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Alpha channels have no % values you can set?

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Alpha channels have no % values you can set?

Postby DeathTwister » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:59 pm

Hay Aaron,

In messing with all these buttons and looking at Tut's on L3DT, I noticed when I go to generate the alpha Mapping & channels:

1. While I can change the Alpha ID from whatever number to another number like the Tut shows. I cannot change or effect the coverage at all. I thought I could left or right click inside the field like the Alpha ID did and change the % values on the coverage. I can't, and Iam not sure if that is a bug or a feature not implemented yet?
2. Also it would be real sweet if there was a way to add more grass/rock/snow textures in the mapping with a import or a drop down add feature since we can drop new textures in the folder in your dir. Would also be KEWL if you could bring in other layers as well either as seperate Alpha's or transparancies.

3.I also was wondering even though there is no one to work on the Viewer ATT, if anyone knew of a way to change the LOD of the viewer? I would like to take that clipping plane allot farther out actually then it is now /chuckles.

4.I have also noticed in the forums that while I have notify me (checked) when someone posts I am not getting the email to me and Iwas wondering if I was the only one that was happening to or were other people having the same troubles?

5.I was wondering maybe if that was part of why the upload in the gallery maybe wasn't working right? I ask this as when we set up our Forum pages it was a sdfyhk getting it set up as there isn't a whole hell of allot of Doc's on the subject and we in the end got it all worked out using the forums on PHPBB. They were a great bunch of guys/gals and helped us allot. Remember I am a artist not a programmer, so sometimes I ask stupid questains without realizing it. :roll:

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Postby DeathTwister » Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:18 pm

Hay bro,

Hum, I have been thinking and yes that can be a dangourous thing sometimes /chuckles. Here is my thought in regards to the alpha channeling if I may put my 2 cents in.

I have been looking at the tree that you use to generate the terrain files and as of now they seem to go: Design, Heigthfield, water map, Attributes, Terrain Normals, Light map, then Texture map and under that we have Alpha channels and Texture Text file.

OK it seems to me that when you put in the bump mapping that maybe the order should be changed and that the alpha channels should get there own drop down with the rest instead of a sub dir off the texture map.

Questain, doesn't the alpha channels determines the Bump mapping right? If that is so then I think the order should be: Design, Heightfield, water map, attributes, terrain normal, Alpha channel map, Light map, Texture map and texture still carries the text files for the mapping. Or am I a dummy here??

And of course I have a wish list of bieng able to effect the alpha channels in the % amounts we can generate, and be able to add new textures to the mix if at all possible.

OK, OK so this should go to the wish list posting maybe? thought it would fit here in the bug dir though better since I cannot effect the % at all in the Alpha channels.

Hahaha thanks so much in advance for your help and tolerating my ideas and imput.

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Postby Aaron » Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:37 pm

Hi DeathTwister,

I've moved this thread from 'bugs' to 'feature requests', since L3DT is behaving as I intended, though perhaps not how you had hoped/expected.

DeathTwister wrote:1. I cannot change or effect the coverage at all. I thought I could left or right click inside the field like the Alpha ID did and change the % values on the coverage. I can't, and Iam not sure if that is a bug or a feature not implemented yet?


Neither; I don’t think it’s something that can be implemented. The coverage is determined by the distribution of land types in the attributes map, and the only way to change that currently is to change the land type definitions in the climate files. I will, at some point in time, implement a painting-interface so that you can change the land type coverage manually, but that's about as good as it will get. I simply can't imagine a way to say "I want 25% coverage of land type X" and then have L3DT work the rest out automagically.

DeathTwister wrote:Questain, doesn't the alpha channels determines the Bump mapping right? If that is so then I think the order should be: Design, Heightfield, water map, attributes, terrain normal, Alpha channel map, Light map, Texture map and texture still carries the text files for the mapping.


No, bump-mapping is controlled by the attributes map. The alpha maps are just one representation of the attrib. map, but are less useful (to me) and take up more space in memory.

A diagram may help here. The current map dependency tree looks something like this:

Image
(messy huh?)

You can see that the alpha maps are basically a dead-end as far as L3DT is concerned, though they are (hopefully) useful for other developers.

DeathTwister wrote:2. Also it would be real sweet if there was a way to add more grass/rock/snow textures in the mapping with a import or a drop down add feature since we can drop new textures in the folder in your dir.


Do you mean add new land types with their own new textures, or add textures to replace those of existing land types? If the latter, it’s only a matter of search-n-replace in the climate files, but if the former, then you need to define a new land type in the climate files with the appropriate texture. There is currently no user-interface for adding new land types or editing existing ones – this is also on the to-do list.

DeathTwister wrote:Would also be KEWL if you could bring in other layers as well either as separate Alpha's or transparencies.


Hmmm…could be messy. I’ll have a think about it, but for now I the recommended way to achieve this is either to define new land types (thereby giving you new alpha layers), or by adding the extra layers to the exported alpha maps afterwards using photoshop/etc.

DeathTwister wrote:3.I also was wondering even though there is no one to work on the Viewer ATT, if anyone knew of a way to change the LOD of the viewer? I would like to take that clipping plane allot farther out actually then it is now /chuckles.


This can be done by increasing the depth slider in the fog settings dialog (in the view menu).

DeathTwister wrote:4.I have also noticed in the forums that while I have notify me (checked) when someone posts I am not getting the email to me and Iwas wondering if I was the only one that was happening to or were other people having the same troubles?


I'm looking into it. I'll let you know when it works.

DeathTwister wrote:5.I was wondering maybe if that was part of why the upload in the gallery maybe wasn't working right?


