View Full Version : Figuring out Wilbur...

Michael Morris
04-07-2009, 12:52 PM
I have a major problem with Wilbur and particularly it's tutorials -- Every single one of them is geared towards random map generation. I'm not doing that though - I'm revising existing maps with known mountain range locations and coastlines that I don't want to change. I'm eager to let randomization add detail to the valleys and the like, but it has taken me forever to get a drawn map that I could even post here as a work in progress.

Of the maps of my setting I've made over the years this one is my starting point.


I'm starting with Dabrinia, the island in the upper right corner.


The only information useful to me from the old map is the coast shape. I'll eyeball the city locations since more of them are going to be added. There's also a scale change since I've decided on a new more accurate scale for the area (the other map was done 13 years ago and I've learned a lot since then about topography and associated disciplines).

The next obstacle I see looming is smoothing the slopes from their terracing to something more even. Notably I've redrawn this using wilbur's paint tool so the terracing isn't astounding, but it's still very bad.

The goal topography is the volcanic mountainous form seen on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. I still have some mountain sketching to do but I'm starting to wonder where I go from here. For instance, how can I add ridged fractal noise to this map as seen as step one of most tutorials without blasting away my work or affecting sea level areas?

04-07-2009, 02:07 PM
To add noise, (with the land selected) use Filter>Noise>Fractal Noise, and set the operation to "Add".

You will also want to change the amplitude to match the existing span of your altitude.

-Rob A>

Michael Morris
04-07-2009, 02:46 PM
Sounds wonderful, but how? How do I select land? How do I find the existing amplitude?

04-07-2009, 07:22 PM
Surface>Map Info gives you your map X/Y extents and your min/max elevation. You can adjust the elevation by Filter>Mathematical>Span.

To select the land, use the magic want with an appropriate tolerance to select the sea, then invert. Or use Select>From Terrain> Height Range. (knowing the map elevations)

-Rob A>

Michael Morris
04-13-2009, 11:36 AM
Ok, I'm starting to get a handle on things, I think. I finally got to the point where I can apply the erosion filters and get good results.

Deterracing operations didn't do any good. To do terrace I applied selected the terrain, used blur more 3 to 5 times, reraised the mountains and used the noise tool to re-establish texture. I've now eroded twice to reach this.


The next step is figuring out how to re-establish the smoothish coning on the volcanos, particularly the largest - Mt. Salnori. The highest point on the map is at this mountain's peak of 13,000 feet.

Would it help if I remapped the increments? The only way I could figure out how to map them and get the 3D projection not to puke was to use .0001 as the lowest elevation, then move as follows .001 = 1000', .002 = 2000' and so on. If it would help how would I go about doing it?

Also, any comments on the general topography itself folks?

04-13-2009, 07:38 PM
To reduce the problems that you're having with the 3D view tool, use Surface>>Map Info to specify a larger size (+/- 10000, for example or generally +/- 5*desired max height). The default is +/- 1, which isn't terribly helpful for anything but basic operations.

04-14-2009, 12:28 AM
Some side questions for Waldronate. Does deterrace work at all? If so how do you make it do its magic? Secondly how do you get hf2/hfz to save? It reads hfz fine but says, "Error writing file C:\blahblah\blah...," whenever I attempt to save. Do I need to load some sort of hf2 dlls to make this work or what?

04-14-2009, 12:37 AM
Check out http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/FunWithWilburVol4/index.html for a simple example of using a black and white land mask to generate terrain.

04-14-2009, 02:39 AM
deterrace should be working. It will, however, only work on hard steps, not on soft steps. It works on a raycasting approach where it sends out rays from a point until it finds a different value from the starting one and then does a weighted sum of each ray that reached a different point value. If you have a soft step, then the difference between the two will be very minimal and there won't be much of a perceptible slope.

The images below show what happens with soft edges vs. hard edges for deterracing.

(And the HF2/HFZ writing code was broken; the new 1.69 version fixes the problem).

Michael Morris
07-11-2009, 10:34 PM
How can I stop deterrace from FUBARing at the edges of the map like this?...


07-12-2009, 06:19 AM
Most likely there are some wild points along that edge of the map. Try Window>>Histogram to see if there are points that are well beyond your map's expected range.

07-18-2009, 07:04 PM
Waldronate i hope you can answer this,

The Wilbur Tutorial answers black and white masking such as the beginnings of RobA's Gimp Tutorial, what i want to do either directly in Wilbur or through Gimp is to mask on a gradient.

I've had no real problems creating a fractal coastline mask, the problem comes in when i try to smooth it down to sea level, smudge can produce pretty good results but then i lose most of the coastline and get a rather abrupt and small region of descending land. Using more and longer strokes with the smudge tool eventually ruins the nice detail i've gotten.

Ideally i'd like to create a land mask as in the mapping tutorial but shaded from sea level to some distance inland where it then allows all the wilbur generated terrain to show through, if masking can work that way.

Could i have some pointers on the easiest way to make such a mask, if possible?

07-19-2009, 01:56 AM
I'm not a Gimp user so I'm afraid I won't be much help there (although the ShapeBurst gradient might be what you want).

In Wilbur you should be able draw the selection you want and then use Filter>>Fill>>Mound to generate a distance mask (which is the equivalent of the ShapeBurst operation) into the heightfield or Select>>Modify>>Distance, which will do the distance transform thing to the selection.

See also http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/FunWithWilburVol4/index.html for more tips.