Author Topic: GameWorld Crafting  (Read 3709 times)

Telarus

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GameWorld Crafting
« on: February 08, 2010, 05:16:49 am »
I finally picked up the pro version of a sweet heightfield terrain editor called L3DT. I made a couple of blog posts to my portfolio blog when I tried the trial version:

http://joshuafontany.blogspot.com/


The first picture down here is a hand vectorized (by me) compilation of 2 of the early 1990's era FASA maps (which they based on maps of the Ukraine, Black Sea, and Aral Sea areas):

Quote
"Atlas of Barsaive", a mapping project for the gameworld Earthdawn (currently produced by Redbrick, and published by Mongoose Publishing, with the new 3rd Ed due in July '09).

A similar project for Tolkien's Middle Earth can be found here: http://www.me-dem.org/

So far, I have vectorized almost all of the map information present in the original FASA game line into a PDF atlas.


You can find that PDF release here:http://jaf384.aisites.com/earthdawn/Atlas_of_Barsaive_by_Telarus_KSC.pdf

Next up is to incorporate real-world DEM data (Digital Elevation Map) and align the in-game features with the real world features. Then manipulate the DEM data to add in large scale Barsavian features that don't exist on the real world map, like the Thunder Peaks mountain range, or basins for the local Jungles and Lava Seas. Then I plan on adding specific Named location from the game and then I'll apply a level of Erosion data to increase the detail.

The goal is to have a very high-quality 3d terrain of the main game-world areas which I will render in Maya, then incorporate into another PDF or Wiki project, animations, and other projects.



First up, I downloaded a set of SRTM30Plus topographical/bathymetry files from http://topex.ucsd.edu/WWW_html/srtm30_plus.html

Loading these into Global Mapper, I re-project these into a Winkel Triple projection, centered on the 45degree East longitude line. This is a commonly used map projection which minimizes the distortion in the central area of the map.

I re-projected this map because the SRTM30 datafiles are a flat x-y grid, and therefore have distortion near the poles. The Winkel Triple projection (a modified azmuthal projection) is currently the standard for National Geographic society maps, so many of the intended audience will find the slight distortion familiar.

Next up, I will export a heightfield for the specific terrain I'm interested in, and then I will begin to edit the gameworld features into it with the excellent application L3DT, by Aaron Torpy. This app allows meta-map level manipulation of terrain features, robust fractal noise and erosion features, climate-based texture-splatting, robust MegaTexture generation, and a lot more! Here's a shot from L3DT's 3d rendering window of Crater Lake, Oregon:



AND THEN

Quote
Atlas of Barsaive 2



Onwards!

Still learning the new L3DT tool, and I have to say it is made of mittens and win. I have also learned that I can get 90m resolution topography of the area I'm interested in, and am currently downloading it from the CGIAR-CSI website, which has me drooling.

I'm going to whip out a few throw away concept maps with my 1Km scale source, interpolated into 500m scale. Here's the area with a false elevation color scale (click all images for full size):


Now, I'm taking that into L3DT and importing a high-res copy of the above image as the texture-map. I have also hacked L3DT's 3d rendering engine, Sapphire, with my own custom 128bit Elev scale based on the above false elevation color.

Here are 2 pics, the first with the imported texture-map (no polygon lighting), the second with the my custom height-based scale (polygon lighting by default). As you can see the results are very comparable.




The above images are over the Crimean Peninsula looking east-ish. This is the location of one of the largest Volcanoes in the Earthdawn World, Mount Bloodfire (hey, it's a Trollish name, whaddya expect?), and this view is looking towards the Named location, Deadman's Gullet. This area is inundated with volcanic activity, and most of the 'sea' is a molten bed of lava with occasional solidified rock islands.

As the game features airships, and the mining of "True Elements" this location is a hotly contested area full of air pirates, and Theran mining vedettes (stone airship, about ww1 submarine sized).

I will next be adding a rough outline of how I would like to see Mt Bloodfire look and then play around with some of the other terrain tools.

AND THEN

Quote
Atlas of Barsaive 3



Here's a shot at the new Mt Bloodfire volcano. Pretty slick, eh?



Well, I probably won't save the file, this was quick work done with my wacom tablet and some of the basic L3DT tools. I plan on working at a better scale (90m per pixel) once those GeoTIFF finish downloading and unzipping. I hope I can use more of L3Dt's terrain-specific algorithms at that scale, and if so I can play around with the 'design map' to automatically place volcanoes, and such. We'll see.

Note: The 90m GeoTIFFs are going to be awkward to work with, and probably impossible to work with all-at-once. I'm thinking of working in "supertiles" of 3x3 Geotiff tiles. This gives me a 18,000x18,000 pixel workspace at a time, and allows me to edit over 12 seams (think a # symbol) at a time. Then I'll just have to deal with the larger seams, etc, etc.

L3DT is made to handle super-large terrain, with a built in mosaic feature(max rez 131,072x131,072), so even that wouldn't be loaded into memory the whole time.


