View Full Version : September Entry: Contour Crazy

09-05-2008, 10:16 AM
Alright, heres my hat going in... it will be my usual style since thats what this is all about this month. So to start with lets get that map into 3D, color the contours with grey levels and then make a height map. Finally the 3D view of it from which we can start to apply some better stuff.

09-05-2008, 10:50 AM
Redrobes, I was hoping to see this challenge created using your 3D software, though I was curious about it would place forests properly, versus on its own.

Glad to see you in this one - boy we have lots of entries already, though I hope there are more!


09-05-2008, 11:18 AM
I will run the erosion and other goodies on the map. The program needs a starting point which can be quite rough. I also expect that as it whittles it away the shape of the ground will change quite significantly. I am hoping that my guesswork contours are about right to get the rivers flowing where the ref map placed them. I printed out the ref map in black and white on card and drew in all the other contours by hand guess where they might be. Then scanned the card back in.

For trees it can generate a vegetation map but I can also apply a weighting map to it too. You can weight it so that you specify that it must put trees in a place or definitely no trees or anywhere in between. In those cases the vegetation calculations get a dose of fertilizer or weedkiller as appropriate.

If I do get a height map which represents the terrain then like last month it is possible to use the texture generator to apply any kind of textures that can be programmed. I have my realistic set well done already from previous projects like CWBP but I could try some other types like olde stained mappe and ink.

But right now the risk for me is whether I can get this height map to approx match the ref map.

09-06-2008, 07:17 PM
This isnt going quite so well as I had hoped. To try and get an accurate 3D map from contours is quite difficult and its come out a bit rounded and lacking in some higher detail. I could add that in random but it would stop it looking like the ref map. I think whats needed is more elbow grease but I cant spare the time to do it properly. Still here we go, a bit more done.

09-10-2008, 12:40 AM
Don't know if this is contrary to your methodology. I think you need to keep this map to comply with coastal requirements for this challenge, then create a further eroded version of your mountains, river valleys and forests. With image editing cut the newly eroded terrain out of the map (careful not to include any water at shoreline), then place onto this map so you have the realistic terrains like your Thrubmorton Fens of the CWBP.

Place the new cut version on top of this map and detail the rough areas where the terrains clash, and voilla!

Is this cheating, combining two created terrains? Will the erosion completely destroy areas of the coastal terrain so this couldn't work - I don't know? The concept seems doable, its whether you want to play the GIMP/Photoshop surgeon or not. Just a suggestion. :idea:



09-10-2008, 09:00 AM
I dont think it would be cheating. I dont think almost anything is cheating this month as its very open and however you make the image is fair game.

In the CWBP we were given a basic terrain which we could do a bit of work with so I made it quite small and used my app to add noise and progress it up to higher and higher res. When I do that it maintains the fluid flow over the map so it puts in rivers where it thinks they should be. By the time it gets to a high enough res its happy with that result. The problem here is that I had to make the initial height field and try to get it to match the end result so as it gets higher res its moving away from the map reference. So I havent added extra noise as I upsample and its constantly trying to fix up my contours to place the rivers where it thinks they should be but not tending towards the ref maps version. So if I erode and progress it, its getting further away from the reference.

So I could do that and clip bits back onto this map I guess but I don't think its ever going to look right or as realistic as the Thrubmorton terrain. I have tried several times to make a map using GTS to a specification and it does not seem to work well like that. If you were to say, we want some mountains somewhere over here and wet areas over here and some rivers generally in this region but dont specify the exact coast line then it would do it great. Thats in effect what the CWBP area was since there was no specific requirements and we had a basic height map to start with. GTS can make realistic terrains but if you specify an exact requirement then it has to be realistic to start with.

So I will add some more names to the map but its not going to be progressed much more than this. I have been flat out hacking up some more code for a new toy which I know you will be interested in - actually an old toy that I am reworking but more on that in a short while.

09-10-2008, 04:06 PM
I love toys!! ... :D
The map still looks good RR ..

09-11-2008, 10:31 PM
Awesome Redrobes! Looking forward to it unfolding!

09-25-2008, 03:19 AM
There is some sort of claymation-y goodness associated with this one. It looks like terrain that would be associated with a kids show, and that is not a bad thing.