Gaea is a node based terrain software that comes with various erosion algorithms and shading methods. It can generate realistic terrain step by step by connecting nodes, and each step can be previewed.

Most nodes in Gaea use algorithms for calculations, but they also support importing Mask or hand drawn data as input.

The final output of Gaea is height map and color map, and supports block export. The generated map can be imported into Unity or UE for further processing.

1. Basic UI Operations

1.1 Gaea version

This article uses version Gaea, with slight differences in interface layout between different versions.

1.2 Introduction to Gaea Interface




Gaea Interface Layout


List different nodes by category and drag them directly to the node editor to create nodes.

You can turn on the simplification mode, with commonly used nodes highlighted in bold.

Node Editor:

To create a node, in addition to using the toolbar, you can also right-click and enter a name to create it.

Connect nodes and execute each node from left to right.

Select a node, and the selected node can be displayed in the preview window, while modifying parameters in the attribute window.

Set the node status, such as setting the node as an output node or always displaying a certain node.

3D window:

Preview the calculation results of the currently selected node.

Alt+left mouse button: Angle of view rotation

Middle mouse button: Perspective pan

Mouse wheel: zoom in and out of perspective

Direction keys: Perspective pan

The default operation requires holding down Alt and the mouse to rotate, which can be modified in Preferences.

2D window:

Preview the 2D image of the current node and choose whether to turn on the lights or use image enhancement.

When in Mask editing mode, you can draw in the 2D window.

Mouse wheel: scaling pictures

Middle Mouse Button: Move Picture

Attribute window: Browse for different attributes of the current node.

Build window: Build data labeled as exported nodes to the specified directory at the specified resolution.

Used to output terrain color, normals, altitude maps, and other information.

1.3 Gaea node foundation



A regular Combine node

The above diagram is a regular node, with Input on the left and Output on the right, and a Mask can be used as a mask to control the influence range of the node.



The current status is displayed at the bottom of the node.

Bypassed: Ignores the current node.

Pinned visual: Always display the current node effect in the preview window. It is useful when adjusting parameters to control the overall effect, without the need to cut nodes back and forth.

Pined for Color: Use this node for preview during the coloring phase, usually the last terrain node. If not set, the viewing color will be displayed on a flat surface.

Save to file: Mark this node as an export node, and you can find it in the Build window and set the output format.

Pending changes: The data has been modified and needs to be refreshed.

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