Heightmap nodes

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For detailed instructions on the various options available, see Terrain Panel

Heightmap nodes are fundamental assets used in Area creation, which can be created either via the Create menu, or, more commonly, via the Terrain panel, which can also be used to provide terrain, such as mountains and valleys. Heightmaps provide a basic "floor" for an area, upon which other models (buildings, trees, bridges, etc.) are placed.

Contents

Creating a Heightmap

  1. Open the HeroBlade Terrain Panel
    • If you do not see the Terrain panel, then check your Panels Menu to ensure it is selected.
  2. In the Terrain Panel, click on the Create Heightmap button CreateHeightMapButton.png
  3. A heightmap will appear in the viewpoint, with the default texture for new heightmaps (probably either a checkerboard, or perhaps a grassy texture, but perhaps something different depending on how your world is configured).
A basic heightmap, with no texture assigned or other changes

To create multiple height maps, click on the Grid button next to the "Create Heightmap" button, and select the size of territory to be created.

Heightmap nodes can be duplicated just like any other node.

Modifying a Heightmap

BrushPattern.png
See also: Terrain brushes

For just one example:

For further examples of what can be done with the Terrain panel, see:

Heightmap textures

Each heightmap layer uses two possible textures at a time, one for how it looks, as in which image is displayed, and one for the "bumpiness".

Any .dds file can be used as a Diffuse or Normal texture, by simply adding the _d.dds or _n.dds suffix; however it is usually best to use textures that have been specifically designed for the proper purpose. By default, the "Select Texture" dialog will display only textures with the proper suffix.

Terrain textures must be placed in the correct Location: the 'select texture' dialog looks in \World\LiveContent\TerrainMaps\ and its sub-directories for terrain textures. Make sure to add your textures there, or they will not be found by the select texture dialog.

Changing the default texture

When first created in Clean Engine, Heightmap nodes have no textures, and may appear as a checkerboard. To set a default texture:

Occlusion

There is nothing special you have to do in order for Heightmaps to act as occluders. A Heightmap is automatically broken into chunks of a particular size (say 8 by 8 grid cells, but this might change) which each act as an individual object that both has a write and test model. In other words, each chunk can be individually culled and can block things behind it. Note that it cannot block things that are inside of the chunk in question (that is, standing on it).

Ideally you want to sculpt your land to give as many opportunities for heightmap terrain to occlude as possible. Make tall hills/mountains that players cannot get on top of so that it will occlude things on the other side.


Paths and Heightmap nodes

Heightmap nodes are used as part of the Path Planning System, which uses the vertices of a heightmap mode to help generate a path from Point A to Point B. This data is gathered on the client and then sent to the server via buttons and switches on HeroBlade's Path Planning panel.

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