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  Modding Tutorial: Heightmapping Tips - Mods
  Posted by: Fire_Legion on 09-08-2007 @ 05:32 - Source: Super_Llama
This News Item has been viewed 3,166 times
Many people have problems with heightmapping; making mountains too high, valleys so low they are rivers, and terrain that looks ameteur.

To make your height right, go to View -> Color Masking in the Heightmapping window of the CS. Put mask 1 at zero and make it dark blue. Then make Mask 2 be a lighter blue at 3800. Then Mask 3 should be 4300 and should be green for grass. Mask 4 is darker green and is even higher. keep doing this, making the masks less green and more brown, becoming dirt-colored around 16500. Then it should start getting white.

Now heightmapping has become easier! The colors now look right, as if you were looking at a sattelite photo of your land. You can easily distinguish water from land, and grass from mountains.

Another tip is how to use noise. Often, if you have a large patch of land that just looks too smooth, try adding mountains with noise. Put the frequency around 100, the Amplitude around 3000, and the Base Offset at 0. Click New Seed, and check the Additive and Random Seed boxes. Leave the persistence at about 45, and the octaves at 7 or 8. Don't click Generate! Instead, click the noise button on the toolbar, and gently click on your landscape. Don't drag, just quickly click. This will generate mountains.

Another way to use noise is to make lakes. For this one put the Frequency around 60, the Amplitude at 6000, and the base offset at 0, Click new Seed, and Check the Subtractive and Random Seed boxes. Put the Persistance at 60, and the octaves at 9 or 10. Click the noise button on the toolbar, and click on your landscape. This will generate lakes.

If you do either of these but check both the Additive AND Subtractive buttons, it is a good way to make several small lakes or mountains, or, if you do it with water, make tiny islands.

If you put the frequency at 200, the amplitude around 1000, check both Additive and Subtractive, and click Generate, you can add some roughness to an overly smooth land. Erosion can be used to your advantage also. Usually I don't mess with the sliders on that one, just press Erode. If you only want to erode part of your land, say, a certain mountain, click the Rectangular Marquee button and click-n-drag a box around the spot, then press Erode.

With these tips, I am able to heightmap better, and so will you. You can now find the sea level easily, make mountains that aren't insanely high, and give enough variance in the land that people don't get bored.

by Super Llama

          Next News Post 09-08-2007 @ 05:44 - Modding Tutorial: Interior/exterior/pathpoints
          Previous News Post 09-05-2007 @ 12:19 - Interview with Joel Burgess #2

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