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Landscape Tool

Landscape Tool is used to creating rectangular sized terrain areas according to provided geodata sources but it is not used to creating a whole planet. This tool helps to create up to 10000km x 10000km areas of the real world: it's enough to create a terrain of a big city or a country.

By using real world elevation and imagery data, Landscape Tool creates terrain. Both imagery and elevation data are processed by using the GDAL - Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. It supported various raster formats with different map projections for input data.

Unigine Landscape Tool supports multiple data layers aligned by geo-coordinates: you can easily add a high-detailed landscape area over the low-detailed one.


The Landscape tool has 4 panels (Data Sources, Preview, Output Settings and Parameters panels) and the Generate button

  • In the Data Sources panel, you should specify the elevation and imagery sources for the landscape generation.
  • Output Settings panel contains a bunch of generation settings: Play Area, Quality, Files, and Cache.
  • In the Preview panel, you can specify the play area of the landscape generation. Preview panel depicts the world map in the equirectangular projection.
  • Parameters panel depicts parameters of the selected settings or information of the selected data source.

See Also

Creating Landscape

To create a landscape perform the steps described in the chapters below.

Specifying Data Sources

Landscape tool creates the terrain based on the real geodata sources, hence you should specify the data sources before proceeding.

To add a new source, click the Add Source button. In the opened windows specify the following fields:

Layer The imagery of elevation layer of the data source.
Name The name of the layer that will be displayed in the Data Sources panel.
Path The path to the data source file.

When you add the imagery and elevation data to the landscape tool, their areas will be highlighted on the Preview panel with corresponding colors: blue for elevation, green for imagery.

Data sources can be moved up and down by using corresponding arrows in the Data Sources panel. The minus sign button deletes selected data source.

When the data of different sources are intersected, the Landscape tool uses the source which is located above in the hierarchy. Therefore, you should place the most detailed part of the terrain above the less detailed part in the sources hierarchy.

When you select a data source, you can see the parameters of the added source in the Parameters panel.

Specifying Output Settings

Landscape tool generates a terrain according to the specified output settings. Specify the following parameters:

Play Area

Play Area is a rectangular area of a landscape to be generated.

Play Area represents a gray outlined rectangular in the Preview panel. Due to the equirectangular projection, it looks like a trapezium near the terrestrial poles.

Click on the Play Area settings. In the Parameters panel the available parameters for Play Area will appear:

You can specify the following parameters:

Center The central point coordinates of the Play Area.
Size (km) The size of the Play Area: width x height
Curved by ellipsoid The flag indicating if the generating landscape should be curved (WGS-84 ellipsoid datum).
Landscape tool uses WGS-84 ellipsoid by default. After landscape generation, you can specify the Geodetic Pivot object's settings and choose another ellipsoid reference (including custom).
Ellipsoid method The calculation mode. Can be in two flavors:
  • Fast mode is computed by using Great-circle distance formula. It works pretty fast, but you'll get positioning errors on big distances.
  • Accurate mode uses Vincenty's formulae to calculate distances on the surface of the ellipsoid with a millimeter precision. It takes more time for calculation (~30 fold), but it is more precise.


In this settings section, you can specify the quality of the output data.

Elevation resolution The resolution (meters per pixel) of the elevation sources. Can't be set higher than the source.
Imagery resolution The resolution (meters per pixel) of the imagery sources. Can't be set higher than the source.
Normals resolution The resolution (meters per pixel) of the normals sources. Can't be set higher than the source.
Size on disk Predictable size (in MB) on the hard disk after landscape generation.
RAM limit (%) The percentage of the RAM to be used for landscape generation.
Landscape Tool doesn't take into account the occupied RAM by the Unigine engine, the project, GDAL, etc.
Max visibility distance (km) Generating terrain's max visibility distance: the range passing which the terrain is no longer rendered.
First LOD (km) Generating terrain's first lod distance: a distance from the camera to the first LOD that starts a distant-dependent tessellation.


In these parameters, you can specify the output path for your terrain data.

Output path The output path for generating terrain's files. By default, it will creates a new folder in your project's data folder


In these parameters, you can specify the cache parameters. When the Landscape tool faced with the big source data, it automatically cuts source data to small tiles and uses them like the cache.

Landscape tool doesn't clear cache by itself, you should do it manually by necessity.

Cache path The path to the cache files.
Max cache size (GB) The maximum size of the cache files on the hard drive (in GB)
Cache size on disk (GB) A size of the existing cache files on the hard drive (in GB)
Clear cache Button to delete all the cache for the current landscape asset.

Generating Landscape

After specifying all the necessary settings, you can generate the landscape by clicking the Generate button.

Landscape stores the source data with specified parameters as assets. Therefore, when you click on the Generate button, the window for saving the asset will appear. Specify the name and the path for an asset and click Save.

The generation status window will appear.

After successful generation process, the Landscape tool can offer your world settings optimizations. We recommend you to apply them, however, you can ignore.

If you open the Nodes window, you can see that the Landscape tool created the following instances:

  • The landscape NodeDummy object for grouping other landscape objects.
  • The landscape_geodetic_pivot Geodetic Pivot object for curving the landscape according to WGS-84 ellipsoid.
  • Terrain (terrain_x) object / objects.
  • The Landscape Camera camera object which is placed in the center point of the landscape with specified all the necessary parameters (far and near clipping planes).
Last update: 2017-07-03
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