Environments and Terrain Tools
Environments and Terrain Tools
Terrain tools allow you to create realistic landscapes like mountains, rivers, and canyons. This overview will explain the primary tools used for creating terrain.
Opening the Terrain Tools
From the Home tab, click on the Editor button to see all the available tools.
Whenever you click on any terrain tool such as Generate, Add, or Subtract, it will open a terrain widget. Each widget has slightly different features, like these below:
|Size||The size of the brush.|
|Strength||The speed of the tool. Higher speeds modify terrain quicker.|
|Shape||The shape of the brush; can be either a cube or a sphere.|
|Material||The appearance of the terrain.|
Below are differences that you can expect when using the sphere brush.
The Generate tool is used to create random landscapes. You can use this tool to quickly start a new landscape and then change it based on your individual vision.
|Map Size||Determines the overall map size of terrain to generate.|
|Seed||The random number “seed” associated with the terrain map.|
|Caves||If selected, caves will be generated in the terrain map.|
|Biome Size||Sets the size of biomes within the overall terrain map size.|
|Biomes||Determines which type(s) of biomes will be generated, for example water, hills, mountains, etc.|
Add and Subtract Tools
Add and Subtract are the most common tools you’ll use for “blocking out,” or building the majority of your environment, before you start adding details like caves and waterfalls.
- Place down an object you expect to find in your game, like a tree or a street light. This will help you understand the scale of terrain.
- Playtest your game and think if the terrain would feel natural to players.
- Terrain might look different from different angles. Be sure to move the camera frequently to make sure you're building what you want.
Using the Terrain Grid
When using a tool for rough sculpting, you’ll see a grid appear at your mouse. All terrain is created on this grid. As you click and drag your mouse to edit terrain, notice that the terrain is affected by the angle of the grid. Tilting and rotating the camera will change the grid angle.
After rough sculpting, it’s important to fine-tune your terrain and make it look interesting. The Paint, Grow, Erode, and Smooth tools are generally used for adding those finer details after you’ve sculpted a basic environment.
The Paint tool changes the terrain’s current material, for example grass, rock, or water. This is useful for adding variations like dirt and rock patches in a grass field.
The Grow tool slowly fills in areas with terrain. This is useful for adding hills or smoothing out gaps between terrain.
The Erode tool slowly removes terrain. This is useful for creating caves, canyons, rivers, and lakes.
The Smooth tool smoothes terrain in the selected area. This is useful for making jagged terrain more natural and getting rid of sharp corners.
Sculpting With Regions
Regions can speed up terrain creation by letting you work with large areas.
Selecting and Manipulating Regions
To select and manipulate a region:
- Select the Regions tool and click on Select.
- Click and drag to create a region box.
- Manipulate the region with the Move, Resize, and Rotate tools in the terrain widget menu. These tools are very similar to how they're used with parts.
You can also copy and paste entire regions — just click on Copy and then click on Paste to create a new region. Once you’ve pasted a region, Studio automatically switches to the Move tool so you can move the copied region.
Filling and Deleting
You can even fill or delete entire regions with a material:
Merging Empty Regions
When you select a region, you also select all the “air” inside that region. When editing regions — moving, resizing, etc. — the Merge Empty option affects the outcome.
Each terrain material like rock, ice, or water has a default color, but you can customize these if desired. For example, if you’re building an arctic world or a volcanic wasteland, terrain colors may be adjusted to fit the theme.
- In the Explorer window, select the Terrain object.
- In the Properties window, expand the Appearance → MaterialColors branch.
- Enter a new RGB value for any material and the terrain in your place will update dynamically.