View Full Version : Middle Earth DEM Project

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12-27-2007, 07:17 PM
Hi, monks from ME-DEM here.

This is a series of zooms taken in World Machine Pro 2.0 beta's Explorer mode (in which you get to fly about your terrain!). The terrain is the Misty Mountains from J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (modelled for the ME-DEM Project):

It's kinda modelled on the European Alps via networks of ridges and valleys.

The first zoom is rough but this should give you a sense of the scale of this range. It's around the same length as the Alps as it happens. Imagine the areas around the range fully modelled, hills, river courses, forests, etc

In the next shot we start to see the macro structure. I've still some work to do on those- such as making certain areas higher in elevation than others- not just differentiating elevation along networks. The area around Moria (Caradhras, et al) will be more discernible as a bulge.
Also, getting the river valleys and rivers to flow naturally into the surrounding and will really help knit the terrain scene together-. Control over river flow is one of the aims.
The eastern flank (top) should rise dramatically from the plain. The western slopes will tumble down more gradually by way of the Ettenmoors, Trollshaws, etc.

The flat area to the north going off screen is the area prepped for the Grey Mts, ...here be dragons.:!:


As you can see the valleys tend to be a uniform altitude which is wrong really- that's next on the list: finish off valleys.


This is a nice area.


Coming in to land!


The aim is to integrate this terrain into a huge map. Hope you like! :)
Merry Crimbo!


12-27-2007, 08:20 PM
what is the pixe resolution (10m right now?) that you are aiming for and are you going after a LANDSAT feel or an Iconos? I am REALLY interested in how this is going!

12-28-2007, 03:20 PM
To be honest, I wouldn't know the difference between the two. The terrain is fed through procedural erosion so any of the finer characteristics will be largely replaced anyway. The macro scale features, such as fractal mt range forms, will be preserved- that's something that procedural terrain modellers do very poorly (if at all).

10m, I wish! we are currently at 200m res- but that's the whole NW of M-E. The aim is to get down to around 25m using a set of apps written by RedRobes (member here). That's probably going to mid 08.
We've also got other routes we're looking at- using procedural zooms, etc. We'd like to get to about 2m res for an interactive terrain probably using Ogre. We're hoping to serve the terrain on NASA's WorldWind and get it into Viewing Dale.

We will be doing sections of the terrain as closeups as well for renders, there's always something going on, - so the Misty Mts could easily go higher res.

The biggest headache is managing hydrology. So far we've managed to keep the rivers in check, but it's always very difficult.


12-29-2007, 01:41 AM
Is this your job or is it just passion?

5 years ago I mocked up the shire using some aerials and photoshop, but during the great computer purge of 06 I lost most stuff on my work hard-drive.

12-30-2007, 10:09 PM
These are wonderful! I can't wait to see the progress you achieve!

Thank you for sharing!

01-27-2008, 06:18 AM
Thanks!, and sorry for not responding sooner. It's a passion- and it doesn't seem to go away haha very irritating sometimes.

Yeh, you've just summed up why I'd like the ME-DEM project to be a persistent project. So many people have done so much great (and perhaps) overlooked and lost work pver the decades on Middle Earth.

Mapping the Shire will be an absolute treat. Any more info on how you mapped the Shire? Feel free to reg over at ME-dEM at get involved- the site's undergpoing repair at he moment tho.

Here's an update on the Misty Mts terrain in World machine Pro 2.0 beta. After respanning the terrain to the correct heights I've had to re-do the river valleys, so it's taken a little longer than I expected. I've concentrated on the valleys flowing from the Misty Mts. There are others, such as the Grey Mt watersheds, but that's for a later date.



a few shots showing the Gundalok shelf just south of Mt Gundabad, and the Cold Fells on the western flank of the Misty Mts.




The plan is to use this terrain for a GeoTerSys test run. All the other river beds will be scored by RedRobes in GTS to control the river flow across flat areas. I'd like to see this at huge res, fully textured! :) I'm also planning some tests in Geocontrol 2.0 beta, probably on a subset of the terrain :)


07-17-2008, 07:21 AM

This is all very cool and fascinating. Is there any progress on the Middle Earth Project?

07-17-2008, 10:24 AM
There has been some but it has dropped off of late (past two months has been slow). This is something that I plan to get stuck into again in a very short while tho. I have just got a lot on right now and I think the other admins have also - you need a high pain threshold to work on this project as its completely nuts.

The plan is to get GTS (the terrain app I write) to process up the base map to level one and output some files which can be used to render the whole base map. The idea right now is to try to output files that might be compatible with a basic terragen scene and then try to increase the complexity as we go forward.

10-07-2008, 08:15 PM
Hey dudes, been away for some time. Been banging my head against Terragen 2 for the last couple of nights. Finally got a couple of basic things sussed.

Here's the first of a series of images I'm gonna be posting illustrating the utility of output from terrain modelling programs (and cartographic programs such as Global Mapper) such as WorldMachine 2.0, GTS, GeoControl, Wilbur, et al.
The surfaces in the image are created from masks that are output from the terrain nodelling prog- so called image maps. The masks control the distribution of surface types such as grass, snow, etc.




10-07-2008, 08:21 PM
Monks ! Howdy - you have been away for a while.

So much to catch up on. You should post lots about TG2 and get some sexy renders up showing its new capabilities. We were looking at possibly auto-generating some of the scene files for that. I think I remember they looked hard to figure out tho - so many options !

We gotta get on and finish a full render of the base map of me-dem sometime. Its too good to leave hanging about collecting dust.

10-08-2008, 04:03 AM
Hey Robes, I did send an apology for my disappearance to your bluebottle address I believe a couple of weeks ago.

Hmm, yep lots to catch up on. Hey, I read the Wilbur tuts....way to go Joe with those, and rivers!
Well right now I've got the hang of image maps in TG. Next up, water. Then once I have this sussed, we can move on to GTS image maps *if* you wanna.

As I've said before, this project will never go away for me so onwards and upwards as best I can! :)


10-08-2008, 08:37 AM
I think bluebottle has gone to the four winds. I had to move back to the normal ones. Always best just to use the standard email addresses.

If TG2 is using image masks to do a lot of stuff then I am sure I can supply... and yes still most definitely interested in continuing with it. I dont know how high a res we can go to. I did some stuff not so long back with a lot of data and a terrabyte is very very big. I reckon if we continue then we really have to draw a line in the sand and say lets get to this point before we make it any bigger and more complex. The scale of the project was growing at a rate as fast as we could technically keep up with the ability to provide it.

I would really like to be able to get the first stage rendered. I think thats either the 20K square or 40K one. We were really close to being able to do it last time I checked. Thats still a lot of data but it is manageable.

10-08-2008, 02:12 PM
Here's the latest.


I 've turned off the atmosphere to get a better look at the textures. These are the masks 'as is' output from GeoControl. I turned off all the default fractal breakup up on them in TG- I didn't want any additional noise at this point. I'm also not sure of the technicalities of the layer blending that I've used on the masks in the GeoControl renderer. If I knew those, then I could in theory simulate them in TG.
There's a problem with the river mask not meeting the banks. This *could* be because I've not textured that side of the river. That's jsut a case of swapping the masks for the full coverage ones. I'll have a run overnight. This took 7 hrs wih a quad!
Seer used a mask in his project that this is based on that wasn't included in the package he gave me. That's a blur river- so that may well correct this.
I like using image masks because you really know where everything is going to be and how it should look. What's more you know *before* you get into the render, check, change, render,check,change cycle.

I've also got a full river mask I'd lie to try.

Yeh, the first stage...I think I'm gonna get the 20K into WM and just do the Goddamn mountains at that scale. I think with image processing I'm sure we could get some nice mountains from that at 40K. If you look at what Joe's done on the Wilbur pages, you can see that it's certainly possible.
However, I won't stop there. It'll be back into Global Mapper for the proper mountains at say 40K res. But that can wait.
Howard Zhou is bringing his plugins into line with WM 2.o which is great news. That workflow that I used for the Mistys of using real terrain as vectors will then be possible.


10-08-2008, 02:49 PM
The mountain looks great. The lighting on it especially is excellent and it feels big. Much bigger than I could ever get out of mine. The river is a bit mirror like but I know TG does amazing water so I guess its just a few parameter twiddling.

7hrs is a long time. This is Mindol which is a 4x4 set. So that would mean doing another 400 like this ! Whew

Let me know what you want from me at any time. I was trying to ditch the random mountains in the make file last time I was doing stuff. I wanted to get to the point where I could render any of the tiles within the 80x80 set. Then it would be a case of sending every spare CPU cycle at generating them all.

10-09-2008, 07:41 AM
Hmm, the mountain looks good but it could look a lot better. I've not got the glaciers in at all and the specularity on the snow is not there. There is also a skirt of grey which is not covered by any of the image maps- an oversight- but a proc layer will sort that out.
Like you say the water just needs some tweaking- it's set at default at the mo. I'm trying to get in touch with Seer but his old email is bouncing so I've sent some pms out. I think now that the image maps are pretty much sussed, the water is really the big thing- especially for GTS because it really excels at that; including glaciers and snow :)

I think the GTS output will look ravishing in TG. I'm gonna suss the water in TG do some nice renders and then I can think about the big run.


10-09-2008, 01:13 PM
I like it.

And therefore, I swing my mighty +1 sword of rep at you, rolling an adjusted 11. Since you are new here, I determine your AC to be 10, so it lands.

When do we get to the fly over of helms deep? :)

10-09-2008, 03:41 PM
I'm trying to get in touch with Seer but his old email is bouncing so I've sent some pms out. I think now that the image maps are pretty much sussed, the water is really the big thing- especially for GTS because it really excels at that; including glaciers and snow :)

I think the GTS output will look ravishing in TG. I'm gonna suss the water in TG do some nice renders and then I can think about the big run.

Seer was pretty active over the summer as he made up some towns and maps with his kids who became the FHCO's... Doing some grocery store work for a bit but posted recently within a week or so.

For GTS masks there should be loads in the CalcTiles folder of Mindol test. There should be a complete (?) set for every colour tex render but you know we can add or change anything required. But that should provide about 10 or so per tile. If they need to be B&W only then ill have to make some new texture scripts. Or show you how easy it is to write a script to generate them.

The GTS texture creator has always been a rough cut to getting a texture. I use it all the time on here tho. TG2 should be able to do a much better job so interfacing source to tex engine would be a good idea. I was hoping Seer would be able to do much of that as he knows TG2 well.

...therefore, I swing my mighty +1 sword of rep at you, rolling an adjusted 11. Since you are new here, I determine your AC to be 10, so it lands.
Yes good call. Now that the reputation amount is shown as a value I think that it needs a good clubbing in the upward direction. Given that I defer all really hard terrain questions to you then your current amount is woefully inadequate !

When do we get to the fly over of helms deep? :)For meleeguy this one. Me-Dem is about the terrain but there were (unfortunate past tense there) projects to model the buildings too. Here is the zenith of the Minas Tirith Project.

Such a shame it went pear shaped.

10-09-2008, 07:32 PM
well I sussed the river problem- rendering now. I was using the wrong mask, good job Seer!
I got hold of him now.
I put in some mudflats but they'll need a bit more work I expect. Hey, thinking of getting some reeds in there as well- ooh, I like this now...

Right, thanks for reminding me- I did expect we had something to run on from GTS.

hehe- I have AC10 at mapping?- you jest surely sir! ;) I'll post some Global Mapper screenies when I get the chance- should have put some up by now. Glad you like meleeguy anyway :)

Yeh, Minas Tirith- gutted! No share, no fair //sob //unutterable curses in their direction


10-10-2008, 02:30 AM



10-10-2008, 08:15 AM
yeah real nice ! Just gotta get the water to line up with the banks. Love the clouds btw. But even the grassy plains look pretty cool too.

10-10-2008, 08:19 AM
this is one of the most exciting projects around - love all the updates! Good going guys.

10-10-2008, 08:28 AM
Hey jezelf, thanks for the encouragement :)

Robes, the water does line up with the banks!- those black things you see are the mudflats I put in :lol:
..so if I remove that surface layer, the water goes right up to the sides- looks real cool.

I'm roughening up the water a bit now and I'm going to see what this all looks like with TGs default fractal noise re-introduced to the textures. It's looking a bit table-top at the moment.


ps hey guys, if you want to check out some more cool pics of the project check out my MySpace page- the pics galleries:

Yuo might also want to check out my music as well in the Player- hope yuo like.

10-10-2008, 09:21 AM
...the water does line up with the banks!- those black things you see are the mudflats I put in :lol:
..so if I remove that surface layer, the water goes right up to the sides- looks real cool.Ahh - shuffles off :oops:

Glad your back on the case again - we will get that final stage 1 this time.

