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SDyer

Heightmap, Lightmap, Bitmap - how?

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I need to render a fairly large terrain interactively. I want to do this by having: 1) a heightmap, preferably in RAW format but I''ll settle for anything that works, from which I can build a quad tree, vertex buffers, etc. 2) a bitmap texture to stretch over the terrain - grass, rock, etc. 3) a lightmap to combine with the bitmap so I don''t have to use real-time lighting My question is - which tool or tools can do this? I''ve tried: Bryce - I can get a so-so heightmap and bitmap, but I can''t get a lightmap. Wilbur - It generates a heightmap and lightmap, but no bitmap. It exports a heightmap to Bryce3''s .br3 format, but when I import that into Bryce (to generate a texture bitmap), it is just flat. Terragen - beautiful program, but it doesn''t export much. I can export the heightmap to Lightwave Object (.lwo) format, which Bryce will read, and Bryce will generate a nice looking texture for it, but Bryce won''t let me export it. When I hit the "e" icon for the object I get smoothing options, not the usual heightmap/export controls. Aaaarrrgggghhhh! It seems that I can get close, but not all the way there. I''m always blocked by a program not handling a specific format, or not exporting a particular aspect of a terrain. Help! Does anyone know the specific tools, and the techniques that go with them, that I can use to generate a heightmap, a lightmap and a terrain texture bitmap? Note: I''m posting this both in the visual arts and game programming forums, since both might have people who know.

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You should be able to do all that from terragen. I''ve not worked with it much, but I''m pretty sure it can export bitmap heightmaps. Then for the lightmap you can just render a top view with a flat 50% grey texture.
Then for the texture, turn off all lighting, and render from the top view again.

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Try 3d studio max. It is easy in 3d studio max. It has pre-rendered backrounds and you can attach details like trees. The problem is that it goes by real time lighting so you may not like it. Actually the lighting in max is easy to use.
VIsit my site at akram43560.tripod.com.

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I just found out in 3d studio max 5, there is a light rendering option that allows you to add radiosity effects to an object. In the advanced lighting section you can make light bleed effects and other awesome effects.

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