World Machine is a free for non-commercial use terrain generator, available on the Windows platform (Windows 7 through 10). This software will allow the generation of terrain using fractals through a range of variables that will sculpt highly impressive landscapes. These landscapes can be exported to various formats and integrated in other development software.
They also provide a library with Macros for extendibility and extensive documentation on their included devices. Users can build their own macros by combining devices into a set of operations that can then be exported as new macros.
Tutorial for Hello World
Reasonable learning curve, if not familiar with Visual Programming Languages (VPL).
Minimum/Recommended System Requirements
Windows 7 and above
Quad Core AMD or Intel CPU 2ghz or greater
ATI or NVIDIA graphics processor
8+GB system RAM
Windows 10 64-bit
Beginner: no VPL experience | 2+ hours
Intermediate: some VPL experience | 1+ hours
Advanced: VPL experience | <1 hour
Expert: lots of VPL experience | < 30 min.
High: powerful rendering engine for three dimensional models at various levels. Builds on the fly and allows outputting to various file-formats when building is done. Building highly dependent on resolution; 4097 x 4097 may take three hours on Windows 7 64-bit, 2.90 ghz (i7-4600M) @ 16 GB RAM.
Asset creation: excellent tool for constructing terrains from scratch. Big time-saver on sculpting terrains by hand in for example Unity.
Other - not intended for science
Overall, World Machine is extremely powerful and versatile for the creation of digital terrains. Rivers, valleys, and a range of other geomorphological features are easily recreated or emulated using the VPL interface and available devices. Most trouble resides in the sometimes cryptic descriptions of functions and the enormous amount of functionality embedded within each device. The preview output allows the user to see intermediate results and is an absolute must for this software to be used successfully. Regardless, World Machine is an incredibly complex piece of technology that, once mastered, will open up your world to new ones.
World Machine: getting to know World Machine
Tutorial #1: 'Hello' World Machine; get a handle on the basics of World Machine's GUI and understand principles of terrain generation. Time: ~1hr.
Tutorial #2: Machine Worlds in Unity; export your generated terrain to Unity3D for further manipulation and experience it in VR. Time: ~30 min.