10-10-2008, 04:34 PM
Holy frejoles! Wish I could learn to wrap my brain around that nodule method TG2 uses. Very nice.

10-11-2008, 03:42 AM
Hey Ascension- I learned via World Machine. I took to that quite well...TG is a bit different again but I'm getting there.

What do you think of the river valley texturing on the opposite bank?- do you think it looks realistic? This is another surface layer mixed via the fractal breakup. I'm goin to double the number of texture layers but I want to improve it, not just add more.
The water has better reflectivity I think. The water level is too low though- if I raise it, it will look better, and it will also obviate the need for the mud flats...so Robes you can shuffle back in lol

I've still got a nice river mask in hand as well- should be able to improve those river valleys...and of course there's the plant populations //drool


10-11-2008, 07:58 AM
ok, the river banks east and west are not at the same heights. In order for the river to be perfect I'd have to go back and alter the western bank- get rid of those cliffs. That's not difficult at all but it is worth it for the purpose of these renders..?
So onto the surfacing...


10-11-2008, 08:47 AM
...so Robes you can shuffle back in lolSure - never really left :)

10-11-2008, 08:23 PM
improved half of the surfaces here-


now onto the mountain.
I'd like to throw in some displacements as well to the terrain.

running off a render now of Mindol....


10-11-2008, 09:15 PM
hmm, still needs a lot of work. Promising tho...


I think displacements will help as well as tree cover in the foreground running up the lower slopes.
First tho, getting more variation into the surfaces on the mt.


10-12-2008, 05:28 AM
here's one at slightly higher detail settings:

I think the base of the mountain needs a lot of work



10-12-2008, 05:53 AM
Cool ! In fact everything looks just perfect except for the white lines coming down the side of the mountain. I dont know what they are supposed to be. I speculate that its mist hanging in the valleys but I am not sure.

How many and what types of image mask is this using to get this one rendered ?

10-12-2008, 07:28 PM
I've gone in a different direction. Mnidolluin is supposed to be blue aftert all- the name means:
'towering-head-blue'. I may have over egged the blue a lil bit, but this is much closer now.


hehe- yeah right, no the white lines were jsut a white shader so that I could see that the mask had gone in properly- nothing quite so swanky.
I want to sue this mask to get some glaciers coming down- the snowline is just too simple here.
The river mask can be used to apply a water shader and I'd like to get a transition from rapids in the mts- we'll see.

This is a good 30 shaders, but only 17 are on Mindol. How do you mean, types?
this really needs some displacement in the lower regions and I'm thinking of applying it with an inverted flow map, that way none of the rivers are affected.


10-13-2008, 09:28 AM

10-13-2008, 10:28 AM

Very cool... when is the ski lift going up??

Steel General
10-13-2008, 11:41 AM
That last one is just durn fantastic!

10-13-2008, 12:55 PM
Yowzers ! Butt kickin' Nicely done.

10-13-2008, 01:46 PM
Thanks guys, I'm working on some displacements now...ski lift will arrive at the end because the cafe has to be built first- on the summit...lol


10-13-2008, 02:09 PM
Thanks guys, I'm working on some displacements now...ski lift will arrive at the end because the cafe has to be built first- on the summit...lol


Good.. I am all about me some skiing, even though I don't get to go very often. I will hit the cafe as long as it has Rum(dark) and Cider.

10-13-2008, 10:40 PM
That last one is absolutely killer

10-16-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks mmmmpig!

I've tried to put in glaciers manually in PS, but it's a problemmatic process as the snow is procedural here- as opposed to an image amp which would make it easier. So, the glaciers don't quite connect correctly with the snow flow.
Going in the right direction tho.



10-18-2008, 08:58 AM
Monks, do you want me to generate some glacier maps from the mountain ?

10-18-2008, 12:10 PM
Yeh, let's give it a try- I bet the erosion would completely alter the mountain but... so what? The only concern is that it takes too much off the height, so maybe respan the terrain to the pre-glacial heights if you know what I mean.
I can upload the terrain to the ME-DEM ftp...I'll do that later.


10-18-2008, 12:30 PM
If you can get me the height info then I can just do the snow and glaciers and you apply that to your model so keeping the original erosion. When I move snow about I can either erode as I go or not, it makes no difference to me.

Do you want a greyscale snow depth map or a full HF2 style water height (depth) map as the result ? Also, do you want runny snow or thick viscous style or just take my best guess ? And do you want solar directional heating applied and if so what direction - like the image lighting ?

10-18-2008, 01:00 PM
here's the terrain I'm using:


erm, I think a .ter for snow depth. I'll be using your maps for all the snow- so I'm guessing both. I'd like to see the glaciers in there- should be cool. Stick the lighting in as well as it should mix the snowline up a bit- I'd like to take some shots of the other side of mindol as well- GTS produced some pretty interesting features on that side I remember.


10-18-2008, 01:49 PM
Cool, on the go...

Just remind me, whats the peak height of Mindol and the general average temperature at ground level. I have it at about 16000ft and 18degC at mo. Thats gonna give snow about half way up as it runs at a drop of 2deg C per thousand ft.

Also, I have lost my ftp login for skindustry can you email that over at some stage as ill upload a .ter file to it later.

10-18-2008, 03:51 PM
ftp info in the email.

hmm, ICE puts it at 10459 ft...but we can go with whatever we like..actually the ter has a range of 757 to 10436 ft...so try that for now.


10-18-2008, 09:54 PM
Ta for that info. I have done it now. Ran up GTS and played about - spotted a slew of obvious bugs I thought I was using an old version. They were real. Sigh...

You can find a .ter file here:

which should look like this if Wilbur has converted the file correctly (and I am confident it has).

10-18-2008, 10:28 PM
That peak is amazing and I couldn't tell it from a real one.

The foreground drainage seems off a bit with a slight perlin pattern showing that I might be imagining.

10-19-2008, 08:05 AM
Cheers Robes, gonna give it a go today. I'm thinking it should be inserted as a heightfield to surface shader....That looks pretty nice- yehhhh!

Meleeguy, this is really just a test- well I'm very much a learner with this software. There's a zillion things I'd like to do to this image...there are so many things! :)

hey Seer, are you around? I need some help on connecting up a greyscale imagemask to define rivers. I tried connecting it to a water shader but I can't see a thing....


10-19-2008, 10:56 AM
not sure if this correct yet but I've got some height on the flow now- but I had to use a terrain function to add height- the glaciers looked like they were painted on otherwise. This is with 60 ft of it.
The best way to tell would be to render an area where the rock is poking through.



10-19-2008, 11:21 AM
Yeah, Im not sure about that either. When I saved it out last night it looked like rivers with the middle of the glacier flow being quite thick filling in the groove where it was flowing so I would expect that the top of the snow to be pretty flat or slightly convex. Perhaps try more depth to it ? I dont know really.

10-19-2008, 11:45 AM
Monks, are you sure you used the right heightfield? It looks as if you have a constant displacement inside the glacier mask. Basically, it looks as if the existing valley floor has been repeated, displaced upwards.

Also, TG2 uses meters as its units, so that might be a 60 meter displacement, or about 200 feet.

10-19-2008, 01:09 PM
Maybe Seer can shed some light on this...but I'll tinker some more...s'all good! :)

Suliam-Yes, it looks like that to me as well- the convexity is not there. No, I converted to feet.


10-20-2008, 04:10 PM
hmm, does this look better?


I'm going to replicate the cam pos you got in your df shot Robes -see how it looks.


Steel General
10-20-2008, 05:06 PM
Holy poop! That looks more like a photo than a render.

10-21-2008, 06:36 AM
Monks, I have the same view using DF. It does seem as though it was pretty thin and concave. I did cut down the viscosity to make these so maybe if I had left it higher then it would have been more bulbous and convex.

Shall I try another run ?

10-21-2008, 07:41 AM
I think what I have in that latest shot look pretty close to yours there but I'm noticing that I'm not getting the nice protrusions of the mountain through the snow like you have on the ridges and peaks.



The concavity is not really a major problem. At the moment I'd like to get those protrusions. I noticed as well that this dem I'm using is corrupted- see the rear of Mindol, where has all that terrain gone?

Could you try another run with a little less glacier coverage and a bit more powdery snow?


10-21-2008, 08:35 AM
I have another going up now - give it quarter hour from now...

The new one is with thicker viscosity so it drops down from the sides less but is more bulbous. I have the shot of it in wilbur and you can see its got depth in the V bits.

My image is a rough guide with a quick texture calc so it would depend on the snow thickness. What I am thinking is that maybe the viscosity of the last one was so thin that it never got bulbous at all and that you applied it too thick thinking like I did that it needed to be more bulbous and convex. So it was too thick causing what was thin snow layer to become thick. Here are the shots of the new one and wilburs visual of it. This is using default gts viscosity now - I shouldn't have changed it in the first place but I was not getting any glaciers at all for a while. I found out why but it was unrelated to viscosity.

Took so long to upload those images that the FTP has finished now.

Edit -- Oh yeah, I forgot to zap the excess liquid water off the map before saving. I can do another one later though if thats an issue.

10-21-2008, 11:44 AM
that looks superb in df- imagine what can be done with these maps...!

I opened the last one up in Wilbur too. Everything seemed fine. I think this is almost certainly me misunderstanding the nodes in TG. I'm converting the heightmap to an image mask in Wilbur. I think I need both a heightmap and an image mask to control the surface extents...that's just one thing I'm not sure about. I think it's time to have a good chat on the TG boards about this.
The excess water can be removed no probs I think.


10-24-2008, 04:22 AM
Looks like we have no bites on this one on the TG boards...so we're back to tinkering. Robes, did you upload the second glaciers you ran?


10-24-2008, 05:24 AM
Yes, same place - just called MindolGlaciers2.ter or something like that.

10-25-2008, 05:47 AM
Cheers, I did a wee erun last night. This looks a LOT different to the last one. I had a render coming down but Windows decided to install an update and rebooted my computer grrrr!!
I'll try another today...


10-29-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm currently talking to Frank B on the TG boards about the glacier terrain. Hopefully we'll sort something from that. don't see why not.

While I was waiting fro someone to bite I've started to add vegetation in. VERY basic right now. Still gotta control placement via image mask:

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_01.png

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_02.png

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_03.png


10-30-2008, 09:11 AM
some population tests:

closeup. This is the grass clump. This is not a great model. I've got better ones than this knocking around.

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_04.png

full coverage of the area

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_06.png

coverage controlled via imagemap shader.
http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_07.png


10-30-2008, 07:22 PM
Y'know on test 06 the snow does look very odd - like its in places on the low lands... When I ran the glacier creation stuff I didnt put in the thermal adjustment layer for the volcanic ridge - whats that called, the one that separates Mordor. So there was Mindol on one side as a splat and a long line of snow on the other side. You haven't got the texture reversed so the line of snow is being put on Mindol ? Just a vague thought there because it shouldn't have generated snow in low lands.

The grass looks alright but its a bit uniform. Is there a way to say put a little more here and a little less here instead of the all or nothing mask. If its a B&W one only then maybe we should take GTS veg maps and create a series of bands of veg quantities out of them. Then you can put in different types of veg depending. Of course trees would look just dandy.

EDIT -- actually looking at it some more I can see its the right snow for the mountain but the mountain has been smoothed out on the right lowering it drastically from the original.

EDIT2 -- Just been reading the planetside thread. You have to remember that the ice sheet height is probably a +ve amount of height all over but its very thin in places and thicker in others - esp the flow zone - as shown in the Wilbur screenie. The point is that if your trying to get TG2 to give rock poking through then I expect that its a problem in the colour bit of it not the height bit of it. Presumably you have to set up a colour shader program for how white you want snow depending on depth. In my screenie above from DF that colour texture was generated from GTS and it uses a min snow depth before it shows any snow and then just linearly ramps up white until it reaches a preset max level. That quickie tex generator from GTS is quick and dirty. To do the snow properly in GTS you need to use the scriptable texture compositor program thing where you set the depths and the graph of colour vs depth up yourself. I expect that you will need something akin to that in TG2. So where the fluid is less than 0.1m say, just make the white amount zero and where its 2m or something like that make the white full and expect that in between it will be rendered as thin ice in some non physics kind of way. Perhaps the actual height map with snow added is not so bad. Maybe it needs to be a little less depth on the snow that is shown in the wips above tho. I dont think you would be able to see that front edge of the snow on the mountain in the background. Just my 2p ;) Ideally we should be able to export the height GTS generated into TG2 accurately but going via .ter is not so easy for me. Does TG2 do HF2/HFZ yet ?

