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Gaea Documentation
The documentation is being updated for version 1.3. Some sections may be incomplete.

File Formats

Gaea supports all modern (and some legacy) file formats for both flat files and meshes.

For Export

Format32-bit16-bit8-bit
OpenEXR
TIFF
PNG
RAW
PSD

3D Formats

  • Wavefront OBJ (.obj)
  • Autodesk Filmbox (.fbx)
  • Point Cloud (.xyz)

For Import

Gaea supports the following formats for importing data:

  • .exr
  • .tif/.tiff
  • .webp/.jpeg
  • .webp
  • .psd
  • .hdr
  • .pfm
  • .r32
  • .raw
  • .bmp

Gaea's Project Formats

Gaea saves files in the formats mentioned below.

.TOR/.TORX file

Gaea terrain projects are saved as a .TOR file. All Gaea editions can read this format.

The .TORX format is available in the Enterprise Edition only. When saving in this format, Gaea saves the project as an XML file. This is useful for direct manipulation.

.RESOURCE file

When using hand drawn nodes such as Mask or Islands, the binary data generated will be stored in a .tor.resource or .torx.resource file. If you have a file called BigMountain.tor, for example, the resource file will be called BigMountain.tor.resource.

If the .resource file for a project is missing, all hand drawn nodes will become empty. When running a build on a project with missing resource, the Build Swarm will throw a warning and exit.

.SCULPT file

Erosion Studio projects will be saved as a .SCULPT file. These files can be large as they contain the source terrain and additional sculpting data.

Precision

Gaea stores and processes its heightfields in 32-bit floating points, which is compatible with all professional CGI applications.

32-bit

For practical purposes, exporting as either OpenEXR or TIFF will give you the best results and maximum compatibility with other applications. If you are using a custom pipeline, using R32 or PFM formats may be of more use. See the section below for those formats.

If you are saving output from Gaea to bring back to Gaea either in the same or different file, we recommend using the .r32 or .pfm formats for maximum fidelity and efficiency.

16-bit

While displacement/heightfield information requires 32-bit precision for accuracy; color maps, masks, and other secondary data which may have fewer levels of complexity can make use of 16-bit formats, such as PNG. This can help save on disk space as larger worlds will require a lot of storage space. Storing in 16-bit also helps performance.

In fact, if your terrain does not contain many smooth details, you can even export your main displacement as 16-bit.

Game engines, such as Unity, can only import RAW 16-bit (ushort) format terrains.

8-bit

In some cases, for example with black and white masks, you may not need a high level of precision at all. You can use 8-bit PNG output which can increase performance and save disk space.

Custom Workflows Precision

If you are using Gaea in a custom workflow, such as automation, you may require the data to be as simple and efficiently readable as possible.

32-bit float (.r32) and 16-bit ushort (.raw) are the simplest formats you can use. It is a simple binary array of float (IEEE 754) or unsigned short. The file has no header and can be read directly as a binary stream. The files will use Little Endian.

The size of the heightfield should be square root of the byte length divided by the size of the type (4 bytes for float, 2 bytes for ushort).

The .r32 format will store values between 0.0f and 1.0f. While the .raw format will store values between 0 and 65535.

Both formats are recommended for heightfield (grayscale) data only.

Baking and Caching File Recovery and Autosave