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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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Write your own terrain generator!!! There so easy to write, and you get more controls too. Jesus, you could have one in QBASIC or similar in 10 minutes. Seriously, give it a go! It's so bloody easy don't pay shit loads for those yokes!

What about the one on the SDL website HeightMap. Quick and Dirty, but it works.

Textures are simple, just make a pallette and grade it accoding to the Height map. And generating the light map is simple too. Decide which way the sun is facing (theres a tutorial on this somewhere), and hey hey hey, Lightmap without usuing pir8 software!

(I apologise for this Im just back from work, need to let steam off. )

[edited by - pkelly83 on August 10, 2003 5:29:03 PM]

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You already have TerraGen so there are your heightmaps. Next, grab a (digital) camera and take some photo's of grass, sand, snow, etcetera. Use any paint program to make them align nicely when tiled. Or you can search for free textures on the web. Make sure they're free though. And finally: Go to Delphi 3D and grab their terrain texture editor. Plug in the heightmap and the textures, set the sun's position and voilá. One terrain texture map with all the lighting included.

Finally, you can take one fairly generic texture map (like dirt). Make it greyscale. Use the emboss tool. Make it a bit brighter and there's your detail map to multitexture on your terrain.

This is the way I did it. To see the final result: Follow the signature to my site. There's a terrain demo in the download section.

EDIT: Fixed link...

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[edited by - sander on August 11, 2003 3:38:09 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Here''s a terrain generator in Java:


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