10-30-2008, 07:58 PM
Yeh, I mentioned this previously. I think Seer has done something with the dem. Well for now it's only a test. The better imagemaps should come from GTS anyway based on the original terrain. Exactly, the veg maps could give some very pretty results. The grass can be broken up with some fake stones. Not sure what the computational demand is of fake stones, but if it's high then there should be a way of limiting to the fov anyway- just like the veg populations. It could easily be varied procedurally in colour based on slope, altitude I'm sure. There's some heather maps in there too so that will use a different plant model; the heather will simply correspond to GTS moorland I reckon.
The grass coverage in the last shot should actually be trees anyway.

Had os e more feedback on the glacier. I'm trying another approach as suggested n the TG boards. No luck so far. I'm using a distribution shader instead of the image map shader for the ice- still using the terrain tho- I was querrying the need for both a terrain AND an ice mask generated from the ice terrain...seemd a bit unnecessary.


10-30-2008, 08:10 PM
Ok cool. I am not familiar with TG2 so I dont know whats in a distribution shader or whether that can deal out height and color at the same time. Your right in that it seems like it kinda could.

Keep us posted and let me know anything that I can help or push it forward with. Really want to see Mindol get some extreme TG2 goodness.

I have the height map in HF2 format. Would it help if I gave you a contour map of the fluid / snow height for a reference ?

The problem was that I had to go via PNG16 to get to ter so I lost the real world values in it.

10-30-2008, 08:23 PM
Contour bands at 100ft intervals. I guess I let a lot of snow fall :)

11-03-2008, 08:02 AM
Hey Robes, just a quick update. this is two plant models using different population distributions:

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_09.png

I'm not sure what you mean in your last post...?
I haven't made any more progress on the snow but I'll get it. I'm learning all the time here. I'm trying to get trees in at the moment- lots of texture maps to set up. It may require that the heightmap be respanned in TG. Shouldn't be too difficult at all in theory.


11-03-2008, 08:45 AM

I guess you didn't understand about the png bit ? Well HF2 has heights in floats where the values mean real world stuff - its a calibrated format. When going to .ter I have to go HF2 -> PNG16 -> TER. By going through PNG16 the values of that format are just 16bit grey so we lose the real world calibration. I dont even know whether TER files have real world calibration but whatever, I have lost it by that point so the only way to recover that is to get a contour map of the HF2 and try to make the import height match up with what I had originally. Because GTS uses real world heights and is doing a fluid sim then its quite important that the height is the same from GTS to TG2 in order for it to look right - probably some leeway but you get the idea.

So, if you can make the import of the TER file about 600ft of snow at maximum depth then it would be about right.

11-03-2008, 02:21 PM
...just noticed your edit 2 on the previous post. will read that. Got a tree render coming down at the mo- just the tree haha- looking good though.

back shortly

11-03-2008, 03:32 PM
Right...this is making more sense now. You said that the fluid map has a little water everywhere. I'm going to try my old setup...I have used both mask that are cmpletely white- ie all snow on mountain set to max white, and shades of grey. I think I did check that the .ter icefield was zero in all places off the mountain. I did that in Wilbur. But with this new info, I'll take another look at this.
Basically the principle of what yuo are saying makes sense: gradation of transparency via depth of icefield height (or an image map)- either way would work but the former is surely less complicated. You can use a cutoff in TG on the imagemap shader so that we could set all levels below say 0.1m to black, )transparent), and the rest to gradate through.


11-03-2008, 05:17 PM
the tree. Unfortunately this crashed about 3/4 the way through.



11-03-2008, 07:07 PM
tree population:



11-03-2008, 07:21 PM
Ohh yes - chewy. So will be able to put the grass in underneath or vary the tree size and do all that lovelyness too ? Wow - combined with our vegmaps these terrains will look sooo coool. Ohh presumably with the different soil types and veg types from the Fonstad maps we could get some terrific images ! Exciting again huh ?

So the basic idea is still to get GTS to gen up some basic vegetation quantity and then combine it with the lower res Fonstad & whatever else maps we can get our hands on. Then in TG2 there is a fixed shader setup where we can rename all the maps to generic tile index types like Fonstad_Conif_73_22.png -> Fonstad_Conif.png and have a directory full of them and then render out tile 73,22. Then bin all the temporary masks ready for the next one and start all over again until we have the whole place covered.

There was some consideration that the makefile & perl was going to write the XML TG2 scene setup but when I looked at it a few months back now I got the heebie jeebies. It was too darn complicated. Do you think this might still be realistic or can you do it by swapping in different tile masks into one scene and rerunning it for each tile. I think this would be easier and more manageable but what do you think ?

Wos the plan - man ?

11-04-2008, 06:29 AM
Ohh yes - chewy. So will be able to put the grass in underneath or vary the tree size and do all that lovelyness too ?

yes all that eezypeezy!

Wow - combined with our vegmaps these terrains will look sooo coool. Ohh presumably with the different soil types and veg types from the Fonstad maps we could get some terrific images ! Exciting again huh ?

hehe- yeh, if you look back at our work, it is cool I have to say lol. I've got lots of good plant models.

I tried a render last night with trees and grass but when I checked this morning, it had crashed to desktop ,bummer.

So the basic idea is still to get GTS to gen up some basic vegetation quantity and then combine it with the lower res Fonstad & whatever else maps we can get our hands on.


Then in TG2 there is a fixed shader setup where we can rename all the maps to generic tile index types like Fonstad_Conif_73_22.png -> Fonstad_Conif.png and have a directory full of them and then render out tile 73,22. Then bin all the temporary masks ready for the next one and start all over again until we have the whole place covered.

Ok, sounds good.

There was some consideration that the makefile & perl was going to write the XML TG2 scene setup but when I looked at it a few months back now I got the heebie jeebies. It was too darn complicated. Do you think this might still be realistic or can you do it by swapping in different tile masks into one scene and rerunning it for each tile. I think this would be easier and more manageable but what do you think ?

Well see how you feel Robes. A lot of the difficulty is with sustaining enthusiasm and seeing rewards for work. The ratio has been rather towards the work I think! I would prefer more automation, but swapping out manually would be pretty straightforward for the image maps anyway. It would require that I write a check list, and go through them at each tile methodically so that I don't miss anything.
I think if we were to automate the xml write, opening a thread on the TG boards at some point would be a good idea. Might raise the profile of GTS as well.


11-04-2008, 06:43 AM
I would prefer more automation, but swapping out manually would be pretty straightforward for the image maps anyway. It would require that I write a check list, and go through them at each tile methodically so that I don't miss anything.
I think if we were to automate the xml write, opening a thread on the TG boards at some point would be a good idea. Might raise the profile of GTS as well.
Oh god no we will definitely automate it. Osh said that TG2 had a command line option to run a scene. I dont know what scene files there are in TG2 but I hope that its all wrapped up into one big file - text based preferably - xml ideally - which is how I believe it is.

We can either use the makefiles to copy in the masks and rename them and rerun the command line version, wait for the result and copy that generic render.png to render_73_22.png etc or we can write out thousands of xml files for each tile scene based on a master one which you set up and then run them all like compiling loads of files. Either way is the same kind of thing.

Either way I wouldnt expect anyone to run the program by hand 6400 times - or even 400 times if were doing a 4x4 set per run. The render times is a bit of a worry as well as it continuously crashing too. The crashing less so because we can just rerun the script and it will pick up where it left off providing it crashes cleanly. Could even provide a monitor program in the background to re-kick the script off if its not going etc.

11-04-2008, 04:45 PM
Oh god no we will definitely automate it. Osh said that TG2 had a command line option to run a scene.

Yes that's right; command line.

I think the automation would help sell GTS as well. Image maps have their naysayers (vs TG innate procedurals), but hooked up into a workflow like this, well we'll see. I think getting a procedurally noised (enhanced) image maps setup would be ideal. Not tried that yet...

Either way I wouldnt expect anyone to run the program by hand 6400 times - or even 400 times if were doing a 4x4 set per run. The render times is a bit of a worry as well as it continuously crashing too. The crashing less so because we can just rerun the script and it will pick up where it left off providing it crashes cleanly. Could even provide a monitor program in the background to re-kick the script off if its not going etc.

I'd be crazy enough lol! I've been running tests all day. Got 3 crashes in a row. But I've just had the first successful one. So I'm going to scale this up now. I think there was a problem with the subdivision cache- not quite sure how that works, but my latest change has solved it it seems. Trying a larger more demanding render overnight.

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Presentations/AnduinVale/Renders/TG2/Population test_14.png


11-05-2008, 01:45 AM
This is without the total grass cover. Everything looks a bit flat, but at east we have a render.


I'm going to try this with higher detail settings now.


Steel General
11-05-2008, 06:47 AM
Based on the fact that I have absolutely no idea of what I'm talking about, the snow/ice/glacier? seem awfully thick - though the render itself (even without the grass) is awesome.

11-05-2008, 09:16 AM
hehe- no, the ice is too thick- need to make some changes.

The crashes were almost certainly caused by the settings I was using: render detail = 6. Apparently 2 is the highest one should ever need to go....!

So, that's good news- hopefully can avoid crashes now. Got a repeat one coming down with detail @ 2 for comparison.


11-05-2008, 01:05 PM
Monks, head over to this thread and see GM's link and my post...



11-05-2008, 01:35 PM
Dmytry Lavrov, yes amazing programmer. Last time I heard, one of his wee projects was a volumetric terrain editor using isosurfaces...? I heard it on the grapevine- hehe dunno if anything ever came of it.

spot the difference...


So, it's either tackle the ice again or incorporate more veg...


11-05-2008, 02:00 PM
Nope - none that I can see. Must be pretty subtle and if that saves it crashing then go with it I say !

Y'know I have been wracking my brains trying to think why I am familiar with Dmytry and using some serious google fu and then it occurred to me to check - he was with us on the TS boards a while back wasn't he. I feel better now. That was doing my nut. Yeah his work is very cool. Is Pandromeda and Pandemic tied together cos his stuff looks just like something I was given to play with a while back as a company demo - well anyway thats beside the point.

11-06-2008, 06:59 AM
haha yeh, he did make an appearance over there early on. hmm, I wouldn't know about Pandemic.
I started another render last night with the grass clumps back in and it predictably crashed so I'll have to do some tests with those to see what the problem is.
I also had another look at the ice and I still can't get it right. I tried Ben's suggestion and it doesn't work- doesn't work in my setup anyway. I'll persevere. I want to use a setup with only a heightfield rather than the ice mask as well. One can always alter the thickness via a heightfield adjust node.


11-07-2008, 02:59 PM
2 populations of grass and a fake stones shader.


This is with 2 pops of grass, 2 fake stones ,and the trees of course:



11-08-2008, 07:44 PM
Thats pretty good. I guess it just needs more of it. More types of veg with more randomness to it to break it up as much as possible. Although it looks fake because its lacking that diversity the lighting and atmosphere, cloud and depth are really good. You can see that its really not all that far off. The new stone pattern helps a lot. I know that its probably not possible but its the uniform shades on all the leaves especially when many trees are put together that makes it into blocks of solid colour. The same with the grass too. I would imagine that it will be one heck of a complex shader when its all done tho. My worry is the same on this as when I was doing it in mine where I wonder whether the one shader is capable of multiple terrains that we shovel at it. I hope it will be tho.

01-09-2009, 08:41 PM
just tinkering tonight. Tomorrow on with the meat of it...more pics in the links.
the rivers don't quite line up with the terrain in some places at the moment; just a matter of importing the updated river data.











01-10-2009, 07:16 PM
correcting the rivers...compared to the one above



Steel General
01-10-2009, 07:51 PM
I know I've said this before, but this is some really cool stuff you're doing. :)

01-11-2009, 07:04 AM
correcting the rivers...compared to the one above Cool stuff. It was trollshaws05 that had the oddest rivers in it tho ;) Will comment more later...

01-11-2009, 07:53 AM
Thanks Steel General. We need all the encouragement we can get haha. We appreciate all support!

Robes, I'm doing the western flank today so they'll be sorted.


01-11-2009, 08:34 AM
Quick Q, Are you moving the terrain to fit the rivers or moving rivers. I.e. are my rivers still correct ?

01-11-2009, 11:22 AM
just sent you email regarding this :)


01-11-2009, 07:03 PM
Tinkering after some solid graft...rivers are done. Onwards to modelling the mountains now. Rivers over to you Robes tomorrow...




















01-12-2009, 06:57 AM
Ok, terrain is going into World Machine today. We're aiming for a end of month deadline with this particular run so the terrain will not be the end product by any means. BUT, having said that, at least it will be a product AND I think it will pretty damn fine too. :) onwards...!
I should point out that this terrain has absolutely no erosion applied to it as yet. Once that goes in, terrain quality will increase dramatically.



01-12-2009, 09:13 AM
V Cool. I have been on the Veg Bias Map last night. So ill post where I am at to this point.

01-12-2009, 12:14 PM
woah! I love the way that we can make variation on such global scales. That's what's going to be required. Don't want to have a Middle Earth sized pool table heh...but we might get a pool table sized Middle earth with this map haha!


