Over the next six to twelve months, which are Q3/Q4 2022 and Q1/Q2 2023, the following items are planned for development in TerreSculptor 3.0.
These are all Build Updates which will be completely free for all licensed users of the 3.0 software.
To see the list of build updates for each current build release, see the Release Notes text file, available on the software’s Help menu.
1. The Multi-Thread Update.
Somewhere around 20% of the modifiers are currently multi-threaded. That leaves 80% as currently single-threaded.
The threading system in TerreSculptor supports virtually unlimited core-count and thread-count, although it is currently limited to 1024 maximum threads in easily-extendable code.
It will be a while before we start to see 512-Core HyperThread mainstream consumer processors and computers.
Many of the modifiers execute in less than one second even on large 16k+ heightmaps.
However, I would still prefer that every modifier possible be threaded, simply because now with the Terrain Stack, modifier performance can start to impact Stack build times.
With currently 98 Devices, and about 80% of them requiring multi-threading, even if it only required 10 hours per Device to update the code, that is still about 800 hours of development time.
So the multi-thread update will consume a large portion of the next few quarters.
Some of the Filter Functions will be difficult to multi-thread, so expect probably 5% of the Devices to not have multi-threading.
I have some tricks up my sleeve for working on threading such difficult Devices as the Rain Erosion, I still have to test my code hypothesis to see if it is functional.
I have been lightly researching the addition of an Auto-Material to the current Terrain Material set.
This Auto-Material would support two elevation values and two slope values.
This would allow for beach/snow for elevation, and shallow/steep slope for grass and rock variance.
The terrain coloring would of course be something such as sand for beach, grass for shallow-slope, rock for steep-slope, and snow.
The Auto-Material would provide similar terrain coloring to what the Splatmap system typically supports, but with an easier to use interface and no splatmap bitplane extraction required.
3. Biome Extraction.
One of the features that I have been working on for some time is an automated Biome Extraction and Splatmap Creation system.
Additional work will be performed on this feature over the next few quarters.
4. Digital Elevation Model File Header Parsing.
One of the features that I would like to see in TerreSculptor, is better handling of the Header Information for Digital Elevation Model files.
With the ability to automatically scale the terrain mesh to the file information.
I have still been working out exactly how I am going to manage this, without being obtrusive, and performing the sizing logically.
TerreSculptor is not GIS software, and is not in that market segment at all, but I would like to see more DEM support features over the next few quarters.
5. Pathspec Persistence.
You may have noticed (or not) that many of the drive and folder paths are persisted between sessions in TerreSculptor.
This is a feature that I have had since the early builds.
Nothing is more frustrating than having to constantly re-navigate back through drives and folders to re-load some image file.
A few additional Pathspec Persistence settings are required, such as for the Alpha Brush path for the Brush Modifier.
It gets irritating to have to constantly re-navigate back to that folder if it changes with another software operation that shares that current persisted path.
So the new Brush Pathspec Persistence code plus a few others will be implemented over the coming weeks.
6. Odds and Ends.
My documentation file that contains the list of future features contains well over 1200 entries of major features plus a few minor features and updates.
This is a compact list of a short description of each future feature that I want in the software.
At the top of this list is always the highest priority or most recent minor items that require the quickest attention for code development and updates.
This section of the list is usually at least 30 or 40 items that should be completed within the next quarter or two.
So these “odds and ends” will also be showing up in the next few builds over the next few quarters.