Advanced Landscape Editor (ALE) Available NowCommunity Forums/Developer Stations/Advanced Landscape Editor (ALE) Available Now
| A.L.E is ready! You can get a copy from :|
FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS :
Terraform huge landscapes in REAL-TIME with WYSIWYG results.
Use up to 6 individual textures to directly paint your landscape with no loss of quality or speed.
Automatic optimization usually reduces polycount by about 50% on exported models with absolutely no visible artefacts!
Set the suns position, then lightmap the entire landscape within seconds.
Use vertex colors to add even more variation to your creation. Add virtually limitless variation to your textures in realtime with no performance overhead.
Intuitive & productive interface - Click a point on the landscape to see it transform instantly.
AutoSmooth tool - automatically refine your work!
Import / export heightmaps compatible with most other 3D software.
Export worlds in .b3d format - no special loaders/functions required.
Thanks everybody who has supported ALE so far by offering suggestions, or just saying they like it :)
Special thanks to AlienHead and Rob ;)
| I can't afford it, but I hope you do well with it. |
| Woot Christmas in May... |
| Just ordered it. Can't wait to start downloading and using it. :)|
| It's certainly an interesting little fellow. |
| Just Ordered too :) please Skitchy check your mail.|
| @Kornflex - there's no need to e-mail me directly as BMT Micro handle the orders directly. They will send you everything you need :)|
@Everybody - Again, all I can say is thankyou! I have a few ideas for additions already, but don't hesitate to offer any suggestions you might have.
1st idea : how about a function that makes the edges of the landscape match up ie. the verts of the 'left' edge match those of the 'right', and the same for 'top' and 'bottom'. This would mean you could seamlessly tile the same mesh over and over again (using copyentity for speed), giving the illusion of an infinite landscape. I might also be able to make it *seem* as though the textures are being blended across these borders automatically. I'm having more trouble coming up with a name for the function than anything else ;) How about 'Make seamless edges'?
| @Skitchy : Hi, how many time i need to stay more for have my package ? :)|
But i have only 3 emails from BMT Micro just for confirm my payment. Not links etc are in.
"Your order has been processed and billed. The Product's Registration information will be sent to you by the developer..."
| Hi all,|
I just ordering ALE too, and i not received any Package of ALE it's normal ?
| I also got only 3 e-mails from BTMicro without any download or registration link. Looks like we'll have to wait until Skitchy sends us the download link to the full version...|
| Oh yeah i think you right Barnabius... So let's stay :)|
| Just to clearify - has anyone ordering this product actually got it yet? |
| I might buy it if you add the ability to load a mesh, so I can see what the map I am making this for looks like. |
| I'm REALLY sorry, but its a BMT screw-up. I'll sort it now and you'll all get your link. Rest assured :) |
| I've e-mailed BMT, but I don't see why you should all have to wait for them to sort their lives out (especially on a Sunday) - therefore I am sending out the full versions by e-mail over the next 2 hours :) How's that for service ;)|
@Halo - do you mean a sort of 'template' mesh? I could actually make a function that would automatically set the height of points based on the 'template', but you can already import/export heightmaps which is a much cleaner way of doing it.
Or do you mean a mesh consisting of buildings/trees/other scenery? If so - consider it done :)
| All orders have been sent :)|
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any more problems. BMT have been a bit crap recently (their excuse was a site overhaul).
Enjoy the program - and don't forget to post screenshots of any work you do because I love seeing 'em!
| Hi Skitchy,|
I have a little question, How i can use .ALE format in my project ? but i not see the loader join in your Package.
| You don't need to. Just export a .b3d and load it with LoadMesh() or LoadAnimMesh() if you want access to the individual layers :) |
| You don't use ALE format. You export the terrain into .B3D file and use it inside your program as any other mesh.|
(edit) Skitchy beat me to it. :)
Just receeved full version and am enjoying it a lot. Thanks Skitchy.
| Ok , oh dear just a last thing for the next release/Update version of ALE. We'll receive it's from you or BMT micro ?|
| I'll post any updates on here, and I might put together a mailing list as well. I get the e-mail address of everybody who purchases it so I'll keep you all up to date ;) |
| ALE will be great if we can Import mesh (3DS or B3D), but i try to put some stuffs on my terrain created with ALE (B3D export). When i import my terrain in WorldSpin or TerraED, My terrain have a very bad look.|
Problems with scaling, colors, etc,...
