Terrain tutorial - Part 2

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He beginner.png

Tutorials in this series:

Colorizing terrain



Painting techniques

As a general rule for area design, keep in mind that when it comes to colorizing terrain, a little goes a long way.

Sampling existing colors

It is possible to sample colors that have already been used to paint a heightmap.

Note that this method only works for colors that have been painted onto a heightmap. To sample a texture, a different tool is needed, the Clone Tool, CloneTool.png which will be covered below.

Fading colors

Start with a heightmap that has already been painted with various colors


Importing a Brush Pattern

Of the three types of brush patterns, we have covered the "Solid" Brush Pattern, Solid.png and the "Perlin" Brush pattern, Perlin noise dropdown.png which gives more natural fractal shapes.

The third kind of Brush Pattern, is Import, which lets you select any texture file you wish as the pattern to use for the brush. This might be useful as a "rubber stamp" to make repeating patterns of color or terrain, along with other uses. Textures could be anything from a geometric pattern, to an image of leaves, to a company logo or even a photograph of a place or person.

In this section of the tutorial, we will:

  • Import the HeroEngine logo as a brush pattern
  • Stamp the image in color on a heightmap
  • Raise and lower terrain in the same pattern as the logo.

Using an imported brush pattern to colorize


Using a brush pattern to raise terrain

The brush pattern can also affect the raising and lowering of terrain. In the following example, the HeroEngine logo will be used to make a brush pattern which creates hills and valleys on the heightmap in the shape of the logo.

At this point, your heightmap may look like the following (it may be slightly different depending on other settings in the terrain panel):

An example of the kind of effect that can be achieved by setting a logo (in this case the HeroEngine logo) as the brush pattern. For practice, you may wish to try this with your own logo! Just have your artists save the logo in a .dds file, and import it to a folder in the Repository where you can find it.

For further practice, you may wish to try other DDS textures at random from the repository, and see what they look like when you use them to raise and lower terrain. Or, try dealing with terrain that already has hills and valleys, and see what an imported brush texture does to that terrain, versus starting with flat terrain.


See Terrain Tutorial - Part 3

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