Individual heightmap exporting

Hi all.
I’m new to WM and terrain creation tools in general, but I have a very specific question about heightmaps.
Let’s consider that I have the final result of a mountain with snow - is it possible in WM to individually export a “base ground” only heightmap (just the dirt), a “rocks” only heightmap (boulders and big rock formations) and a “snow” only heightmap (notice that I’m not talking about colormaps/masks)?
The idea is to import the individual maps to Zbrush and further sculpt/refine them.
Thank you.


Hey, I’m having a bit of trouble understanding what you’re requesting.

Do you mean the following?

Let’s say you have a terrain, and you use the Snow node to add snow to it. You now want to export a heightmap of the “base” terrain, without snow, and an export of the terrain with snow. Or just the difference?

I’m also a bit puzzled. If you want to export the heightmap before applying the effects, wire the heightmap output to each separate heightmap exporter. I’m not sure on how to export masks with depth as a mesh, but I can probably figure that out. If you could reply to me for further clarification that’d be great.

Yes, distinct heightmaps, but, if possible, like this:

  • ground (without any rocky formations) heightmap -> the idea is to reconstruct the holes left by the rocks and import it into UE4
  • the rock formations heightmap -> the idea is to import it to Zbrush and sculpt/refine them and then import them as separate meshes into UE4
  • the snowed area heightmap -> the idea is to animate it in a snowing scene from 0% snow to 100% (this heightmap)
    The heightmaps must have all the nodes in place - the final result.
    Thanx for the fast response. :slight_smile:

Ah, I see what you mean now.

  • ground -> wire the heightmap before you do any snow or rock formations to a heightmap export
  • Rock formations -> combiner on absolute differences to extract the areas where the rocks are, or wire the heightmap right before you do the snow.
  • The snowy area -> export the final heightmap, and also export the snow mask by wiring the snow depth to a select height, then selecting from 1meter to max height.

So, that’s a yes. All I need now is to learn WM, eh eh.
Is it possible to show me a simple example of the 3 heightmaps? Nothing to fancy and only if you have the time for it.
Thanx again.


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Sorry for the late response but here is a world I cobbled together to show what I think you want.
PMFR example terrain.tmd (530.8 KB)
(This world was made on build 4016)

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It’s also possible to mask the mesh output device, that way you can export directly as a mesh sections of the mesh you want to edit in Zbrush

Delta_Research, thank you for the example.
The snow output is as I expected - it includes everything AND the snow height (this will be my 100% heightmap).
The rock formations output are only displaying random ‘bumps’ everywhere and not every single rock formation like the big cliffs and such.
Perhaps I’m asking too much, maybe no terrain creation tool can actually differ rocks from dirt?
Thanx again for the effort, I really appreciate it.


Ohhh, so you meant only the rocky areas? Sorry for the misunderstanding :sweat_smile:

I can get an updated file exporting the bumps (tiny boulders) and also the rocky areas of the terrain.

Every rock formation - boulders, rocky cliffs, tors, rocks on beaches, stone runs, etc.
List of rock formations
I’m sorry for not explaining myself more clearly. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Thanx again.


An update: So after thinking about this more “rocky” areas are actually user-defined :sweat_smile:
This is because no terrain software predefines rocky and dirt areas and the user needs to define them whether it be via a combination of masks or extracting certain details from the terrain.

Usually when I do my texturing I use select slope and subtract masks/multiply them to create the final rocky area mask for my texturing.

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Right. That’s what I thought.
Thanx for the effort, I appreciate it.


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No problem! Feel free to ask about world machine any time!