I will admit it. Procedural World’s Gaia has me spoiled, but it is very large, and I simply did not want it in this project.
So where does that leave me? Hand painting and placing each environment prop, tree, grass patch, and flower individually? Forget that! After some perusing through available utilities, I settled upon a little number by Staggart Creations aptly named Vegetation Spawner.
Vegetation Spawner procedurally plants trees and places billboards, mesh, and grass vegetation prefabs depending on a number of factors, least of which is the terrain layer weight underneath. This works beautifully, even with a large library of environmental props (so long as you remember to tune the spawn settings, otherwise you’ll end up waiting 46 hours to spawn trees!).
However, by default, it only handled vegetation — I also wanted that procedural placement goodness for my rocks, sticks, mushrooms, cactii, logs, and more… so after a long days’ work, I managed to extend the functionality to cover any prop thrown at the utility – leading to a beautiful, randomized placement of environment prefabs in all of the right places.
Here’s a screenshot!