*For the moment i use ALE only for Converting HeightMap to B3D...
| Hi all,|
Same problem there for import my work into Worldspin or TerraED, Other strange thing it's when i try to export my Terrain to Heightmap i have only the Heightmap file not the Texturing (colormap) of my Terrain.
So i hope ALL good things are coming in the next Update of ALE :)
| You're misunderstanding how this works. The heightmap is just that - a heightmap. There is no 'colormap' involved. In order to get all those textures on there and keep the res high I'm using a system that consists of multiple meshes blended with vertex alpha. Think of it like a sandwich where parts of the middle layers are 'invisible'. As you paint, these parts become visible.|
Perhaps WorldSpin and TerraEd try to turn on/off various flags inside the mesh (don't - they're all set for you and there's only one *right* way to do it ;) . Also, you MUST run in 32Bit. If you run in a window, set your desktop to 32Bit (true color) as well.
I can assure you exported meshes load into Blitz just fine :
Download this to prove it:
That mesh is loaded with a single LoadMesh command.
| Hi Skitcky,|
Yes am alway in 32 bits. I show to filax the screenshoot when i put your terrain in his TerraED.
It's very strange. Look like miss some parts. Last thing i do too this too : import the terrain in Gile[s] too. Look it's very strange.
So i go to try them again :)
| I use only standar command like LoadMesh or LoadAnimMesh |
for loading mesh under terraed. I think maybe a problem
with your UV ?? because your mesh is loading well but the
texture rendering make problem.
| So for see what i mean, DL the demo there :|
and try to open the demo landscape "testing.b3d" in Gile[s]
| How can it be a problem with the mesh when it loads perfectly well in Blitz? Try it yourself - all the media is here :|
graphics3d 800,600,32,1 land=loadmesh(testing.b3d) ; find this in the .zip file and also copy the textures & lightmap to your working dir cam=createcamera() positionentity cam,0,1.5,0 repeat renderworld() flip until keyhit(1) ;bingo bongo
How much simpler can I make it?
| It's work perfect in Blitz!|
I mean only where it's the interest of ALE if we have our B3D landscape and we can't use him for putting our stuff with tools like TerraED, WS etc ?
Try by youself, Open your landscape demo (testing.b3d) in Gile[s]... You will be surprised..
I hope something it's wrong with the UV in your B3D files.
| Well, what I'm saying is that I can't alter the code to other peoples tools. All I can do is provide a .b3d exporter that exports meshes that load and work perfectly in Blitz3D (which I have done). If Filax wants to send me the source to TerraED ... ;)|
WorldSpin may pre-date vertex alpha.
@Filax - I expect you're setting EntityFX flags or something after meshes are loaded. If you load the mesh *without* altering it in any way I think you'll find it works. Also, don't have your 'near' CameraRange set too low.
I'm pretty sure Gile[s] uses a custom loader as well, so you'll have to talk to the creators of the respective tools (and show them that model/demo that is flawless.
| You forget to ask the source code of Gile[s] Too lmao :)|
| this the that i use for loading object :|
; Si c'est un objet 3D
If Ter_GetObjectExt(B\FileName$)=True Then
EntityPickMode B\Mesh,2 ; Permet de faire du entitypick sur les objets
; Somme nous en mode editeur oui/non ?
If Terra_EditMode=1 Then
| Yeah :) Seriously though, can you see my point? There CAN'T be anything wrong with the mesh if Blitz can load and display it correctly - which it can. |
| @Filax - There's your problem right there :|
; Somme nous en mode editeur oui/non ?