I’d suspect not, but I’ll play around with the gallery and forum a bit more to see what I can come up with.

Cheerio,
Aaron.
Last edited by Aaron on Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby DeathTwister » Mon Jan 23, 2006 5:51 pm

Hay aaron type dude,

First off Sorry if I posted this in the wrong spot, and thank you for moving it. I kept trying to change the % fields and wasn't sure if that was a bug or not. Actually it is working great except for those few things and I wasn't sure if it was me, or on to-do-lists. You have answered everyting for me fine though.

Neither; I don’t think it’s something that can be implemented. The coverage is determined by the distribution of land types in the attributes map, and the only way to change that currently is to change the land type definitions in the climate files. I will, at some point in time, implement a painting-interface so that you can change the land type coverage manually, but that's about as good as it will get. I simply can't imagine a way to say "I want 25% coverage of land type X" and then have L3DT work the rest out automagically.


Ok I understand now better. Thanks as I am not a programmer and I wasn't sure how this actually all fit together. using the painting tool to add new land types would be cool and probobly a good fix/workaround if not the answer. I thought maybe there would be a way to change the math some in that part of your editor was all, climate would be good also.

No, bump-mapping is controlled by the attributes map. The alpha maps are just one representation of the attrib. map, but are less useful (to me) and take up more space in memory.


Ahhh, I didn't know that or understand till now how it works, KEWL. Funny how from program to program alpha channels are used in so many ways. So it can be hard sometimes to get it strait with each program I learn. Hahaha sometimes it gives me a headache....Doh dum artist that I am sometimes. Very cool mapping Tree and now I see how the whole thing all goes together thank you very much Bro for that Graphic of that Tree.

You can see that the alpha maps are basically a dead-end as far as L3DT is concerned, though they are (hopefully) useful for other developers.


Cool and yes I do believe there are many uses for them as I can get them into Photo shop and have my way with them in a number of ways, I just wasn't sure how you had intened for them to be used is all.

Do you mean add new land types with their own new textures, or add textures to replace those of existing land types? If the latter, it’s only a matter of search-n-replace in the climate files, but if the former, then you need to define a new land type in the climate files with the appropriate texture. There is currently no user-interface for adding new land types or editing existing ones – this is also on the to-do list.


Well what I had in mind was to be able to over lay another terrain texture map file over the one that is generated. I have been doing that in PhotoShop to get the diferent kinds of textures you see in the terrains I have posted. Using various techniques I know to get the effects I had wanted to see. But what you are saying is about the same kinda thing I think and would work I bet for what I was thinking. Finding and replaceing files is not what I had in mind, that is easy. /chuckles..

I had done your Tut on making my own maps from the website of yours. I had wanted to add stuff to the TXmap files so this is kinda how it went. I used Bryce5 to originally make the graphic/templete I worked from. Then I brought it into L3DT and created the terrain.
I had also made a number of diferent textures for that terrain that I thought would be cool to overlay on top of the mainTX file. After I made the mainTX file in L3DT I did take them into Photoshop for the overlays I did that you can see from the posts I did. So here I am. 8)

Hmmm…could be messy. I’ll have a think about it, but for now I the recommended way to achieve this is either to define new land types (thereby giving you new alpha layers), or by adding the extra layers to the exported alpha maps afterwards using photoshop/etc.


Yup yup I figured it would take some thought. And of course I will use Potopop to do what I want to edo for now, but it is on my wish list. :wink:
This can be done by increasing the depth slider in the fog settings dialog (in the view menu).


Humm I tried that and I couldn't get it to go out as far as I wanted it to go. I will send a private email on that subject in a bit for now. I have a idea.

I'm looking into it. I'll let you know when it works.


WOOT WOOT!!!

I’d suspect not, but I’ll play around with the gallery and forum a bit more to see what I can come up with.


OOH great bro, I really would like to be part of all this as I think this is one hella good Program and would like to see and be part of this and all you wonderfull peeps that are on L3DT.

Final note if I could get some help getting the stuff I posted into the gallery sometime soon and no rush, would be great. I know your very bizzy and don't mind bieng on the back burner at all. Chuckles.....and I hope I not to big of a pain in the but either :roll:

My end product in all this goes to the TSE engine which I hope to do almost everything +PlusTextures before I take all this into Torque. I hear it is a bitch to dick with after it is in. so as close to perfect as I can get will be wonderfull, hahahahaha and I am just a few days from that goal if all goes well now. Will post those when I do it, but after I can get into the users gallery.

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Postby Aaron » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:32 am

Hello,

DeathTwister wrote:First off Sorry if I posted this in the wrong spot, and thank you for moving it.


No worries. The tutorial should probably state explicitly that the coverage values are read-only.

DeathTwister wrote:Funny how from program to program alpha channels are used in so many ways. So it can be hard sometimes to get it strait with each program I learn.


Yah. In most instances except L3DT, it's easier to use alpha maps. In L3DT the alpha values are generated per-pixel as required for texture mapping and bump-mapping (thus no big memory overhead).

DeathTwister wrote:I just wasn't sure how you had intended for them to be used is all.


The alpha map exports are for game developers who want to mix their textures at render-time. It's called 'texture splatting', and it gives much greater detail, at the cost of some GPU-thrashing. FarCry uses this technique, for example.

DeathTwister wrote:Humm I tried that and I couldn't get it to go out as far as I wanted it to go. I will send a private email on that subject in a bit for now. I have a idea.


Okay, I can increase the limits on the depth slider. I know thus much Delphi. Give me a day or two.

Cheers,
Aaron.
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