Terrain Cylinders, Perfect Flatness, and a Fresh New Look

Hey Developers,

It has been 2671 hours since we last posted about Terrain, so we figured it was time for another one. It hasn’t just been 2671 hours since the last update, it’s been 2671 hours since we last slept. The reason we haven’t slept? We wanted to give you some awesome new Terrain features: cylinders, flatness, and a fresh new UI. Everyone can enable these new features from the File → Beta Features menu, but don’t worry we will roll these out as the default after a few weeks.

Get Flattened
No one saw it coming (we actually announced it at RDC), but we created the flatten modifier which allows you to create the flattest terrain in the world. This makes it ideal for placing houses, or roads (we don’t condone flattening houses). Behind the scenes, the flatten modifier is the grow and erode modifiers working in tandem – this ensures that the flat terrain you generate is seamless with the rest of your world. S E A M L E S S.

Flatten has 3 modes for you to enjoy:

  1. Erode to Flat - given a desired plane of existence to flatten on, only terrain that is above this plane is removed.
  2. Grow to Flat - given a desired plane to flatten on, only terrain that is below this plane is filled in.
  3. Flatten All the Things! - given a desired plane to flatten on; a perfectly flat surface is generated. Terrain above the plane is removed and terrain below the plane is filled in.

You can select a plane to flatten along in the Workspace or set one directly from the tool.


Cylindrical Brush
One small new brush, one giant leap for brush-kind! The Cylindrical Brush makes it super easy to sculpt organic looking terrain and natural features.


New. Intuitive. Beautiful.
We have completely overhauled the terrain tools UI. There is no way you saw that coming. By adding top-level tabs we have made it easier than ever to find the tools you are looking for (but not the droid – sorry). Input fields will now provide helpful tips for correcting invalid inputs. The new framework also gives us a solid base to expand and add new functionality in the future.

Here’s your fun fact of the day: You can find the word “Input” over 500 times in the Developer Hub. We love the word input, and we hope you do too.

None of this would have been possible without the incredible work of @24RightAngles, @iriszh, @wengawenga, and @St4rst0n3! I would make a joke about how I just get paid to write DevForum posts, but that was actually @nsgriff.

Please give us your feedback and feature requests for the future of Terrain below!

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This topic was automatically opened after 16 minutes.

These new features will definitely make it easier to create realistic terrain, and I am really happy to see this implemented. My one concern is that from the demo it seems as if the underlying terrain still remained when flattening areas that were on a higher level. Will it ever be possible to have all the terrain you flatten meet the terrain of a lower level so that you will not need to fill in the area between them manually?

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Wow the erode cylinder tool video clip looked absolutely amazing. I didn’t even know I needed this.

+1

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I really love the work being put into terrain, I remember when terrain were blocks from stamper! It’s come a long way and definitely a great tool for developers, gives people with 0 building knowledge the ability to just draw around and mess around and turn out with something cool

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I have been waiting on this!! Cylinder terrain + flattening were both really needed. I can now make a round/cylinder pool with ease.

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The redesign of the Terrain Tools plugin UI is quite neat! However, I have to wonder what is happening with the ‘Studio Widgets’ framework that the previous version of the Terrain Tools plugin used and that was made available to developers; https://github.com/Roblox/StudioWidgets

I’ve been using it for all my plugins and was hoping it would continue to be a standard resource used by Roblox plugins, with the bonus of being available to developers. Is the updated terrain plugin still utilizing this framework or has it been entirely rebuilt with Roact? What does that mean for the future of the library?

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This edition is definitely an improvement over the old smooth tool. I have spent a lot of unnecessary time map polishing in terms of those little terrain potholes we all know and love. Looks very efficient and the UI looks clean, good first step to bigger and better terrain maps.

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I’ve been waiting, pacing, and so badly wanting to ask about this in the Developer Roadmap post! I thought you were all sleeping until the correction above. Good stuff for sure. A biome size that can be (almost) as thin as a cookie sheet, new cylinder shaped sculpting, tabs… it’s the holiday season but stylishly early this year! Thank you a thousand biome thickness units!

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Very cool! How about creating custom terrain brushes? You could use noise maps as brushes, or perhaps even a terrain clone brush. This would be so very useful! I’d take this into consideration for the next terrain update!

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While using generate terrain, if you change the Y size value to 511 or lower the progress dialogue appears on the screen but no terrain is generated and the dialogue remains onscreen.

I have an issue with the flatten tool, when I select it, studio goes to like 1 FPS in my place. Anyone else having this issue?

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Thank you for such a great update!

This will definitely help many developers create terrain like never before!

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I am having a similar problem, certain values of Y size (edit: also X and Z) under terrain generator throw an error and cause the terrain generation to stall while the progress UI remains onscreen.

This has occured for me for Y = 100 and Y = 53, but terrain generation worked fine for Y = 105 and Y = 128.
This is with all biomes disabled, biome size 100, caves disabled.

The bug prevents the “Generation” and “Clear” tools from working after the bug has occurred, requiring a restart of studio, but other tools like “Add” seem to still work fine.

Edit: This is also occurring with size dimensions set to X = 700, Y = 128, Z = 700.

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When using Generate: “Choose biomes to apply” it no longer generates correct terrain. There seems to be mountains when only water or only dunes are selected.

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Not sure how much it matters but when generating a 1024 512 1024 terrain, the output box shows “Generation: 256 128 256”

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This is so amazing to see. One problem that was common was that some parts would get slightly rotated, so perfectly flat terrain is amazing. Thanks for another great update!

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The terrain revolution begins…

Very nice work :+1:

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Terrain vegetation when :eyes:

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