If Terra_EditMode=1 Then
Take that (and any other flag setting stuff) out and I bet it will work. Have a tick-box in the load menu called "Load Unaffected and Lock" or something. Do NOT alter the flags at any stage.
| The only flag i use is an optional entity blend. The |
other's are alpha, color, shine, that all.
I don't use entity fx
| I don't understand the problem ?? because when importing|
B3D Gile lightmaped object under terraed it work perfectly.
I think that the problem is you B3D export ?? If the
problem was only on terraed, i understand ! but Giles have
the problem too ...
It 's strange.
Good luck in your bug hunt .
| Thats what I'm saying - don't change ANY of these flags OR values (blend, shine, *alpha*, color, animation, chest-hair, pants, auto-fade, etc..) |
| Let me go through this once again.|
Don't ... change ... the ... mesh ... in ... any ... way.
It is NOT one single surface. It is NOT a Gile[s] exported object. It does NOT use texture blending. It uses Vertex Alpha which requires a VERY specific set of parameters on each 'layer' in order to work correctly. All these parameters are set at export. You're trying to override them all with a single value and then wondering why it gets messed up :/
Oh, and it's fine to use RotateEntity, ScaleEntity, MoveEntity BTW.
Am I making sense yet.
| If i understand ? i can't make any changes under another |
software on your exported mesh ? it's not very cool ??
Maybe flatten you color map before export ?
| Here we go again..|
In order for vertex alpha to work in this way, there is only 1 way parameters can be set. If you can think of another way to blend 6 textures and a lightmap over a landscape with full access to each layer I'd like to see it.
ALE does NOT just stretch 1 huge texure over the landscape because we all know that that leads to incredibly poor resolution. Anybody can stretch a single texture over a terrain.
You can set all the colors, textures, lighting, heightfield, blending etc etc INSIDE A.L.E. AND paint any texture at any point AND retain texture quality - that's the point. Thats the bit that hasn't been done before.
That is what it is *for*, building high quality LANDSCAPES.
All this makes no difference though, because I have a sneaky suspicion that somebody is getting nervous and clutching at straws... and however much sense I make, I am never going to get a reasonable response. You can SEE the meshes working inside Blitz. I've posted a fully working example above.
| So what your saying, Skitchy, is that none of the current crop of "world editors" or blitz coded lightmappers can load the .b3d landscape you A.L.E program creates. Therefore unless the person using your A.L.E landscape, codes there own placement editor, lightmapper, world builder etc. then your program is of no use to them.|
Kind of makes it seem a little useless for the kind of people who are likely to buy it, the kind that would rather not code there own tools but use pre-made one's, don't you think ?
There was a small bug in gile[s] which caused vertex alpha to be overwritten right after loading :) It works fine with the demo landscape in the next update!
Well done Skitchy! One thing I don't understand is why you don't export the landscape as a single mesh, instead of seven seperate meshes. I guess it doesn't matter much though.
edit: Another small thing, the vertex normals in the demo landscape are all 0,0,0. You can just skip saving them, if you don't need them. If you remove 1 from the Vertex Flags in the b3d file, you can skip the normals entirely.
| @joncom2000 - Current crop? I've written a lightmapper and this (although I'm beginning to wonder why I bother). A.L.E does the lightmapping for you. Fredborg just said that the next update of Gile[s] works fine with it (I said it wasn't an error on my part - thanks for confirming that Fred). I might put in a 'dropper' system into ALE, but there are plenty out there and most people seem to like coding their own (due to needing special 'features' specific to their own game.|
Thanks for trying to make my hard work sound crap and dismissing all the facts though - I really appreciate it and await *your* next release ;)
@Fredborg - Thanks again for the Gile[s] fix. Perhaps others might see sense now. The landscape needs to be separate meshes because each one needs its own internal settings in order to display correctly (avoiding z-buffer issues).
| "A.L.E does the lightmapping for you."|
Yes for the landscape, but you can't currently place other objects in your editor and lightmap them ;)
"Thanks for trying to make my hard work sound crap and dismissing all the facts though"
Well if that's how you want to read it fine, but it was not my point. You have made an editor to create impressive landscapes and I assume you what people to buy it. Those that have, complain that they can't use the exported .b3d in the "popular" range of world editors, such as Worldspin and TerraEd. Your response to my pointing this out is that people like to code there own, well as you can see the people buying your product don't appear to want to code there own.