01-12-2009, 02:15 PM
hey, I didn't even know this thread was active, teach me not to scroll down, won't it.
Looking pretty dang good.

01-12-2009, 02:29 PM
Were going for a render with minimal erosion, rivers and so on. We want just something, anything which galvanizes what has been done so far. The scripts were written a while ago and Monks is just finishing off some more terrain. Once that is done then with some luck the scripts with minor tweaking will run a full render through. After that would you be able to do some insprired carto magic on them to make the web pages ? Do you have a PC with that still on it ?

01-13-2009, 04:51 PM
dem is up Robes...

In a spot here. The World Machine version I have is a no goer for what we want to do here. It crashes immediately upon me adding any Lines in Layout Mode. I've contacted Stephen about this (I did raise this in the WM board twice over the last couple of months but no answers) ...hopefully I can get hold of a stable release version. Preferably without forking out the 100 notes- having been an alpha-beta tester....

Not happy right now. :(


01-14-2009, 06:46 AM
yup,the web page app i use is MS Expression, free for students, no matter the age, so it is on the kids comp as well. And I have GM (for Google Map tiles) hidden in Carols laptop so it won't get deleted, so everything I need is available to make a gmap.....SeerBlue, off to download the dem

01-14-2009, 08:14 AM
dem is up Robes...Thanks, I DL'ed it and its great but I have to find some way to convert the format. So I have decided to add BT format to GTS that way it will be simple. Coding that up now.

Shame about WM. I am not expert in these apps to advise. Hope Stephen can help soon tho. I'm guessing that your going there to get some erosion into the DEM before drawing a line underneath it. That would indeed be cool tho not abso necessary for getting to a render of it. Still, I reckon a fix for that should be found and I hope that bug has been discovered and fixed already.

01-14-2009, 08:16 AM
so everything I need is available to make a gmap...Great - I am trying to get scripts and stuff up together to get a render out at 10K square. We could texture higher, which would be sensible, but the base DEM is set for 10K this time.

01-14-2009, 01:59 PM
Ok done the BT to HF2 converter now Monks, chopped, offset and rendered it, added a pinch of seasoning and here we are.

Will look at doing the veg for it next, add some rivers and lakes and see how it pans out. Does the image look alright so far. The mountains seem to be chopped off for most of them. I had expected that since your working on them tho. The lighting is out on my render too but will fix all that in due course.

01-14-2009, 02:39 PM
Cool. Yep, looking good.

Ok, having to set the computer clock back in order to gain access to the World Machine betas here. Lucky I still have them. So we're good to go again now.
I'm all excited...hehehe!!

Go with the mapping Seer. This will be a ma zing in Google maps, etc.


Steel General
01-14-2009, 02:41 PM
It's pretty damn amazing at this point!

01-15-2009, 06:42 AM
RR, you must be a mind reader, I was just thinking that what we need is a handy app that will convert from one heightfield format to another without alot of intermediate steps, and keep the file as it was...especially for going from ter (terragen) to hfz for Global Mapper,,,, GM wont load ter files, but it will write them, but, of course, in GM one can make some really nice altitude controlled shaded maps, digitized shaded maps, and export at any size imaginable, tiled for Google Maps even.
To get a ter into GM I run it through Leveller, set the export options, write down the altitude and lat long extents, and export it to dem,,,,then hopefully remember which way is north upon opening it in GM or I end up with Carn Dum being where Edoras should be and Saruman wonders who he got so far north.... TG can be used to add heightfield detail as well, controlled by altitude, slope or shader, and the new terrain exported, but then I have to go back through leveller to get it to dem format for GM,,,,a simple read write TER to HFZ would be great, less chance for caffeine induced teleportation.
Why I like GM ,,, one can use the same heightfield to pop out a variety of maps, and if exported with hillshade lighting disabled the colored maps can be used as layers in Gimp or Photoshop to build up exactly the map one wants,,,i disable hillshading as it ends up getting too dark as multiple layers are added to blend in colors,,,, the only problem with altitude controlled shaders, is that they apply to the whole map giving the whole "world" the same color scheme, but run a few different shader setups and blend away in gimp or photoshop to get a more varied world.

01-15-2009, 07:45 AM
My GTS works in HF2 and image type formats (JPG,PNG etc). I have resisted putting in zillions of format conversions into that app as it could go on and on - a bit like GM's specs. So what I do is write these tiny command line apps to do the conversions - sorta everything to HF2 and HF2 to everything so as to keep HF2 as the main format that I use.

So I have a mini command line app called BTtoHF2.exe and it takes in the final size and offset as well as input and output. So we can take one of Monks 10004 sized height maps in .ter run through Wilbur to get a BT and then I can go from this to HF2 and offset it into a 10240 sized tile at the same time.

The version of Wilbur I have does not have hf2 in it. I think last time I used L3DT to go BT to HF2 but I have lost my L3DT now. A TER to HF2 would also be a useful little app but for now I dont need it. Can you get away with a BT to HF2 in the same way.

Ultimately it would be excellent for me to output a series of greyscale maps for all the processing from GTS and get that into a TG2 run. But I think this time around I am going to use my texture compositor to do that job and create a bitmap which will look a lot like my CWBP tiles since its using the same set of textures and graphs. It will do lighting, shadows and so on and all the types of vegetation, water, snow etc but not in the nice procedural way that TG2 can. At this scale it wouldnt matter but it would be good to be able to go down to person level and render views out with procedural rocks, trees and clouds etc.

I ran it through last night whilst I was out and it did the snow and water, plus it fixed up the lighting but it was a land sprayed with DDT. No veg. Only after did I notice that it was failing to load the Veg map in due to me putting the wrong name of file in. So ill do another run today too.

On a little test after that it looked like igneous rock areas was causing some problem with the temperature going off the scale for some bizarre reason. That looks like a bug which I need to fix before proceeding with it to the end. Its probably loosing float precision. Still, should have something a lot better by end of today.

01-15-2009, 04:04 PM
A bit better but that problem was obviously not to do with igneous rock and probably more to do with ice. I dont know why but its going off the -ve scale end. Will have to shove the debugger on it and see whats happening.

01-15-2009, 04:37 PM
sall good guys. I noticed that WM is now lining up to work with hf2- it's in the drop down list with WM dialogs- not sure if support has been implemented yt. I think Stephen has moved to Mars.
Finally after 3 days of piggiing about started to draw actual terrain in WM. Working on that tonight.

I think we should ask Joe if he'll implement the hf2.

GC should have it at some point too, but things are slow.

Yeh, GM is the muts nuts.


01-15-2009, 08:57 PM
Humble beginnings...this is the first order of ridge networks going in.



01-15-2009, 09:02 PM
Cool :)

I found that bug and fixed it. Its running another pass but it probably wont finish tonight.

Since your around tho... is the amount of snow about right in the last pic ? I can up the temperature a bit and force it northwards.

The land is very close to sea level in the bottom too so that there is this huge beach. That must be about 5m or so above sea level and very flat indeed. There are 20 mile waves crashing in there at mo :o

Oh yeah one thing. Are the rivers and lakes in the ice fields liquid or frozen over ?

01-15-2009, 10:03 PM
Ok so I couldn't wait for tomorrow...

Monks - check this out. This I think is the very first version of MeDem V1.0 coloured up. So it has a few rough edges at this point but these seem like areas which can be fixed easily as opposed to making another ascent through a precipitous frosty crevasse to do it.


Critique it strongly and ill get it all fixed up. For a start there are hardly any trees at this point etc.

01-16-2009, 06:27 AM
woah. hahah! effing good sh*t! LOVE IT.

Can we get more natural fall off on the ice by latitude? That's a harsh transition; just a little. I was thinking a fall off influenced by river valleys but that's just one idea- whether tis doable I dunno. The temperature would be moderated by water and the relief being more sheltered- ie the rivers. Also I think large areas of veg as well- but there aren't any are there? :)

Don't know what happened with the bottom edge. Some export problem from GM obviously. It's a minor detail we can cut that off...well needs must on this occasion I think. I don't want to go back now: let's just do this run. Going forward.

Yes, just looked again. The ice should not come that far south. It should have its *absolute* limit along the northern edge of those mountains- the ones runs east-west. Even that would be too much. I think some degrees north of that line.

A bit too much snow on the Mistys as well. Can we reduce that cover?

I see what you mean about the bottom left yes? That is one huge beach...! I could add a little in WM to that area- just some polys to undulate. There's the hills of course but not sure how many are down there.

this needs changing- this should be grasslands- what is that? moorland?


This is AWESOME- gotta get me a bigger pic of this Robes. Can you stick one up on the ftp? The whole transition from river -> hills -> moorland is so beautiful. All that complexity. Once we add the hills in in World Machine.... sweeeeeeeeet.


01-16-2009, 08:02 AM
Fun isn't it. Knackered today - cue bleary eyes etc...

The map is 10x10 tiles and it takes about 5 mins per tile so thats about 5hrs for the map. So checking a change is not too bad but then applying that change globally is a bit harder. Still, by using the makefile you can select which tiles you want to ditch and recalc and it will run through just updating them only thats really really cool when your looking at this much time to recalc.

I think generally there is too much snow and that the temperature needs to be increased. To fade out that snowline I thought that we should increase the solar heating so that you get bare south sides of the mountains which would stagger that snow line much more. I think the Mistys should be dappled with snow not solid right ?

Lets forget the bottom left and concentrate on the Mistys + Mindol areas then and get the bits that matter about right. I am hoping that there will be some mountainous texture on the Mordor border and stuff like that cos its a bit flat right now. Maybe we will submit just Mistys as a map ? Still, all that I think is the problem is that the land towards the sea does not have much definition and its very low. I have the beach settings in the tex compositor so I could hack them down a bit. But the land around that area is just above sea level and very flat so its putting in a big beach. The waves are just 0.25m high and they span quite a distance so it must be really flat indeed. Not to worry tho.

That dark patch is igneous rock instead of normal. I will have to check my settings here as I think that veg should cover most of that up. I will have to blur the igneous mask a lot too I think. Its too sharp.

My main issue is that the whole thing is grass so I have to up the trees and get them in. There should be some forests in there but it didn't grow them for some reason. Maybe its too cold at mo. Will push up the veg param anyway with the temperature then maybe they will come in.

I'll upload a big pic somewhere though I should get you a VDale version as its fun to whiz round it. I ought to get the height map down to about 2K to so I can play with DragonFlight too.

01-16-2009, 08:29 AM
re snow on mistys Yes, if you look at Google Earth Alps from high up, the snow actually adds definition to the ridge patterns. When I was working in WM I got the snow coverage on the tex just right so that it brings out those macro structures- it looks just like the google shots. That's the same latitude so.

Depends on just how much I manage to do here in WM. So that's a yes on entering a separate Mistys- I think the whole map will be not far off that Misty quad.

re: bottom left

yes, I'll tool with that as the last thing on my list, but it's not priority.


01-16-2009, 02:34 PM
Ok, warmed it up a bit so that snow goes to the Northernm ridge line. Added a bit more veg and fixed up the igneous to be under the veg this time (duh!) and improved the river water texture to be more consistent. Lorien, Fangorn and Mirkwood still not coming through so ill look into that next.

Making a few more changes and starting a new full run.

01-17-2009, 09:36 AM
New one. Some of the forests have come out this time. Still there are some holes in them. I think this might be due to flooding but I am not sure at this stage. Will have to look and fix that since I zap all the water off the map before rendering it.

Lorien is not coming out still. This could be that its higher in altitude or that its too cold from that too. I will have to check the temperature map to see. I am wondering if I should raise the temperature where there is forests since there are some in the ice fields and they will never come out if its this cold. I am not sure how cold it is up there but on our map its very cold indeed - like about -20 or something like that.

Anyway - I am pleased at how its coming along. Still lots to fix up but anything else that is glaringly obviously wrong to an M.E. eye that I don't have.

Oh yeah, I added a little smoothing to one stage which added about a minute to a tile calc. Thats an extra 2 hours to calc now. Will have to do something about that I think. So its at about 7 or so hrs at mo.

01-17-2009, 10:36 AM
Looking good.

"I am wondering if I should raise the temperature where there is forests since there are some in the ice fields and they will never come out if its this cold. I am not sure how cold it is up there but on our map its very cold indeed - like about -20 or something like that."

Absolutely. That whole area is looking like an ice cap. It should be tundra and boreal forests and higher in latitudes- krumholtz. True full ice cap should be at the most northern extremity on that coast north of the most northern range of mountains. to south are those forests as you mentioned. If we have to 'hack' the to get the forests out, so be it.
I was going to say that we need to keep this bay with more ice- pretty much as it was previously in fact- this is called the Ice Bay of Forochel. It fgures in the Histories.