Now that I have the Pro Version, I can start carving out the new mountain ranges that the FASA maps have overlayed onto the irl elevation data. Right now I have a rainFlow calculation running (it takes a few hours) to give me a black and white (greyscale) riverMap.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 03:58:48 pm by Telarus »
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MMIX

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 12:12:07 pm »
wow :D



nope definitely not WoW . . .
but entirely woaahhh
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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 05:52:41 pm »
L3DT is made for game-engine compatibility, and it can generate the landscape bump/normal map, light map, and even textures (with a separate Specular Highlight map) based on a slightly abstracted "climate map". Shouldn't be too hard to get a collectin of files and a mesh that the Unreal Engine could use. Haven't really played around much with Unreal recently, tho.
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Telarus

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 08:54:07 pm »
New WIP image:

My quickly made editMap, showing in-game mountain ranges in Red (these will be added by L3DT's edit tools), and some of the river sistems in Blue (hand drawn). editMap shown in the L3DT editor window (Sapphire renderer), low poly count.

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 10:23:01 pm »
Bump. Here's a work in progress shot of my 3d map. This shows the guide image I created by taking the elevation data and drawing over it with red and blue in photoshop. The red indicates the mountain ranges I have to edit and lift out of the terrain. The blue are major river systems from the original elevation data. If I keep most of these in mind I can use the high res original data as a detail map to apply to the final mesh.

The real world terrain is loaded under this in my editor (L3DT), but this shot had to be taken from such a high elevation that the only shadows from the real world terrain are the Dragon Mts way off to the right there.



Here's a couple of shots showing the highest peak of the Dragon Mts, and looking off towards where I need to edit in Mt. Bloodfire and the twighlight peaks. First one's an auto-color scale according to elevation. 2nd is the custom texture map I'm using.






Now I did something tricky with the elevation data. I multiplied it all by the Golden Mean (1.618), so that mountains and gorges are exaggerated and visible. Then I scaled it down by x10. So while the program shows this shot @ an altitude of about 1,000 m (3,200 ft), the correct altitude would be about 6180 m (abt 20,000 ft).

I'm working on an airship model right now to go with this, so that's important to keep in mind for me. Now back to work!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 10:42:36 pm by Telarus »
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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 09:39:34 pm »
EPIC BUMP

Images from my work in progress thread:

http://www.redbrick-limited.com/cms/forum/index.php?topic=7922











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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 11:21:07 am »
More Work In Progress Imagery.  ;D

Here are some recent shots with the Rivers, Sky and some "Post Process" effects. Click for full-size. Everything looks mch more "daylight" and the shadows are doing a lot of the work filling in the colors. (Notice the color saturation differences from the previous shots). This allows the blue rivers (and their white highlights) to 'pop' visually. Shots are from above the Tylon Mts, looking towards Throal and over the Servos Jungle towards Lake Ban.










*Post Process effects include photographic-style Depth of Field (blurring of distant terrain), Atmospheric Perspective Haze, and Emissive Light Ray Effects (when objects occlude the Sun).

Working on Textures now (oooh, glowy Lava texture for Death's Sea...NICE!)
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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 12:35:24 pm »
Sometimes I don't know what do do with myself while I wait for something to render. For example, this current a rain simulation cycle I'm in the middle of takes 2 hours to draw the river valleys so I know where to paint rocky ridges, and where to paint lush valleys (where the Horror blight isn't).  Not to mention the 4+ previous hours spent doing iteration after iteration of 30 minute 'low resolution' Rain cycles, tweaking, doing another, tweaking, until I found the right settings for the full 2 hr simulation.

Fortunately, that means I've time for a few more screenshots! Again, click for full size.

Some _extremely_ high altitude "dragon's eye views" of Barsaive. The last one has some notes on where I'm probably going to put Bartertown/Throal and the actual distance scale used (which I noted earlier will probably be tweaked for ED travel times). I want the engine to eventually output the distance between two points in purely ED travel times and rough KM/Miles distances. But that's going to wait on the art side a bit.









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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 03:39:30 am »
Some Shots with the final textures (although I do need to tweak them for brightness issues and maybe paint in more Lava). Lookin pretty good.





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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 03:42:10 am »
Right, so, where's Parlainth?
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Telarus

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 04:47:48 am »
Right, so, where's Parlainth?


The "Lost City", LOL? (Gods, it's great that somebody else gets those references).


Serliously, tho  :wink: ... I've chosen to place Parlainth very near the IRL location of Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mts. That would be between the 2 strips of snowy peaks on the upper right corner of the map (very first shot w/ natural textures).
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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 02:19:15 pm »
So all my materials broke, and then I had to fix them, and now I have to build my lighting for a few hours again. Here are some shots with test lighting.

Final Textures and Materials (normals corrected and parallax mapping/bump-offset on all materials except snow).

Full Map View:



Lake Ban & Throalic Mts (right), Servos jungle and Tylong Mts (left):



Death's Sea & Twilight Peaks



Cara Fahd / Landis / Vivane / Sky Point (foreground), Delaris Mts, Liaj Jungle (background):



Liaj Jungle (foreground left), Tylon Mts, (midground), Throal Mts (background), Twighlight Peaks (right)

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 03:58:41 pm »
Dude! That is fucking stunning. :mittens: What engine are you going to be running these in?

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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 04:15:15 pm »
 :D Thanks

These are straight screenshots from the Unreal3 Engine's editor. I'm getting 50+ fps on my 1 Gb graphics card, direct X 9  options, when I run it in the actual engine. The water twinkles and the hotspots in the lava bloom, rise and sink.
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Re: GameWorld Crafting
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 01:12:48 am »
Added some water surfaces, and the lighting came out nicely. Took a hit on the frames-per-second at high altitudes tho.... I may have to do some streaming tricks if that slows things down later.





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