Terrain panel

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Note: The Terrain Panel is frequently updated with new features as new versions of HeroEngine are released, so the version in your own release of HeroEngine may appear slightly different.

The HeroBlade Terrain panel allows you to create and modify Heightmap nodes.

For Tutorial Videos check out this forum post: http://community.heroengine.com/forums/index.php/topic,744.0.html

To quickly open the Terrain Panel, click on the Terrain Tool Terrain.png in the Transform Toolbar.

For a quickref of which tools are available, see Terrain Brushes.

For information on how to make, name, and upload new terrain/heightmap textures see Textures.

Contents


Overview

The Terrain panel is one of the more frequently used panels in HeroBlade, and has many different options available. Its primary purpose is to create many different brush effects which can then be used to "paint" a heightmap node. Using the terrain panel, it is possible to do many things including:

Subpanels

The terrain panel also works a bit differently from some of the other HeroBlade panels, in that it has context-sensitive subpanels which appear and disappear depending on which of the Terrain brushes is currently selected. The tools with subpanels are:

Brush Usage and Tools

Brush Density is on the right, Brush Size is on the bottom. The blue square is the Brush Pattern selector.

Brush Size

Shortcut: Middle Mouse Wheel
This slider allows you to adjust the size of the paintbrush used to modify the heightmap. Moving the slider all the way to the left sets the paintbrush to its smallest size, where you will affect one pixel (when dealing with height and bump type of commands), or a very small circle (when dealing with painting type commands). Moving the slider more to the right will increase the size of the paintbrush to cover more area on the heightmap.

Brush Strength

Shortcut: CTRL+Middle Mouse Wheel
Brush Strength allows you to adjust the strength of certain Tools being applied to your heightmap. The effects of Brush Strength vary according to the Tool being used.
  • Texture TextureButton.png
Changes the opacity of the texture being painted. In the case of certain detail textures -- like roads, leaves, sticks, for example -- you would want the strength on the brush to be set to full to avoid creating a "ghostly" pattern.
  • Color VertexPainter.png
Changes the strength of the color being painted. In many cases, you want the Brush Strength set to just above its absolute lowest value in order to avoid overwhelming the landscape with color.
  • Raise/Lower RaiseLower.png
When the brush is at full strength, this brush can very quickly create very high (and very stretched) changes in the terrain. In most cases, you want to keep the strength low when painting with this brush.
  • Soften Soften.png
Affects how dramatically the brush softens a piece.
  • Detail Terrain dyn detail.png
Affects how many dynamic details are placed.
Combining the Brush Size and Brush Density will allow you to better create the heightmap of plans, as you can start off with a large dense brush to cover a heightmap in a base texture, then shrink the brush size down to apply secondary textures to break up the patterning of the base texture. Then reduce the Density of the brush to add more detail textures.

Brush Pattern

The Brush Pattern can be changed by clicking in the Brush Pattern box on the Terrain Panel to cycle through different patterns. Brush Patterns can be used to break up tiling textures, create bumps in the terrain, or to import a precise pattern for the terrain.

There are three options:

Importing allows you to import any texture for use as a Pattern. For example, if you import an image of leaves, then the brush pattern will have the shape of the leaves. You can also any of the individual channels in the image as the brush pattern: Red, Blue, Green, Alpha, or Brightness.

Both Texture and Perlin Noise brush patterns have special settings which can be found in the Brush Panel, below the Texture Panel.
To import a texture as a brush pattern:

/HE/engine/CleanGame/GlobalParticles/Textures/HE_particle.dds

Note: The default texture, and texture directory, for brush patterns is changeable for each world, and can be set via a client configuration value, by modifying HeightmapDefaultBrushTexture.


