Introduction to World Machine
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Introduction to World Machine

Gain a strong foundation into the world of procedural terrain generation taught by a 13-year game industry veteran.
Best Selling
4.6 (68 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
305 students enrolled
Created by Peter Sekula
Last updated 7/2017
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I 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.
View Curriculum
  • 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 is the target audience?
  • 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.
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Curriculum For This Course
28 Lectures
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
About the Instructor
Peter Sekula
4.4 Average rating
101 Reviews
931 Students
2 Courses
Art Director: Quantum Theory Entertainment

My name is Peter Sekula and I've been an experienced Senior Environmental Artist for over 12 years. In that time, I've worked on industry titles such as the Tom Clancy's: Ghost Recon series, Rainbow Six series, Far Cry 4, and most recently Tom Clancy's: The Division.

I'm also the founder of my own game development company, "Quantum Theory Entertainment."

I've always had a fondness for well crafted environmental art; be it traditional or digital, 2D or 3D. Composing objects in a scene and lighting them in interesting ways is immensely enjoyable to me. If one can create a sense of wonder and curiosity in the viewer, they've captured them and can guide them on an interesting journey through visual storytelling.

As an Art Director in the game industry, I feel it's paramount to creatively illustrate game design intentions through art. One must always support the other. Then, create a visual style or language that draws the viewer into the world, beckoning them to dig deeper. This language, or rule set, is also used by the entire art team so they too can understand and better execute the direction even with their own ideas.

My interest started with toying with 3D software at home, then taking that interest further in college. This growing desire for more led me to an Environmental Artist position at Ubisoft where I designed and created maps for some of the most well known games in the industry. These skills then led me to a position of Lead and eventually Art Director, developing style guides and art direction for unannounced games for console platforms.

Composing scenes from the camera's perspective, texturing them to get a high level of detail, then illuminating the scenes are skills that I greatly enjoy and continue to this day. Anyone who is interested in critiques, feedback, or advice can feel free to message me.