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Anyone Any Good At Making 3d Landscapes?


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I've tried programs like Terragen, but never really got into them, so to speak. I think my understanding of how erosion and stuff works is pretty limited. Also I have no tablet so drawing heightmaps is rather clumsy.

 

So basically I'm wondering if anyone here is sufficiently proficient in any such program to be able to make me a landscape or two? I basically just need highpoly model + texture, I can make a lowpoly one pretty easily myself, and normalmap it, but the high detail just fails me somewhat.

 

I want a valley primarily, with a river at the bottom and high hills either side, in which a city sits. The river should lead out to sea, which should be not too far away from the city, which should be overall in the centre. In fact, it doesn't need to be that large, because you won't see all of it anyway.

 

It will be viewed from about halfway up one of the hills on one side, with most of the city below in front, and the sea over to the right, with more land to the left.

 

And no, no city will actually be required, unless you're feeling incredibly generous.

 

So, just wondering if anyone's up for that.

 

Otherwise I'll do it myself and I just can't imagine how that would turn out. :wacko:

 

Just to stress: THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL POSITION, IT WOULD NOT ENTITLE TEAM MEMBERSHIP OR CONTRIBUTER STATUS, THIS IS MERELY A PERSONAL REQUEST, although if anyone does do it they'd be duly credited and probably invited to contribute more if they so wish.

 

It's for my FM.

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I don't recommend renderbumping a large terrain texture. Terrain models tend to use tiling textures with vertex blending, because renderbumping requires a unique skin which would not be suitable for terrain (due to the massive size it would require).

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There are 3D landscapes in the distance when you look out windown in Doom 3, so you can examine them to see if they used renderbumps or not.

 

You don't need a graphics table to draw a stupid height map! Just keep softenning and sharpening your land formations as nessecary by adjusting these 3 things - lightness/darkness of the brush tone, softness/sharpness of the brush edge, and size of the brush.

 

Start out with a blank canvas at the elevation tone you want most of your ground to be (eg 50% grey for mid range)

 

Choose a huge brush with a soft edge and rough out the basic form - the main mountains with your omst extreme light tones, and the valleys with your most extreme dark tones.

 

Then just continually refine them with repeated strokes and gradually smaller brushes - but use a a lighten/darken tool rather than directly painting colour, as this will allow you to effectivly adjust the height of whatever your painting on rather than paint at a fixed height.

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There are 3D landscapes in the distance when you look out windown in Doom 3, so you can examine them to see if they used renderbumps or not.

 

You don't need a graphics table to draw a stupid height map! Just keep softenning and sharpening your land formations as nessecary by adjusting these 3 things - lightness/darkness of the brush tone, softness/sharpness of the brush edge, and size of the brush.

 

Start out with a blank canvas at the elevation tone you want most of your ground to be (eg 50% grey for mid range)

 

Choose a huge brush with a soft edge and rough out the basic form - the main mountains with your omst extreme light tones, and the valleys with your most extreme dark tones.

 

Then just continually refine them with repeated strokes and gradually smaller brushes - but use a a lighten/darken tool rather than directly painting colour, as this will allow you to effectivly adjust the height of whatever your painting on rather than paint at a fixed height.

 

I tried that in gimp it was a horrible mess. But maybe I am not patient enough, seriously though I wanted to shove my keyboard through my monitor and hang myself from my mouse cord.

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You do have to continually check your results in 3D, so like keep saving the file, importing it into your 3D app as a height map, apply it, see how it looks, go back and draw some more, etc.

 

Less is more when drawing, the little subtleties in tone difference in the height map make proper smooth land formations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

terragen is a decent program to make terrains with, but the terrain still needs a little tweaking on

the verts to make it look proper, and to fit whatever scheme your shooting for. The one drawback

of the doom3 engine is the lack of light map support, and i know for most things its not needed...

but for things like distant mountain ranges and so forth, it would have been a blessing.

 

its hard to map a large terrain without any decent phong shading, and sharp edges do show up.

I tried to use heightmaps before to make terrain, but i found ( personaly ) that its better to make

the terrain by hand, as in the following example...

 

myter19oo.jpg

 

for the above pic i used gtk-radiant 1.3.13 and wolfenstein et, and started out with a flat layout and

locked the x/y and just worked the z's on the verts. the d3 editor does not seem to work well with

that type of vertice ajusting.... now what would really make it look decent is some phong shading.

 

EDIT: er... that is a pic from doom3, thought i should clarify that. i used wolf-et and an earlier version

of radiant to make that terrain test... wolfet/radiant -> bsp -> convert to ase -> convert to 3ds, import

into milk, ajust some groupings, out to lithunwrap for the uv's, back to milk.. and export to lwo from

there.. i never knew milk could export to lwo before... but it cuts out a few steps for me while i

plug away at the blender tutorials, and although it sounds like a massive amount of work/screwing

around... it wasnt, trust me. most annoying part is starting the terrain, but after a few layers it

gets somewhat enjoyable as u build a mountain.

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Those world machine results look amazing. Does it really create stuff that is suitable for a video game? The screen shots look like stuff that's suited more to pre-rendered things.

 

Drumple - yes I know what you mean - all you do is start off with a plane subdivided many times, select multiple verts and pull them up or down... after that its just being creative. I guess soft selection would help, but the project i was working on when I did this was fairly low poly so I didn't need any sort of soft selection.

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yeah, those worldmachine shots do like amazing, but like u speculated there Domarius, i would also say that

those screens are prerendered and not for ingame use.

@Fingernail, i would say the best way to go to get what your looking for would be to do a low poly

mesh in the distance, and then a mountain range on a portal sky to finish it off. with proper lighting

on the terrain mesh, it could look pretty good. i didnt add any more lights than the 1 projected i

used for that terrain test, but more here and there might smooth off the more darker jaggies.

 

and the reason i went with a huge projected light there was to actually use the cloud shader so

the clouds would move over and darken the terrain as they passed.. in fact.. that may be a good

way to soften the more hard edges, besides giving a real nice effect... but i didnt do it since im uber

lazy tonight. :laugh:

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Tweaked DEM data makes the best terrain, used like tweasked motion capture makes the best animation. YO ucan use DEM data in terragen, and probably Worldmachine supports it as well.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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I don't agree that a tweaked real file makes the best custom file.

 

Like if I draw a pic, its good to have a photo reference, but I only use it as a guide while making a whole new picture from scratch. A photo-manip isn't nessecarily better than a whole new painting, and IMO the same concept applies to all areas of art.

 

Personally I prefer my own anims over the tweaked mo-cap ones - and again there, I only used the mo-caps as a guide for feet placement, the rest is all my own work.

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That would sound more convincing if you were a master animator, but you're only an average animator.

You'd get far superior results by tweaking motion capture than animating by hand from scratch.

Once you're a master, then of course your skill can make your animations stand up to motion capture, but for average mortals, using motion capture saves a lot of time and looks better.

With terrain, you can either sit down and learn all the geology about rock formatons, how river beds form, about erosion patterns etc, and then learn how to model them, or you can use DEM data and tweak it for your own purpose.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

character models site

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Well whatever - my results using the mo-cap as a guide are better than when I tweaked the mo-caps directly. Maybe if I was a "master animator" I could have tweaked the mo-caps better but this is not the case, and I still stand by what I said in the previous post.

 

My valley I made for my 3D level had to twist and wind in a specific way. I created one valley "peice" and stitched multiple copies of them end to end, bending them this way and that. The "peice" was so low poly that if I used a DEM valley for that "piece", all the detail would have just got in the way unessecarily. That's just my particular experience.

 

I think that if all us "mere mortals" always worked from tweaked stuff, it would show, and all our stuff would look more or less the same. For example, your Elite guard walk looks a whole lot like my one that I also created by tweaking the mo-cap. I bet that anyone outside the forum would think they were both the same anim as the mo-cap.

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The world machine has functionality I like, it can export to terragen, or a heightmap or several other formats, so it could definitely be useful.

 

What I might do is make a heightmap, use it in ZBrush to displace a sheet, then normalmap that to a lower poly mesh in ZBrush with the new ZMapper normalmap plugin.

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Sorry for not post sonner but i was very beasy, now about the program yes it can be use for games, as is said in their site and as i said in my above post it is used by some of the farcry mappers, in here http://crymod.com/index.php?p=showtopic&to...7&fid=11&area=1 you guys will see some ingame pics and fingernail i´m very glad you like it i hope this small help can make you guys do a even better mod.

 

Cheers

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