That was my point, your ignoring what your current/prospective customer base wants from this type of product and I was trying to point that out, badly I guess as you took it as an attack, which it wasn't meant to be.
| Yes, and I've tried to point out about 58 times that it is NOT my fault that other peoples editors randomly alter the internal properties of loaded .b3d meshes.|
And of course it wasn't an attack - I "totally" and "whole-heartedly" believe you, - and so does my "crop" - don't you think?
But Gile[s] now supports the necessary flags/parameters, so hopefully Filax will see sense and alter his code as well.
As it happens though, I'm going to put dropper functionality into ALE, so it will no longer be necessary to use TerraEd at all.
| "I'm going to put dropper functionality into ALE, so it will no longer be necessary to use TerraEd at all."|
Very good new Skitchy !
| Remain calm Skitchy. You got a good program going here. |
I'm holding off for the dropper functionality before I spring for it but it was kind of fun reading your reactions to those posts. No offense intended. On a similar note...
I bought a guitar years ago and I'm still not famous. Other people have bought guitars and they became famous...I think there was something wrong with the guitar I bought.
| The result of putting A.L.E in the hands of Alienhead (creator of BlitzTree and BlitzGrass) for 22 hours :|
This is outstanding work, and should prove to the doubters that the system works ;)
More shots here : http://www.blitzbasic.com/Community/posts.php?topic=34281
| "As it happens though, I'm going to put dropper functionality into ALE, so it will no longer be necessary to use TerraEd at all."|
I see the "Lightbulb" has finally switched on :)
| Good work Skitchy - an application of this type was well overdue. |
| Nice one Skitchy. |
I think it's a shame that after a lot of your hard effort to write something like this the people making the noise are the ones that are frustrated by limitations not of your making.
Can I suggest that you but a B3D example file in your demo. I downloaded the demo and played with it and my only frustration was that I had no info about how I would integrate the mesh into blitz (I've seen your posts now so understand) but if you'd have had an example B3D file (with a small blitz file to load it) a lot of these people would have spotted problems before they spent any money.
I also think if you gave a free copy to developers of simular tools that they would recipricate in kind.
| I just try to import ALE mesh export (b3d) in the new version of Gile[s], the problem it's alway there... I see a strange thing, ALE mesh buging sometime it's because the Shadow Layer !|
It's not a offense !
| then post it to Gile[s] and not here as it is a problem of gile[s] and not of ALE|
Suggestion: Non-Blending layer, which can be used for stuff that is not meant to be blended, like paths / roads etc that shall remain the way they were
| @Dream, look above, yesterday they say he work in the next version of Gile[s]|
Same problem in Ultimate unwrap too...
| @Kornflex, Does the exported .b3d landscape from ALE work in Blitz correctly ? |
If it does then maybe send it to Fredborg so he can see why it doesn't load in Gile[s].
If it doesn't display correctly in Blitz then send it to Skitchy, along with ALE format file that creates it so that he can see if there is a problem when it exports.
| Hi jon :)|
Bah i just DL the Original demo landscape there :
And i try to open it's in Gile[s], and in some others tools for see...
My last test it's was in Blitz, when i coming near the ground and above to the shadow zone, and i see the shadows dispear...
* AM in 32 bits colors
| @Kornflex - If you mean the shadowmap 'strobing' in some places its a CameraRange() issue in Blitz (or DX). It is easily fixed :) |
If you can alter the 'near' CameraRange() value in Gile[s] then just set it a bit higher - if not then ask FredBorg to put the feature in.
@blods - thanks
people would have spotted problems
This is why I got annoyed (not at you). People who don't understand the way Blitz internals work have called these things "problems", when in fact they are not, and people always seem listen to negative comments.
