appreciate any answer. Its got to be better than blending silly string.
    There aren't a lot of choices out there for whole-world to mid-scale editing. Various tools do bits and pieces of the process, but I haven't yet found a good overall program that implements the basics passably well (terrain, climate, peoples, history, etc.)

    I know way more than I did back in 1998 when I started FT. From time to time I toy with the idea of starting fresh rather than perpetually patching FT. I'm reworking the code base now to get ready for FT3, but it's like trying to turn a Yugo into a monster truck while going down the highway at 80 mph. Too many decisions made 10 years ago and the need to be compatible with prior versions are conflicting with some of the desires for modern features (for example, how do you handle multi-gigabyte paged databases on a 32-bit machine with code that assumes contiguous memory spans).

    Joe Slayton

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      Wordman is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    From time to time I toy with the idea of starting fresh rather than perpetually patching FT. I'm reworking the code base now to get ready for FT3, but it's like trying to turn a Yugo into a monster truck while going down the highway at 80 mph. Too many decisions made 10 years ago and the need to be compatible with prior versions are conflicting with some of the desires for modern features (for example, how do you handle multi-gigabyte paged databases on a 32-bit machine with code that assumes contiguous memory spans).
    If I may suggest a strategy: build an experimental "modern" version on a Mac and let Cocoa worry about most of the crap and let you focus on fractal mapping. I'd wager you could jettison about 2/3 of the code in the current product and end up with something with all the features, and slicker to boot. Once you have the experimental version build, you could retarget what you've learned into a "real" reworking of a "modern" FT3.

    Of course, this could just be a transparent attempt to get a version of this software on the Mac. (It is a better dev experience, though.)

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      su_liam is offline
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    Hehehe! Mac-heads are such evil manipulative folks. Absolutely, and while he's at it, he can port Wilbur. Eeeexcelent!

    I've been looking at java as a front end with the heavy lifting being done in a portable native implementation. Just number crunching without system calls. JNI will make sure the floats are 32-bit IEEE754 and the doubles are 64-bit IEEE754. I don't know about FT, but the GUI for Wilbur wouldn't slow java down at all, and putting the user interface and a lot of the filehandling in java would make the system calls portable.

    Come on, Joe, think about it, please.

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      waldronate is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by su_liam View Post
    Hehehe! Mac-heads are such evil manipulative folks. Absolutely, and while he's at it, he can port Wilbur. Eeeexcelent!

    I've been looking at java as a front end with the heavy lifting being done in a portable native implementation. Just number crunching without system calls. JNI will make sure the floats are 32-bit IEEE754 and the doubles are 64-bit IEEE754. I don't know about FT, but the GUI for Wilbur wouldn't slow java down at all, and putting the user interface and a lot of the filehandling in java would make the system calls portable.

    Come on, Joe, think about it, please.
    It's unlikely that there will be a port of either software package in the near future. A few hundred thousand lines of code don't turn on a dime. If I were to port them I would like aim for the .NET platform as that is a relatively saleable skillset.

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      su_liam is offline
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    And I'm guessing that open sourcing Wilbur is out of the question, because a lot of the source is proprietary to FT?

    I'll stop pestering you now...

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