Stiching terrain in Maya

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  10 October 2012
Stiching terrain in Maya

Hi forums, here is my issue ( I am using mudbox, maya and world machine, and the first image is from mudbox):

I setup a grid of squares to use as a base mesh for projecting terrains over with maps later. When I sculpt in mudbox, however, I get edges which don't line up, like this:

I need to either sculpt in such a way this doesn't happen (maybe I can, but since I can only sculpt one object at a time, and not across objects in a seamless way, I think I need to later correct this in maya.

Now for unity there is a program (starscene makes it: that stiches terrains seamlessly:

How do I do what this program is doing for unity terrains, in maya, which is what I am using?

Am I misunderstanding this? In my mind I want to stich meshes together, but is this utility stitching some other thing, like displaced meshes (where it would be altering texture files, not meshes to make the change?)

I am also fairly new to terrains... is projecting displacement heightmaps over low poly meshes what I want to be doing, or is it some entirely different sort of object?
  10 October 2012
you'd want to stitch them before you start sculpting by doing this:

The alignVertices script can be downloaded here:
  10 October 2012
This looks like a possible solution to the question.

When the vertices of two different objects like that are aligned, is the result still two objects or one? for instance, if I imported them into mud, could they be subdivided independently, yet still align? I get the impression that if I aligned these, then imported them into mudbox, and added subdivisions, that the aligned vertices would stay aligned, but the new vertices along the edge that were created from subdivisions would not necessarily be aligned, no?

But that is not an issue if this tool works as I think it seems to, since I could still realign later.

  10 October 2012
it's going to be a pain to keep the terrains separate and sculpt at the same time. If you want separate objects, I'd recommend breaking them apart after you sculpt.
  10 October 2012
Yeah, I definitely understand why that is, haha.

The main reason why I would like them separate is memory management.

I am potentially going to use this system to sculpt a terrain a few square kilometers in area, and I would probably need about 16-64 terrain units to do it to any real detail; now I can't really bring the whole world at once to the level of subdivision I will need to bake normal or heightmaps, so I figued I have to have the model broken into units which I can work with and sudivide independently. I also can't really hide part of the model in mud as I sculpt, since although hiding helps display work more smoothly, it doesn't reduce the number of polies in memory (the hard limit for me is around 64 million), and mud will crash when it goes above this number for me.

Now you might see my diffculty and reasoning!

Perhaps I am going about this entirely the wrong way though, there might be better ways I have not considered!
  10 October 2012

Last edited by joeraynor : 10 October 2012 at 02:28 AM.
  10 October 2012
ya, I don't know much about partitioning for game engines but you should probably research methods of working modularly and grid out everything. But I still don't think you're going to have any luck keeping terrain separate and sculpting it. You can deform only in the Y axis in Mudbox and Maya, so that you don't move elements outside the grid, so maybe keep that in mind when sculpting so your retain those BSP separations If game engines still use BSP stuff . I haven't done anything for a game since I made this Quake 3 map:
  10 October 2012
This shouldn't be a problem at all.

Combine the meshes, select the border edges and use "Merge border edges" then convert selection to vertices and merge together. (Or use separate if you want them to still be modular).

And if you then need to smooth out the verts close to the border then just select them and do an "average vertices".

The real problem is if you want to do additional sculpting after you've "stitched" the terrain together. You would then have to do a lot of back and forth jumping between Mudbox and Maya because everytime you do changes to a module you would have to use "merge border edges" again.
Nightshade UV Editor (script for Maya) - Extends Maya's default UV Texture Editor with additional tools.

Last edited by DeadlyNightshade : 10 October 2012 at 10:53 AM.
  10 October 2012
I have been seeing that there are plugins and such that are able to take heightmaps which are fairly disparate in edges and smoothy transition them; it might also be a workable solution for me to simply leave them as modules the entire time(but with fairly close edges), and then to use these plugins to mesh the edges of the final heightmaps...

Maybe this is why people don't seem to have this issue more often... they are treating the heightmaps rather than the meshes used to generate them, perhaps?
  10 October 2012
You don't even need a plugin actually. You can load a bmp heightmap and use it for displacement.

Check this:
Nightshade UV Editor (script for Maya) - Extends Maya's default UV Texture Editor with additional tools.
  10 October 2012
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