L3DT users' community
Large 3D terrain generator

How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Got a problem or need advice?

How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:50 pm

Hi! =) Can someone please tell me the *EXACT* steps needed to take say a desert (using a heightmap), and a spring climate (using a heightmap), and stitch together a mega terrain?

NOTE: I already read this: http://www.bundysoft.com/wiki/doku.php? ... heightmaps

Aaron did not thoroughly explain HOW TO GET the southwest, northeast, etc... parts of the map, and all required data that leads up to a mega terrain. He just says "I loaded the southwest, northeast, etc... corners, using a batch script". He doesn't explain the events leading UP to that.

If someone could please explain to me step by step, how to create a multi-texture, mega terrain using the above method, that would be GREAT!

Thank You!
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:07 pm

Hi ShadowIce,

I didn't list the preceding steps because they were the normal steps you take to make a heightmap in L3DT, which are documented in the walk-through guide, the user guide, and in the fjord tutorial (incidentally, the last one demonstrates how to make a map with two different climates: arctic and temperate). The use of the batch file in the merging tutorial was simply to make another 5 copies of the first map using a different random seed so that I would have six maps to join. I could have just as easily made all six maps using the usual map generation routine that we all know and love, but the batch method was a little faster.

Anyway, I'm happy to list all the steps you've requested. However, before I proceed I'd like to know what point you've got up to. Have you already created your separate desert and spring climate maps, or do you require help with that? I don't want to have to start with "Step 1: Open L3DT. Step 2: Select 'File->New project...' in the menu" if you've already made some progress.

If you have made your maps, that's fine, and joining them is the right way to proceed, although you will lose any climate/texture information you've already generated (the merge import only works for heightfields, not other map data). However, if you haven't already made your sub-maps, then there is a much better way to proceed, by making a single map project with multiple climates. As I mentioned above, the fjord tutorial demonstrates how to make a map with multiple climates, using the design map brush to apply different climates to different areas. In that tutorial I paint some 'temperate' climate around the coastline and the valleys, and apply the 'arctic' climate to the mountains to get snow coverage. You could follow the same steps to apply a desert climate to one part of your map, and a spring climate to another part.

So, in conclusion, it would help if you could let me know what you've already done, and where you've got stuck, so that I can write the next steps to do. However, if you're at the start with no existing map data, then you should use the fjord tutorial as a starting point for making multi-climate maps, and please let me know if you're unsure of how to adapt the tutorial to your specific requirements.

Cheerio,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:30 pm

Well, Aaron. It would be nice for you to post how to create a MegaTerrain step-by-step. I'm starting off with a new generated map.
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:21 pm

Anyone? :/
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:10 am

Hi ShadowIce,

I apologise for my slow reply. I have added this request to the documentation to-do list for the next release. I will post back here when it's ready.

Best regards,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:24 pm

Is it ready? Because I am NOT renewing my license unless I can combine huge landscapes together quite fast with good quality.
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:41 am

Hi ShadowIce,

No, I've not written the tutorial yet. I'm updating the T3D exporter plugin to netter support tiled terrains, and when that's done, I'll update the tutorial accordingly. I'll post back here when it's ready.

Best regards,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:12 pm

Will it be done sometime this week? I have VERY little opportunity to re-purchase my license. I have bills coming. :(
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:29 pm

Hi ShadowIce,

Sorry, I doubt it will be ready this week. The updated tiled T3D exporter now appears to be functioning correctly, and will be included with the next developmental build installer within the next week or so. However, I am currently fixing some other bugs in L3DT as well as working on the mesh exporter, so the dev build could be delayed beyond next week if I encounter any unexpected problems in those tasks. Updating the tutorial will take at least a few days after that.

And before we go on, might I enquire as to what size map you intend to make? (in terms of heightfield and texture pixels, please.) I'd like to verify that the exporter works as it should for your intended map size, and that T3D can actually load the data without crashing. T3D doesn't include paging of terrain objects, so it will run out of memory on large maps.

Also, I might add that T3D still apparently has a bug in its texture renderer that produces nasty black lines between the edges of terrain tiles. This was reported years ago, but still seems to be active. Some relevant forum threads:

http://www.garagegames.com/community/fo ... ead/110063

https://www.garagegames.com/community/b ... ent-188875

So, regardless of the state of L3DT's exporter or tutorial, T3D won't render seamless mega-terrain. There will be seams in T3D until their texture wrapping bug is fixed.

Best regards,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:34 pm

I need to be able to create an MMO sized terrain, and I need to be able to combine them together with ease.

A small tutorial on how to achieve extremely high texture quality would tide me over. Thank you! =)
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:36 pm

Hi, Aaron! Have you made any headway on a video tutorial yet?

Thank You! =)
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:01 pm

Bump :/
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:34 pm

Hi ShadowIce,

Okay, let's nail down some parameters so I can make a tutorial.

Firstly, are you prepared to modify T3D to support larger maps or dynamic paging of map tiles, or are you going to accept the current limitations? (about 4k x 4k with a single heightfield, max texture about the same.) There's not much point going to the trouble of generating more map data in L3DT than you can display in T3D if you're using the stock build.

If you are going to modify T3D to support larger maps, what is the budget for data size? How many gigabytes of map data are you prepared to accept? I ask this because it puts some bounds on what you mean by "MMO sized" and "extremely high texture quality", and makes some options more or less attractive. I'm not going to include options you don't want.

Continuing, what geometry resolution do you need? I'd normally recommend something like 0.2-0.5m/vertex for an MMO, but it's up to you. The finer the resolution, the higher the visual detail, at the cost of either modelling a smaller physical area or having a much greater amount of data. If you're not sure, you may want to generate some random maps in L3DT and then walk around in the 3D viewer to see if they're big enough or not, detailed enough or not, etc. For starters, you might like to make a 2048x2048 pixel heightfield at 0.5m/pixel horizontal scale (this will be far too small for an MMO, but it should give you an idea of how much larger you want).

Also, do you want to do lots of hand-editing with brushes and tools, or are you after a more automagical solution? How much detail do you want in the tutorial on manual editing?

Next, we need to decide on how to handle the ground textures. If you want both massive maps and extremely high texture resolution, you're looking at a colossal amount of data if you're using pre-calculated textures (such as L3DT is usually asked to generate.) You will also need to think carefully about how to manage the texture paging, as it can't all fit into GPU memory at once. I've built an automatic megatexture paging system for my 3D renderer, but I'm pretty sure T3D has no such a beast, so you may need to do some development in T3D to handle the textures. Alternatively, you could generate the highly detailed textures on-the-fly using texture splatting, which is well supported by T3D, but if you want a higher visual quality than the standard T3D ground textures then you may have to write custom shaders and the like. To help with your decision, some time ago I wrote a little guide to different approaches for rendering ultra-high resolution ground textures, in which you can see the effect of texture splatting, precalculated ground textures (L3DT-style), grass geometry, detail maps, etc:

http://www.bundysoft.com/wiki/doku.php? ... 3dt:tx_res

Okay, I'll stop here for now, but depending on your answers I'm sure I'll have more questions.

Best regards,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby ShadowIce » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:20 pm

Hi, Aaron. The kind of High quality I need is in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQaJyIXQ6zM

As for "MMO size", the video ALSO features that. I need a terrain basically the size of what you see in the video.
ShadowIce
Luminary
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: How to stitch together multiple heightmaps?

Postby Aaron » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:06 pm

Hi ShadowIce,

Okay, thanks for the link. I'll work out some settings, and post back here when they're ready for you to test.

Best regards,
Aaron.
User avatar
Aaron
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3691
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:41 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Next

Return to Help and support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests