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Terrain Wizard documentation?

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Hi,

 

Where can I find documentation on how to use the terrain wizard?

 

Thanks,

Rusty

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Old plug in could not find my notes but did you try playing with it ?

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What exactly do you want to know?

 

Terrain:

This is the height-map... wherever your map is brighter, the terrain will get higher than where it is darker.

128 is the "mid-level". Since RGB-Channels (however in this case only "grey-scale" is interesting) have 256 states (0-255), this can be seen as "ground-level".

 

Paint (if "Filter: Make Mountain" is set):

There are 3 modes:

- The first one "o" will paint with the "height" defined by the slider above it. (defalt 128, but can be set to whatever you want from 0 - 255.

- The second is "+". This will "add on the existing height available at the pixel you will paint on. The longer you press, the brighter will be the color / the higher the mountain you create.

- The third is "-". This will decrease the height where you paint. the longer you press, the lower the level will be.

 

Fill:

Set the whole image with the color defined by the slider on the left.

 

Load:

This is one of the most important features. You can load an image-file (for instance jpg or tga) in the generator... this means, get an existing height-map or create one in photoshop to create a terrain.

 

Filter:

This defines, what you will do by painting on the map. There are several possibilities available like "Make Mountain" (more or less the same as "Paint" in a normal graphic software), blur, sharpen, etc.

Try them out if you do not know what they do... they will just change the map where you will paint on it differently. (oh, and dont forget to apply the change there before you start painting...)

 

Noise:

This is more or less like a "random" height generator.

Use one of the Noise-Algorithms (defined by type).

- Ocatves are the same like in materials and will change the visible octave-range (we are talking about curves internally here... it is not very important to know what it is mathematically, you just need to see what it will do if you set it higher or lower...).

- Lacunarity is a value which will more or less define the resolution of the map (not really, but close enough ;)).

- Gain means, how high or low it will be. 1.0 means the highest points will be 100% height (white color), 0.0 means black / ground-level.

- Scale: The noise algorithm can be used at 100% or higher or lower values. this is defined by the algorithm and will act exactly as if you are using a material and a noise-algorithm on it.

- Seed: This can be used to change the result. You can set everything the same and it will always result in the same result. If you do not want that because you need more random results each time you use the wizzard but all the other values are what you want, change the seed number. (same as with particle-generation in A:M for instance).

 

Smooth-Step:

I would recommend to leave this at 0 - 1. It will result in harder edges on the map if you decrease this, just because the blur-factor will not be "smooth" (as smooth as 8bit can do) but harder.

 

Grid:

The height-map will be applied to this grid you create here.

For detailed terrains, use high step values (depending on the width and height. It will define how many subdivision you get in your grid.

 

Magnitude means, how high in "world-units" a totally white pixel on the map will be in A:Ms resulting terrain model.

Edges flat will just ignore the outer edge of the grid and will ot apple the map to it but keep it at ground level.

Orientation just says, on which axis the grid will be created.

 

Hope that helps a little.

 

See you
*Fuchur*

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Higher resolution greyscale imagery is very important. When I tried to use this wizard, I found that the hardest part was getting a grey scale image of my topography. Without that, you are kind of sunk trying to use the terrain wizard.

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Thanks Chris!

 

 

 

In looking back to this topic...

 

Previously detbear said:

the hardest part was getting a grey scale image of my topography

 

 

For a few uses of the Terrain Wizard I screen captured the little grayscale image in the dialogue box and used that as a starting place to layer in other images.

Image utilities such as Irfanview or XNview are handy for cropping those screen captures to the right size to reapply as decals.

Once captured the grayscale image itself an also be used as a displacement map... foregoing the creation of the rest of the Terrain WIzard.

 

This approach is useful where using topology other than a grid pattern is desired.

For instance, the image is painted in the Terrain Wizard and captured, cropped and brought back into A:M as a rotoscope from which to draw (in splines) contour lines delineating the terrain. Additional iines are stitched in to create the mesh (or the Connect wizard is used to stitch the splines where they intersect). The image is then used to displace that mesh.

The outline method tends to be superior to that of the grid terrain method where more control of the falloff of terrain is desired or when a grid pattern terrain would be too dense.

 

The thing I always found intriquing about the terrain wizard is that with it the user can paint directly into a window inside A:M.

Pause for a moment to let that thought sink in a little.

The user can paint directly into a windows inside Animation:Master.

Now that is something that should also be leveraged for use with decals.

Paint and project.

It wouldn't be anything fancy... neither is the Terrain Wizard.

But if it was enough to get a basic paint job done that'd be sweet and that'd be enough to take the decal onward into 3Dpaint or some other application.

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