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09-01-2004, 11:26 PM   #1
MrR's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 101
Generating a Height Field Image
Hi all

I'm sure it's possible but wondering how I might go about rendering geometry in the top view as a Height Field / grey scale image. Ultimate goal is to build the geometry I want for a Wolfenstein Enemy Territory canyon type map, render this geometry as an image which I can then use as a height field for the game map editing tools.

Sounds long winded I know but will be ultimately simpler to get exactly the desired end result rather than use the clumsy mapping tools available.

Thanks in advance

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10-01-2004, 03:33 AM   #2
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ragecgi's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 3,709
Which map editing tool are you using?

I'm using GTKRadiant.
Cool. Power to the game mappers here

Anyhoo, if you are just outputting your map as a raster image for importing into your map editor for geometry genneration, my suggestion would be to do the following:

*In Photoshop, start with a 50% grey canvas, and paint-on detail.

OR, if you must do it in Maya,

Create a nurbs plane with reletivly high tessilation, and use the paint (artisan) tool to create your "hills and valleys" geometry.

Then, on another "Highend" 3d site, like SM, download a shader called: "Yuya Depth Shader".

Apply that to your plane, and render it from the top viewport

The problem with using the HeightField node (i.e. for Ocean shader use etc.) is that it doesn't render.
t is merely a low-res representation of your final ocean-look.
It "CAN" use an image as height input, but if you already made one for it, why use it?

So, to be blunt, for the most control, either:

1. Paint it by hand in Photoshop or,
2. Use Artisan with a nurbs plane.

Those are my suggestions, and there are other types of terrain editors specificly tailored for this type of thing like "Terregen". etc...

Good luck!
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS
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10-01-2004, 08:25 AM   #3
MrR's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 101
Thanks ragecgi

All good. Looks to be what I need. Using GTKRadiant in combination with EasyGen. I'm quite new to mapping but I'm pretty sure I have enough nouse to churn out something decent for W.E.T.

Also using Terragen to build the skybox:

Thanks for your help.

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