Drawin precise maps


i was wondering if its possible to draw a precise map.

What i mean is creating lets say a 3d replica of some fantasy map you find online.

Hi there,

This is a very popular question, and if you search the forums you’ll find a lot of similar requests. There are many ways to do this! For example:

  • Draw your map in photoshop or similar and import it using the File Input device
  • Use the Layout Generator in World Machine to sketch your world map
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Thank you for the reply i will try the layout generator

I ve spent countless hours solving this a there is only one conclussion. Game map requires lots of style changes on very small place (3 clima types on 10x10km terrain etc…), so: 1) prepare overall shape in photoshop, or in any heightmap editor. 2) prepare individual interesting elements in individual scenes (nice mountain, desert, etc…). Generete these detail scenes in very high resolution and put everything together in other scene . Use layout generator for small corections. If you try to generateeverything in one scene, you will fail.
It is HELL, much much harder than generating just random nice scene and you need to iterate A LOT. So buy really strong workstation, it is only way how to do it and not go insane. But it is possible. One nice looking map is according to my experience cca 1 month of work on full time to achieve beta test level quality for next gen looking game. For production you need to tune small details. And this is also very hard in WM, because these details are visible only in high res builds and it take hours to build 16k+. So you iterating very slowly. So you will probably have job whole game developing cycle :wink:


Great Info thank you.

I was thinking at first to build the whole map at one go.
So what you are saying is create the desert area for instance and combine it with the mountain area in another app like Unreal Engine.

I want my workflow to be World machine (create specific area) -> Substance painter -> Unreal engine -> Add smaller detail in UE4.

I am working on a somewhat similar project, and agree with Demostenes. You are definitely going to want to work on each biome or terrain type separately, then combine them after you have them individually tweaked. With lots and lots of masking and layout generators, you can do the blending in World Machine, but this works much better for things like elevation than it does for things like coloring.

I started with a hand sketch of a continent, with key geographic regions noted (mountain ranges, high plateaus, swamp land, great lakes, etc.) I traced or redrew this in a vector graphics program, then exported the curves as SVG. I imported the curves into WM as the basis of various layout generators. That got me “reasonably precise” locations. Then the hard work began.


Great idea with the vectors.
Is it that hard to layout the entire initial continent by hand in WM?
I was thinking to just scetch the initial layout, texture it in SP then bring it to UE4.
And after that adding on to of that all the various areas like mountains with the same workflow.

It depends on your use case. Simple layout can be done fast, if you want something more complicated, it is better to prepare it outside of WM.

Once I also used approach that I drawed that otside, imported and then used layout generator to manually copy that shape.

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