Price: 106 . 80 . 256 . 160
Pros: Powerful fractal scene generator that generates whole planets with local overrides. Pro version adds vegetation and animated textures.
Cons: Unusual user interface takes a lot of learning, though plenty of presets – including whole worlds – are supplied to get you started.
MojoWorld is a 3D virtual scenery generator with a twist. It was invented by Dr F Kenton Musgrave, one of the original pioneers of fractal landscapes. It’s like a beefed up Bryce, but instead of Bryce’s infinite flat planes, MojoWorld creates whole spherical planets at a time, that you can zoom into and explore at any scale to find scenes that can be rendered or animated. The spherical nature of the planets allows for more realism in terms of horizons and skies. For closer control of small parts of your scene, you can create localized ‘parameter bombs’ with different settings or imported objects.
We reviewed MojoWorld 2.0 a couple of years ago and concluded that once you’ve got to grips with the odd user interface it could produce stunning results. Anyone with MojoWorld 2.0 will leap straight into the new version, but newcomers will still find it impenetrable without a lot of manual and tutorial study. The problem is the wealth of options – leaving out a single step gives you something completely baffling.
However, planet/scene navigation is vastly improved with a rather Bryce-like ‘JogNav’ on-screen trackball and arrow navigation menu.
Greyscale height maps can now be exported, and new ones can be imported from sources such as Bryce, or DIY efforts in Photoshop. New SmartGuides provide superimposed lines on the scene that you can use to align objects to each other and to the scene.
There are now two versions of MojoWorld 3.0 – Standard and Pro. The Standard Edition offers the full range of planet generation tools, parameter bombs and new navigation menus. Professional adds three useful plug-ins: MojoTree
(for generating single plants of world-spanning forests); MojoMove (animated textures for oceans, skies, and clouds, with a library of pre-sets); and MojoGraph (a sophisticated shader). If you have the Standard edition you can purchase MojoTree for about £40 and MojoMove for about £55, but MojoGraph is only available with Professional.
MojoWorld 3.0 can now create realistic river terrains (actually parameter bombs) that cut into hills, branch, and form lakes and seas naturally. There’s a new Wizard for creating whole planets.