Unity has lot of powerful tools in build but terrain generation is not yet perfect in Unity. When it comes to terrain unity assets store offers a wide range of terrain tools to select. In Unity, Gaia is the most popular and most user friendly terrain generator available. You can build beautiful looking terrain in minutes.
Unity Gaia features
- Stamping- You can stamp landscapes like hills,valley, rivers with this.
- Spawning- you can add vegetation, houses and other object in scene with this.
- Built In, LW, SRP- This gives good performance and easy loading in mobile devices.
- Third Party Extensions- Unlimited scaling for features
- Multi Tile Support- Improves performance but having multiple titles
- Preset biomes for immediate results
My experience with Unity Gaia
Before Gaia, I used to take hours and days to make beautiful terrain. The work put into making a terrain was tremendous. The main time consuming work was placing objects on to a terrain. I used to wonder if there is something that can automate this simple yet time consuming steps. This is where Gaia came in. Things that used to take me hours now take just seconds to finish. I can have a beautiful and fully functional terrain within minutes.
Gaia has procedural spawners for painting your terrain textures and adding trees and grass, as well as other details like rocks or even Points of interest (farms, villages, etc.) You can place villages, trees and grasses with a single click. The best part is the program actually takes care, it doesn’t spawn trees in middle of the house or grass in water. The terrain made with the procedural way is actually good and usable. But this is pretty broad stroke stuff. If you want more control over the placement of things then that’s where Gena comes in. It’s a great tool but I’m not sure I’d place it at the top of my list, unless you have a big budget. GameObject placement is something you can do by hand given enough time.
Other assets i often recommend with Gaia
I would totally spend my money on is VegetationStudio. You can’t really do performant terrains on Unity without it. Buy it, you can thank me later. You’ll also probably want to budget for a terrain shader. Unity’s basic terrain texture rendering is a bit flat. CTS is the obvious choice with Gaia, but MicroSplat is a valid alternative that provides a free entry point (you pay for additional add-one like Tessalaton and Anti-Tiling). If you don’t want to spend more then you can go for Gaia pro.
Simple tutorial of Gaia 2
GAIA PRO vs GAIA 2
If you use Gaia then you can freely upgrade to Gaia 2. But Gaia pro will require you to pay $45 to upgrade. It is not that all users require Gaia pro, but if you are someone who works on terrains a lot then Gaia pro is a great addition to your toolset.
Features only in Gaia Pro
- Advanced Masking & Filtering
- HQ Forest Biome
- HQ Water System
- Profile Driven Lighting
- Profile Driven Water
Assets included with Gaia pro
- HD Temperate Forest Biome by Procedural Worlds
- Ambient Skies, Sounds, Post FX & Water from Procedural Worlds
- 3D Low Poly Adventure from Synty Studios
- 3D Village Exteriors Kit from 3DForge
- Grasses from Turboscalpeur
- Real Rocks from MotuProprio
- Textures from GameTextures.com
- Textures from NatureManufacture
- Trees from SpeedTree
- Screenshotting system
- Lighting system
Gaia pro is really worth the price and is a one stop solution for all your terrain requirements.
Gaia has a vibrant discord server, ask questions there if you’re still unsure about anything related to environment design: https://discord.gg/rtKn8rw