Is Terragen right for me?

Started by nlundberg, February 24, 2010, 05:59:03 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

nlundberg

Hi,

I have been searching all over the place (internet) for a way to achieve this:

Take my existing .asc DEM file, crop it, resize it, smooth it out (limit slopes to not so steep), and save as a raw 32 bit file. In worst case a 16 bit file.

As a bonus I would not mind if I could do some creative "painting" as well, but it is not needed.

Can Terragen do this?

Since I am pretty confused at the time I would very, very much appreciate some help...

Regards,

Nicklas.

TheBlackHole

You may be able to achieve that if you convert your .asc to a 24-bit uncompressed RGB .tga first.
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?

Oshyan

It sounds like what you need is more like a heightfield editor. TG2 can import certain heightfield and DEM formats (though not .asc) and perform some editing functions, but its primary strength is in procedural terrains and rendering. If you intend simply to edit your terrain, save it, and use it in another program, then I would suggest something more like Global Mapper (very broad format support for DEM and other heightfields), Leveller (one of the best general heightfield editors, may support .asc), or Wilbur (free, probably doesn't support .asc, but a good heightfield editor). You may find a combination of those programs to be of use.

- Oshyan

nlundberg

February 25, 2010, 06:14:56 am #3 Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 01:27:00 pm by nlundberg
Thanks a lot, both of you. Let me ask you for some more advice please.

(Free is kind of the key word here. I suspect that this may be the only map I do, at least for many years. Plus that it kind of rough right now.)

In short: I want 700x700 pixels asc or bmp or geotiff to become 8192x8192 pixels bmp or raw. And smoothed out.

I have already been able to try it out, without editor, and it works, except that I have not been able to smooth it out and thus I get a lot of errors.

I have an app (MICRODEM) that can convert the .asc to GeoTiff or BMP, so that makes me more flexible.
The cropped .asc, saved as a BMP from MICRODEM is about 700x700 pixels.
The converter (TESAnnwyn) I am going to use to convert to the final format accepts either BMP (Exact x/y size) or RAW (any x/y size, stretchable).
The final map is going to be 8192x8192, so I need to smooth things out. And it can be really smooth; it is just supposed to be hills, but with highest point about 250 meters on 14000x14000 meters.

I was thinking that I should go into an editor/generator that can smooth out/or generate a new surface and export this at 8192 pixels bmp, or a raw as high as possible.

Am I way off? Can I get a smooth map (by editing) out of scaling that much?

Edit: I am trying Wilbur right now, and looks good, except that it keeps crashing before I can get my file done.


Oshyan

Wilbur would be my main free application recommendation. There are other free versions of apps like World Machine that might be more powerful, but they are limited to lower terrain resolutions. If Wilbur is crashing on you, you may want to look into something like Landserf if a GUI and "painting" approach are not necessary.

Since you have MicroDEM, you can also export to GeoTIFF and try to do your work in TG2 (GeoTIFF is a supported format). You would load in the GeoTIFF heightfield, then add a Resize operator and adjust size in pixels (and possibly in meters, if you need that), then you can try adding a Heightfield Smooth operator. You can also try a number of other heightfield operators if desired. Once you're finished, you would right-click the last heightfield node in the network view and choose Save As and save as TIFF. That should do it.

- Oshyan

nlundberg

Great, thanks a lot Oshyan!

Nicklas.

TheBlackHole

@Oshyan
Uhh, this is Terragen Classic Support.
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?

nlundberg

@TheBlackHole

So can you do it in Terragen Classic?

1.Import HeightField Grayscale BMP
2.Massage the terrain
3.Resize to 8192x8192
4.Save as HeightField Grayscale bmp OR raw.

I am thinking about adding textures too, but then Wilbur does not seems to be the best choice.

Oshyan

Ah TG Classic, I always forget to look. Well, TG2 is still much more capable in virtually every way. TG Classic would be easy to import and resize the terrain in, and you can perform extremely basic terrain operations, then export. The most accurate export would be TER or RAW format. If you used TER format, you could use the free TerraConv program to convert to TIFF, which is a more widely compatible format.