***There are NO problems with ALE meshes in Blitz***
Proof : http://www.blitzbasic.com/Community/posts.php?topic=34173
The problems lie with the other tools - I have no control over other peoples code. Fredborg was even big enough to *admit* that the Gile[s] loader was causing the problem (resetting vertex alpha) and has now fixed it.
If you bought a perfectly working car and it didn't fit in your garage, would you demand that the car company come over and extend the garage? Or would you call the garage company and say "hey, you said I could import this car into my garage but I can't"?
| Skitchy lol :) it's not a offense lmao :) we try to find a solution for all ppl lol :)|
But we never say your terrain system it's bad or suck lol, he is good now you need to work with some ppl (authors of others tools) for try to fix some little problems.
Nobody it's perfect ! :)
| That wasn't aimed at you Kornflex. I *want* people to report these things - but I DO suggest loading the mesh with Blitz before you decide what forum to post on. If it loads and works in Blitz, it's *not* an ALE issue.|
Try the CameraRange thing. :)
| I sended to you 3 emails for this problems... So forget that now let's try to work in calm :)|
But last night i working with Aliencodec too for see if we can fix it's...
| Kornflex look here: http://www.blitzbasic.com/Community/posts.php?topic=34297 |
| Ah cool Ty Fred :)|
| Fred - I love you. (now there's a phrase I never thought I'd type) ;)|
There it is from the man himself - A.L.E + Gile[s] is a go!
I'm going to put in an option to NOT export the lightmap-mesh ("Land_7"), so that'll make it even easier...
| And skip saving normals or save them properly :) |
| Woot it's a very good new :)|
"I'm going to put in an option to NOT export the lightmap-mesh ("Land_7"), so that'll make it even easier... "
| After a little research i have see the problem with terraed|
it's the entityblend mode. I have modify my code for loading ALE map without problem. Soon in the 2.07 release.
Sorry Skitchy ... But it's a strange problem ?
| I hate to say I told you so ... but I told you so ;)|
It would have been nice if people would have done some *thinking* before instantly blaming me for faults in other peoples code, regardless of how much sense I was making. I don't know how many sales this thread has lost me for absolutely no reason...
But I'm willing to forget it, provided everybody who posted buys a copy of ALE ;)
| you tell 'em skitchy! :) |
| Skitchy next time before to release your b3d file, alway test them with some tools :) and let ppl know.|
But you not told to ppl you have a special B3D files ! Alot of ppl there using TerraED etc. They don't know you have a special format before to try...
If you tool it's good, alot of them go to buying.
| They're not 'special'. They're standard .b3d files. |
| Hey Skitchy don't abuse, is there some problem with your |
b3d method ! don't like entityblend 1 (the default) and
don't like entity autofade. I'm sorry !
I never have say that your product did not good ?! i have just notify a problem with some standar blitz command.
| For him all others tools are bad, his format it's standard and the best :) and Ultimate wrapper suck too hihihih|
So we stay your put stuff function :) we hate TerraED :)
Serously if your format it's standard, why we can't load them like others B3D files in some tools ?
If ppl buying your tool it's for win time, they not have time for checking if your format it's good or not, they wan only to create a Terrain and put stuff on.
Filax and others tools creators are ready for help you and your tool. It's like what we doing for TerraED with BGrass and Btrees !
Now if you don't need ppl fixe their tools it's your choice :)
| They're not 'special'. They're standard .b3d files. If they weren't, they wouldn't load into Blitz3D would they. Think it through now.|
Am I still going too fast?
| duh |
| Good stuff so far.|
a. Windowed mode (partly so that you can achieve b.)
b. Windows file requester. More familiar, flexible and friendly.
c. Circular brush shape. Much more natural than the current block brush.
d. Ability to poke holes thru the terrain mesh.
e. Optional circular terrain shape.
| 'e. Optional circular terrain shape.'|
Caves? Yes, that would be nice.
| I agree, poking holes in the terrain is a must! |
Think of all those caves, underground cities and dungeons.. :)
| "'e. Optional circular terrain shape.'|
Caves? Yes, that would be nice."