For further details on the options in the Brush subpanel, see the below section:


The Brush Panel

Terrain-brush-panel.png
The Brush Subpanel is used by the Perlin Noise (the mosaic pattern) Perlin noise dropdown.png and Import (the barcode icon) ImportTextureBrushPattern.png Brush Patterns to adjust their settings.
The individual settings are:
  • Texture
For Import only. Determines what texture is currently loaded into the Brush Pattern. The default texture is specified via a client configuration value, but can be modified by navigating to a different .DDS file in the repository.
  • Fixed to....
  • Cursor
    Fixes the pattern to the cursor, so that the pattern moves with the cursor.
  • World
    Fixes the pattern to Origin, so that the cursor's position is not taken into account when the pattern is applied.
  • Clamp
For Fixed to Cursor on Import only. When you scale the texture so that it is smaller than the area of your brush, it renders the pattern only once. This stops the texture from tiling.
  • Scale
Shortcut: SHIFT+Mousewheel (works with most brushes except Level/Ramp)
Scales the texture. The smaller the number the closer the texture zooms in. The higher the number, the texture zooms out and, if Clamp is not checked, the texture begins to tile.
  • Rotation
Shortcut: CTRL+SHIFT+Mousewheel (works with most brushes except Level/Ramp)
Rotates the texture. In the case of Perlin Noise, this merely changes the pattern.
  • Offset U and Offset V
Offsets the texture so it is not centered on the brush. Direction of Offset is dependent on the Brush Pattern's rotation. Clamp affects this setting.
  • Normalize
Takes the Channel value ranges of the texture and balances them, taking the lowest Channel range to 0 and the highest to 1. Thus, a texture with a lowest opacity value of .05 and a highest opacity value of .95 would have them balanced to 0 and 1, respectively.
  • Invert Values
Inverts the texture's Channel values when selected.
  • Channel....
  • Brightness
Uses a grayscale of the texture's RGB values.
  • Red, Green, or Blue
Exclusively uses the Red, Green, or Blue Channel on the texture.
  • Alpha
Exclusively uses the Alpha Channel on the texture.
  • Use RGB channels for vertex color painting
Uses the texture's colors when vertex color painting on the heightmap, overriding any vertex color currently picked. For a fun example, you may wish to try this with your company's logo, or perhaps a photograph of a movie star which has been saved in .dds format.

Reverse

Shortcut: SHIFT+Left Click
With most Terrain Brushes, this reverses the action. The only brushes this does not work with are Edit Height, Stitch, Split, Clone, Billboards, and Paint Color.
This usage is strictly accessed through shortcuts only, and is not an option on the Terrain Panel.

Apply All

Shortcut: ALT+Left Click
Applies that Terrain Brush to the entire heightmap. Please note that if the "Only Affect Selected" Limiter is not checked, this will apply that Terrain Brush to every heightmap in the area!
Note that SHIFT+ALT+Left Click is Reverse Apply All.
Apply All does not work with the Edit Height, Split, or Billboard Tools.
This usage is strictly accessed through shortcuts only, and is not an option on the Terrain Panel.

Brush Fall Off

  • SoftFalloffBrush.png Soft Fall Off
When using the Soft Fall Off, the edges of your brush will be more feathered. This setting has different effects based on the tool you are using.
  • Texture TextureButton.png and Color VertexPainter.png
Paints with a soft, translucent edge. This makes it good for blending two textures together, as there will be no harsh lines where the two meet.
  • Raise/Lower RaiseLower.png
Creates terrain features with soft, rounded edges. Good for hills and gentle valleys.
  • HeroBladeConicalFalloff.png Conical Fall Off
The Conical Fall Off has sharper edges than Soft.
  • Texture TextureButton.png and Color VertexPainter.png
Focuses the brush's strength toward the center. Good for detail work.
  • Raise/Lower RaiseLower.png
Creates terrain pointed, sharp terrain features. Useful in making lumpy, jagged terrain.


  • HeroBladeNoFalloff.png No Fall Off
Means just that: no (or little) softening. Everything is concentrated where the brush is.
  • Texture TextureButton.png and Color VertexPainter.png
Paints very exact color and texture. Has the least amount of feathering around the edges of the texture. When creating stark contrasts in scenery, or for painting base textures onto a heightmap, the Flat Brush Style is a good choice.
  • Raise/Lower RaiseLower.png
Creates terrain with flattened bottoms or tops. Useful in making steep, squared-off terrain.
Examples created with the Edit Height Tool Edit height.png

Brush Types

Round terrain icon.png Circle
The Circular brush has a soft fall-off, making it good for blending and soft hills.
Square.png Square
The Square brush has a hard shape, making it a good tool for steep, sharp hills and a less subtle blend.

Tool Settings

Show Influence

When Show Influence is checked, then all tools will show you which parts of the terrain that the brush will affect. By default, this is turned on, as there are very few situations where it would be helpful to turn this off.

Slinky

When this checkbox is checked, a blue "slinky" will appear to connect a Terrain Brush that for some reason is not directly above the terrain that is being modified. This may occur in situations where the brush is being moved over very bumpy terrain.

Flash on Select

When checked, this will cause a terrain texture to flash when you select it from the list using the Paint Terrain Brush.

Snap to Vertex

When checked, forces the Terrain Brush to snap to the heightmap's vertexes.

Color Only

When checked turns off all textures, but retains the heightmap's colors. Useful for when you need to eyedrop a previously painted color, or study how another painter has used vertex colors on a map.

Limiters

In this example, the only terrain that can be modified is a set of selected vertices on a single heightmap, between the heights of 41.46 and 41.52, and in a range of slope that excludes anything too flat or too steep.

There are several ways to limit the area where your Terrain Brush will paint:

Slope

The Slope tool can be used to tell your brush which steepness of slope to paint.

The Slope Limiter can narrow the range of slope your brush will paint. When you mouse over a heightmap, you will notice an indicator on the Slope that tells you what angle of slope your pointer is currently at. If you are, say, painting a rocky hill, you probably only want it to affect the sides of your hill. If you pull the handles to those positions, you can tell your brush to only affect those types of slopes.

Additionally, right-clicking on a handle will invert the slope limiter. Right-clicking anywhere else in the square will reset the slope back to default.

Slope-Limiting Feature

Hovering the mouse over the slope-limiter box will cause the relevant terrain to be highlighted in blue. This will make it easier to adjust the slope limits.

SlopeLimit1.png

Limit Altitude

Like the Slope tool, Limit Altitude can be used to limit what your brush will affect. To use it:

  1. Check "Limit Altitude"
  2. Check "Highlight"
  3. Mouse your pointer over the highest altitude you want the paintbrush to affect. Press the + button on your numeric keypad.
  4. Mouse your pointer over the lowest altitude you want the paintbrush to affect. Press the - button on your numeric keypad.
  5. Paint!

To turn off the Limit Altitude effect, uncheck it on the panel.

Highlight

Works with Limit Altitude. When checked, highlights the terrain outside the Limit Altitude ranges in blue.

Selected Node

When the Selected Node checkbox is selected, then all the Terrain Tools will only work on the selected heightmap(s). This option is useful when you want to avoid painting over another heightmap or applying mass changes that you want to ONLY affect one heightmap.

This is especially useful when editing a heightmap that may have another one directly below it. On the other hand, when trying to make two or more heightmaps look like one cohesive piece of terrain, turn it off to sculpt them together. If something below the heightmap makes this impossible, select multiple heightmaps by using control-click.

Selected Vertices

This works with the SEL tool. It is automatically checked when the SEL tool is used to paint or "mask off" a section of the heightmap, and automatically unchecked when the SEL tool "clear" button is used.

Without vertices selected using the SEL tool, checking this limiter makes it impossible to paint on the heightmap.

Soft Slope

Soft Slope is associated with the slope limiter tool directly above it. When turned off, it causes a hard cut off between terrain that is painted within the slope limiter. When turned on, it softly blends between the two.

Terraforming Tools

Direction Limiter Checkboxes

These two checkboxes can be toggled on and off, and work with terrain tools. For example, when the Down arrow is turned off, so that only "Up" is active, then tools such as Edit Height and Soften will only move the terrain upwards, and will not lower anything further than it already is.

Edit Height

Edit height.png

This Tool allows you to manually set the height of the terrain underneath the Edit Height Tool. To use, move the tool over a piece of terrain that you want to raise/lower and left click. Moving the cursor up will raise the selected terrain higher. Moving the cursor down will drop the selected terrain lower.
The size of the terrain that will be affected is determined by the Brush Size Setting.
The degree that the terrain will move up and down is determined by the Brush Density Setting.

Raise/Lower

RaiseLower.png

This Tool allows you to Raise or Lower the terrain underneath the too cursor as you move it. To use, left click over a section of the terrain that you want to Raise or Lower. Then move the tool over the sections of terrain that you want to raise/lower. Left clicking will raise the terrain higher. Shift-Left Click will lower the terrain.
The size of the terrain that will be affected is determined by the Brush Size Setting.
The degree that the terrain will raise/lower is determined by the Brush Density Setting.

Soften

Soften.png
The Soften Tool is used to adjust harsh edges and find a happy medium between two different heights. Place your brush over the section that you wish to Soften, and left click. Slowly move the mouse over the immediate surrounding area. Going over the same place will have more of an effect. Terrain heights within the brush radius are averaged together, softening sharp edges.

Holding down the SHIFT key reverses the effect.

When the Soften Tool is selected, an extra subpanel appears on the Terrain Panel with further options:

Soften 
Default
Hydraulic Erosion 
Simulates the flow of rain over terrain. Slopes steeper than the specified angle are preserved, while shallower slopes are flattened out (with higher terrain moving downward to fill in lower areas).
Thermal Erosion 
Simulates the weathering of terrain by wind or water. Slopes steeper than the specified angle are reduced (with higher terrain moving downward to fill in lower areas), while shallower slopes are preserved.
Unspike 
Fixes single vertices that stand out dramatically either above or below their neighbors. Holding SHIFT changes the rule so that it applies to edges as well as to individual spikes.
Push/Pull 
Creates ripples and impact craters, iteratively pushing downward at each vertex and upward on its neighbors. The overall effect is strongly determined by brush technique. Holding SHIFT reverses the effect, pulling upward at each vertex and pushing down on its neighbors.
Hybrid Erosion 
A combination of Hydraulic Erosion and an edge softening filter (similar to SHIFT+Unspike). The result is a bit more realistic and intuitive than the standard Hydraulic Erosion filter.
Mean Leveler 
Iteratively takes the mean height of all vertices within the entire brush area, and moves all vertices toward that mean. Terrain flows along with the brush a bit like lava or mud, and the result has more character than the Soften filter.
Canyon Carver 
Similar to Mean Leveler, but lowers terrain below the brush's mean height toward the lowest point within the brush area. When applied to hilly terrain, it can create complex canyons and ridges reminiscent of riverbeds cutting through stone.

Level

Terrain level icon.png

The Level Tool, also called the Ramp Tool, is used to set the height of the heightmap to one even height. Left click on a section of the heightmap to set the height that will be leveled to, and drag the brush to level other sections of the terrain to be even with the first part. As the brush moves, the terrain will move up or down, depending if it was higher or lower than the section you originally clicked on.
Note: When you level a section of a heightmap, there can be a wide gap between the higher piece and the lower piece. The texture that is painted on the vertical section connecting the higher and lower pieces can be stretched, and look rather....wrong. To fix this, use the Soften tool to remove the 90 degree angles at the top and bottom.

Stitch Edges

HeroBladeStitchEdges.png

The Stitching Tool is used to mend the differences between two touching heightmaps. Move your brush over the seam between two seperate heightmap nodes and left click. As you move along the seam, the edges of both heightmap nodes will rise/fall and meet in the middle somwhere, so that the connection point is not so flagrantly flat or mismatched.
Note: The stitching tool only adjusts the edges of the heightmap nodes. It does not phyiscally connect them together, make them one heightmap, or parent one to the other. If you move one of the heightmaps, the other will not follow, and you may need to use the stitching tool again to re-do the edges.

Cut/Heal Holes

Terrain cut.png

This Tool allows you to cut or heal holes at the terrain. To cut holes, move the tool over a piece of terrain where you want to cut a hole. Left clicking will cut a hole into the terrain. If you want to heal a hole, move the tool where you want to heal a hole and hold shift and left click.
The size of the terrain that will be affected is determined by the Brush Size Setting.
To create round holes set the Brush to smooth and the Brush Size around 30%. To create rectangle holes into the terrain set the Brush size around 10%.

Split Heightmap

HeroBladeSplitHeightmap.png

This Tool allows you to Split the terrain into multiple heightmap nodes. When the tool is selected, there is a small icon near it. This icon switches the "wall" to Split the terrain.
To use: move the tool over a section of the terrain that you want to Split. Left Clicking will Split the terrain. You can change the orientation of the splitting plane with the Mouse Wheel.
Brush Size and Density do not affect Splitting. Splitting cannot be undone with a SHIFT+Click. It can be undone with CTRL+Z, assuming the Splitting action is in your Undo buffer.


Billboards

Terrain billboard.png

Billboards are used on pieces in the distance to give the illusion of lush growth. They are primarily used with trees and bushes.
To use this tool, left-click a point where you want the Billboard to start. Move your mouse to the next point to add the line of Billboards. Repeat that until you are done with adding Billboards on your terrain. Once you are done, press the ESC key to finish your Billboard painting.
Please note that Billboards must be inclusive to the heightmap they are being placed on. In other words: you cannot start a Billboard line on one heightmap and carry it over to another.
Manipulating a Billboard line can be tricky. Here's how to do it:
Move your mouse over the Billboard point you want to manipulate. Make sure the Billboard tool is selected, and the heightmap you want to manipulate is also selected. When the pointer turns green, you know you're over a point you can change.
  • To delete a point in the Billboard line, move the tool over to the point you want to delete. The pointer will change to green. Hit CTRL+Click to remove that point.
  • To move a point, move the tool over to the point you want to delete. The pointer will change to green. Left-Click and hold, then drag the point to where you want it to go.
  • To add a point in the Billboard line, move the tool over to one of the end points. The pointer will change to green. Hit SHIFT+Click, then move the pointer (which should now be blue) to where you want the new point to go.
There are 4 settings for the Billboards. As with Dynamic Details, these settings are affected by /STYLESET. You will probably never need to adjust these for a LiveContent area.
  • Height: This slider can be used to set the Height of the Billboards that you paint or painted with the BillBoards Tool. This slider will control the actual Height of the Billboard, making it higher or lower.
  • UV Adjust: This slider can be used to set the size of the Billboard that you paint or painted with the Billboards Tool. This slider will control the actual size of the Billboard, making it larger or smaller.
  • Bright: This slider can be used to set the Brightness of the billboards that you paint or painted with the Billboard Tool. This slider will increase and decrease the Brightness of your Billboard .
  • Sink: This slider can be used to sink the Billboards that you paint or painted with the Billboards Tool. This slider will control if the Billboards are sunken into the ground or not.

Terrain Schemes

TerrainSchemes are a set of area-specific terrain settings, stored in a repository file independent of other data. You can use Terrain Schemes to keep terrain settings synchronized between multiple areas, to help maintain a consistent style, and ease building and slightly reduce load times of seamlessly connected areas.


The affected settings are:

  • Textures and texture channel data (UV scale, etc.)
  • Dynamic detail textures/models and channel data
  • Color palette, if any
  • Billboard textures and channel data


HeroBladeTerrainPanelTerrainScheme.png
When no TerrainScheme is active, these options are available:
  • Load TerrainScheme: loads an existing TerrainScheme from the repository, overwriting the area's current settings and marking the area as having the associated TerrainScheme.
  • Make TerrainScheme: create a new TerrainScheme with the current area's settings. You will be prompted for a name, which will be used to build the scheme's filename in the repository.



Terrainscheme2.PNG
When a TerrainScheme is active, none of the affected settings can be edited.  The headers of the Terrain Scheme pane and other affected panes will change color to indicate that a scheme is active and thus the settings are read-only.
  • Release: marks the area as no longer having a TerrainScheme. This allows settings to be edited again.

If you wish to make changes to a TerrainScheme: release it, make your changes, and then remake it with the same name. Any other areas that use the same TerrainScheme will update automatically once the scheme is remade.

Textures, Colors, and Masks

Paint Texture

TextureButton.png Paints a Texture onto a heightmap. Textures are usually predetermined by the area's Styleset. There are two types of textures, the Diffuse texture, which provides the colored image of the texture, and the Bump texture, which controls how the texture reacts to light. See Adding terrain textures below for details on the files to be used for these textures.

Textures have layers that determine their rendering order. Textures in the lowest layer, Layer 1, are rendered first, Layer 2 second, and so on. This allows us to create (say) a grass texture with a road texture on top of it, leaves on top of the road, and sticks on top of the leaves:

It is recommended to keep all solid textures on layer 1, and textures with alpha on other layers.

The more Layers in an area, however, the more rendering time a heightmap "costs", so these Layers should be used with care.

Paint Color

The "Paint Color" subpanel, which appears when the Colorizing terrain brush is chosen

VertexPainter.png

Vertex paints the heightmap using a 2x color multiplier. To use it, select the Paint Color Tool and choose a color from the color wheel. Move the tool over a piece of terrain that you want to color and left click.