This area (Angmar) should be preternaturally cold because of the presence of the Witch King. I think just shade less ice tho.

..as for the big map....WOWzer! Omg, can't wait to get those hills,and mountains in...

Finished the first pass on the mountains about now....yeh I know, 3 passes is pushing it especially considering that the next networks require more manual labour. I think we'll probably have to settle for 2 passes.
just noticed the misty as well- yep that's pretty much the effect of th snow cover I meant.


01-17-2009, 02:24 PM
Redrobes this is looking stunning! What a huge amount of work, but the results are amazing.

01-17-2009, 02:52 PM
Redrobes this is looking stunning! What a huge amount of work, but the results are amazing.Its a mind boggling amount of work. Monks has been at the map for ages and ages putting in all sorts of detail then there are other besides us and Seer who have contributed too. GTS was modified from a shell of a program into this huge complex beast just for this one single purpose and there's been lots of ancillary little apps that go in too like the tex compositor, cutter, blender, flow mask and file format conversions. Even the makefiles which drive the whole are huge then the main height map file format HF2 was done by Aaron of L3DT but it was the interchange between all the apps like L3DT and GM and WM and GTS etc that drove that process too so its just huge.

Anna said that for her the one thing that she needed more than anything else to make the Greyhawk maps was a kind of perseverance and tenacity. And we all agreed on that. There have been so many times where we have been facing sheer cliffs of impossibly hard climb that we have dropped the project for weeks just to recover to take the pain again and pick it back up. But now we are actually getting colored images out its starting to seem like fun and worth it all.

This is a 10K square map and the plan is to do 160K square using GTS but that requires that it gives the right results as it bumps up the res. When faced with that its just off putting to the extent that I thought if we don't get something tangible out then we would never get a grip on this. When the map for print challenge came up I thought well I don't need more clutter but it wouldn't half be a good idea to get a poster made of some of ME to put on the wall. Whether this could be an entry is debatable given the previous work and collective effort but the idea is that we *ought* to be able to have a print in any case so this is as good a time as any to get the 90% into 100% and chug this out as a starter print.

Steel General
01-17-2009, 04:24 PM
I know is an immense effort and you have a quite a ways to go. But I wonder if it would be worth it to talk to Anna (if you haven't already) about a Greyhawk map done this way, once Middle Earth is done.

01-17-2009, 05:03 PM
once Middle Earth is done....Sacre Bleu!!!!!..as if? hahaha

There are so many cool worlds to do- concurrently even...that's an old dream of mine. Greyhawk would be up there :)


01-17-2009, 05:48 PM
Well at least we have the know how and tools to do it. I think Anna might be a tad upset if we did tho.

Monks - would you say our map is 2275 miles across ? Is that a pretty accurate figure ? I have taken it from other maps scale and tried to align it to ours. I am cooking up something incredibly cool again but you will have to wait but I know your going to like it heh heh...

01-17-2009, 07:28 PM
It's 4000 km across to the T. whatever that is in miles to the gallon...

ooh! haha

Mountains half done I'd say...



01-18-2009, 07:03 AM
Thanks and nice pic - coming along nicely. I scaled up ME to that exact size and found a bug in VDale which now having looked and fixed it is really obscure - like had to have a child icon at a -ve position rounded to exact multiple of 100 miles and it loads it up wrong. Fixed now but that was a surprise. Anyway, continuing with my mystery cool thing... ;)

01-18-2009, 11:13 AM
Looking reaallly great Monks,

RR, how dare you, I hate mysteries, I cast a pox of stale ale reeking bogs upon thee!,,,,not really, though I will spend untold hours trying to guess what you are up to and still be wrong.

The FHCO have been busy with xfrog making trees and plants, I just have to find time to convert the pics and upload them to snapgallows, truly otherworldy things they make.

01-18-2009, 06:29 PM
The hills mask has gone in.
I'm going to add gentle undulating noise to everywhere bar the mountains. then a smaller scale noise likewise. this saves you doing it Robes. WM has the advanced perlin which really excels as this multifractal stuff. I'd still rather do that stuff by hand but time presses on.

At the moment the terrain has a little preview erosion going on in WM in realtime, but I'll take this off before exporting.

I think I'll put the stone fields in as well- use a mutilfractal breakup.



01-18-2009, 06:44 PM
Just realised, I think I'll have to subtract the rivers mask from the hills mask. I used a blur on the hills mask within WM which may cause problems for rivers.- don't know yet. REMIND ME!


01-18-2009, 06:53 PM
You might have to be careful with the subtraction. Wont you get a big dip in the flat lands too ?

I am just smoothing out the last problems with my new stages to the makefile... ok so its not all that exciting but its another thing that needed to be done.

01-18-2009, 07:34 PM
No, I mean multiplying the binary masks. It won't affect height, just xy.


01-18-2009, 08:00 PM
Ahh right yes I see now.

I have been doing place names. Instead of using VDale to put them in I thought that it would be much better to have a solution which is more independent and allows greater flexibility since VDale has one font which has pros and cons but I think for a fixed printed map the cons outweigh the pros in this case.

So what I have put together is a text based list of place names and index them in by position in miles - hence the request. Also, you can specify the type of name and size. So right now all I have is 10 size levels. The font is rendered with a halo of the background color to it which fades out.

So the end product is another 10K image - thats 3 now for color, lighting and placenames. Putting all 3 into VDale is slowing it up a little now cos thats 300 x 1024 x 1024 images its pushing around which is quite a lot. Still, it prints out just fine.

So here are some images. All we need to do now is add all the names and the coords for them. Not an insignificant task I admit but then nothing is with this project eh ?

I have integrated this into the make system so that if the places text file changes then it reimages all the names and makes all the tiles for them again. That, like the rest of the make system, is just wonderful. God I love GNUMake.

01-19-2009, 05:19 AM
Cool! I like the font as well. There is an ICE font if you look on the net in the right places. Fan modules group had one I know that, but this is very nice too.
Was in the studio yesterday. Back in Middle Earth now haha. Onwards...carpe diem.


01-19-2009, 06:36 AM
You can see the effect of the new multiply shaving the blur off the hill extents. Note that the river bed does not slip below the original height. Good job I thought of that!



01-19-2009, 06:39 AM
Thats good stuff. It will be interesting to see the new mountains.

01-19-2009, 06:54 AM
hmm the new mountains ain't THAT great if you compere them to the Misty range. But that full on job is for another day. I want to run the dem output from WM overnight tonight...so anything I want/ need to do has to be done today. OK Robes?

First hack at general noise- need to make some adjustments- its riding up on the hills.


01-19-2009, 08:10 AM

We've got product now so......!


01-19-2009, 09:24 AM
Ohh ringing in the ears now :P

Hey I can host some of it. I mean a 10K map is no problem and bigger is ok but when we get to 160K well then that's where its gets difficult :D I am still hosting a few hundred megs of terrain tiles so I can replace that at any time.

01-19-2009, 10:16 AM
That was Bull_(UK) at the world wind forums, one of the core members there, if I remember right, I will have to pop over to the world wind tiles-xml thread at me-dem to check,,,,about 15 months back,,,,,wow it has been awhile.

01-19-2009, 10:41 AM
making a Google Map of this will be easy, the laptop can handle 10k, so I can do that anytime, so a google map is a go'er

and making the image and bil tiles for world wind should be easy as well, but, because this laptop won't run World Wind, testing the xml file is a no go for me,,,had a thought,I must have uploaded the Anduin Vale xml to me-dem, so I should be able to take that, modify the extents for the higher resolution tile set, and it should work,,,,then I have to figure out how to point the accessor at a server to dish them out if we are going to put them on line,,,but I wont be able to check if it works until I get my new computer in Feb,,,unless I scale back my "want this comp" ,and buy something for the interim just to run it....may do that just because I have the cash on hand for a dual core,,,,and then give it to the kids when I step up to a quad,,,,4 kids with two computers and 2 laptops would work better than 1 comp and 2 laptops anyway..

runs off to check bank account and read through his own tutorial for using his own excel workbook for world wind tiles ,cause he don't 'disrememba" so well..

Should have a dual core on Thursday, plenty of ram and 'nuff space on the hard drives to make a few mistakes,

For WW, Once I am ready I'll need a hf2/hfz of the heightfield, the shaded/TEXTURED terrain image, and probably transparent pngs of the place names at different font sizes ( cause zooming in on the terrain is cool, but zooming in on a humongous letter G has the odd effect of concealing terrain)


01-19-2009, 10:52 AM
hahaha! Did I shout that loud enough?

Cool. I do hope he's still interested.
Just had an absolutely amazing terrain open in WM. I need to do a little something to it before I can post any screenies. This is the last of it now this end. Need to lie down...so tired...*says body*...ON YOUR FEET SOLDIER!!!! *screams brain*...

///see you've posted again Seer- read later...


01-19-2009, 11:21 AM
ok still got said thing to do but at this distance you can't see the problem.

Check this out. This is with the undulating noise I mentioned (first take). It avoids the hills, mts and rivers, sea. This is REALLY exciting...and this is only the beginning...! Look at the hydrography! these can only get batter. I want to see REAL functioning watersheds baby! And I wan to see those mountains how they should be...one thing at a time phew!
The old ICE topo is becoming a liability now for these eye candies.


and remember this is without any real erosion.
...the topo stuff



01-19-2009, 12:42 PM
yeh i know I'm a big pic freak sorry, but this is good sh*it..:)



01-19-2009, 01:01 PM
Cool and groovy. If those rivers were taken from the 10K version then this erosion looks like its at a lot higher than 10K square grid. It must be a procedural type done on the fly which would be quite impressive. Are you able to get me another .ter in exactly the same way as last time ?

I will try to get more names in there tonight.

01-19-2009, 03:59 PM
The rt erosion is on the mts. It is pretty impressive stuff, but the rivers are a result of the perlins raising the terrain around the clamped river beds. Well I'm on my way to rendering this out. Gotta shoot for tonight. Hope to have a 10K terrain fro you tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed cos 4 GB may not cut this. Not sure. May have to give you 4 5K ters. Is that ok?


01-19-2009, 04:05 PM
All sounds great Seer! especially the letter G zoom. That's personally why I'm in this game...for the giant letters... heh.
World Wind- some on, we can't turn down an offer like we had back there can we now....? Just hope it's still on.
Yep, we can dish it from several sources anyway Robes.


01-19-2009, 04:47 PM
ok I have 5 things to do. The problem that I mentioned is now sorted.
3 of these are small modelling tasks: the southern beaches being one. the others are punching in numbers.



01-19-2009, 05:04 PM
Good going Monks, I reckon were in with a shout of getting it done in time. And yes 4x5K's is fine. Just keep all the settings about the same or tell me what the height offset is. I'll try to get as many of the text labels in as I can.

01-19-2009, 07:43 PM
Had a set back tonight; cost me a few hours but it's sorted now.
Im goin run this anyway before I hit the sack. Any more last minute modelling could be done on top of that dem first thing tomorrow morning.


01-19-2009, 09:07 PM
S'funny cos I had a setback which I fixed eventually. All the text was coming out a few mm away from where it should and this was a problem. I forgot an offset so its alright now.

So latest... you wont be able to read the really small print like Cair Andros for example but you can in the high res version. I'll get one of those to you shortly like after a new height map and updates etc. I think I have the ability to do italics and other fonts but I dont think it needs it right now. I could do with the umlauts and accents and other stuff but will look into that later tho.

I expect that the names are for the wrong age and other ME issues but you know me - total ME luddite :P

So to the map... :)

01-20-2009, 12:50 AM
That brings up a question: What period will this map represent? Obviously, the terrain is suited for anything following the ruin of Beleriand, but when it comes to labels, what are you shooting for?

01-20-2009, 05:40 AM
Hi Midgardsormr, Third Age 1640 which is when the map sources were set. But right now we're not going to get that detailed. The map is more generic at this point.

So far, 6 hours rendering n WM. This may be a 24 hour job. It's rendering as a single terrain. Oh ye, there is hfz in the output options...ha. So it's coming over to you as that. Stephen must have put that in without telling anyone. He's not been active in the WM forums since October 20th. Wow, work hard, play hard.

Oh yes, I left the erosion in by accident, d'oh! It's not a major erosion. What do you reckon Robes? If I take it out it'll certainly speed up the render by a LOT. It'll also increase the potential size of the render but that doesn't seem to be a problem right now- we're about 80% into it.


01-20-2009, 07:34 AM
ok scuppered that run. I was running erosion on everything. Bad idea. Not necessary.

I'm going again. I'm going to leave erosion on mountains only. Hills, etc will be unprocessed.


01-20-2009, 10:47 AM
Midgard raises a valid point. Is there a ref map link that I should look at for the correct names for the map.

