SeamScape A procedural generation system for accelerated creation of 3D landscapes

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för data- och informationsteknik

Abstract: This bachelor thesis rose from the idea of speeding up game production by using procedural generation techniques. Procedural generation in the project’s scope involves the algorithmic production of data which represents a 3D environment. This bachelor thesis describes Seamscape, an application which procedurally generates landscapes in real-time consisting of terrain, water, vegetation, and rocks.

The purpose of the thesis was to use procedural generation as a means to create 3D environments in real-time. Generating landscapes in real-time as opposed to beforehand allows the user to visualize a design quickly, especially for an interface with many design options. However, this project focused more on generating environments than providing freedom of design. Simultaneously, the software design takes user design possibilities into account for future development.

The methods employed are heterogeneous, and apply to specific parts of the landscape. Vegetation was created using L-systems and the terrain was built with noise functions. Distribution of vegetation on the heightmap was done with a technique using ecosystems. The project invented a method to create rivers, based on a selection of studies. Additionally, the rock generation process was tailored to the project, using a low-polygonal style.

The results show that procedural generation of low-polygonal environments consisting of terrain, water, vegetation, and rocks is possible in real-time. Seamscape generates environments with all these features. Future development ideas lay mainly within the domain of diversification and extending the design possibilities for the user. In conclusion, the chosen methods were suitable for procedural generation of landscapes in real-time.

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