For this week, we're going to do something stupidly simple. The theme is: "StarCraft II - A New Dawn". What does this mean? Simple - I'm going to try and see if I can compile a new terraining tutorial for LotV with some simple tips and tricks on how to make a good looking terrain. In order to do this, I need your help. Rather than making a terrain this week, I'd like you all to post any tips, issues or ideas that come into your mind and that you feel should be in this tutorial. This will make it easier for me to write something proper up. Screenshots of terrain to illustrate are welcome!
Whatch out, I'm coming with some stuff. If you want to compile all the info and write something good and concise, I'll post what i wrote on my own that is like... way too long for what it tells. I think... instead of "reading" it should be more visual of what does what.... yeah. I'm coming........ :D
Here is what I wrote yesterday thinking this would become a tutorial. I found out that it's a bit massive and need to be separate in sections as much as possible to allow skipping steps you already know. However, I wish this to become much more visual than reading as an image's worth a thousand words, right? So, Moz, do whatever you want with this if you believe it can be usefull. I went through all tools and stuff of the terrain editor but it lacked a bit of imaging... I just don't know how to well incorporate them on this forum that uses WikiCreole. I'd rather do an html page with table, text on one side, images on the other one, or a flash tutorial that you can explore and see basic animations...
Welcome to an in-depth tutorial for terraining. I will go through all the tools, hotkey, tricks, etc, you can use to improve your map to the next degree of perfection. I will be giving thoughts and ideas all along the tutorial and will spread the information into sections, pages, and add as many images to explain everything.
Creating a new map
You have an idea? Is it a fully thought idea? For example, do you know what kind of terrain you want to create, what textures you want to use, what cliffs you want to use, what you want to terrain; a forest, a volcano, a river, a space platform, a terran base, a protoss city...? Well, you can take a look at http://www.screference.op74.net/ to answer some of your questions. If you don't know, it's fine too.
At this point you can do "File > New". Most maps you create will most likely be "Melee Map". Press Next. Select the latest expansion to allow you using the newest models. Press next. You can now pick how big you want your terrain to be from 32 to 256. I suggest you start with the small value and scale up as you need it during terraining. You can now select the starting texture set. You can leave Base Height as default 8 and then press OK.
To change textures, you have to go in the Data (F7) > press the + > Edit Terrain Data > Terrain Types. ( http://i.imgur.com/Icc2ERE.png ) Then you find the terrain set you picked when you created the map. If you don't remember, you can go in "Map > Textures" and you will see "Current Texture Set". Once you have your terrain type selected, scroll to "Textures - Blend" and double click the values on the right part. ( http://i.imgur.com/B1ZcNzT.png ) Then you can remove values from the right part and add new one from the whole list of textures on the left.
I want to point out that the first texture on your map might be slightly buggy if you try to change it. By buggy I mean not being able to paint the texture on the terrain. Also, you might require to reload the map after having modified these values. You must understand that you cannot change those again later on when you used the texture that you change. It could works, but most of the time it creates issues if you change a texture already used.
Back to the terrain with the "Texture" in Brush. You have access to 7 Operations. You can Add, Remove, Uniform, Replace, Smudge, Blur and Fill. In general, you can achieve pretty much most of what you want with simply the Add operation. However, I've found out that the other operation can have a very good usage. ( http://i.imgur.com/NQ97o9O.png )
Remove Texture: It is useful to remove textures from a group of textures without messing up all the other textures. For example, with rocks in grassy textures, if you find out that the rocks doesn't fit well, you can remove one texture at a time. Even though it looks great, I personally don't use it alot. ( http://i.imgur.com/7DIaFW4.jpg - http://i.imgur.com/A13SPcz.jpg )
Fill Textures: It is useful to fill very large area with a temporary texture until you mix new one. I personally don't like it at all as it makes very rough edges so you have to pass again all around the filled area. It can "Fill Within" a new operation for all fill tools. It is based on different area type like creep, region, pathing... Could be useful to not fill a whole cliff level but just what you need. Note this is not perfect, but it does a general good rough job. ( http://i.imgur.com/TOSnKEP.jpg )
For most of the Operations you can choose the "Increment" (how thick it is painted), "Size" (size of the brush), "Speed" (how fast it is changing the Increment, a fast value with a smaller increment is more precise overall), "Shape" (how the brush is shaped, very useful for diagonal or straight lines), "Style" (how the brush interact with the other textures. The airbrush is the most used one, but the noise one can be very useful for mixing textures such as protoss bricks and grass to make the bricks look mossy), "Falloff" (how big you want the fade effect, it also changes the shape of the noise)
Even though you can use up to 16 textures, only 8 can interact at once. The barrier between both texture set looks ugly and the only way to fade textures into each other is to use original ideas, using doodads, foliage, and what not... ( http://i.imgur.com/PigKWC1.jpg )
Painting terrain height
With the height brush you can raise, lower, uniform, noise and smooth the terrain height. In melee maps, this is rarely used in the "playable" area to prevent any confusion. It can be used in dead zones though. It is pretty straight forward. You can raise a bit, then use the uniform to create a plateau and then use the smooth to smooth the hill. You can use a bit of noise mixed with smooth to create irregular mountains. Note the terrain grid is divided into small triangles, but at small scale trying to change the height might look very sharp and ugly. ( http://i.imgur.com/VZLCetM.jpg - http://i.imgur.com/4AJd0PP.jpg - http://i.imgur.com/x3N3OPt.jpg )
With the cliff brush you can raise, lower, same level, add ramp and remove ramp. You can have 3 pathable level (Neutral, level 1, level 2) and one very low ground level, where on some terrain type this level is hidden such as space station. ( http://i.imgur.com/didu49P.jpg ) You cannot place ramps on the very low ground level. You cannot have more level. On every pathable level you can place ramp in vertical, horizontal or diagonal toward their direct next level. You cannot put a ramp to go from level 2 to neutral. Ramps uses alot of space and might deform your cliff level when trying to place one. Make sure your Size is at least 2 to make it easier to place. Doing undo to placing ramps can often result in visual glitch with the cliff, don't panic, try to use the "Same level" operation around the gliched wall and it should fix itself. ( http://i.imgur.com/S6JA1Oo.jpg - http://i.imgur.com/npMjEmD.jpg - http://i.imgur.com/ZLjmd9C.jpg ) and if you mess too much with ramps or try to make them too much close they will bug. ( http://i.imgur.com/gtXAWbA.jpg )
Thx. The idea is, there are so many things required to make a terrain look good from texture to doodad placement and combinaison originality, camera with Depth of field, data dog, doodad environment effects, lighting, region lighting...and usefull tricks like in the console "texuvset" to change the texture repetitiveness... just... meh if we can achieve to make a BIG overall terraining tutorial that any would go through and have a good idea of what to expect and have a good reference for ANYTHING about terraining something... that would be a very great success and would have a huge utility for newcomers.
The wiki has a bunch of very concrete information. 'What does the blur texture function do'? That kind of stuff. What I'd like to create is something more aimed at the aesthetics. How to make a terrain look good? What kind of tricks can you use for this? Artsy stuff, basically.
So more rounded around the example of type of terrain? And tips... like idk... "not spreading equally all the doodads, instead create cluster of doodads with some kind of paths" or "always start a terrain as small as possible and focus on one thing at a time then enlarge the map as you need" or tips about "how to make a terrain looks like inside a building?"...
Well, let's say more generally, "How to terrain all the WTEs?" After all these years, we've been through many many many type of terrain and ideas... so it's all about grouping up all the ideas?
That's cool to know... so basicly you would need a 3rd texture set with like 4 textures from the first set and 4 textures from the second set. Then you can have transitional textures. But even there it would be slightly tricky to make everything look decent, just a bit easier.
It dosent always work like he suggest on the forum FOGLY LINES i call them cause they are so fracking hard to hide.
Finally my i will have some days off this coming week. I will be making a video on those lines and how to get rid off them and most of all hide them.
Wargirl, if you use a transition texture set, it works flawless. You could have some different tileset for different transition, but it stays the same technique.
Here is an example. If you use only 2 texture sets and try to combine them, it makes what you see in the 2nd picture below. But if you create a new texture set, add 4 of the textures from the first set and 4 of the 2nd, you can now have more possibilities to blend them together like shown in the 4th and 5th pictures. You do not see any "square" it's all well blended together.
Note; Just saw your facebook link. I added you, if you wish so.