To make procedurally generated landscapes I implemented fractals. Starting with a surface plane of a given length and width I repeatedly subdivide each of the faces on the surface into four faces and then displace the newly created center vertex a random value in the up or down direction. At each iteration the range of possible random offsets is cut in half. So, the first iterations will have more of an effect on the height of the final landscape than the later iterations. I also displace the newly created vertices that are not at the center of a previous face. The range of possible displacements for these secondary vertices was half that of the center vertices. I implemented these fractal landscapes in MEL, the Maya Embedded Scripting Language. I also added the ability to set keyframes on the vertices as they are moved in order to achieve a visualization of the fractal building process.

Check out an animated fractal landscape: QuickTime | Windows Media

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