Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So, I've been trying to make real-world maps. I made the Greece one for Alpha 6 and for Alpha 7 I would like to make an Asia Minor/Anatolia/Turkey. What I had to do for the Greece one was take a very high resolution satellite image of Greece (a free image from the NASA website), slice it up into 512x512 sections, then make many many many separate decals (about 20) at their largest size with these slices applied. Then I arranged these square decals with sections of Greece on them back together on the terrain grid in Atlas. I was then able to trace out the shoreline with the modify terrain tool.

The problem was I could not make one large decal with 1 2048x2048 image applied to it. The decals have an upper limit on size imposed upon them. My request is to either:

-- Allow decals to have a size at least as big as the "Giant" map size in the game (probably the easiest solution), or...

-- Rig up a system to where in Atlas I can have a special "layer" over the map terrain where I can choose whatever (2^ resolution) image I want applied to it. This would be the best solution, but probably the hardest to implement. Must be able to toggle on and off at-will.

With either of these implemented, designers can use real maps or hand-drawn mockups, and apply them to the terrain in Atlas and use them as a guide. This is something I and many other designers have wanted in a map editor for years. Ensemble (and most other game devs) didn't even bother supporting their map editors, let alone include innovative features like this.

zP2Bd.jpg

As you can see, with the current methods available to me I will have to slice up that satellite image into 60 separate textures, then make a decal for each one, then meticulously arrange the decals onto the terrain in Atlas. I would like a way to project the entire texture, whole, onto the terrain grid instead of having to slice it up and make separate decals, which is tedious to the extreme.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in theory there's no maximum size for decals, so I'm not sure why they wouldn't work. Haven't tested it yet, though.

Projecting a texture onto the terrain ought to be pretty easy to implement - someone needs to make CRenderer call m->terrainRenderer->RenderPatches() with texgen set to convert x,z coordinates into UV with appropriate scaling, then load and bind the texture as appropriate.

Maybe an alternative feature would be the ability to import a bitmap as the heightmap? Convert the image to greyscale and paint out the seas and clouds etc in Photoshop, then tell Atlas to load it to replace the current map's elevation, then the outline will be visible and you can manually adjust the terrain as necessary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think in theory there's no maximum size for decals, so I'm not sure why they wouldn't work. Haven't tested it yet, though.

There seems to be one. I've tried. Looks like somewhere around 250 is the largest.

Maybe an alternative feature would be the ability to import a bitmap as the heightmap? Convert the image to greyscale and paint out the seas and clouds etc in Photoshop, then tell Atlas to load it to replace the current map's elevation, then the outline will be visible and you can manually adjust the terrain as necessary.

Sounds like a good companion feature, actually.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Importing an image as a heightmap sounds very useful and easy to implement. While we're at it, we could add "export" for symmetry. Other applications (not necessarily games) support this and it's fairly intuitive for artists. Of course ideally they wouldn't need this, because Atlas would have most of the useful painting features of a basic image editor, but as an additional capability... Maybe make a Trac ticket for this so it doesn't get buried by other topics? (y)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Export is a little problematic since our heightmap is 16-bit - it's possible to do 16-bit PNGs but I don't know how widely supported they are, so more likely we'd have to do a lossy 8-bit export, which doesn't sound entirely ideal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

16-bit pixels are always a pain in terms of viewers. Irfanview and Photofiltre flat out fail. We're working on one, but the idea there is to convert to yet another internal representation. 16-bit TIFF are probably more common, but that would entail adding another dependency (boo). Do we really need export? Seems like a simple screenshot might get us a lot of the benefits for zero work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Export is a little problematic since our heightmap is 16-bit - it's possible to do 16-bit PNGs but I don't know how widely supported they are, so more likely we'd have to do a lossy 8-bit export, which doesn't sound entirely ideal.

BMP can be 16-bit, that's a pretty basic format isn't it? The files wouldn't be so large that compression is necessary, after all maps can only be 512x512. Support is a good question, I was using Photoshop CS and even it didn't support 16-bit TIFFs (you can get those when converting a 12 or 14-bit raw format digital image), but GIMP does support them. Not sure about PNGs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's true, the BMP format is quite flexible. However, I wasn't aware of viewers that correctly support 16 bits *per channel*.

If we claimed our heightmap is a 5:6:5 bit pixel format, it would look very strange indeed ;)

Update: hrm, I'd rather not do battle with the CinePaint source tarball, especially given that the websites say `deployment on non-*nix OSes is a challenge' and `current architecture is broken on Windows'. GIMP 3.0 is good news, though - thanks for the pointer. Funny interface or not, it's better than nothing. We also frequently have this problem for multispectral satellite imagery.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Maybe an alternative feature would be the ability to import a bitmap as the heightmap? Convert the image to greyscale and paint out the seas and clouds etc in Photoshop, then tell Atlas to load it to replace the current map's elevation, then the outline will be visible and you can manually adjust the terrain as necessary.

ScEd (the predecessor to Atlas) had this functionality. I had a variety of images that I got years ago. I converted them to black and white height maps and saved maps as in the old .psm format (I think that is what it was? - atlas used to read this format). All those old real word maps were in a folder for years. Since your asking about them, I guess they are gone. Images were made from satellite imagery like the stuff found here:

http://glcf.umiacs.umd.edu/data/srtm/

more options here:

http://www.terrainmap.com/rm39.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...