Introduction to World Machine
4.8 (212 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
906 students enrolled

Introduction to World Machine

Gain a strong foundation into the world of procedural terrain generation taught by a 13-year game industry veteran.
4.8 (212 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
906 students enrolled
Created by Peter Sekula
Last updated 7/2017
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
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This course includes
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Create high resolution, highly detailed terrains for rendering or game development.
  • Texture terrains based on World Machine's masking and coloring devices.
  • Gain confidence in which node achieves the desired result.
  • Assemble macros to simplify terrain construction and keep graphs clean.
  • Understand what all the values within all the nodes actually do to the terrain.
Course content
Expand all 28 lectures 03:27:34
+ Course Overview and Required Files
2 lectures 01:18

A brief introduction to the course about what we'll cover.

Preview 00:57
Download Required Content!
+ The User Interface: What Does Everything Do?
15 lectures 01:50:40

This lecture covers the basic user interface from moving and zooming with the mouse, to describing the options and panels that are available, opening projects, preferences, etc.

Preview 03:38

This lecture covers the view where you'll do the most work. You'll drop nodes, connect them, select them, and modify their properties. You'll learn what outputs, inputs, masks, and parameters are. You'll learn how to modify the preview color, change the lighting, freeze node previews, and more.

Preview 09:20

Render your terrain in full detail by watching this lecture. You will grasp the relationship and importance of the extents and heightfield resolution which is vital in achieving a believable terrain.

Rendering the Terrain

Generators are where your terrain is born. We'll cover generators and what options are available for each.

Generators: What do they do?

Instead of rolling the dice on getting the look you want, the Layout Generator allows you to draw shapes with tons of options, making it one of the most powerful tools in World Machine.

All About the Layout Generator

Advanced Fractal Perlin is a commonly used and flexible noise generator, so it deserves special attention. We'll cover its parameters to help you understand it all.

Advanced Perlin Generator In-Depth

Blend terrains, masks, and colors using the Combiners. You'll get much use out of these, so this lecture is quite important. Combiners let you blend with many different blend modes similar to those in Photoshop.

Combiners: Blending Procedural Data

Filters are the workhorses in World Machine. Once you use a generator, you'll need filters to manipulate the terrain profile to get the shapes you need, often in sequence. This video covers them all.

Filters: Manipulating Terrain Data

Give your terrain some age by eroding it using several very special devices.

Natural: Applying Nature's Effects to Your Terrain

You may have made a terrain and colored it, but how do you export the data? This lecture will cover what you need to know.

Output: Exporting Terrain Data

Selectors enable you to mask areas of the terrain to help you perform blending tasks. Let's see what they can do here.

Selectors: Masking For Effect

Generate normal maps, splat maps, split RGB channels, Colorize by gradient remapping.. Converters do all this.

Converters: Generating New Data

Parameters and flow show off the parameterization capabilities of World Machine. Once you being making macros, you'll see how useful this can be.

Parameters and Flow: Driving the Procedural Inputs

The Tools tab has some UI and graph workflow options for you to consider.

Tools and Favorites: Workflow Enhancements

Learn about the extents size and heightfield resolution in this lecture.

Getting the Scale Right: Setting Extents and Resolution
+ Let's Build Something: The Alpine Terrain
7 lectures 01:04:47

Let's being to make the shape of our new terrain by using a variety of masking techniques and generators.

Creating the Shape

We'll ensure the borders of our terrain are generally flat by blending the mountain with a ground. The ground will be created in a special way using high pass, showcasing what a procedural workflow can do.

Developing the Ground

World Machine isn't just for terrains. Here we'll add small rocks to our terrain to help create a sense of scale.

Adding Small Details

World Machine isn't just for heightfields. We'll examine many different ways of coloring your terrain.

Fundamentals of Coloring the Terrain

Macros allow you to modularize your heightfield development and are a crucial part of the workflow. They're also very easy to make.

Creating Macros for Frequently Used Graphs

I've taken the terrain and colored it using various methods, all of which I'll cover here.

Final Color Techniques

Textures can be applied using the File Input node, then manipulated like any other bitmap in the Device View.

Using Textures in World Machine
+ Exporting World Machine Data
3 lectures 27:26

Let's construct a splat map to export into a game engine. What they are and how to make them are covered in this lecture.

Setting Up the Splat Map and Export

It's easy to get your terrain from World Machine into Unity. This lecture shows you the simple steps involved.

World Machine to Unity Pipeline

Export the heightfield, setup the correct scale and layer materials, all for the Unreal Engine.

World Machine to Unreal Engine Pipeline
+ Last Thoughts
1 lecture 03:22

There is more to learn from your installation of World Machine. Special scenes are included, so be sure to check them out.

Included Scenes and Techniques in World Machine
  • If you don't own the Professional version of World Machine, you can download the Basic edition at This course does not require the Pro version.
  • Some files are required for some lectures of the course. They are included.
  • Source project files are included.

"Introduction to World Machine" covers everything you need to put you on a solid foundation to construct your own high quality terrains for film or video games.

Guaranteed to be the most exhaustive fundamental overview of World Machine's toolset online, I'll cover the effects of each node and how it can be used, and we'll give special coverage on the Advanced Perlin and Layout generators as well as Macro construction. No philosophy here or long-winded explanations; just functional and practical instruction to help you achieve your goals. Once complete, you'll also learn how easy it is to take your World Machine creation, texture it, and bring it into the Unity 5 engine.

At the end of the course, you will not just learn World Machine, you'll understand how other procedural texturing systems can benefit you.

A licensed copy of World Machine is not required!

Who this course is for:
  • This course is aimed at those who want to understand, not just learn, World Machine.
  • No prior knowledge of World Machine is assumed, but those with some familiarity will also benefit from the course.