01-20-2009, 01:20 PM
There's the topo of course. You should have at lest one of those knocking around.
This render is a beast. I think this is going to be tomorrow morning guys- running all night.This has really surprised me. Sorry for the delay. I've got 2 erosion devices in there on the mountains only. Jeez...
If it goes caput I'll just take out all erosion and simply run that- that'll be about 4 hours max. So either way mid tomorrow.


01-20-2009, 03:08 PM
Been looking at veg today and figuring out why GTS has not been giving as good a veg maps as it ought to. I think I have found the answer but running it through to see now.

Came across this today too. Anyone for cake ? (http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/01/sunday-sweets-lord-of-rings.html)

01-20-2009, 03:46 PM
ahahaha! The Minas Tirith cake!! nutta! "I ate Minas Tirith"

Ok pulled the plug on that last run. No erosion. running now. Should be done by tonight.
I reckon that the full erosion render may well take a week or more...*gulp*...


///Steve any chance of you modifying DF to render out cakes? ...maybe a cake shader in there or something?

01-20-2009, 03:56 PM
Heh a cake shader eh ??? Hmmm not a lot of call for that one but you never know...

I have a render out. I made it do the full bung in the middle of the Mistys and then do some cheap bypass off that area so no snow in the north etc - just enough to tell me whether this is worth it or not. I think it is looking at it as we have Fangorn and Lorien full now and no duff region in Mirkwood. The new code makes getting the Veg right much easier than before. Veg growth before was a criminally sporadic process. There is some scope that this new veg change might help with rivers too... in that bizarre kind of way GTS works.

Anyway - is this better ?

01-20-2009, 05:38 PM
yeh! looking great! This is a lot better in all areas. Top left is maybe not quite as richly varied- can't guage that too well from what I can see here. Great job Robes!

OK dem called RENDER is going up into the dems folder of the CartoGuildComp (phase2 dir).
It's a hfz and opens fine in L3DT and GM yipeeeee!!!! We have a nice suite of apps now to work with :) :)

nipping out... oh yeh btw there's a bit of a horrid line around the Misty quad (that didn't show up in WM probably because it is works differently with rendering things)- I think a bit of blurring/brushwork is in order. Hopefully the erosion will help too.

Rauros hills are not done- needs work- flat. Also the beach in the south is still very flat. These jobs can be done tomorrow as last minute things depending on when you start your run.

some screenies to follow later...


01-21-2009, 05:52 AM
Created an HF2 offsetter which allows me to resample the height map you provided and reposition it into a another one so it can be rescaled to 10000 and then set into a 10240 square. That's done and running now but I need to see the results to know whether it is working or not. Its no problem for you to keep going. Its basically about 4 hrs to run from new DEM to result so we can go to the wire with changes.

01-21-2009, 07:37 AM
Great! Today is to get some fixes in there.




01-21-2009, 10:52 AM
Nice work again Monks, I have a render now....

a*se !

No Veg - gnashing of teeth... So expect another at some point with some veg on it... ho hum.

01-21-2009, 02:34 PM
looking g reat guys, 98 meg hfz, wow, I will start downloading before I go to sleep, 12 32 pm, and look at it in GM once I wake,,,,,whoot! 1 day off this week, and it is a thursday,,,,

01-21-2009, 02:49 PM
Robes, is the southern coastline ok now in the latest runs? Looks like the perlins I put in over all the map may help...?


01-21-2009, 06:28 PM
Filled in some glaring gaps that i never knew were there in the hills mask. It happened because there is some duplication between the hills masks and mts mask. Some got lost in the mix.

The next update will be a fairly significant improvement.
i'll try process it for first thing tomorrow morning.


01-21-2009, 07:57 PM
Nicely done and the new render is out. Even I am starting to think it looks real cool now and I am my own worst critic. I still dont like the areas that have no veg. If they really dont have veg then it should only be sand color when the temperature is high so I don't know why its doing that. It should be dry mud if not wet mut but not sand. Will look at the texture script again. Actually just writing that I know why its doing it.... Hmmm right ok I can fix that no problem.

So here is another WIP. Critic it strongly, names, veg, too much ice and stuff like that. I am concentrating on the middle horizontal band from bottom of ice to top of desert. I think middle Mordor needs to have volcanic mask too - its set like it so its another texturing issue there.

01-21-2009, 08:43 PM
Just sussed that texturing issues. Little mini map here to show the result.

01-22-2009, 04:37 AM
ok, since you asked, it looks like the Province of Gondor named Lebennin is spelt Labennin.

Just north of Belfalas Bay "Angmar" appears on the map, should be Anfalas, as in Anfalas, Belfalas, and Tolfalas, which run west to east along the coast.
Angmar is in the north of the Misty Mts,,,the big claw.

Enedhwaith, the open heath between southern Eriador and the Isen, is spelt Enedwaith on the map, needs an "h" after the "d"..

Monks, what projection and extents are you using in GM for the "Render" hfz, since the hfz file does not include that info when I open it I get a 10005 x 10005 heightfield covering less than a 2 x 2 arc degree area ,,,,,some where around 20 meter per pixel res, so pretty small coverage 200000 meters by 200000 meters total...the meta data in the control center ought to have the data,

I'll keep looking, and comparing to both the ice map and my copy of " The Complete Tolkien Companion"


01-22-2009, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the labeling tips - ill sort that out right away.

Since the shire is supposed to be about where I live and I am at 52 deg north and ME is based on our world then it seems to be that radius is 6371km so thats 3922km at 52 deg so circumference would be 24645 and the map is 4000km across so that's 58.43 degrees of map in the middle. I don't know our map projection tho.

01-22-2009, 07:24 AM
Here's the metadata for the Vector frame quadrant we are using. All the exports get clipped to this.

UPPER LEFT X=-411.375
UPPER LEFT Y=2000348.034
LOWER RIGHT X=2000311.377
LOWER RIGHT Y=-348.038
WEST LONGITUDE=1 43' 24.7340" W
NORTH LATITUDE=18 05' 26.4494" N
EAST LONGITUDE=17 01' 23.2164" E
SOUTH LATITUDE=0 00' 11.3350" S
PROJ_DESC=UTM Zone 31 / NAD83 / meters
COVERED AREA=1545499 sq mi

I'm working on some significant improvement today. I'd really like to get these in guys of poss,...

Oshyan is reinstating the galleries- he did say the has the dev images archived. We may have a Joomla upgrade.


Steel General
01-22-2009, 07:27 AM
Since the shire is supposed to be about where I live and I am at 52 deg north and ME is based on our world then it seems to be that radius is 6371km so thats 3922km at 52 deg so circumference would be 24645 and the map is 4000km across so that's 58.43 degrees of map in the middle. I don't know our map projection tho.

This reminded me of a map I stumbled across the otehr day when looking for some inspiration. I'm sure you've probably seen it before but here's the link (http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/121-where-on-earth-was-middle-earth/).

01-22-2009, 09:31 AM
running the render now guys for the update. No more modeling work on this now...


01-22-2009, 09:36 AM
Yeh Steel General I've seen that one before. It's kind interesting, especially as we have ideas to use real world dems (terrain models) on a future version . The problem with going to far with this direct comparison is that if you try and force Middle Earth timeline into the real earth timeline you find yourself back in an ice age. That's great news if you'e simply looking at the coastline- it fits better because the sea level is lower. But one major oversight is the fact all that water has to go somewhere. It ends up as a mile high ice sheet covering the UK down to somewhere like Oxford. As that is where Hobbiton The Shire is, that's not good news!


Steel General
01-22-2009, 05:30 PM
Nope, not good at all...wouldn't want Bag-End as a big ice cube. :D

01-22-2009, 10:30 PM
...but maybe that's why all hobbits have hairy feet? ha!

This is a monster render. It's not going to be ready until tomorrow morning. We're talking a 17+ hour render. *If* we can use this tomorrow it'll be worth it.

Oh yeh, finally got my full working WM 2.0 from Stephen today. YAY!


01-23-2009, 07:09 AM
Done! It's not perfect- there is one glaring oversight- but it's another significant improvement!

This dem is already respanned to the correct vertical range. (there's an unspanned one in there as well as Render_02)


I'm going to work towards improving this again...
*blur that border around the Misty quad.
*fix the oversight I mentioned.
*couple of other little modelling jobs
*get the stone fields in.

I'll probably tinker a lot with this as well...ooooh mi little tinkers



01-23-2009, 09:44 AM
Cool. Started running the new one today - got about an hour in and thought, hang on I didnt take out the respan fix. So had to restart. Going again and looks good so far. Gimme another 5 hrs or so.

Whats this stony region here. I am guessing that its a raised bit of land with sufficient height to be textured as rock.

01-23-2009, 02:23 PM
Should be The Brown Lands. The gardens of the Entwives destroyed during one of the inter-war periods by the bad folks. Now a wasteland but should be more brownish than grayish. See http://www.tuckborough.net/plains.html for a description and references.

01-23-2009, 05:11 PM
Thanks Waldronate, I think that ought to be fairly easy to fix up. My worry is that theres a thousand little errors like that all over the map from my texturing. I'll have to go through the map with Monks and get the lowdown on what all the places are. I am the doppleganger of Middle Earth fandom.

01-23-2009, 05:22 PM
It's 4000 km across to the T. whatever that is in miles to the gallon...

...and the map is 4000km across so that's 58.43 degrees of map in the middle.

Here's the metadata for the Vector frame quadrant we are using...

UPPER LEFT X=-411.375
UPPER LEFT Y=2000348.034
LOWER RIGHT X=2000311.377
LOWER RIGHT Y=-348.038
WEST LONGITUDE=1 43' 24.7340" W
NORTH LATITUDE=18 05' 26.4494" N
EAST LONGITUDE=17 01' 23.2164" E
SOUTH LATITUDE=0 00' 11.3350" S

Hmm there seems to be a mismatch between figures here. The meta data is claiming 2000.750km or so instead of 4000 so the 18 degrees would be much more if 4000Km. Confused now. Other maps have it much more like 4000km than 2000.

01-23-2009, 05:47 PM
Just messin about with DF... Although ME is not the most stimulating map in 3D due to its continental size its much easier to see stuff like these brown lands being raised now.

01-24-2009, 07:38 PM
wow what a coincidence, that's twice that word was used today: doppleganger: once by a hip hop rapsta, the other by a s**t hot mapsta.

Yeh you're right Joe of course, well that kind of tweaking is for ME-DEM rather than the compo entry. We can only do so much on a v.1.0 but by the stars we have a v1.0!!! How does that feel...? SMOKIN!!!!





01-25-2009, 06:41 AM
Robes about the extents. We've been working with half scale in Global Mapper due to Seer not being able to output the dem + topos at full res on his old comp. Seer has handled most of the GM stuff. We went to half res a while back. It doesn't affect the ME-DEM core data in any way since the contours that generate the dem are all vectors. We have plenty of full res topos lying around as well should we need to re-rectify to a full res GM workspace.


01-26-2009, 09:45 AM
yaa, my borrowed laptop was a bit underpowered, I always thought it had 1 gig of memory as it could open a 10k topo and a 10k dem, but not a 20k anything,,,,had a look under the hood the other day, it only had 512k memory (reported 456 though) , and 7 year old memory at that,,,,GM must have some good memory handling tucked in the code..
My new, interim (before I give it to the kids) laptop is 3 gig, runs nice and smooth, its so quiet when running I begin to think it has died, the old one sounded like a Vulcan Bomber on take off when rendering with terragen.
I have World Wind set up, just have to get my MS expression disks from Carol and I can whip up a Gmap, test the xml, and cut tiles,,, and catch up on the CWBP maps for Inspired Cartography...


01-26-2009, 02:06 PM
I think it's about time we had some new graphics on the ME-DEM page. We can take the new stuff from this terrain 1.0 run. As soon as Oshyan gets the 1.5 install up we can launch the terrain 1.0.
Ha! Yep GM must have some swanky mem handling- that's an understatement.

This is really basic texturing in WM...STILL cannot get those glaciers right...doing my head in...nice effect from a distance tho! I should say that this has been posted in PS.



01-26-2009, 03:06 PM
omg, Im really moved. I'm so proud of this project and so grateful to have hooked up with such a great bunch of guys.


The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


01-26-2009, 05:25 PM
I just got that last WIP in for the compo but whether it wins is not important to me. Just to be able to say there it is we have something tangible to show is really something. Feels like a big weight lifted off. Like sitting down on an enormous plateau after climbing a steep cliff for a long time. Still plenty to do of course but for now I am just going to absorb the rays and stop for a while...

