This is a short demo and tutorial on how to use the terrain engine of Unity-3D. I demonstrate how to add a terrain, use textures and details (plants, bushes) and add height to the terrain.

You can follow these steps here in the youtube video:

Add a terrain

When you create a Unity-project you are asked to add default assets. You should add the Standard Assets for terrains then. When your project is created you can add a terrain by selecting GameObject->3D Object->terrain in the main menu:

Create a new terrain in Unity

Create a new terrain in Unity

Terrain settings

After that your terrain is added to your scene. The terrain has a default width and length of 2000. For the demo scene I changed this to 200 for both properties. What I also do is to create a terrain material. This is needed to let the normal maps of your terrain-textures have an effect. You create a default material and then you select the following shader: Nature->terrain->Diffuse (or Specular for a more shiny terrain).

Add a materail for the terrain

Add a materail for the terrain

Adding textures

Select your terrain in the Scene-view and add textures for painting like that:

Add or edit a texture for the terrain in Unity

Add or edit a texture for the terrain in Unity

There are free terrain assets and textures you can download from the Unity Assetstore. Just search in the assetstore for terrain or terrain textures. After you added the textures, the first texture is applied as default texture for your terrain. Now you can select another texture, a brush, brush size and values for opacity and texture strength for painting special parts of the terrain with it. Just play around a little bit with the values to get the best results.

Terrain details

You can also add details like bushes, grass and trees. In our example I added some bushes to the terrain:

Paint terrain details like bushes or plants

Paint terrain details like bushes or plants

With values for brush-size and strength you can define how many bushes you add when you are painting and how big these bushes will be. If you want to delete bushes or other details you painted in, you have to hold the Shift-Key down while you click the left mouse button to delete in this area.

Adding height

Adding heels and plateaus is also very easy. Just select the following tab to raise or lower the terrain:

Raise or lower the terrain

Raise or lower the terrain

The height you added can be lowered when holding Shift-Key while you paint just like you did it for the bushes and plants.

As you can see there is a really cool support for terrains in Unity 3D, test it, use it, I think it’s a nice feature and very powerful. Please subscribe to our youtube channel for more tutorials about Unity, Blender, ZBrush or game development in general.

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