Terrain: A Quick Start Checklist

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DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
751
0
0
Hi,

I posted this on the AfterHourz forums a while back.

We didn't include a terrain tutorial in the SDK because it's pretty much a general UEd thing and there are other tut's available. That said, I'm constantly forgetting how to add terrain, so I keep this little check list around. It might help you guys here as well.

<Clipped from AfterHourz forums>

As a follow up, here's what I do to quickly add terrain:

1. Subtract a world cube (more duh, eh?)
2. Add a zoneinfo actor.
3. Set it's bTerrainZone property to True in the ZoneInfo group
4. Open the terrain editor dialog.
5. Click on the little button with the blank page icon down in the lower left corner.
6. Fill in the following:

Package: myLevel
Group: Terrain
Name: heightmap
xsize: 256
ysize: 256
height: 128

hit ok

7. Find a texture to use as the base for your terrain. Select it.
8. Back in the terrain dialog, go to the Layers tab. Select the first undefined layer and hit "New". Fill in the following:

Package: myLevel
Group: Terrain
Name: Base

Click on the AlphaFill property, click on the '...' and select pure white.
Hit ok

9. Now, select "Select" in the Tools list and then go to the "Misc" tab up top.
In the Misc tab enter:

Steps: 1
Strength: 50
Check "Use entire Heightmap"
Then hit Build.

You should now see the terrain with some random levels in it. Rebuild and save the level and off you go.

</Clipped>

Hope this helps.
 

WickedPenguin

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
669
8
0
Miami, FL
ut2004.wickedpenguin.com
One thing which I've found that saves on a lot of time is creating a "starter map" with the following:

* Large subtracted cube
* Several Terrain Actors (in various sizes - 128x128, 64x64, 256x256)
* Sunlight Actor
* ZoneInfo Actor
* Skybox with fogring and Skydome
* ROLevelInfo Actor

These are all things needed in pretty much every RO map, so I just have a starter map with these already set to go. That way, I don't have to repeat the basic process every time I start a new map.
 

DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
751
0
0
WickedPenguin said:
One thing which I've found that saves on a lot of time is creating a "starter map" with the following:

* Large subtracted cube
* Several Terrain Actors (in various sizes - 128x128, 64x64, 256x256)
* Sunlight Actor
* ZoneInfo Actor
* Skybox with fogring and Skydome
* ROLevelInfo Actor

These are all things needed in pretty much every RO map, so I just have a starter map with these already set to go. That way, I don't have to repeat the basic process every time I start a new map.

I do the same thing. Which is why I'm always forgetting how to set up terrain. :)
 

Divinehammer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 9, 2006
1,397
6
0
Sunny, Obamalot
WickedPenguin said:
One thing which I've found that saves on a lot of time is creating a "starter map" with the following:

* Large subtracted cube
* Several Terrain Actors (in various sizes - 128x128, 64x64, 256x256)
* Sunlight Actor
* ZoneInfo Actor
* Skybox with fogring and Skydome
* ROLevelInfo Actor

These are all things needed in pretty much every RO map, so I just have a starter map with these already set to go. That way, I don't have to repeat the basic process every time I start a new map.

It would be awesome if you posted a template like this somewhere. I suggest Map orchestra but just somewhere we can all get it that would boost the community I think.
 

Elton

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 5, 2006
113
5
0
Divinehammer said:
It would be awesome if you posted a template like this somewhere. I suggest Map orchestra but just somewhere we can all get it that would boost the community I think.

I second that proposal!

BTW: Jason Busby's Mastering Unreal Technology : The Art of Level Design is a great book for the modders library
 

DeV

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
636
2
0
35
Netherlands
Divinehammer said:
It would be awesome if you posted a template like this somewhere. I suggest Map orchestra but just somewhere we can all get it that would boost the community I think.

Elton said:
I second that proposal!

BTW: Jason Busby's Mastering Unreal Technology : The Art of Level Design is a great book for the modders library

I'd say make the template map and post it somewhere..

BTW: The book is a nice read indeed.
 

Divinehammer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 9, 2006
1,397
6
0
Sunny, Obamalot
Earlier I also tried to get a collection of prefabs together and post those. These prefabs being along the same lines as the template. Like a prefab for a spawn point and one for objective(not sure if these are possible). Also a prefab for 4 different kinds of skybox.
 

BobCobb

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 24, 2006
289
0
0
Any tips on how to get rid of that tiled feel of the terrain? I have been painting the damned textures all night and I can't seem to get rid of it.

Also, how do you do those nice roads in Arad?
 
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DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
751
0
0
The terrain will always looked tiled from far above. Before you get too carried away painting, check it out in game. From ground level it might look just fine.

As for the roads, those are projectors. If you look in the map you'll see them all aligned over the road area.
 

Divinehammer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 9, 2006
1,397
6
0
Sunny, Obamalot
here are some problems that i am having,
First How big do you guys make your world cubes
Second I have made a world cube lets say 50000 square Then I go into make my terrain and I can build it but it is but a small island in the entire world cube so how do I make the Island bigger?
 

DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
751
0
0
If you look in the terrain actor there's a x, y, and z scale (may be called u,v,w scale). You can increase that to increase the size of the terrain.
 

Divinehammer

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 9, 2006
1,397
6
0
Sunny, Obamalot
That answers that question now what size of world box do most mappers use. My middle mouse button does not work because it is mapped to something else. So I am looking for a general Idea. Thanks.
 

DingBat

FNG / Fresh Meat
Nov 21, 2005
751
0
0
I tend to make my world cube at least 64000 uu's. Btw, it's best to think in terms of "power of 2" lengths to avoid running into issues when it comes to UEd.

It actually doesn't matter if your terrain doesn't fill your world cube. The players won't notice it. In fact, you should remove any terrain the players can't see to reduce the performance load.
 

BobCobb

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 24, 2006
289
0
0
How do I remove the base layer off of the terrain? I did it once, with CTRL-RMB when I had the base layer selected, but now I cannot do it anymore. UnrealWiki yields nothing.
 

Chernuk

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 29, 2006
161
0
0
BobCobb said:
How do I remove the base layer off of the terrain? I did it once, with CTRL-RMB when I had the base layer selected, but now I cannot do it anymore. UnrealWiki yields nothing.

There is a delete button to the right of the layers tab in the TerrainEditor. Doesn't that work?
 

BobCobb

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 24, 2006
289
0
0
Yea, but it deletes the entire base_layer, not what I want. I was asking how to delete the portions of the terrain that will not be seen and do not need to be rendered, for performance reasons. Take a look at arad, theres nothing in those thar trees.
 

Chernuk

FNG / Fresh Meat
Apr 29, 2006
161
0
0
Sorry, I misunderstood what you were asking.

You want to use the Visibility tool in the terrain editor. Its the 7th one from the top. CTRL+LMB and CRTL+RMB makes the terrain appear and disappear (or vice versa). I find it best to use this tool in wireframe mode.

After removing a portion of the terrains visibility and you want to have a smooth edge, try using the edge turning tool.
 

Crube

FNG / Fresh Meat
Mar 20, 2006
56
0
0
BobCobb said:
Yea, but it deletes the entire base_layer, not what I want. I was asking how to delete the portions of the terrain that will not be seen and do not need to be rendered, for performance reasons. Take a look at arad, theres nothing in those thar trees.

That's the visiblity tool in the terrain editing menu. You can basically cut holes in the terrain with it.