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How To Create Awesome Terrains with World-Machine

Today i will show you how to make awesome custom terrains. In world-machine. I will
make a series of tutorials on this topic because there are a lot of different styles and possibilies
and I cant show everything in one tutorial. So today I show just the basic way to create a nice
terrain. I will make more advanced tutorials in the future.

1) Get the right programs:

first of all you need world-machine. There are two different versions of world-machine. The basic free version,
and the full-version. The difference between the two versions is the size of your height-map.
In the free version your maximum export size is 513x 513 PX what is pretty small but for the beginning its enough.
You can buy it here : http://www.world-machine.com/download.php?page=buy  or get the free version here: http://www.world-machine.com/download.php

to export the height-map to minecraft you will need world-painter. Here you can also change materials and
add objects like trees to your world. You can download it here: http://www.worldpainter.net/

2) The start in world-machine:

the first thing we need to do is set the world extensions. I always use a 1:10 scale, so if I want my
minecraft terrain to be 1000 x 1000 blocks wide I would make a world which is 10km x 10km in world-machine.

Click on the “world extends and resolution” button in the top left, now go to the general settings tab.
Here you change the dimensionality to “km “ if it isn’t already set.

Now adjust the maximum elevation to 2560 m


after that go to the tab “render extends and build resolution”. Here you can set the width of your map.
I will make a 2000×2000 Minecraft map so I set it to 20km.


3) The island basic shape

1) get the right devices.

At the beginning wee need 3 devices. The layout generator the advanced-perlin and a combiner.



now connect the primary output of the layout generator with the mask import of the advanced perlin and with
the upper primary input of the combiner. Now connect the output of the advanced perlin with the second input
of the combiner


2) the layout generator

first of all double-click the layout generator.
The white box you see now is your world. Everything inside will be in your world and everything outside will be air.
In this layout generator we will draw the shape of our terrain . I will make an island today.
To draw the shape of your island I would recommend to use the polygon tool. Because it’s the tool you can
control most.


now we need to edit the shape properties. For that click on the shape properties button and after that on the
shape list button. Make sure you have selected your shape. Now lets edit the properties.
For the island base I would recommend to reduce the strength to something around 20 %. and to choose the falloff profile curve 4.


To make the shape a bit more natural we will now edit the breakup.
First enable “use breakup” in the top left. After that click on edit. And change the break-up scale to something
about 3 and the roughness to something around 4. if you don’t like the breakup settings like that you can change
that to a value you like. ( as smaller the breakup scale the bigger the effect. And as rougher as bigger the effect.


3) the combiner

double click the combiner. Now chose the method : add.


now go back to the device view ( press F5 ) make a single click on the combiner device and press F.
It should now be marked red.


4)  the advanced perlin

first of all go to the 3d view ( press F8 ) now double click the advanced perlin
first we reduce the feature scale to something around 600. now reduce the persistence to something
around 0.03-0.04. after that reduce steepness and elevation to something around 0.3 -0.4 ( if you have the free
version the elevation is may shown in meters. If this is the case make it to something around 800-900 meters ).
when you are finished press ‘ok.’


now pres ctrl + B to render a more detailed view of the map in the 3d view.
Now click on show water and select a water level with looks good.


4) The mountains

1) get the right devices

go back to the device view.( F5) now disable the locked preview, to do that click on the combiner and press F.
now get a layout generator, an Advanced Perlin and a combiner and connect them like this


2) new combiner

use the combiner method add and a strength of 0.75

3) new layout generator.

Draw the shape of the mountains like you did in step 4 with the island base. ( make sure its much smaller
then the island.

Enable again the breakup and use the same values you did at the last layout generator.

For the properties I would recommend to reduce falloff distance to something around 1.5- 2.5 km and use
again the 4th falloff curve

after this it should look like that :


4) new Advanced perlin

reduce the Feature scale to something around 800-1000 m
reduce the persistence to something around 0.3


5) Erosion

go back to the device view and get a erosion device
and connect it like this:


Here you have the first difference between basic and full version
if you have the full version go to the general settings and set the build resolution to 1024 x 1024
if you have the basic version just skip this.

Now go to the 3D view ( F8 ) and double click the erosion
I normally use settings like this:


but there is no setting with fit everytime. You need to try around with these settings to get the perfect
values for your terrain.
To see how the erosion look like you need to click ‘ok’and press Ctrl + B

if you have the full-version it should look like this:


if you have the basic version it should look like this:


6) Export

go to the device view and add the device height-output
and connect it like this :


double-click the height output

choose PNG as output format.
And set the file-name and save direction to something what you will find again later and then press OK


if you have the full version go to general settings again and set the build resolution now to 2048 x 2048 ( always use the number you want as your final world size ) to increase the quality of your map. If you have the basic version skip that again.

so now we can export the terrain. Go to File → export terrain file…
click on “build world” and wait until its finished
and then click “export all”

when its done and a new window say :” successful exported “ you can save the world or just quit the program.

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I just started World Machine and this tutorial is exactly what I was looking for, thanks!


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