MapCrafter - how automated is it?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/MapCrafter - how automated is it?

puki(Posted 2007) [#1]

Mc can generate heightmaps, but for these shots, i imported one i found floating around.
Texture and lightmapping generated inside MC, as well as object placement and shadows.

I think the landscapes look very nice and realistic.

Texture and lightmapping generated inside MC

I don't want to raise and lower terrain by hand. I also don't want to manually paint textures. This thing looks like it automatically generates a terrain, textures it and lightmaps it.

Anyone have any info? How automated is it?

Doggie(Posted 2007) [#2]
Completely automated as far as terrain is concerned.
There's about a dozen types of auto modes to create
heightmaps and you can also auto texture them.
This is a detail shot from a terrain I generated in about two minutes total time on a Duocore machine.

The trees were left over from a previous terrain and the pic
is without lightmapping.

Two thumbs up (IMHO)


puki(Posted 2007) [#3]
Oooh, I shall have to buy this.

"Doggie"- have you ever seen it produce anything like the image I have shown above? I mention this as there is a quality difference between your image and mine.

I want to do as little as I can get away with. If I can just press a few buttons and get a terrain like the one I pictured then I shall be a happy sausage.

Doggie(Posted 2007) [#4]
I haven't gotten quite those results but I haven't spent that much time with it. Might take some tweaking the auto generated textures but I'd call it minimum amount of work.

puki(Posted 2007) [#5]
minimum amount of work.

This is my kind of thing.

Nice one "Doggie".

It would help if "RifRaf" put more info on his site about what each application does. There is hardly any info - surely this must be affecting sales.

I'm also interested in 'EG Heightmap Companion' as well.

TaskMaster(Posted 2007) [#6]
Isn't that EasyBuilder3D thing being built by someone who posts here? I remember screenshots that look like the screenshot at that site.

RifRaf(Posted 2007) [#7]
It doesnt replace a heightmap creation tool. You manually paint the heightmap or you load one. It does have a random feature but its not meant to replace software designed to generate heightmaps. Heightmaps that are meant to look like real landscape may not be hard, but to generate a given size that is ideal for a game is harder to randomly generate imo.

puki(Posted 2007) [#8]
What about 'EG Heightmap Companion' - is that automatic or do you have to manually paint it?

RifRaf(Posted 2007) [#9]
Well it does have some random features as well, no paiting options at all. As the title suggests its more of a companion than a heightmap creator. Its very difficuly to randomize a terrain thats ideal for a game, realistic terrains are easier with simple algos but they dont work well in most game scenarios imo.

I have a free tool that generated heightmaps , send me an email and ill send you a link. Its very old and the gui sucks, but it may still help you out.


puki(Posted 2007) [#10]
My understanding was that the picture I posted above was originally a heightmap that you fed into MapCrafter. I'm intrigued by how the textures were painted. Did MapCrafter paint the heightmap automatically?

My understanding was you could just load in a heightmap and then MapCrafter would auto-paint the thing realistically.

RifRaf(Posted 2007) [#11]
yes the texturing is automatic, a few clicks and thats it.

The heightmap companion does this too, and a little better beacause it allows more adjustments to be made to the autotexture settings on the users end. It also allows up to 4096x4096 colormap size, where MC allows only 2048x2048, also the Heightmap companion can save the colormap in compressed dds format if you want that.

MC allows object placement, and when you lightmap you can get shadows from those objects, The heightmap companion does lightmapping but no object placement.

puki(Posted 2007) [#12]
Wow - this thing is good!

This was my first attempt:

Basically, I just loaded in a heightmap;

Selected Auto Texture Map and selected from a list of pre-made texture strips;

Then it's just a case of exporting/lightmapping.

Done in a couple of minutes.

I award myself a self-touch for creating such a nice-looking 3D terrain in such a short space of time.

PS, I did this in MapCrafter - but I will probably buy EG Heightmap Companion too.

Doggie(Posted 2007) [#13]
I thought you'd probably like it. Maybe if more people start using it RifRaf will update it. It would be great if I could load my own 3d models and textures.

puki(Posted 2007) [#14]
I was wondering if it was finished?

Mapcrafter merges the terrain and scenery into a single mesh object for export. Code can be supplied that will break it back up in blitz3D, in several possible ways (surface breaking, breaking in squares ect.)

"Doggie" have you got this code? It doesn't come with the download. It would be handy to have the terrains in chunks. I note MC can break the texture into chunks - it just doesn't do the terrain.

Hotshot2005(Posted 2007) [#15]
I going to Support the man who made wonderful software and yes I have bought it =)

puki(Posted 2007) [#16]
Damn, I lost half of the post.

You can use your own textures if you just back up one of the HighRes folders in the Brushes folder. The just replace the textures with your own. Don't worry about then corrosponding Landcolors image strips - just remember which one you are faking and then you can apply your own textures by tricking MapCrafter to use the strip it thinks are its textures.

Also, I found it didn't seem to tile textures correctly if they were bigger than 256 x 256.

puki(Posted 2007) [#17]
Also, I am wondering if "RifRaf" has put some kind of delay in MapCrafter. I noted it only used 50% CPU.

For my system it is not a problem (I get high quality finished terrains in a couple of minutes), however, he does say the process can take more than half an hour.

If he has put a delay in - it would be handy if you could toggle it off to blast a level out twice as quick.

puki(Posted 2007) [#18]
Also, regarding texturing.

I found MC used the same textures (ie as in "Doggie's" screenshot) regardless of what I selected from the file requester in 'Auto Texture Map'. I found I could overcome this by selecting textures with the big orange arrows to change the Paint Strip - then, I press Auto Texture Map, and select anything I like as the textures it applies are the ones in the Paint Strip at the bottom right of the screen.

RifRaf(Posted 2007) [#19]
The autorequest should ask for a colorstrip, the textures are always selected on the right. You can add more strips as well.

Doggie(Posted 2007) [#20]
I'm assuming then that the color strip modifies the colors in the selected textures. Do I add my own models just by putting them in the model dir? I guess I'll try and see. Couldn't find a "how to" in the help file. Also I can't find the heightmap or color map images. Shouldn't these be made available to do Blitz terrains?



Gabriel(Posted 2007) [#21]
Also, I am wondering if "RifRaf" has put some kind of delay in MapCrafter. I noted it only used 50% CPU.

Doesn't sound like he put in a delay. You have a dual core machine and no Blitz language is ( currently ) capable of using more than one core. In which case the maximum CPU usage it could ever reach would be 50%.

puki(Posted 2007) [#22]
Really does need some kind of option to break-up the terrain into sections.