What is your intended use for the final terrain?

- Oshyan

nlundberg

That sounds good.

It is supposed to become a mod for the game Fallout 3. So step 5 is to use a small app (TESannwyn) to convert the terrain to a game file.

Now when I got you on the hook I will take the opportunity to ask you about this:

I do not understand how the height field is stored.

The highest point of my DEM is 230 meters. When I use TESannwyn it becomes 28 meters. There is a valid reason for that (game units/meters), but of course I want to counteract this and get it back to 230 meters (you can scale in TESAnnwyn but I want to avoid errors and scale beforehand). BUT no matter how much a change the brightness in Photoshop the converted map stays the same. Of course you can not say anything about TESAnnwyn, but is there other channels in the bmp that refer to the height? I can can not understand how the terrain imports fine, but smaller (so the height field is actually recognised), but when I edit the bmp to be more or less a white square it is still 28 meters.
Bit depth/types of bmp/channels?

Sorry for the long post.


Oshyan

BMPs (and most other standard image formats) have no inherent scale or other height information. So any scaling is being applied on the conversion end, probably by TESannwyn, or the game engine itself. The TER format does include height information, as does GeoTIFF, but I suspect TESannwyn doesn't support either format. If it does, you might try either of those. Note that GeoTIFF is not a standard TIFF format, so just because it may support TIFF doesn't mean GeoTIFF is explicitly supported, and without the "Geo", height information is not present.

- Oshyan

TheBlackHole

@nlundberg
Yep. In fact, you can't go to 8192, you have to go one pixel higher. You might wanna generate additional detail on top of the existing terrain (REMEMBER: Small scale!!!) , then lower everywhere that once was low, and raise everything that was once high.
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?

nlundberg

@Oshyan
But if I edit a height map in a photoshop, it will have an effect (it sounds stupid, but it has not appeared so)?

QuoteImport a RAW/BMP image containing heightmap data and create a TES4 Fallout3 3D landscape:
Just like TES4: Oblivion, this allows you to import any size 8/16/32-bit RAW or BMP or Greyscale BMP and have it turned in to a landscape

That is what I can get in to TESAnnwyn, plus the 24-bit colour BMP mentioned below.

@TheBlackHole
Ok, cool. So in TG I lower the grey scale height scale (and width?) and work on 1024? But when I decide to go to 8193 (?) should I go there right away, and then make some smoothing command, and grab some coffee; Or should I go in steps: 1024, smooth, 2048, smooth etc?

QuoteYou might wanna generate additional detail on top of the existing terrain

-I am not sure if you mean editing the height field or the textures, but textures is the next question.

QuoteImport a 24-bit colour BMP as a Vertex Colour Map at the same time as the heightmap import:
A vertex colour image containing map layouts (useful for placing your towns or manually rendering rivers, paths etc if you have concept drawings) can be included during the heightmap import procedure.

This is from TESAnnwyn (mentioned above). Does this mean that I can make textures in for example Terragen, and then import them? It does not, right?

TheBlackHole

Go there right away. Then, through the Generate Terrain dialog, turn the "Size of Features" down near "min" and move the dot from the radio button for "Erase first" to the button for "Generate features on top of existing terrain". For textures, make a good surface map and move the camera up in the 3D Preview so you can see the whole terrain framed vertically. Move the sun to its highest possible location and remove all atmosphere. Render this and then crop it in Photoshop or whatever image editor you have. Crop the render so you only have the terrain square with little black spots around the edges. Get rid of them with a clone tool. Voila, textures!
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?

nlundberg

Ok, thanks a lot, but excuse me for being slow...

by textures, do you mean extra detailed height data, or different colours of the terrain (trees, water etc)?

what format (bmp, gray, colour) am I exporting to Photoshop?

How do I scale the height?