Side Projection

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Side Projection

By default, ground textures are applied top-down. This may result in stretching artifacts (especially in steep terrain). Also, because of tiling, the texture doesn't always conform perfectly to the terrain. For example, it can be very hard to make a canyon with striped walls. There are ways to get around this however ...

The following method uses four layers projected from four horizontal directions (instead of top down) to get a smart rock texture that merges smoothly onto steep terrain walls (basically it's the method used by the rendering engine in Ground Control 2).

4-way Side Projection

  1. Create a layer.
  2. Give it a texture and a normal map. To get the best possible visual feedback while testing, use a texture with some dominant tiling feature (such as canyon stripes).
  3. In the Mask tab , activate the "Direction" checkbox and make the following settings:
    • "Direction": 0 degrees
    • "Sharpness": 0
    • "Cutoff": Max
  4. In the Surface tab , activate "Side projection" and set it to 0 degrees.
  5. Make three clones of the layer, and change both "Direction" and "Side projection" to the following, respectively:
    • Clone 1: 90 degrees
    • Clone 2: 270 degrees
    • Clone 3: 180 degrees


  • Use arrow keys on the sliders to get exact values.
  • To avoid pain and confusion, begin with the same texture for all layers. You can change the textures later on when you are sure the side projection works.
  • High-end detail maps can be synced to each layer using Z and X direction in Detail texture settings.
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