Version: 2018.4
Terrain Engine
Terrain tools

Creating and editing Terrains

To add a Terrain GameObject to your Scene, select GameObjectThe fundamental object in Unity scenes, which can represent characters, props, scenery, cameras, waypoints, and more. A GameObject’s functionality is defined by the Components attached to it. More info
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> 3D ObjectA 3D GameObject such as a cube, terrain or ragdoll. More info
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> Terrain from the menu. This also adds a corresponding Terrain Asset to the Project view. When you do this, the landscape is initially a large, flat plane. The Terrain’s Inspector window provides a number of tools to create detailed landscape features.

Terrain editing tools in the Inspector
Terrain editing tools in the Inspector

The four-icon toolbarA row of buttons and basic controls at the top of the Unity Editor that allows you to interact with the Editor in various ways (e.g. scaling, translation). More info
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provides options to sculpt and paint your Terrain, add trees and details such as grass, flowers, and rocks, and change general settings for the selected Terrain. For more information about each of these icons, see Terrain tools, TreesA GameObject and associated Component that allows you to add tree assets to your scene. You can add branch levels and leaves to trees in the Tree Inspector window. More info
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, Grass and other details, and Terrain Settings.

Select the paintbrush icon to access painting tools, which allow you to modify the Terrain. Use the cursor to sculpt the height of the Terrain, or paint texture onto the Terrain in various ways. Your cursor takes the shape of the selected brush; choose from several built-in shapes, or define your own brush using a texture. You can also change the size and opacity (the strength of the applied effect) of the brush. Then, click or drag on the Terrain to create different shapes and textures.

Similar to how you paint with a brush on the Terrain, you can add textures, trees, and details like grass. You can also create additional connected Terrain tiles, change the height of an entire tile, and even write custom brushes with complex effects.

Terrain keyboard shortcuts

The Terrain InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, Asset or Project Settings, allowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
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has the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Press F1 to select Paint Terrain.
  • Press F2 to select Paint Trees.
  • Press F3 to select Paint Details.
  • Press F4 to select Terrain Settings.
  • Use the comma (,) and period (.) keys to cycle through the available brushes.
  • Use Shift-comma (<) and Shift-dot (>) to cycle through the available objects for trees, textures, and details.

Additionally, the standard F keystroke works slightly differently for Terrain. Normally, it frames the selection around the whole GameObject when you place the cursor over the SceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
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view. However, Terrains are typically very large, so when you press the F key, the Scene view focuses on the area where you position the cursor. This provides a very quick and intuitive way to jump to the Terrain area you want to edit. If you press F while the cursor is not over a Terrain tile, it reverts to the standard framing behavior.

Additional resources

  • 2019–01–29 Page amended

  • New layout and functionality added in 2018.3

Terrain Engine
Terrain tools
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