The size of the terrain that will be affected is determined by the Brush Size Setting.

The degree that the terrain will be colored is determined by the Brush Density Setting.

You can "eyedrop" another vertex color by CTRL+Left Clicking over a Color-painted piece of terrain. This eyedrop selection "saves" from one area to the next.

Paint Dynamic Detail

Dynamic Detail Tool The Dynamic Detail Tool is split into two types, which are accessed by clicking on the appropriate tab when using the Dynamic Detail Tool:

The options below are for both types. With 63 channels, it is possible to paint many different layers of Dynamic Details in a single area.

Once selected, an additional toggle becomes available in the channel settings of the Grass Tab

DynGlasses.png

While bypass distance is toggled on, the "distance fading" effect is disabled, so that all Dynamic Details can be seen, regardless of their distance from the camera.

Deleting Dynamic Details

You can delete Dynamic Details with the Erase Tool, Eraser.png or you can delete on a per-Dynamic Detail basis by holding down the SHIFT key and left click while moving the Dynamic Painting Tool over the Dynamic Details to be removed.

Modifying Dynamic Details

Channel # Settings (Sliders)

Settings are saved per Channel. This allows you to make different channels not only with different dynamic details, but also with a completely different look and layout.
Density
This slider is for the Density of the Billboards and Meshes that you paint with the Dynamic Detail Tool. This slider will control the number of Dynamic Details displayed in an area. Moving the pointer to the right will increase the number of dynamic details shown on your screen, while moving the pointer to the left will decrease the number. Note: Having the density set high for dynamic details can greatly increase the number of primitives displayed on your screen. This will have a negative impact on performance, and will decrease your frame rate.
Scale
This slider can be used to scale the Billboards and Meshes that you paint with the Dynamic Detail Tool. This slider will control the actual size of the Dynamic Detail, making it larger or smaller. Moving the pointer to the right will increase the size of the dynamic detail, while moving the pointer to the left will decrease the size.
  • Str
The Strength setting for Scale influences how much the Brush's Strength setting affects the Detail's Scale when it is painted. A low Strength means Brush Strength won't affect it at all. A high Strength means Brush Strength affects it a lot.
  • Var
The Variation influences how much the Detail randomizes its scale. A low Variation means very little randomization. A high Variation means a wide range of randomization.
Hue
The Color that will be used for the Dynamic Details. This slider allows you to scroll through the different hues of color that are assigned to the dynamic detail. For example, scrolling on grass may give it a dark green, a vibrant green, or a dead brown color. If Brightness is at 100, this slider has no effect.
  • Var
Randomizes the Hue on the Dynamic Detail. Only Affects Billboards.
Sat (Saturation)
Adjusts the Dynamic Detail's Hue intensity. If Brightness is at 100, this slider has no effect.
  • Var
Randomizes the Saturation on the Dynamic Detail. Only Affects Billboards.
Bright
Controls the Brightness of the color on the dynamic detail. This slider must be nudged around for Hue and Saturation to work.
  • Var
Randomizes the Brightness on the Dynamic Detail. Only Affects Billboards.
Rotation Axis
XYZ – Y – None
Primarily for use with Meshes. Determines which direction the Dynamic Detail faces.
Var Frequency:
This slider controls the "random seed" that all the other Var settings use for their formulas. Adjusting this master variation slider will affect the way that the other sub-var sliders affect Scale, Hue, Saturation and Brightness.
Wind Effect:
Only Affects Billboards. Wind Effect applies movement to the dynamic details, giving it the illusion of moving in the breeze. This slider is dependent on the area's Spec settings; no wind, no movement. A lower value means less movement, while a higher value means more.
Distance
Determines how soon the Dynamic Detail "fades out".
Transparency
Adjusts the transparency of the billboards. Best used to make minor adjustments, depending on the alpha channel of the texture, to ensure that billboards render cleanly and sort properly with other objects and channels. Here are some examples using two dynamic detail channels:
Too little transparency creates a rough outline or halo around the edge of the content.
Trans notenough.jpg
Too much transparency can cause nearly-invisible grass to block the visibility of other dynamic detail channels.
Trans toomuch.jpg
A balanced setting does a fair job of minimizing artifacts.
Trans prettygood.jpg

Dynamic Detail Considerations and Restrictions

Clone

CloneTool.png

Clones Textures, Colors, and/or Dynamic Details (your choice). Use SHIFT+Left Click on the point of terrain you want to set as the Clone point, and then Left Click to paint.
Note that, unlike in a program like Adobe Photoshop, this ONLY clones the point where the tool was located when you sampled the terrain. Brush Diameter and Strength have no influence when you are sampling (but do when you are painting).

