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Alpha Maps?

Started by Dandel1984, March 17, 2005, 12:56:27 pm

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i've figured out how to use world Machine 0.99 beta but i can't seem to get my alpha maps out properly... is there a trick to it, or something? i would like to know if it is at all posible to do the alpha maps based directly on the non grayscale/non spectrum settings... and also, where's the setting for greyscale bitmap on the file output. (  needed to make maps for unrealed, since i don't know where the g16 file format is. )


Hi there,

To export a greyscale bitmap, select "Windows BMP". All file output is in greyscale (the colors applied to the landscape are just for viewing in WM, to help visualize the terrain).

I'm not exactly sure what use you're making of alpha maps, could you explain what you need from them more?
-- Stephen Schmitt
- Creator of World Machine


Quote from: RemnantHi there,

To export a greyscale bitmap, select "Windows BMP". All file output is in greyscale (the colors applied to the landscape are just for viewing in WM, to help visualize the terrain).

I'm not exactly sure what use you're making of alpha maps, could you explain what you need from them more?

k... umm... as for greyscale bitmap the image that is actually exported won't import as a usable terrain in unrealed... you can test it with the unreal technology preview release that is available here.

as for what i use the image for you can find details here:

it's hard to explain, but unreal uses alpha maps to put textures to the terrain ( HeightMap).... the more layers you have the more realistic the terrain becomes..

alpha maps for unrealed are texture layering... it's a useful feature for making terrains in most game engines.

and of course, here's some info on the terrain of unreal.

here is a example....
the heightmap color scale for Water And greenlands... it has three main colors, blue, green, and brownish.... those three colors will turn into with ease three alpha maps in unrealed... and with those three alpha maps you can make three texture layers.


You can consider a heightmap as a mask or sort of an alpha map without transparency. Well, transparency is the 0-black area of a mask..
So WM can output greyscale images (aka heightmaps, and aka masks depending on the usage they get afterwards).
I think it may be best to use some image program to adjust files better, is bmp format is not the best for you..

Let me try explaining with an example:
connect a perlin noise to a file output, and save that as "heightmap.bmp". that is your heightmap! now place a splitter in between these two devices, and connect a Height Selector after that Splitter. The outcome of that Height Selector, can be considered a mask, if you plan on using it to control the application of a texture or colour.  If you wanted masks for Sea Water, Beach, grass, Rock and Snow, You can grab the original terrain, connect a Splitter (with lots of outputs), and use watever number of selectoors and other stuff you want to generate de desired masks.
Sea is height = 0
beach is 0 < height <= 0.1
grass is 0.1 < height <= 0.5 and slope < .7
and so on..

But the basic thing is that you need to output each mask separately via a new File Output device.


ok, but still, i think a macro on this is goin to help.


Why do you want a macro ? It would depend on the part of the terrain you want to use as an alpha map :shock:
Only a range of heights ? Use select height.
Only a range of slopes ? Use select slope.
Random parts of the terrain ? Use another perlin noise... Maybe combined with a combiner, maybe with other devices...

Actually there would be as many macros as types of alpha maps ! I would almost say there would be an infinite number of macros, as long as the possibilities of alpha maps are infinite...

Now it's up to you to choose the devices you want to get your alpha map...


Rhalph, yes i know that, but i'm talking about a separator for the color layers...  just take a look at thelittle heightmap window... the color range on that map is great for most maps, and very natural :wink: and anyways, it's a great source to make the neccessary things for the engine... here are some thingsa bout the engine i am usin to map with.

Unreal Engine Notes:
1: it uses a Greyscale Bitmap ( take a look at the files you get with exporting with gimp as a bitmap for windows for a good example, no rle compression of course. )
2: alpha maps to get into unrealed need to be either dds files with dxt5 or dxt3 compression... and/or maybe even none.
3: terrains can and do use alpha maps to apply textures to terrains.

with those 3 things you need to read some epic documentation.
1: the Unreal Technology page about the runtime.
2: get valueble information about the unreal engine through the unreal development network (UDN).
3: the specific udn page discussing terrain alpha maps( Terrain Layers)


I think what you are looking for is here. http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/ These are tools for halflife but they may work. What you are looking for is something similar to Terragens surface maps; .sur. WM does not export anything like this. The masks it exports are for applying the texturs in a different program.
"What forest? All I see are fricken trees"

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