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 HmapImport and Staggered Zones « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:56 am    Post subject: HmapImport and Staggered Zones Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Hi guys, I'm testing out a workflow for creating large scale terrains where I use greyscale heightmaps made in Photoshop, saved as 8bit BMP, and I import them into the zones that I created in Grome.

I have a few questions about this:

1. I assigned 4 zones ( 2x2 ) to a Height Layer, and tried to use the HmapImport to raise the terrain. Nothing happened though, did I miss a step or use a wrong format?

2. I used QImport to create a large terrain, everything was fine when I used a 2049x2049pixel heightmap. But when I tried something larger than that, nothing appeared, or an invisible zone was created. Is there a limit to the size that I can create using height maps?


I'm also working with staggered zones which makes this workflow more complicated. Assuming every zone is 256x256tiles, then every alternate row of zones is offset to the right by 128tiles ( with one extra zone added on the left ).

Just wondering if anyone's working like this, and if you have encountered the problems I have.

Currently I think I need to cut up my height map in photoshop and import them into their respective zones one by one.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hello,

1. Make sure you have the proper World Transform. Put the origin as your zones are center and use the proper size to match the world size of your zones.

2. Quick import is somewhat limited to the size it can import (as its name implies it is just a quick import mainly for testing).

What I recommend is to use the raw importer. Using 8 bit BMP you are limited to 8 bit precision which is very low for terrain surfaces. The RAW file (which you can save from Photoshop by working at 16 bit and saving it with no header and IBM byte order) contains 16 bit precision and can be used by RAW importer which is much more advanced than the quick importer.

To import with the RAW just select File->Import from main menu and select RAW importer from the list. The importer plugin is capable of importing continuous huge maps (use swapping option to unload zones from memory as they are created) of high precision terrain. Press help in the plugin UI to get more info but the options are pretty self explanatory. Make sure you select a number of zones to be created so their final resolution is 512 or 1024 per zone (this will give you the best performance).

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Hi ALicu,

Thanks again for the prompt reply!

1. Yes I have positioned it as center, and I used a 257x257pixel height map to match my 256x256 tile zone. Could you explain a little more about World Transform please? I'm not too familiar about this one. Is it similar to scaling, except it's in the XY axes?

2. Ok I understand, thanks!

I've read up about the RAW importer and it works great when I tested it. Currently I'm attempting to use an 8bit greyscale height map to create my initial blocking for my terrain. HmapImport is a little quirky for me at the moment because sometimes nothing happens when I hit Apply, even when I change the scaling values. Then I tried creating a new zone with the height map rather than creating a zone and importing one. I get the result below which led me to suspect that I might be using the wrong format?



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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Razz Oh I've noticed that HmapImport doesn't seem to accept 16bit RAW? Suppose I have an existing zone, what's the best way to import a heightmap into it?
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ALicu
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hi,

Yes I can confirm that loading non-power-of-two BMP files have that bug. We will fix this and it will be present in the next update (in few days).

The best way to import on existing zones would be to have the RAW plugin able to import on existing scene (not necessarily to create new zones). We will try to include this option in the a future version of the plugin.

For now you can use the quick import with power of two bmp until we make the fix (and you will be able to import the bmp at any size).

World transform indicate where in world the heightmap is applied. So for example if you have 4 zones (2 by 2) center in origin (0, 0, 0) of 256 tiles each with 10 tiles per tile, you indicate 0, 0, 0 as position and 256 x 2 x 10 as size. The zones are lay down on XZ with Y up.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

That sounds just fine, ALicu Laughing Thanks so much! Have a great weekend!
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