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  • Interesting thing about VOXlap EDitor... & a short heightmap tutorial.
  •  

    I'd never noticed this before but if you drag a .vxl mapfile onto the icon for voxed... it loads it! And here I was hitting F2+N+N all this time...

    On another note, if you're a mapmaker or interested in making maps for AoS, you probably are already aware of VOXED, the nice little Ken Silverman program in the AoS program folder which you use to make maps. What you might not be aware of is another 3rd-party application that runs alongside it called 'Voxed Companion' by a fellow named Grapist. It remaps some of the keys and generally makes using Voxed a much more pleasurable experience. I recently stumbled over a post by him on the AoS Wiki here:

    http://aceofspadeswiki.com/index.php?title=User:Grapist

    It outlines all of the features, a lot of which I was unaware of, and I highly suggest reading it. You can also find a link for downloading it on that page. Be aware that because of the remapping some of the standard functions of Voxed are unavailable but you can temporarily suspend the hotkeys by right clicking on the icon in your status bar.

    Anyways... been taking a little break from mapmaking lately since it's been so hot but now that it is cooling off I am slowly re-emerging. Glad to see some people running my maps on their servers.

    #65584
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    I know this may make me sound like a COMPLETE noob, but I am wonder how to map a texture to the floor of a vxl file. The only way I figured out to map a texture, was to look at the floor and press "P" it's hardly accurate and looks bad. Hope you can help me.

    #65588
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    No. You're right the [P]roject bitmap function is fairly useless. I've used it for things like the decals I put on the spawn buildings in Urban Tank Fight. But you have to be very precise about the angle you're projecting from or it winds up looking pretty weird. What you want to do is learn how to use Bildramer's heightmap converter. It's a command-line program so you'll have to know how to edit a batch file in notepad. You can find this here: http://ace-spades.com/forums/topic.php?id=2678#post-33730
    Simox gives a nice short explanation of how it works. There's a little bit more here: http://aceofspadeswiki.com/index.php?title=Mapping#Heightmap_Creation

    Basically, you make one 512X512, 24-bit bitmap and that is going to be your texture. For the actual height data it looks at a second bitmap. I usually take the first bitmap, convert it to grayscale and add some gaussian blur. Water is black (0,0,0) and if you want a hard edge between the land and water you'll have to make sure your heightmap is UN-aliased. Anyways, the name this one the same as the first but with an 'h' at the end so you can tell them apart. Then go edit the batch file in the bin/bct folder and change the filenames to reflect the ones you chose. Run the batchfile and a new file called 'map.vxl' should appear in the folder. Load that into voxed and away you go! Screw around with it a bit and you'll figure it out. ;-)

    Hopefully some of this info helps. Cheers!

    #65594
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    I need to know how to project the actual texture onto the map, when I tried that out some time ago, my map ended up looking like modern art.

    #65597
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Um... I just outlined exactly how to do that. Probably you just loaded a photo in and, yes, it will spit out a spiky, abstract sculpture, impossible-to-use map. Gaussian Blur on the heightmap is the key. It smooths out the differences. Using that procedure you should be able to make a map out of virtually ANY photo.

    #65600
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Very well, I will try that method soon, thanks for the tip, I hold you as one of the best map makers on AoS

    #65604
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    So here... I decided to make some examples.
    I used google image search and found a suitably-ridiculous image: http://i.imgur.com/pk8sE.jpg
    It happened to already be 512x512 resolution so no need to resize it.

    Then I loaded that into photoshop and, because it was a JPEG, converted it to a BMP and made sure it was 24-bits, and saved it as 'obamatoast.bmp'. Then I converted to grayscale. Grayscale bitmaps are only 8-bit...hmm... okay, so reconvert it back to RGB (as in, COLOR) but keeping it grayscale. I save that as 'obamatoasth.bmp' [http://imgur.com/IAbgB]

    Then in the heightmap (bin) program folder I edit the batch file to read converth.exe obamatoast.bmp obamatoasth.bmp and save that and double click it. After a few seconds this is the map that emerged...

    http://i.imgur.com/UV3yf.jpg

    Hmmm! The overhead view map looks just like the original image... but at ground level it's just a spiky unplayable mess of a map.

    So... back to photoshop. Take that heightmap grayscale image and apply Gaussian Blur (if you don't have photoshop, fear not, for gaussian blur is pretty standard in most image editing packages)... You should wind up with this: http://i.imgur.com/WceCO.png

    Now go back and repeat the batch file process and you should wind up with something more reasonable... like this:

    http://i.imgur.com/NMPBb.jpg

    Ah! Much more reasonable! For those interested in playing a game of AoS on President Obama's face on a piece of toast, here's the map: http://filesmelt.com/dl/obamatoastmap.vxl

    That make sense? And thank you, compliments will get you everywhere! ;-)

    #65609
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Is it possible to map it out on a FLAT floor, not turn it into a bunch of dunes and hills. I am pretty sure that process is possible in Voxed? I just haven't figured it out yet.

    I appreciate your efforts of typing and giving examples, just not exactly what I was looking for.

    #65615
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Yes. Simple. You'd just have the heightmap all be ONE solid color. Complete black would be water and full-on white would be 64 blocks deep. Or pick a shade of gray if you want something somewhere in the middle. You would then just have the heightmap program map the texture file onto a flat heightmap. Easy!

    #65621
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    No, the MULTI colored texture gets mapped on a FLAT wall.
    Thanks for the help so far my friend.

    #65633
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    You're welcome but I have no idea what you're trying to say. Are we talking horizontal or vertical? Obviously the heightmap is going to be horizontal. For mapping an image/texture onto a vertical surface I am pretty sure you're stuck with the P command and a lot of trial and error. There is also the V command to load a .PNG file's colors as a procedural texture but I haven't used that much if at all.

    #65641
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Image this, you are inside a cube, the wall beneath you is the floor, the other walls are the sky, you want to take a poster, and paste it on the floor, flat.

    Another example, going high up, look down, and use the p command, to paste a image,

    I am just wondering if there is a more efficient and accurate opinion then the P command.

    #65645
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    In the heightmap converter you could always do something like this: http://i.imgur.com/3kCO9.png

    Obviously you can't do this in a map you've already started with this method.

    Now that I am thinking about it I am pretty certain that there is a heightmap creator hidden somewhere in voxed and I triggered it accidentally while making a map a few months back but I can't seem to find it listed in the voxed help file. But it doesn't create solid terrain but rather a shell-like structure.

    So... try the V command. It will load a PNG file as a texture and then map that onto whatever you're modeling in voxed. Try making a big flat slab with two numbered cursors (hit the space bar to add those... use two to define the opposite corners of the slab) then hit Insert and you should see your PNG file mapped onto the slab you've created. Use the numpad + and - to cycle through the procedural textures. I don't know much more about it than that. So you'll probably have to fiddle around with it. I think the procedural textures may be limited to 256x256 resolution.

    #65652
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    How do i resize an image to 512x512?

    #65654
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    You stretch it like rubber. :-P

    You resize it using an image editor. Pretty basic stuff.

    #65657
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    I cant get it to 512x512 with gimp. Any other free image editors that resize images?

    #65658
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    http://www.aviary.com/ is an online editor that has a resize function. But I find it sort of difficult to believe that GIMP is unable to do this. You might need to uncheck a "contrain proportions" option or something like that.

    #65660
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    It doesnt scale it to 512x512. It modifies either x or y idk why.

    #65662
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Here's a link that shows in detail how to do it in GIMP. You're using Scale Image right? http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/11503.html

    Nite the part where it says If you don't want the aspect ratio to be maintained, simply click on the "chain" icon. Click on the chain thing.

    #65663
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Now it works.. my image looks funny but works. What is the best way to colour my heightmaps?

    #65665
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Yeah. Resizing an image without maintaining the aspect ration will result in some weirdly proportioned images.

    As for heightmap colors. In the color picker RGB 0,0,0 [BLACK] is water. RGB 256,256,256 [WHITE] is going to be the top of the map and 64 blocks deep. RGB 12,12,12 (which looks black but is ever so slightly a shade lighter) will be one diggable block deep. If I remember correctly it goes in factors of 12 for each block up from water.

    #65668
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Ok my post was unclear. I mean I dont want a black and white map. How do i make it more colourful.

    #65669
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Open your Height map and color it in GIMP, photoshop or any other image editing program. Then save it as "mymap_colored" for example. Then convert it with bit map converter.

    Best way would be to edit example.bat and type in stuff like this:
    converth.exe mymap_colored.bmp mymap_heightmap.bmp

    Save it, exit it and double click it.

    #65749
    SIMOX
    Modifier
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    what would be the result for that? colored map? and how do i change grayscale to rgb?

    #65752
    [EX]SneakyBastard
    Bastard
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    A colored map with hills and slopes. To change from grayscale to rgb you have to create a new file and select RGB colors in advanced settings (if you are using GIMP). Then copy your greyscale map (heightmap) over to the new file and then you should be able to color it.

    #65761
    SIMOX
    Modifier
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Thanks for filling in, Simox. I had to go do some actual (gasp!) work! ;-)

    #65796
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    MegaDeuce is Votebumping this thread
    Reason: Awesomethread

    #71485
    MegaDeuce
    This is not a title.
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    /y

    #71514
    KomradeTyler
    Kosmonaut
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    Thanks for this thread!

    I have some really nice stuff i will share as soon as I finish uploading...

    #71629
    JoJoeStinky
    Stinkious Maximus
    Posted 9 years ago
     

    I'm glad this was of some help to people.

    #71715
    Buffet_of_Lies
    Cartographer
    Posted 9 years ago
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