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demonicbunny

Height Maps and Maya

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Hiya guys, I'm hoping that some of you may be able to help me with some links and info. I'm basically starting a project to code a c++ plugin for maya. The plugin is going to be a terrain generator. The first thing I want to achieve with this plugin is terrian generation based on a greyscale heightmap. The concept of the plugin is to make a user-friendly and quick way to import pre-defined height maps into the maya environment at which point the terrain will be generated and allow exact user refinement in 3 dimensions. I'm hoping to make it similar to the 3D Studio Max plugin, but even easier to use :D My problem is I'm not quite sure where to begin and what search terminology to use on the WWW to find relevant resources. There are hundreds of websites explaining how to make height maps, but only a few seem to mention how to process the image. The other thing is worth mentioning is that i'm not going to be using NURBS and SUB-D's just polygons as i'm approaching the project from a game development point of view and not a modellers. If anyone knows of any interesting articles regarding this subject matter (height map data and maya landscape generation) or has any hints/tips or even advice then feel free to share!!! Thanks in advance,

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I dont know anything about maya, but wouldnt you just create a mesh where each node in the mesh (ie each grid point) z value corresponds to each pixel in the height field's rgb intensity.

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Thanks for the reply!

Maybe in essence yes. However height maps are normally created in fairly low resolutions, for example 256x256 or 512x512. The problem is I'm not sure if there will be enough detail/pixels to map to vertices to create a natural looking terrain (I need to experiment and research).

If this is the case, I may need to think about using some sort of linear interpolation between the vertices to flesh out the scene.

I'm also thinking that the key first stage is to read the pixels of the height map and give them some sort of weighting, then I can begin worrying about mapping them to the plane in maya. Most of what I'm trying to achieve is language and software independent, that's why I'm looking to try and find some info on the techniques and not solutions.


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