Erase Texture/Color/Details

Eraser.png

The Erase Tool allows to you erase texture layers, dynamic details, and colors. You can select which of these you wish to affect in the tool. The tool's options are:
  • Erase Texture Layer 1, 2, 3, and/or 4
  • Erase Dynamic Details
  • Erase Color
  • Erase Dynamic Details
By default, all options are checked.
Please note that this tool is for painting only. To erase holes in the terrain, you need to select the Cut/Heal tool and SHIFT+Click.

Mask/Select Vertices (SEL tool)

HeroBladeSelectVertices.png

Note: The graphic on this button may be different, depending on which version of HeroEngine that you are using.

The Select Vertices tool is used to mask off sections of the heightmap for painting and sculpting. Uses for which it is aptly suited include the building of anything that needs to "cut a swathe" through pre-established areas, such as in the case of roads.

Vertices to be affected can be painted using brush settings, and selectively erased in the usual way (SHIFT+Click). Vertices are always added when painted.

One use for the Vertices Tolerance capability of the tool: by checking Slope and Texture, and setting the tolerance to high, we're able to select the vertices of this road and mask it off for our own evil uses.
In addition to painting the vertices you wish to affect, you can also select them by tweaking the variables of the Vertex Selector and CTRL+Clicking on a section of the heightmap. What you check -- Texture, Vertex Color, and/or Slope -- and the Tolerance you specify will determine how much or how little the tool determines to select.

Directly Set Color can be used to flood-fill a Vertex Color on selected vertices. Because this effect can be fairly dramatic, "Lock" is normally checked on this tool. Unselecting "Lock" will allow you to tint the selected vertices using the SEL tool's color wheel.

You can Invert the mask by clicking on "Invert".

"Clear" will wipe out the mask.

With the exception of the Directly Set Color section of this panel, Undo does not record the tool itself. I.e., if you "Clear" your mask, Undo will not restore it.

Selecting Vertices with this tool causes the Selected Vertices checkbox to be checked under "Limiters". Clicking "Clear" causes it to uncheck.

Import / Export

Hm-importexport.png

Import

The "Import..." button will import a World Machine / Leveller (.ter) or a Raw (.raw) file and use the data to create heightmap geometry.

Export

The Export... button allows you to export the heightmap as a .obj file to be edited in a 3D Editing Program like Max or Maya. This is primarily of use to artists who are building assets to fit the mesh of a particular heightmap.

Transform

Hm-transform.png

Merge/ Regrid

Merge/ Regrid operates on all the currently selected heightmap terrain nodes. Based on the Merge/ Regrid size, it will combine and/ or split heightmaps in order to achieve the specified Merge/ Regrid size. One potentially confusing aspect is that the merge/ regrid unit of measure is the vertex (or pole) count, not the HeroEngine terrain unit.



For example, here are 31x selected heightmaps, each of which are 2x2 units. Coincidentally, since these are the smallest possible heightmaps they consist of 2 vertices, or poles, on both the x axis and z axis.

Hm-31x2x2.png


When they are merged into a single heightmap, the final heightmap is now 32x2.


Hm-1x32x2.png


This is because the "32" indicates the number of vertices, or poles, along the x axis; and, "2" refers to the number of vertices, or poles, along the z axis.



Center Node Position

Recenters movement gizmos (Select and Translate, etc.) to the center of the heightmap selected. Useful after drastic depth and vertical changes to a map.


Tips and Tricks

Copying terrain settings

Terrain brush settings and textures can be copied and pasted from area to area. Styles can also be set to flow on an automated basis from a master area to other "clone" areas. This is done with the /HESTYLESET command.

Adding terrain textures

There are three considerations when attempting to add your own terrain textures:

Shortcuts

Tips

See also

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