He didn't say cylindrical. :-) It's like an island I'd bet.
| Hi |
I just bought ALE, I got a problem when trying to export my terrain, I type the name of the file and i receive a messagebox that say "parameter must be greater than 0"
It not appen all the time and I don't include numerical value. I also have a problem when I'm able to export I go to the ALE dir and I don't find the file I just save.
I don't know if other got the same problem, I use windowsXP french version, maybe it's the problem ?
btw here my machine spec.. P4 2.6 raid 1 gig ram, Nvidia FX5600. and I use NTFS system
I did't take the chance and I download the lastest driver for my graph card but the same problem.
I found the prob, the directory name of ALE, my computer does't seem to like it, so I rename it to something simple and it's work. probaly the NTFS system. I know that there a issue about special character with the NTFS..
Btw ;) Nice work Skitchy :) I love ALE and we all know how hard to put detail in one big texture and I can say that i'm impress with your work and the way you archive this, great idee :)
maybe I can ask , can you put more then 6 texture? would be nice and we could put more and more detail in the texture :)
I don't know if it will slow down if you using more then 6
Also I did't test ALE a lot, but I wonder if I can use very large Highmap ? like higher then 1024 ?
| "" It not appen all the time and I don't include numerical value. I also have a problem when I'm able to export I go to the ALE dir and I don't find the file I just save.|
This one I ran across, seems you must enter the extension in the save box to get it to work.... ie: MyTerrain.ALE
 just tested that further and it seems you also cannot save a ale file to the installed directory... with or without extension...
| found some digital photography pictures and got them into a tiled state... ALE is so cool! One thing though Skitchy.. maybe think about changing GUI systems? I've yet to get the sliders to work and im having a hard time setting my tile values cause one little move of the mouse and the slider jumps to one end or the other... also a 'remember last path' on the file selections would be helpful.|
digital textures pic
I decided to try something out of WorldMachine (heightmap editor) and found that using WM plugs to generate heightmaps was the way to go! Thanks to the awesome import heightmap routine in ALE this saved me from having to hand-carve the entire terrain... Just exported the heightmap from WM and imported into ALE - used the tools (flaten/raise) to tweak it in some places and started to texture paint it. This pic is of a section I finished tonight and will eventually become a level in our current game project.
| Wow @ Alienhead!|
That 'bug' is because I chose a stupid name for the installation directory. Just rename it something like ALE and it will be fine. Its those '.'s and '-'s in the directory name screwing with the parser.
I'm being *flooded* with feature ideas, and as much as I'd love to put them ALL in for update1, I don't want y'all to wait too long. Dropper functionality will be in, along with several minor fixes, and several new features :)
| Anyone else having horrible issues with lighting the terrain? Or having issues with the auto smooth function turning your tall mountains into craters? |
| The lightmap issue is fixed for update1. Until then, either use a 3rd party lightmapper like Gile[s] or just delete surface 7 to remove the lightmap. |
Nobody has said *anything* about auto-smooth though???
Try to remember that I am not infallable. ALL new software will have *some* glitches, but rest assured that I've already fixed the lightmap bug, and I'm working my arse off putting in numerous new features for update1.
| I did'nt try this function before but I confirm the auto-smooth problem now.|
It happends when the slop of a mountain is abrupt otherwise the auto-smooth work correcly for me.
| This loks so kwl! |
| Hi there,|
Sorry again, any new for this nice Update1 plz Skitchy ?
| Yes... within 3 days. :)|
And it will be WELL worth the wait, believe me ;)
| Here a little screenshot|
The texture is not from me, I get them from an other program for testing purpose in ALE, terraformer I thing (discontinued).
I have more then 6 textures, It would be very cool in ALE to have access to more then that to get more and more detail. There is no tree and foliage but imagine if so ;)
I will try making something with terragen and take part for using it in ALE
| Very nice :) Thanks for posting a shot.|
Update1 adds full 'dropper' functionality for placing trees, buildings, grass, and such. There's also a special function for placing multiple (and I MEAN *multiple*) objects on the landscape with just a few clicks. Bring on the forests! :)
| This is the landscape generator war :) |