In the very latest developmental build of L3DT you may now choose the detail level for your design map. This will be one of the main features in the upcoming L3DT 2.6 release, but you can try it out now in build 220.127.116.11, dated the 22nd of June '08.
In this new build there are six versions of the 'Design/Inflate' heightfield algorithm, with design map blocks ranging in size from 8x8 heightfield pixels up to 256x256 heightfield pixels. The smaller design map block sizes give you greater control, but require more effort when editing large terrain. The larger block sizes make it easier to design very large terrain, but don't give you as much detailed control.
Several wizards and options have been changed accordingly, as discussed below:
Design map / heightfield size wizard
Previously you chose size of your heightmap by selecting the size of the design map in the 'design map size' wizard:
The old 'design map size' wizard
This was unnecessarily confusing for new users who weren't familiar with the concept of a design map, nor why the size of the heightmap was determined by the size of the design map.
In the new release, you now set the desired size of your heightfield in the new 'heightfield size' wizard (see below).
The new 'heightfield size' wizard
After choosing your heightmap size, you then set your design map size by choosing a design map resolution in the new 'design map size' wizard:
The new 'design map size' wizard
This should, I hope, meet the dual goals making the process less confusing for new users, and allowing power users to work with different design map resolution.
To improve the standardisation of L3DT's user interface, the same new 'heightmap size' wizard has been adopted for the Perlin algorithm. Previously, the perlin wizard looked like:
This wizard was a little too cluttered, and still didn't provide as much feedback information as was available in the other wizards (e.g. world size, mosaic map size, etc.). This has been fixed in the new release, where you now select the perlin map size in the 'heightfield wizard' (below), followed by a simplified 'perlin parameters' wizard (bottom below):
Changes to map settings
Due to the underlying changes to L3DT's terrain algorithm, the map settings created by this or later builds of L3DT will not be readable by older versions of L3DT. However, maps generated by older versions of L3DT will still be readable by this or later versions of L3DT. Thus, you won't (or rather, shouldn't) loose any data when moving forward to the new build.
Still to do
I still need to do some tweaking of the new design/inflate algorithms to bring them up to the same standard as the default 64x64 block size algorithm. In the mean-time, you may occasionally find some strange results using the other algorithms.
Also, the 'import design map' wizard is now broken, but will be updated in a developmental build in the near future.
If you would like to provide feedback or ask questions, please reply to this forum thread.