GeoControl 2 and World Machine 2

Started by reck, November 11, 2007, 07:22:26 am

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Can I hear what peoples thoughts are on these two pieces of software and how they compare with each other. They both seem able to produce very nice terrains but I don't know enough about either of them to know which is best. I've downloaded both but haven't played with them enough to know what they can and can't do. If I was going to purchase either of these which would you recommend and why?

Also do you think that eventually TG will be able to generate terrains like these, maybe after TG2? This would mean I could generate terrains like this on a planetary basis and not just an imported heightfield.


I dont think any of them are out its kinda hard to say which one of them is better.....

but you can certainly compare GC and WM....

I own a copy of WM and I must is a very powerful software but it is very hard to learn on your own, just like functions in are going no where unless you know what you are doing.....

where as GC (I have a demo) is I think way easier to learn and in some cases....its just a matter of tweaking settings....load the presets and check the layers used to create that terrain and try to mimic it.....

also I think GC can build terrain much faster than WM....

there is no node network in GC where as WM is all about nodes and conecting them to proper input and output.....

GC also has brush modeling where as WM dont...

I personally prefer GC...and I am looking forward to GC2....
"His blood-terragen level is 99.99%...he is definitely drunk on Terragen!"


I thought the demo you could download was GeoControl 2 but maybe it's version 1. Also World machine have uploaded a page listing features for version 2.

I struggle with the nodes in Terragen so GeoControl is sounding better. But can world machine do anything that GeoControl can't?

As you have World Machine and used GC can you tell me why the terrains they produce are superior  to the terrains in Terragen? Is it all to do with better control over the look of the landscape or is it that you have more effects like water/wind erosion?


I have seen people produce terrain in TG2 that are better than WM or GC in some cases (aside from extra displacements and surfacing) but I think WM is more versatile and robust than GC.....WM certainly seem to have more control over terrain...

Although in the given presets in demo of GC...I havent seen any examples of stratas or angled stratas....
"His blood-terragen level is 99.99%...he is definitely drunk on Terragen!"


November 11, 2007, 01:24:47 pm #4 Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 01:33:12 pm by Sethren
GeoControl does have Strata/or Terraces but not Angled Strata at least not yet. This is something it needs if one is to create Mountainous uplifts and the illusion of clashing continental plates/mass land shifts.

As far as comparisons/features honestly they both can compliment one another. Both programs have there advantages and dis-advantages. Both have unique work flows. I do not think one is better then the other. I will probably be working off of both GeoControl 2 and World Machine 2 when they are officially released.

I do not want to list a huge list of what i like and dis-like about the two as i like them both each with there large array of nice features.


Thanks BPauba, i'll take a look. It's probably worth coming back to this once version 2 comes out for both software, in the meantime i'm going to play around some more with the demos.


November 16, 2007, 11:33:29 am #7 Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 11:45:02 am by efflux
I've used Worldmachine and you can get some beautiful terrains from that. I never tried Geocontrol. I would use these apps if for some reason I specifically wanted an effect that I couldn't get on a planetary scale in TG2 like erosion for example but since I mostly work on a planetary scale I might never use them. I find the loss of realistic terrain effect by working on planet scale procedurals is generally outweighed by the fact that you you have limitless POVs. When you get a good planet you can explore POVs for literally years. The other advantage is that procedural terrains can be endlessly edited until you have another planet. Terrain built in Worldmachine or Geocontrol tends to be a one off render project then you are back to square one again. It depends on your style of work but I can say that Worldmachine is a great app.


November 16, 2007, 01:31:01 pm #8 Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 01:32:44 pm by Sethren
It is unfortunate that neither of these programs could be linked as Plugins to Terragen 2 to provide additional planetary/continental scale procedural data as both have many unique types of terrain shapes and patterns in there arsenal. World Machine has it's Displacement possibilities, Macros and Nodes for a whole slew of possibilities where GeoControl has many different forms of Erosion that can be uniquely stacked/blended , a top notch Shader System and River/Lake plus Road Vector Tools. Both new versions will have tiled outputs as well.


There is a problem with that. You may notice how long it takes Worldmachine to build the terrain. Imagine that at planetary scale. That's why these complex systems can't be used on a planet. Eventually we'll have better procedural techniques for this kind of thing with planets but it will still be very system sapping.


The alpine fractal in TG2 is good if you want more eroded style terrains. It takes longer to render than the power fractal but you've got the planetary scale. You can tweak it about, distort it etc. It's very versatile.


November 16, 2007, 02:54:08 pm #11 Last Edit: November 16, 2007, 02:56:20 pm by Sethren
Should not be a problem overall. How is it any different from layering stacks of other terrain procedurals within Terragen 2. A plug-in would work in a similar fashion, in this case there is just many more procedurals at work here. It would be semi-hard coded into Terragen working code taking advantage of Terragen's code. Were just adding more to the table in terms of terrain variety. I have no doubt that we will have better procedural techniques in the future but these third party solutions have a lot to offer in terms of realism. For example i can mix several erosion styles by altitude, slope, roughness within GeoControl like you see in nature or i can go into World Machine and create fairly convincing faulting were the terrain looks as if it were shifted by many earth quakes.

I am not saying building a planet size heightfield within these programs then importing it into Terragen 2, that is insane. What i am saying is building these procedurally within Terragen 2 while the plug-in shares itself with Terragen's code.

It is true that more complex calculations will take longer to process but computers are getting faster and newer cpu chips, video cards and ram is becoming cheaper every few months. A heavy sediment erosion would probably be the most heavy to calculate out.

The Alpine Fractal is limited in terms of basic fluvial/water erosion were as in the third party programs there is thermal, glacial, high sediment, inverse, terraced, wide flows, think flows, deep-cut, hard and soft erosions.

Imagine having a full blown river tool inside Terragen 2. I mean MojoWorld has a River Plug-in for a planet but GeoControls blows it away entirely.


I'm not sure the Mojoworld rivers plugin actually covered a whole planet but I never used it anyway because it sapped my system to extreme so it's not easy to implement these things. The best I saw was an erosion plugin made by Dmytry Lavrov for Mojoworld but he never released it.


Huh, perhaps it was limited to continents only.  ???   Something in the realm of around 5,000 Kilometers or so that the river plugin would fit into but i don't recall anything larger. Yes, i do remember that nifty erosion plug-in. It seems Dmytry is rather inactive nowadays.    :-\


Maybe he feels like the rest of the Mojo users since Mojo is now frozen and never any word from Pandromeda. I can't see any other reason why he would not release that plugin. He might as well keep the idea to himself and use it in his own app.