Mirage 3.5 Beta

Oh hey, it’s been a while! As you might guess what was to be a short, self-con­tained, rea­son­able release turned into a chaot­ic avalanche of fea­tures. Typical. You fix one thing and then you get an idea to make some­thing bet­ter. You get on it since it’s a small change, and when you snap out of it weeks have gone by. Still, Mirage 3.5 is final­ly fea­ture com­plete and ready for some gen­er­ous user test­ing. Let’s take a quick recap of the new fea­tures and how to test.

  • New mod­i­fiers system
  • New Rotate tool
  • New Basic ter­rain type
  • Smarter and faster engine. Only recal­cu­lates what needs to be recalculated.
  • Live mode for Heightmaps
  • Diorama is now a set­ting again
  • New edges option for the smooth modifier
  • Terraces mod­i­fi­er now has a slope set­ting to con­trol the falloff between terraces
  • New Pixelate modifier
  • New Island modifier
  • Terrains from heightmaps incor­po­rat­ed to the engine. Now you can apply mod­i­fiers to ter­rains cre­at­ed from heightmaps
  • Many UI Improvements
  • Presets is now a sub­pan­el of terrains
  • New mate­ri­als system
  • New bun­dled tex­tures and materials
  • New icons for the dis­tri­b­u­tion sys­tem panel
  • Distribution lay­ers now sup­port image maps to mod­i­fy the distribution
  • Distribution lay­ers now sup­port chang­ing the axis of the mesh­es, so you don’t have to make them lay down anymore

I cov­ered most of it in the pre­vi­ous video:

New Materials

The new ver­sion of Mirage also comes with the first iter­a­tion of the new mate­ri­als sys­tem. Instead of hav­ing a few pre­made mate­ri­als, you can now cre­ate your own using lay­ers. Every lay­er except the first one has a mask tab with set­tings to con­trol the height and slope at which the texture/material shows up.

Under the hood the mate­ri­als sys­tem cre­ates, deletes and mod­i­fies node­groups in a good old Cycles/Eevee material.

Layers them­selves can be one of these four types:

  • Color: Just a sim­ple col­or. Useful for debugging/troubleshooting.
  • Ground: A selec­tion of new builtin tex­tures (all CC0 as usual)
  • Water: A water mate­r­i­al nodegroup
  • Snow: Same, but with snow
  • Custom: Same as the ground type, but you can bring your own textures.

The sys­tem is designed for Cycles and microp­oly dis­place­ment but It will work with Eevee as well, though you might quick­ly run into the GPU tex­ture lim­it. I still haven’t found a way around this, since ter­rains will nat­u­ral­ly mix many mate­ri­als and many, many tex­tures and masks. There’s also an options sub­pan­el with a cou­ple but­tons. One opens the builtin tex­tures fold­er for you, and the oth­er auto-sets the mesh and scene for microp­oly displacement.

This is only the first iter­a­tion and there’s a few things I left out to com­plete in future ver­sions. I’d also love to hear your com­ments on this!

What took you so long?

As you can see from the list above, I end­ed up bit­ing more than I could chew again. Also, life happens.

I expect­ed to launch a beta before the end of the year, but had an fam­i­ly health emer­gency around the begin­ning of November and I was absolute­ly con­sumed for the next 1.5 months, bare­ly being able to com­plete client work. Luckily things are slow­ly look­ing up. Now that my father is under home care I’ve been able to carve more time here and there for Mirage.

How to test

Mirage 3.5 Beta is avail­able on both The Blender Market and Gumroad.

To down­load from the Blender Market log in, then click on your user­name at the top. Select “Orders”, then look for Mirage and click “Downloads”. You can find the sta­ble ver­sion (3.4) as well as the beta for 3.5 there. Each ver­sion has a zip for Linux, Macos and Windows. For Gumroad just login, go to your library and find Mirage. You can also find both the sta­ble and beta there.

Creating terrains just got a lot easier.

Mirage lets you cre­ate ter­rains and pop­u­late them with a sim­ple UI and pow­er­ful fea­tures in realtime. 

Start cre­at­ing your world today!

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ArticlesAddon, Blender, Mirage, Python01.03.2021