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ZeroG

Modifiying heightmaps (especially roads) with Cryengine 3 SDK

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Hello folks!

As we wait for the new SDK, I have been checking quite a lot of the world building tools that are available on the web.

I know that using the CRYENGINE has been discussed in some A2 threads (while I think it was more or less moaning like "why cant WE get that etc."), but I have tested it today and find it quite suitable for heightmap editing, especially as it comes with a very very easy road tool that A U T O M A T I C A L L Y aligns the heightmap to suit your needs!

edit_road2_e.jpg?version=1&modificationDate=1313158877000

The whole SDK is very intuitive, but also very well documented, as you can see.

Good thing is that you even can create 8192x8192 heightmaps. I didn't have time for a real deepdive yet, but I think a decent texture map is also possible with the SDK.

A little drawback is the file import/export though, as the SDK supports only 3 filetypes (8 bit bmp, 16bit pgm and 16 bit raw). I have been using the following method:

1. If you use a GIS program (and thus real life data), export your area of interest as a grayscale (raster) bitmap (works great with Global Mapper, just select Gradient Shader and deactivate Hillshading)

2. Import that grayscale BMP as heightmap into the Cryengine SDK after the initial setup and installation

3. You may have to "smooth slope" and "smooth" the map over the modify menu, as I myself experienced a "terrace effect" after import.

4. Alter the height map to your needs, its as intuitive as L3DT imho. For adding roads, follow THIS section of the manual.

5. When you are done, export that heightmap as a 16 bit pgm file.

6. Now, convert that pgm file to a 16 bit png that Visitor 3 can read. An easy way to do that is to install IMAGEMAGICK, open up command line in the directory where the pgm file is located (Shift+Rightclick and then select the command prompt option in the cascade menu) and then type: convert x.pgm x.png.

7. Now you simply have to create a project in Visitor 3, while its heightmap shall feature the same dimensions as the just converted png file and export that project's terrain into picture. Then alter the height/cellsize values in the config.pbl to the dimensions you desire and exchange the blank png created by Visitor with the file you just converted.

8. Import terrain from picture and be happy with this easy and totally free method to modify the heightmap (and add roads) :cool:

?di=15137923577814

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Yes, I guess one can skip L3DT, as the CRYTEK SDK has all kinds of terrain modifiers in it (just think of the great jungle levels in all the Crysis titles..they were created with this thing)

The SDK comes with an terrain-autogenerator as well, though I have found Geocontrol 2 to be better when it comes to automated generation.

This thing...is free....and has been there...for years :rolleyes:

PS: One can also use the free Unreal UDK to do roads, though I haven't tested it with Visitor 3. Another world builder with road ability is GROME - unluckily not free of charge (190€). Before I found CRYENGINE, I used Geocontrol's feature to do roads, but compared to CRYTEK SDK, it is a torture.

PPS: Further tutorials on terrain editing with the SDK can be found HERE.

Edited by ZeroG

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LOL we are so desperate that we use OTHER GAMES SDKs to make maps for A2/A3 ;)

I really hope the BIS-Studio Developers READ this and get us some BIS-TOOLS for Arma 3 we can use.

Game is out.... and where is the tools for us moders? Specially us Leveldesigner.

*sadface

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LOL we are so desperate that we use OTHER GAMES SDKs to make maps for A2/A3 ;)

Well, even if we get Visitor 4, the road smoothing/heightmap editing won't be as easy as with the Sandbox.

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Well, even if we get Visitor 4, the road smoothing/heightmap editing won't be as easy as with the Sandbox.

That is true, but I think we all leveldesigner now have our own 3rd part 3D-program to smooth and detail edit the terrain. Nobody should use Visitor for edit the terrain.

;)

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Quick question, anyone got WORKING roads ingame for Arma 3?

Roads that AI can use and has working pathways for AI to follow/use?

Also same for Airfield that AI can use in Arma 3?

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Can the Crytek SDK be told to place gullys/ditches on the sides of roads or does it just level? If it could place ditches to the side of the leveled road, that would be awesome

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Can the Crytek SDK be told to place gullys/ditches on the sides of roads or does it just level? If it could place ditches to the side of the leveled road, that would be awesome

You can adjust quite a lot regarding the paths..unluckily, I will only have time on Saturday evening to checkout further details...maybe check for yourself?

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Can the Crytek SDK be told to place gullys/ditches on the sides of roads or does it just level? If it could place ditches to the side of the leveled road, that would be awesome

The answer to that is really in the cell size of your terrain , because a ditch or rise is mirror with different Z of your road

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If you want ditches in the heightmap (theoretically),

1. Lay the path for the road as you want it, but before adjusting the terrain to it, make it a tiny bit wider and move it down a little and adjust the terrain to that.

2. Move the road up to it's original height again and make it thinner like it's original size, then adjust the terrain once more.

Then there should be a small ditch all along the road. Of course done using cryengine tools and the ArmA terrain must've the cell-size small enough to get such detailed terrain.

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Quick question, anyone got WORKING roads ingame for Arma 3?

Roads that AI can use and has working pathways for AI to follow/use?

Also same for Airfield that AI can use in Arma 3?

haven't thought about it, but you tried wamako island? (in our swedish forces pack). Quite a lot of roads, but don't know if Ai use them.

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Folks, if you should work with CRYENGINE to make roads (I cant think of any other woeless method atm), make sure you always export in 16bit format to keep detail like ditches and spare out terrace effects and such.

At the moment, after I'm done with roads in CRYENGINE , I export the heightmap into *.raw and then use L3DT to convert it to *.png which I then import into Visitor 3. Some waterlevel tweaks might be necessary, but details like ditches etc. and smooth roads are all in! ;)

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@Hey Zero

As i call recall ..in Cryengine editor one could create caves and various stuff with "Voxels"

You believe it's possible to trick the RV engine importing such a map?

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@Hey Zero

As i call recall ..in Cryengine editor one could create caves and various stuff with "Voxels"

You believe it's possible to trick the RV engine importing such a map?

You're better of modeling the cave in 3ds Max or some equivalent.

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I don't think its possible, though I am a complete noob when it comes to such things :-) Thing is that you only export the heightmap from CRY, nothing else. I guess voxels will be stored somewhere else.

You could build a cave with rocks though...

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As you can see in the video..in CRYENGINE it's "easily" done (shame on u BI).

I m wondering if we export a complex terrain (caves and such i mean..) and import it to Visitor if can retain it's complexity.

If anyone still has the SDK..and the experiment will be successful..it will be Revolution!

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As you can see in the video..in CRYENGINE it's "easily" done (shame on u BI).

I m wondering if we export a complex terrain (caves and such i mean..) and import it to Visitor if can retain it's complexity.

If anyone still has the SDK..and the experiment will be successful..it will be Revolution!

No need to do any testing, the only way to create anything underground is to have a hole in the terrain mesh and place a modeled object into that cavity. The RV4 engine, the same as previous, uses a 2D grid with height values for the terrain generation in the game, this means it is not possible to have underground spaces, inset spaces, overhanging features etc without having them as models place on the map.

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The RV4 engine, the same as previous, uses a 2D grid with height values for the terrain generation in the game, this means it is not possible to have underground spaces, inset spaces, overhanging features etc without having them as models place on the map.

Hell, personally, I'd be happy creating tunnels or subways, even bunker objects if I could figure out how to make a hole in the 2D mesh. :)

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So any one really made a good detail heigt map for your island with CryE?

Im not talking about just roads now, the entire island.

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I used it to carve out ditches and smooth sharp triangled edges...

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