Heightmaps Go to New Altitudes!

Guess who this is

83 Likes

This is an excellent update, especially the filled terrain.
On the subject 16k terrain…
Are there any loading optimizations planned?
It’d be amazing for one of my games to be able to load in large maps but the biggest I can realistically go is 6k-8k before match loading takes too long. Not sure how the voxel loading works internally but is there any current multithreading or gpu acceleration that could be potentially implemented?

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We’re continuously working to better-optimize our system, especially with large experiences. Did you see the recent City People Cars tech demo we released? New Tech Demo: City People Cars

Also, as you build large experiences, I’d encourage you to file bugs (if you’re not already) when you encounter issues. Generally the more we know an issue is affecting our devs, the higher priority it will be to fix.

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@Phoninian gave a good explanation. Hollowing out terrain decreases memory usage significantly.

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It would be great if there was an option to enable having the terrain hollow, to reduce memory usage, it was the best feature the terrain importer had for me

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I am somewhat mad this wasn’t done a long time ago (since this feature existed as a beta at some point), but I seriously love the improvements. I previously had to manually spend hours smoothing out large maps just because of how heavy the terracing and how low the resolution was.

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I’m glad we were able to address your issues. We are also hiring, as we have a lot we want to do and need more great engineers, designers, and product managers :slight_smile:

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This is incredible and I see it as revolutionary! I personally haven’t gotten too much into terrain, but when I have used it that was something I was hoping for an improvement for. Keep up the good work and don’t stop with these good ideas!

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heightmaps really are a necessity for revolutionary terrain design. Thank you so much for this!

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This is so much better than the previous workflow for terrain heightmaps. I ended up choosing CloneTrooper’s reimplementation simply due to the requirement for heightmaps having to pass through moderation before they could be used.

I love that it now fills in the terrain, but one thing I’d like to see is the option for us to customise how it fills it.

Use case: I currently use several heightmaps to get more detail in my exported heightmaps, (without using 16-bit PNGs since what I export from doesn’t support that) but this means that I am left with layering that I don’t really want.
RobloxStudioBeta_Cs2fVcqD7s

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This is an interesting use case–we’ll need to think about it. FYI, try the terrain material search and replace tool to clean that up quickly.

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Also I have another feature request. Can you make it so that you don’t have to put it through moderation to put heightmaps? I find that it really takes a long time to just import a heightmap.

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Try the new feature–we worked very closely with trust & safety to provide instant iteration so that you don’t have to wait for moderation before using your heightmap.

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Ok guys, I made the showcase:

wait dont join there is a bug i am fixing it
EDIT: fixed the bug
EDIT: Why are there so many dislikes on this game lol.

1 Like

Roblox doesn’t store voxels individually, it groups them based on material and occupancy. I just did a test where 2 scripts generate a 5120x512x5120 grass cuboid, one making it hollow at the bottom and the other filling it in. The hollow one took up 228MB of memory, while the filled one took up 19MB.

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Since terrain height maps are hard to find or sometimes hard to use, maybe there could be a pre-set or the ability to give certain terrain creators the ability to upload custom height maps like how only certain people can upload videos? :thinking:

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Indeed. In most scenarios hollow terrain is more expensive than filled terrain not only in terms of disk space but also runtime cost because hollow terrain has twice the physics collision complexity.

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Why should Roblox restrict people’s power of imagination because a couple people individually struggle to find or make height maps? Features should be restricted because of problems that would happen otherwise, like the difficulty of moderating videos, not just because they’re difficult to use.

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No, why would this be necessary? Why would you gatekeep a feature just because beginners may have some difficulty (which they don’t, because it’s so easy and simple?) There are many studio features that only experienced developers use, and they are not application only. This is silly.

Heightmaps. 'Nuff said.

That being said, what are some recommended workflows for creating good quality colormaps for importing?

Also: Are there any plans to improve server startup times for games with very large terrain worlds? I’ve noticed it can take upwards of 40 seconds for a server to start with terrain over 10k^2 in size.

15 Likes