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Savage: XR is a new patch for Savage, created by the Newerth.com staff. The XR1.1 Client is out now! Download it now!
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shuN
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« on: June 03, 2010, 02:33:27 pm »

When you're importing an existing image into the editor to have a pre-made layout, am I correct in saying that Savage auto-scans for shades of black to format the terrain height and adjust accordingly?

Black is constructed as the highest possible terrain while shading through various greys into white would yield the terrain to drop til it's appropriately set at the lowest possible height.

Since most people (besides those with PC/mac drawing tablets) are able to sketch/draw on paper much more in detail, wouldn't it be beneficial for a possible map maker to sketch the terrain layout and scan the drawing into their PC/mac, then resizing to appropriate resolution and import into Savage giving a generally completely map layout?

I was sketching some maps at work when I was thinking more about this, and I must say, they look much prettier on paper then some of the ones I've come up with on Photoshop or in the editor.

And another issue I know people may have is adjusting terrain to make pretty hills and inclines/declines due to the time consuming process of deforming terrain to make it 'natural.'

When you can shade on paper for 10 minutes and come up with something that would equate to hours of work, I think it makes the map creating process a bit less strenuous.  Afro

Examples to come when I can find a scanner!
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Mefix
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 03:05:09 pm »

Just scan/photo your maps and overpaint them in image editor like me. It will always give the rough shape to work with. Also you white is highest point and black is the lowest.
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Aneurysm
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 04:45:37 pm »

As I was discussing with bf only the other day, I barely use height mapping anymore. I prefer the organic process of building up the map from ground zero.
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shuN
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 08:39:37 pm »

I find it personally difficult to blend the height of terrain together to make it look natural.

What do you find the easy way to go about deforming the terrain?

When I'll select a brush and deform, usually it takes an extremely long time just to get a very small area looking the way my mind perceives it.
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when i tried www(comma)google.com something didnt work...
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add my face to the crotch of savage
Aneurysm
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 02:44:11 am »

I find it personally difficult to blend the height of terrain together to make it look natural.

What do you find the easy way to go about deforming the terrain?

When I'll select a brush and deform, usually it takes an extremely long time just to get a very small area looking the way my mind perceives it.


I use a combination of all the terrain tools. For basic hills (such as those surrounding the map) I will usually use either the cut or flatten tool initially, setting the height of the tool to something like 300 - 400. Once I have the height, I then go over the hills with a size 2 brush using the raise and lower tool to create some difference in the terrain, I do this very quickly with a moderate strength to the tool (about 1/4  - 1/3 of the brush strength). Next I alternate between the smooth, flatten and raise/lower tool (predominately the smooth tool) and go around the inside area of the hills (the side facing in towards the game, not out) and blend the rough shapes I have created to make a smooth looking hill. The flatten tool is used when the incline of the hill gets too soft, by gently flattening at the base of the hill, you keep the pathing on the ground level flat and keep the hill unclimbable.  If the flatten tool makes the contrast too much, I use the smooth tool again, or I grab the height tool with the smallest brush size and manually adjust the terrain into the spot I want.

Manipulating the editor is made significantly easier by ensuring you have some binds set up. I recommend using my autoexec binds

http://www.newerth.com/smf/index.php/topic,8652.0.html

They are invaluable in both saving time and fixing bugs currently in the editor. These binds fix the issue of the 3 texture layers not actually showing properly (ie. you can actually view each layer separately with these binds set) as well as enabling you to use the third layer (Just be sure you paint a single tile somewhere on the map with the same texture on all 3 layers (I just pick a corner and lay a grass or wheat texture down on all three layers).

In regards to terrain manipulation. The two most invaluable binds are the "grip" (g) bind which allows you to pinch and hold the terrain with your mouse pointer, then control the raising or lowering of the terrain with your mouse movement. The second invaluable bind is the "copy elevation" (c) bind, which when pressed automatically sets the flatten/cut tool to the height of the terrain/object that your mouse is currently pointing to (be sure to press e to show "elevation" next to your mouse).

These two binds alone cut map making time down by volumes. Coupled with the other binds in my autoexec file you will find that the fiddling of map making is reduced, allowing you more time to concentrate on the important aspects of map making....having it look good and play well.

Hope that helps you a bit
 
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Overon
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 04:27:20 pm »

For heightmaps, you have a couple of steps.  I'm sure that you could use a scanned in image, but it had better be really evenly shaded or you're going to have a lot of cleanup work later, and it might not even be worth it then.

You have to set the merge strength for heigtmaps before you merge terrain.  If you set a merge strength of 700, then anything white on your heightmap will be raised 700, and black will be raised zero... 50% gray will be raised 350, and so forth.

One thing to be careful with here, is that if you only get to gray on your heightmap with white in it, the whole map will be raised above zero, and then you get into the issue of commanders not being able to zoom out enough, as commander view height is based of solid zero, not the general height of your map.  If that happens, there is a generic raise/lower the whole map by set number of height command, I just can't think of it right now.  *Scratch that, I just dug around a bit.*  It's "heightshift."  You can "heightshift -200" to lower or "heightshift 450" to raise... you get the idea.

So, let's say you apply your heightmap, and now your map has a height range of 100 to 700 and the commander can't see half of it.  You do a heightshift -300, and now your map has a range of -200 to 400.  Much easier on the commander zoom.

Anyway.  I hope the scanned images work out for you.  I'm guessing that it probably wont quite work as cleanly as you'd think, but feel free to prove me wrong here.   Grin
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Overon
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 04:29:27 pm »

Oh, and I have a general layout technique that I prefer to use now instead of heightmap or just running around by hand.  Although, I do really like just shaping by hand.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but i could explain it in depth with pictures and such later if anyone's interested.
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Ophelia
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 04:34:39 pm »

Oh, and I have a general layout technique that I prefer to use now instead of heightmap or just running around by hand.  Although, I do really like just shaping by hand.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but i could explain it in depth with pictures and such later if anyone's interested.

I think something like that would be great for even future reference, locked - sticky type thing. Would be greatly appreciated whenever you do have the time.
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Aneurysm
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 08:27:46 am »

Oh, and I have a general layout technique that I prefer to use now instead of heightmap or just running around by hand.  Although, I do really like just shaping by hand.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but i could explain it in depth with pictures and such later if anyone's interested.

Interest registered.

I am curious to know whether it involves manipulating the flatten tool and right click. I recently to my joy discovered a really fantastic trick using this.
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Overon
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 06:11:12 pm »

Sorry I haven't checked back in on this.

Do you mean how if you flatten an area with a soft brush and then right-click around the edges, it gives you a nice sharp edge?

Ok, here's the basics.  It doesn't really take much work out of it.  But it's organized, so I like it for layout.

http://www.newerth.com/smf/index.php/topic,11044.0.html

Let me know what you think.
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