I'll have to get you the build files and some of the mods for them I did tonight. Really pleased with how the tools have handled it actually. Its been steaming away with all cores going full tilt for days and its not even so much as flinched at all. Not going to say its bug free cos every time I do something new with it another pops out but the core stuff must be pretty clean now. Sorta feel like a 40K is not beyond it or my machines capabilities any more. Its good that the veg got fixed up too cos to have one script that must grow veg over ice caps to deserts and all in between is pretty good - I had my doubts that it was going to do that. I still have my doubts whether it can do that for the water / rivers too but we haven't half been thrown some barriers to hurdle and so far nothing has been a show stopper so gotta think positive about it.

So do you think that Osh might want to throw TG2 at it now ;)

01-28-2009, 05:50 AM
Yeh, simple as that really. I do actually feel like a sense of satisfaction- didn't expect to even ha!


Yep, 40K...oooh. Makefile is pretty damn cool eh?
We're still not entirely sure about rivers, but it's the journey, not a destination if you know what I mean. Well, we should run and see at some point soon. I'd like to see a render of a subset at high res- that'd be interesting- maybe a 20K Misty quad. Lots of ideas anyway.

Oh well....not sure about that. I just don't think he personally has the time. I'll give it a go though and I think Seer would be up for it. I'll ask Osh anyway once I get the next update out.
I'd like to see a link between GTS and TG, but you've got to know that you're actually going to get some renders for all that coding work. Like I say I'l take it up with Osh.


01-08-2010, 10:19 PM
I see this thread is quite old and I hate to bring it back, zombie-like, from the dead, but I have been searching for info on the Middle Earth DEM and find that it is pretty much scoured from the 'Net.

Back in August of '07, I was lucky enough to have downloaded the ME-DEM DevImages zip file and have been trying to use what that folder contains to create maps for a Neverwinter Nights 2 module I'm stupidly making the attempt to create.

But, I have discovered that the ogres with Tolkien Enterprises is on the warpath against all the map data.

And, of course, no one is still working on this project privately, are they? *wink wink nudge nudge*

01-08-2010, 11:19 PM
I haven't seen monks around for quite some time but Red will be along tomorrow to answer for ya.

01-08-2010, 11:50 PM
looks amazing.

01-10-2010, 06:54 AM
Yeah I almost live on this site....

The Me-Dem project is still running but what basically happened is that when we had a more active forum the technical difficulty got higher and higher until there were about 4 of us doing stuff and then the site got hacked and it languished in a hacked state while we waited for the webmaster to get a reboot. We got that but it was insecure so was hacked again. All out of our hands really. Then we got an upgrade about middle of last year which gave us the forum back again but there are no images loaded into the archive. So we lost all the guests and basically on a small handful of people resigned up.

At mo I am still in touch with Monks who does add a little more now and again and who does the DEM side of the map. I do the resolution upscale and procedural coloring based on climate maps that are defined, so I dont do any mapping of it whatsoever. For me its more about the tools to enable us to get to the next technical level with it all. I modified by terrain making app to cover some of the requirements of this project and renamed it GeoTerSys which is in my sig. I should mention before anyone else asks that its not a released app - its fearfully hard to drive. Monks runs some 3D views from Global Mapper or Worldmachine. Seer Blue is also a little involved tho I think his main PC failed some time back and has been quieter since then and SuLiam is one of the more stalwart passive observers.

So technically its not abandoned but its not going forward very fast at this point either. Sort of arthritic snail pace. You can post onto its forum and I think we still get notifications tho its been so long that anyone has I cant remember if it still works. We generally private mail between us now. Monks has a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/lingardc) with some pics on it too which I reckon is about as up to date as it gets tho he is busy with his band which is doing better and more active than the map ;)

I think that Tolkien Enterprises should capitalize on their IP but this is a non profit, non money making thing. You sign up for free and Monks gives it out. There's no sales based on any of this stuff. Its just a fan based bit of fun really. Most people including me don't have Global Mapper to add to the data set or use it in native form. It normally has to be converted to something more common most of the time. If they yanked it then it would be a loss for everyone including them. If the project got somebody who wanted to use it for something bigger and commercial then I think we'd be onto T.E for a licensing deal. I don't think any of us are intending to go that route or seek it out tho. Were just happy to play with it as and when. Any sort of licensing deal is never going to happen if its just yanked off the face of the internet tho so why do it. But then I can never understand half of the decisions that lead companies to fail.

01-10-2010, 01:57 PM
Hellooo :) If you register on ME-DEM, I'll be able to give you the data for a dem via ftp.
I'm testing World Machine 2.2 right now, so I'm back with things a little, but not modelling at the moment.

A chap contacted me via email over Christmas...was that anyone on here? I've yet to reply but I do intend to soon. ;)


01-14-2010, 10:18 PM
Hellooo :) If you register on ME-DEM, I'll be able to give you the data for a dem via ftp.
I'm testing World Machine 2.2 right now, so I'm back with things a little, but not modelling at the moment.

A chap contacted me via email over Christmas...was that anyone on here? I've yet to reply but I do intend to soon. ;)


I hate to be so terribly dense, but where do I go to register on ME-DEM?

World Machine is frikkin' amazing, but I have a lot to learn about it before I can put it to good use...

01-15-2010, 02:16 PM
where do I go to register on ME-DEM?

The web site is over here. Mail if there are any login problems.


01-15-2010, 03:20 PM
The web site is over here. Mail if there are any login problems.


Oh, well, heck...

I didn't even try that, since I thought Tolkien Enterprises killed it.


...sheepishly I ventured forth to register...

01-15-2010, 03:23 PM
Hellooo :) If you register on ME-DEM, I'll be able to give you the data for a dem via ftp.
I'm testing World Machine 2.2 right now, so I'm back with things a little, but not modelling at the moment.

A chap contacted me via email over Christmas...was that anyone on here? I've yet to reply but I do intend to soon. ;)


Well, I've registered at ME-DEM and I'd love to take a gander at your data. If I can get it figured out, I can use it to make modules for NWN2 and create ICE's MERP game for it.

'Course, that'd be a ways down the road...

01-15-2010, 03:35 PM
Its not my data I just color it up a bit with some procedural oompa loompa scripty stuff. Monks does the 3D bit. And now that you have ventured over there you can see how amazingly active its been. No need for Tolkien Ents to come in were doing just fine fossilizing all by ourselves ;)

For your project maybe you should try Global Mapper and ask Monks for some tips. I don't have it and have no idea how to drive it.

01-15-2010, 03:53 PM
And now that you have ventured over there you can see how amazingly active its been. No need for Tolkien Ents to come in were doing just fine fossilizing all by ourselves ;)

Ha! "Tolkien Ents," that's rich...

For your project maybe you should try Global Mapper and ask Monks for some tips. I don't have it and have no idea how to drive it.

Well, I'm not really intending to map the entirety of Middle Earth. Basically, I look at the maps used for the particular MERP module and see if I can grab just that small section from a larger DEM file. Then, I'll try to provide fine detail to the much smaller map, making it suitable for import to NWN2 where I'll add the man-made stuff.

Probably too ambitious a project - but, hey, why not?

01-16-2010, 12:17 PM
ckirmser, if you tell me what you want to do over at ME-DEM I'll be able to say if I can help.

My two main apps are Global Mapper and World Machine. GeoTerSys is also a big part of it, but tends to lie at the end of the pipeline, and so depends a lot on me finishing up stuff.


01-16-2010, 02:59 PM
ckirmser, if you tell me what you want to do over at ME-DEM I'll be able to say if I can help.

My two main apps are Global Mapper and World Machine. GeoTerSys is also a big part of it, but tends to lie at the end of the pipeline, and so depends a lot on me finishing up stuff.


Well, okey dokey - heading there now...

01-27-2011, 11:47 PM
It's been some time...
The project has officially moved forward and we are now in new territory! That update took about a year....bit laggy this internet ain't it?! :)

The northern flank of the Erd Nimrais is finished. I'm going to do some work over the next few days on the Misty Mts river exits, and then it's back into Global Mapper with this!











Steel General
01-28-2011, 08:06 AM
Thanks for the updates, good to see the project is still 'alive & kicking' :)

01-28-2011, 08:21 AM
Looks fantastic.

01-30-2011, 09:55 PM
Cheers guys ;)

I don't know if I've posted these before or not. I use Global Mapper. The contour map was created by hand using data from all my role playing book sources; out of maybe 70 or so books, about 6 or 7 proved helpful.
The map was drawn in Photoshop at 10K pixels square with a 1 px wide pencil. Your computer screen is about 1K square and this full stop is 1px. Can you imagine what that was like?...hahaha..it was quite insane. I literally lived and breathed that map for maybe 3 or 4 months.




some more with underlying terrain. This is pre- processed terrain. Not the final product.










Oh yes I've got a texture folks can have. It's a seamless 4096 aerial view of woodland. It may well be tileable as well. I made it in imagesynth using shots from GoogleEarth of the Black Forest. Each is 40 megs.





01-30-2011, 11:03 PM
I can't even begin to imagine the insanity. Ravs, you gotta get this guy a straight jacket - he's foaming at the mouth, scratching the paint off the walls, and eating dirt. :) You are, without doubt. the most dedicated mapper here, man. Cheers and keep up the epicness.

01-31-2011, 11:48 AM
hahaha!...nice one Ascension.:) I've seem some pretty cool maps round here- the one on the front page is excellent! I especially like the little detail with the trees and bushes. Awesome that! I'm always learning. I'm beginning to wonder if there's a better way of using real world terrain data. I think I'm missing a trick there.

Hey if any of you guys ever want seamless, tileable, textures of vegetation etc from Google I can knock them up with a little program called imagesynth. If I post links where would be the best place to do it?


Steel General
01-31-2011, 12:03 PM
Hey if any of you guys ever want seamless, tileable, textures of vegetation etc from Google I can knock them up with a little program called imagesynth. If I post links where would be the best place to do it?


I would say the Mapping Elements forum would be the best place.

01-31-2011, 12:13 PM
ok, ta General ;)

01-31-2011, 09:15 PM
Mapping Elements for the textures, and Software Discussion for the utility.

02-01-2011, 09:40 AM
Hi Midgardsormr, the utility was not written by me, but I can post info about it over there I guess. Did you once have an account on Deviant Art by any chance?


02-03-2011, 11:46 PM
A glimpse of the map as purely vectors. I've removed the topographic map and the terrain to have a wee look at it.


The contours were generated from the very basic terrain- at 400m per pixel. The central quad is at the next level of detail, though I've removed most of the contours because they were so dense. I'm currently working on the quad immediately to the south of that. You can see it here.

Those two quads can then be eroded and more detailed contours generated. That would be the third level of detail. After all of the map terrain has been worked on. It can then be increased in resolution. This map is at about 10K. We have the data at 20K as well. The next step will probably be to take it all to 40K. It could be taken to 100K and higher, and more terrain detail added procedurally but it all depends what we want to do with the terrain and the map data.


02-04-2011, 05:42 AM
I have never seen such dedication to a single mapping project. Monks, this is just incredible. To have drawn all the contours by hand is simply mind boggling. Ascension's right, I think you need an asylum of your very own!!!

02-04-2011, 09:52 AM
Thanks very much Ravells...I think lol :P
We always figured from the outset that all of the most informative maps have terrain, from which you generate contours of course. You usually don't include the terrain in the topo- unless you have shaded relief (which I do like on a map), but it has to be done subtley or otherwise it makes it difficult to see what's going on. I prefer the physical sort of maps anyway, as opposed to the political ones.
Something I'm wondering is, I haven't seen any maps with contours on here. I've seen lots of terrain though. Wilbur has a couple of ways to generate contour maps. I wonder why people aren't taking more advantage of that? Contours are soooooo SEXAY!

At the moment I've not added any place names in the data. I need to upgrade to Global Mapper 12 cos that has a few nifty features like geological symbols, (we do have a geological map), river and watershed creation, underground features, and 3D features...hmmmm I'd love to map Moria! 8)

** Hey, I'm now a proud owner of World Machine 2.2 Professional!! Didn't cost me a penny as I'm on the testing team wooohooo!! **


02-04-2011, 12:01 PM
lol, funnily enough I'm just looking at the whole contour thing myself and going back to getting vector contours from Fractal Terrains Pro. At the moment I export the FT pro map into CC2 and then save the CC2 map as Enhanced Windows Metafile (which takes vector info) and then load into Serif Drawplus (which is like Illustrator) so I can work on the map. So far the results have been OK, but even a small area of land generates a huge number of nodes and lines, so I've got some crashes / overload issues to work through if I want anything magnificently big with contours. Using Drawplus's autotrace feature looks like it's faster and produces 'cleaner' vectors which is what I'm looking at the the moment.

I think people here tend not to use contours as a whole because they are not very 'fantasy-ish' which is a pity.

02-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Hi Midgardsormr, the utility was not written by me, but I can post info about it over there I guess. Did you once have an account on Deviant Art by any chance?

That's okay, it's for discussion of software, no matter who makes it.

