Brand new mapping tools

Brand new mapping tools

Discuss maps & map creation - from concept to execution to the ever elusive release.

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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

heyya for my university course ive got to make a few C++ projects, so i was thinking of making some that help in the creation of textures.

there are 2 that i can think of at the moment,
a) a hightmap -> gradientmap converter,
make the map white on vertical cliffs and black on the plains

b) heightmap -> azimuth converter
convert a heightmap to simulate where shadows fall from a certain dierection (white where shadows fall)

c) or maybe a basic bluring tool, for the annoying contours

d) or maybe a tool for the placement of trees

now im not really looking for votes or anything, just if anyone has any other suggestions for something useful. =]
Dead.Rabit
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AF
AI Developer
Posts: 20678
Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by AF »

Argh should have feature placement done soon.

A fixed sm3 renderer would be wonderful.

Better feature renderng too.

A mapconv that could compile a map incrementally using multiple images without the line issue would be great. For example compiling a big white map and then doing it bit by bit with smaller texture images rather than waiting ages and ages for that gigantic texture image to compile all at once. That way we could update the metalmap or heightmap or replace key portions without waiting hours. We could even rename our maps properly without having to recompile.
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

unfortunately i only have 3 weeks to do this, and i know nothing of what format spring wants the maps in, besides that its something to do with Nvidia's DDS format.
where could i find out this info?

i dont mind making a crack at remaking the compilers only that it'll probably involve more research then code, and i only get marked for code. but ill put it on a wish list somewhere =]
D.R
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RogerN
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Joined: 24 Jul 2006, 23:29

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by RogerN »

a) a hightmap -> gradientmap converter,
make the map white on vertical cliffs and black on the plains
This can be a very useful tool, especially for mappers who prefer the more hands-on approach (i.e. not using L3DT). I have a similar program that I made myself, but it's not really high enough quality for public release. A release-quality version would be nice.

Feature brainstorm:

* Plenty of command-line options (or an input file) so that it can be run as part of a batch file. I frequently use batches in order to streamline my map making process (erosion simulation > slope/gradient map > texture map, all part of a batch process).

* Allow 16-bit height maps in addition to the standard .bmp format. The 16-bit RAW format used by Spring's map compiler is very simple to read. Alternatively, the PPM format is also simple and it supports 16 bit color channels.

* Allow the user to specify a specific slope angle as a threshold. For example, output a white pixel if the slope is greater than 18 degrees or a black pixel otherwise. This makes it easy to identify areas accessible by different movement types. In order to perform this calculation you'll also need to get the minimum and maximum height values from the user.
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

whatever i make i think im going to use EasyBMP library for alot of it, unless i need something specific from another library
mainly because its stupidly simplistic...
anyway it should take in any uncompressed bmp files.

D.R
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by AF »

erm, yuck, cant you look at what spring and mapconv use? What's wrong with DevIL?
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

if i do make another mapconv i'll have to use DevIL, and since DevIL does everything EasyBMP does, i wont need EasyBMP, however EasyBMP has enough functionality to make the other tools i suggested and i see no reason to use something more complex then neccessary.

on the other hand im looking into DevIL atm and at some point tonight try and discover what exactly goes into Mapconv.
=]
D.R
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

is there an explenation on the smt/smf file formats anywhere? where might i look? i have no idea how they work.
D.R
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BrainDamage
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006, 13:56

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by BrainDamage »

Dead.Rabit wrote:if i do make another mapconv i'll have to use DevIL, and since DevIL does everything EasyBMP does, i wont need EasyBMP, however EasyBMP has enough functionality to make the other tools i suggested and i see no reason to use something more complex then neccessary.
but spring already depends on it, and spring has already an dependency hell (requires lot of libs for being compiled), using yet another will make things worse IMHO especially since as you said there is one already that is capable of fulfill the task ( i know that mapping tools are not spring, but you have to build either of the 2, then you have big change you might need the other as well someday)
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

ahh sorry sorry i believe there is confusion, id use EasyBMP to get my points for my degree and make the simple tools like gradient map / tree placer.

for the mapconv project i'll use DevIL

however DevIL doesnt seem as complex as i imagined it to be so maybe ill use that for everything.

besides that i still need someone to point me in the direction of how exactly mapconv works or how smf/smt files are generated, as i dont believe mapconv source-code is available anywhere.

thanks D.R
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DZHIBRISH
Posts: 357
Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 22:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by DZHIBRISH »

anyway to make an editor where ou can just stretch the hightmap in real time .
Make hills and ...basiclly like photoshop only 3d.
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

DZHIBRISH wrote:anyway to make an editor where ou can just stretch the hightmap in real time .
Make hills and ...basiclly like photoshop only 3d.
unfortunately i dont think that's a possibility. =]
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NOiZE
Balanced Annihilation Developer
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 19:29

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by NOiZE »

Well you can terraform with CA and AF once made an group-AI which could export the height map.
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by AF »

A lua widget should be able to output the heightmap too, afterall the TGA format was never that complicated anyway.
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Dead.Rabit
Posts: 264
Joined: 03 Sep 2005, 04:28

Re: Brand new mapping tools

Post by Dead.Rabit »

well, ive nearly finished the heightmap to gradientmap converter,
a few little bugs to work out yet...
somehow coloured pixels are getting into it all? =/
that and because im working on neighbouring pixels it exponentially declines to black, so it works, but slopes atm are highlighted by 98% black =/

ohwell, the latter is easy to fix, but i need to look into EasyBMP a bit more to discover where the colours are coming from.

besides that, a new mapconv will have to go on the D.R wishlist, it'll take more research then programming it seems which i dont really have time for. =]
D.R

[edit] p.s. i didnt mean it was an impossible task to create the 3D viewer, i meant it wasnt really in the scope of this project, dont much fancy dirtying my hands with Dx or Gl tbh =p.
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