Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


Dr. D Robert Adams,

Embargo Period



The goal of the Extensible Terrain Generator is to provide a flexible framework for experimentation with procedural terrain generation. This framework supports easy addition of new terrain generation algorithms, automatically generates UI elements to control their parameters, and even allows swapping out the entire underlying data structure with minimal effort. Terrain algorithms are decoupled from the actual terrain data structure, and as such either side can be changed with no need to modify the other.

A grid-based heightmap terrain data structure and a plate tectonics simulation algorithm are currently implemented, with an icosphere-based terrain data structure waiting to be swapped in—this will require no changes to the plate tectonics algorithm. Planned future additions include erosion simulation, meteor impacts, and volcanism.

Output is configurable per terrain data structure type, with the grid-based terrain outputting a grayscale heightmap suitable for import into a variety of applications.