Yes, I have a Deviant Art account, but I don't know that I've ever actually used it. It's likely, though, that what you've seen wasn't me; somebody else grabbed my name before I got there. It happens from time to time on the bigger websites, especially since Final Fantasy XI named one of their servers after me, but I'm the original! Accept no substitutes! I guess to really clinch it I should claim the midgardsormr.com and .net domains; looks like the last guy to have the .com didn't renew.

Looks like my DA account is Midgaard77, which is what I always try to fall back on if somebody's taken my primary handle.

02-04-2011, 02:31 PM
Ahhh yes!- all this brings back memories hahaha!...even just sorting out a workflow can take a long time,...and pain- interesting workflow- one I'm not familiar with. It's a LOT worse if you are using large files. Back when I started this caper, I was limited to Photoshop rasters- for producing what were ultimately going to be vectors, but I had no choice,- PS wastheonly prog capable of handling the huge files. The files are not that huge, not what would considered huge these days, but this was way back. I did find an obscure route via PS -> Wintopo Pro and Global Mapper ultimately.My problem was I had to vectorise all those raster contours. WinTopo Pro back then had a one click raster to vector feature. Saved me a lot of time!...but I still had to tag all the vectors with heights....ughgh.
I've never used the metafile, but I was aware of it. Autotrace sounds a lot like the raster to vector thing.

Yep, and you know why it's not very fantasy-ish? Because none of the fantasy map makers of the past ever went to the trouble of building a terrain! They didin't have the tools and in addition it's a bit of a pain in the ass to do it Tolkien did to a certain extent (well to a large extent actually), and those who followed on: Strachey, Fonstad.



02-04-2011, 05:11 PM
It's quite a memorable name. The guy on there was involved with terrain programming I seem to remember. My name is taken quite a lot, but I'm never sure if it's something I've previously signed up to in the dim and distant past :)


02-05-2011, 08:34 AM
Hey monks, did you check this thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?13433-Aerial-Photos-of-the-Rockies) ? Nice mountains !

02-05-2011, 09:13 AM
Yeh, they are beauties!

02-06-2011, 03:12 PM
Update. The new quad is back in Global Mapper:


I've got a real problem with the way I'm working. The roundrtripping between GM and WM isn't working.
When I get the terrain back into GM, the terrain heights are out at the coastline. Caused by a problem I had with getting the first quad back into GM.
That's produced a knock on effect for this new quad and now the coastline in the south is all wrong along that quad. It's out by 68 m.
I can solve it by doing some more work on the quad in Leveller or Wilbur. The problem is I'm going to have this every time now I reimport a new terrain.

I could possibly fix it by altering the coastline contours in GM and running interpolation on those coastlines.

I'm going to try and fix the problems I have and then I'm going to bite the bullet and get the whole terrain into WM or some other app.
That means getting 8GB for starters. The problem with the current way I work is I'm using Leveller and to a lesser extent Wilbur.Leveller is crumby with memory. I get out of memory so easily with that app. 20 K, the current res I'm working at, is never going to go in Leveller, even
with 8 GB, it being a 32 bit app. I very much doubt it will go in Wilbur 64 either.

I'll see how easy and effective this interpolation is. If it's easy I'll consider staying with the current way oif working.

There's also another possible solution. World Machine has a relatively new feature called Render Extents. One can set mulitplie render extents of different resolutions.I've never used it before.I'm hoping that this will allow me to do essentially the same thing as Grome
does. Have the whole 20K terrain in the tmd, but only load the system with the current render extent. I know that I can load 20K into WM, I did it before when I had 8 GB of memory.
I'm enquiring about it now...

I've installed more memory...fingers crossed it doesn't start misbehaving...

I've just realised that some of my layers in Global Mapper are in different projections. Hmmm, that could be the cause of my problems.


02-19-2011, 01:31 AM
Solved most of the problems I was having last week.

Here's some pics.








02-19-2011, 06:31 AM
This is looking seriously juicy!!!! Go go!

02-23-2011, 10:47 PM
juicy?...:-D ...

The quad now after removing those edges.


Still more to do. I'll have to create a new quad combining the two quads and roundtrip it.I'll give it a go- failing that, it's contours in gm.



02-28-2011, 10:02 PM
I've ironed out all of the square edges in the model. There were lots of problems created in water flow.The only way I could do that with any satisfaction was in Global Mapper using contours.


The top left will have to be done in the next modelling phase. That will be either, another roundtrip with a quad covering the whole of the west coast, or the whole terrain in WM.
I'm undecided what to do right now. There are things I need to do in WM which I'm not entirely sure I can yet- with ease anyway. I tend to do those things in painterly progs such as Leveller or Wilbur.

Before I decide what to do, I'm going to improve the model with contours so that the major rivers flow correctly. I'll limit this to the main rivers- if I do it for all of them I'll be here til doomsday. :p


03-04-2011, 01:45 PM
Improved rivers...high vertical exaggeration





03-11-2011, 10:44 AM
We're currently getting our terrain into a planetary renderer. These are initial test shots.






The software is ProLand by Eric Bruneton. Eric kindly released some code from an early demo. RedRobes is getting our terrain into it.

You can see more about ProLand here:


03-11-2011, 01:34 PM
Yes, this Proland is really awesome. In fact there are a number of these kind of renderers out there very few of which we have any way of getting our DEM into so its very kind of Eric to lend us some API for that. As you can see I lashed it together with nearest neighbor sampling so the normals are all screwed. It was expected but I need an hour or two to fix that up before its really ready.

Incidentally, these planet renderers are in REALTIME. Its really awesome to see it going. The demo Eric has allowed us to integrate with is his old one and were only getting height and colour API calls. His new one has much more in it and, well, its just amazing to be honest. I have to keep expanding where I think we will all be in a few years from now w.r.t graphics.

03-11-2011, 03:06 PM
Now you know what I've been banging on about all this time with flying over it in WM. :) WM has it's strengths in terrain editing. ProLand is way beyond those rt capabilities...I'm looking forward to seeing it in action!
I think a 40K terrain will look pretty amazing in this. No hurry though, we're moving in the right direction ;)


03-11-2011, 09:19 PM
OK. This sounds very interesting.

03-12-2011, 12:19 PM
:-D Hi guy. Yes, the anti alias needs sorting out but MineCraft has a bit more of an issue with that hehe.

If you're ever looking for a crazy project to get involved in, this is it! ;) 6 years and counting for me...


03-13-2011, 03:10 PM
River tests. I ran the terrain through Wilbur using the precipiton and incise flows. I'm not using basin fill here.
The pics show the terrain in World Machine with some erosion added in there. Apart from some of the results we've had with GTS, these are the best rivers we've had to date.
Note, the terrain here was processed without any fractal detail added.This is as about as basic in appearance as the terrain gets. I added 2 or 3% noise in Wilbur.



with coastline


with coastline


with coastline


03-13-2011, 09:40 PM
I grabbed another few hours tonight and coded the linear interpolation. Its slowed down the data file generation by a bit since its requesting 4x as many coordinates from the terrain but, as expected, its solved the 'dodgy normals' problems. So from a bit of a distance this looks well cool. This is with the 10K map tho so next step is to try the 40K one... Mmmmm.

EDIT -- thought id render a similar view to last time just to be sure it really is working. That looks much better now.

03-13-2011, 10:25 PM
This looks awesome!! I can't wait to fly around it. :-D
Yes, I can see the difference now with the normals. I think once we get our data in place with the Earth data we should use this as the new website front page image.

One can only imagine what this will look like fully eroded and textured...o_O


03-13-2011, 10:57 PM
Lookin' great, guys. One of these days you'll have it all done and can relax.

03-15-2011, 10:56 AM
Thanks Ascension.. I did take about 18 months of a break from this but then some very irresponsible person posted a map in the ME-DEM forums and started it all up again haha! I had a hard disk crash and lost some work, and I was busy with with my band. A week of pain redoing the work got the ball rolling again. Things have moved in leaps and bounds since then. Finally got the rivers to where I want them and the terrain is wicked in ProLand. We're hoping to get it into another planet renderer some time this year which has trees and ocean rendering. *We hope*.


03-16-2011, 10:29 AM
I hope so too, this is just looking flipping gorgeous!

03-17-2011, 09:11 PM
Thanks Ravells, things are really starting to take shape!

Got some good news. RedRobes and I were asked by the guys at OuTerra if they could use our data to test their new map compression software and beta test their planetary rendering engine and sandbox world editor. The ProLand demo is *amazing*, but we'll be able to do a lot more in OuTerra. In the sandbox editor we'll be able able to build features, import our distribution maps from Global Mapper for stuff like roads, forests, etc, and have ocean rendering.


For more info visit:

Exciting times indeed!


03-19-2011, 02:00 PM
I've got the Anduin flowing. So far I've done about a quarter of the total
area I wanted to look at. It is quite a big job this one.


You can see the original rivers in Global Mapper (from the topo) vs the eroded river valleys
It's not prefect but I'd be happy to run with those.

There's just one point where the main course stops flowing. It's
ridiculously close- something like a few pixels where it's interrupted.
But it continues immediately afterwards. I've not included all of the
watershed at the top in this run, so the flow may be a little more,
so that might solve it,, if Wilbur erosion works at all like that.

As long as we can output the new rivers as masks in Wilbur, we shouldn't
have problems. Joe said we have a few options, so I'm optimisitc about that.

There's a little bit too much incise erosion on the east bank for me- should
be smoother, but that's a minor quibble. I'd blur that area and add gently rolling hill
noise anyway. Tolkien does describe that vista.

Back to it!


04-03-2011, 12:25 AM
I've had to take a little time out from the the rivers. Eric, the Proland dev is kindly letting us have an improved demo. We should have sea specularity and lights for population centres.So I've created the following layers- long overdue actually.

Towers and Keeps
Beacon Towers
Burial Sites

You can see a map of them here:



There's barely anything left on the map now that hasn't been digitised. I think bridges are the only things left.

In ProLand we can weight the lights and we can add dim lights to the roads too- bit of artistic license!
We should have a vid soon.)


04-04-2011, 04:04 PM

I was referred to you forum by Joeri Timmerman @ the Fan-Modules Yahoo Group.

I'm looking for a heightmap of Arda...Middle-Earth, in RAW format or another lossless format. to be used in a 3D rendering we're working on.


04-05-2011, 08:26 PM
Hi Starbuck. I suggest registering on ME-DEM. http://www.me-dem.me.uk/

You can reg on the boards here: http://www.me-dem.org/

What kind of game are you making, what kind of renderer? Is it a mod or commercial?


04-06-2011, 06:39 PM
Hello monks,

I'll check out those links.

I am part of a small gaming group that wants to play MERP, but we live in different parts of the country. So we have been trying to find an online way to continue our characters adventures. We are using Blender to make some of the assets and will be using Unity as the "gaming " engine. We are collecting as much data on Middle-Earth as possible, for table-top as well as online RPG, hence my previous heightmap post.

I would not call it a mod, we originally wanted to use Oblivion to mod, but it's only single player.

Thanks for the info

04-06-2011, 08:51 PM
Hi, that sounds cool. I much prefer multi player and even more co-op mode, but it's so rarely supported. Still yet to finish Oblivion- been far too busy making this terrain model!
We were approached a few years ago by a team who wanted to make a BattleField 2 mod. The deal was that we let them use our assets, in return for using their assets (that they could) such as 3D models.
If you register on ME-DEM we can discuss it there.


04-08-2011, 10:40 AM
So is this a true role playing thing then or more of a MMORPG ? If its RPG then using a VTT would be a good way to go and therefore a 2D map with top down icons. Its quite extreme to go 3D for RPG. If you do then the res of the terrain would be very low at character scale where the action would be. Even a very very high res terrain would be a few hundred feet if not more for the whole land of Arda. Also, if doing this in 3D, what would you use for the towns and cities ? When 2D you have the maps for them from various places.

04-13-2011, 01:01 AM
Hey, this is probably somewhere around 20-30K in res.

A couple of the mountain ranges need sorting out for this run (they're too high), and most of them ultimately.
Eventually, I'll model the hills more fractally- give them better drainage and they'll look much more authentic.
There are floodplains and beaches in here too :)

When we upscale it, it will loose a bit of the noise. I think there should be a few more smoother plains in there but hey, this is a demo.
In any case, we're certainly not short on terrain features for OuTerra's fractals to get hold of.
We're working on a 40K terrain for ProLand and OuTerra.





Ryan K
04-13-2011, 01:04 AM
Sweet, dude!

04-13-2011, 01:08 AM
Looks fantabulous.

04-15-2011, 09:37 PM
For anyone interested, the ME-DEM crew had our picture taken : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNP7R1-cBvA

RedRobes is at the back with the red tie (of course). That's me on the right. My hat slipped.