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The Free City of Haven NWN2 Project

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The Free City of Haven NWN2 Project

Postby Urlord » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:39 pm

I purchased L3DT Pro specifically for this project. The project goal is to recreate a game suppliment printed in 1981 by GameLords called, The Free City of Haven, for the Neverwinter Nights II game. If you want to find out more about this project, go to http://www.WizardStorm.com

After playing with the L3DT for a few days and using a NWN2 Plugin by a guy named Cliff, I am now to the point of generating the overall height maps for the project. They are actually quite simple in design, I just wanted to get them right (I am a stickler for authenticity). Plus, doing terrain by hand in the NWN2 Toolset is a bear and very time consuming.

So, here we go with how I created the height maps for the Free City of Haven project! I welcome any and all comments on how I could have done it better or more efficient.

    NOTES:
  • Many of the steps here cannot be done with L3DT Standard Edition, they require L3DT Professional.
  • All maps here are scaled down versions so they will load quickly and each map contains a watermark.

Here is what I did:

  1. First I scanned the map of Haven and resized it to 2048x2048. Then I saved it in greyscale to JPEG format.

    Image
  2. Using an image editor (I perfer Fireworks), I places the Haven map as an locked layer (50% transparent) and drew in the river, islands, the hill in the Heights and a slight uphill slope away from the riverbanks.

    Image

    Turning off the map overlay, this is what it looked like.

    Image
  3. I fired up L3DT and imported the rough heightmap with altitude from -50 to 150 and the horizontal scale set to 5.
  4. Generated a a Design Map from the height map
  5. Generate a new Height Map, overwriting the existing one. I am not sure of the exact setting I used.
  6. Export the heightmap in JPEG format and open it up in the image editor again for some fine tweaking. I used gaussian blur and the air brush tool to smooth things out a bit. Here is what it looked like when I finished.

    Image
  7. Load the polished height map into L3DT and generate all the other maps. I brought the scanned Haven map up as an Image Overlay, just to see if everything lined up okay. Everything is close, but there will be some final tweaking that needs to be done in the NWN2 Toolset.

    Image

    Here is what it looked like rendered without the overlay.

    Image
  8. Finally, I saved the maps in L3DT as a project and chopped them up into a 8x8 mosaic. Each mosaic tile, them becomes an external area in the game.
Peace,

Jim (aka Urlord)
WizardStorm.com

"With a Hammer and SQL, I can fix almost anything!"
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Postby DeathTwister » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:39 pm

Wow,

I am impressed brother wow. some nice work you are doing and OMG I want to see this as it gets developed more? very very nice work my brother.

Why not enter that L3DT file in the image of the month compitition when done a bit more? as it is exactly what the comp is about this month, rivers. Can't wait to see a finished map on that one with the city and everything, wow.

DeathTwister :twisted:
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Postby Shealladh » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:12 pm

Looks thought someone else had the same ideas as me, lookin' good
I take solice from the fact that I know nothing...compared to the rest of the world.
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Postby Aaron » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:21 am

Hi Ulord,

Wow, really nice work. What texture size are you using there? I notice that there is a bit of a repeating artefact in the grass texture, which is usually buried if you use the high-res texture option, or if you carefully set up the texture layers in the appropriate climate. I can cook-up a suitable climate for you, if you like.

The only other tip I could give would be that instead of using steps 3 and 4, you could use the 'file->import->design map' option, which does the same thing in a few less mouse clicks. Also, if you want higher fidelity, you can change the 'File->DM sample rate' to 16 and then use the 'operations->heightfield->generate preview' option. This is a little-known cheat that makes a smaller heightfield for the same design map size, or alternatively uses a larger design map for the same height map size. The up-shot is that the heightfield more closely resembles the design map, giving you more control. I'll be adding variable HF/DM ratios as an official option in v2.4c or v2.5.

Cheers,
Aaron.

Edit: Whoops, wrong person. Sorry.
Last edited by Aaron on Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Urlord » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:24 pm

Thanks Aaron,

I will try your recomendations. But it won't be for a few more days as I will be out of town on business.
Peace,

Jim (aka Urlord)
WizardStorm.com

"With a Hammer and SQL, I can fix almost anything!"
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Postby DeathTwister » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:46 pm

Hay guys,

WOW great work and good to know tips Aaron, both are exilant and I am saving this page to look at offline.

Aaron Wrote:
The only other tip I could give would be that instead of using steps 3 and 4, you could use the 'file->import->design map' option, which does the same thing in a few less mouse clicks. Also, if you want higher fidelity, you can change the 'File->DM sample rate' to 16 and then use the 'operations->heightfield->generate preview' option. This is a little-known cheat that makes a smaller heightfield for the same design map size, or alternatively uses a larger design map for the same height map size. The up-shot is that the heightfield more closely resembles the design map, giving you more control. I'll be adding variable HF/DM ratios as an official option in v2.4c or v2.5.


WOW hell ya, thanks for the tip Aaron, a very good to know along with Urlord's post. Good blog.

DT :twisted:
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