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Thread: Middle Earth DEM Project

  1. #291
      Silverleaf is offline
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    I have to say I've been following this thread from early September of 07 when I found the CG website. Your work on this is down right brilliant, and the idea of mapping an entire fantasy world in 3D is right up my alley. I've always harbored a desire to map Tolkien's world and Steven R. Donaldson's The Land (from the Thomas Covenant series).

    I may have missed it in previous posts, but whats the long term goal of the project? Is this strictly a labor of love? or do you harbor some ideas about a "bigger picture" with the finished product?

    As an animation student in my 5th year of college, I admire your tenacity and wish you a ton of good luck.

    Cheers,

  2. #292
      monks is offline
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    Hi Silverleaf, thanks a bunch!


    We've spent so long over this project, and I've learnt a huge amount over the years. I now know that I could do a heightmap of any fantasy
    world that had ref maps/ topo maps very quickly. I'd say in months rather than in years. We've evolved our workflow over time, and the use of Robes' procedural texturer would be part of that workflow.
    So, what we're doing right now is moving towards a full run of the map with real world mountains applied procedurally (apart from Mordor which will be the hand modelled version seen in the pics). That's the immediate goal. We've been held up for the last 3 weeks because the software I'm using has a major bug which is preventing me from outputting terrain tiles. So, waiting on a fix for that.
    After that, the next goal will be completely covering the terrain with dem data, using terrain sourced by type from the real world.
    There will be some (lots) improvements in the renderer to (Outerra) along the way of course. Can't say exactly what due to nda, but the next shots should take advantage of a new feature. Expect the terrain to look a lot more like the Tolkien maps. )


    Another thing we could develop more is textures.


    After that..? well, I'm up for modelling another world just to prove that it can be done way quicker. The two that sprang to mind are Narnia and Thomas Covenant- yeh I read those when I was ata school!


    What animation are you studying? If you wanted to get involved with thew project, feel free to join the boards.


    http://www.me-dem.org/


    some more pics:
    http://www.me-dem.me.uk/


    Cheers,
    monks

  3. #293
      Silverleaf is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by monks View Post
    I now know that I could do a heightmap of any fantasy world that had ref maps/ topo maps very quickly. I'd say in months rather than in years. We've evolved our workflow over time, and the use of Robes' procedural texturer would be part of that workflow.
    Woah, that excellent to hear. So which is preferred, topo or simple reference?

    Quote Originally Posted by monks View Post
    After that..? well, I'm up for modelling another world just to prove that it can be done way quicker. The two that sprang to mind are Narnia and Thomas Covenant- yeh I read those when I was ata school!
    Now your talking! The Land is a major draw for me because like Middle Earth, that world seems alive to me more than the one I live in. I hadn't thought of Narnia but perhaps you might look at the world of Harn (Columbia Games).

    Quote Originally Posted by monks View Post
    What animation are you studying? If you wanted to get involved with thew project, feel free to join the boards.
    My main focus is 3D Studio Max, although I must admit to being more interested in the graphic/post-design aspect of it all. I'll have my Associates at the end of this semester, and then another year for the Bachelors. After that I plan to go on for the Masters so that I can teach animation at the collegiate level.

    Thanks for the link to the ME site, I've bookmarked it and will spend the next few hours over there absorbing the material and images you've posted.

    Really, and this is certainly the uber-geek in me speaking, I've not been this excited about an ongoing project since I first heard that Stephen R. Donaldson was revisiting The Land. I can hardly wait for 2013 for the 4th and final book of the Last Chronicles to hit. The world better not end in 2012, cause I will be royally irritated.

    Please keep posting updates and I'll continue to drool.

    Cheers,

  4. #294
      monks is offline
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    Gotta be a topo really. I had a brief lok at the Covenant map the other night- that and Narnia. Both look pretty small compared to Tolkien. definitely doable. I guess you'd want ot get a lot of the details right- but that'd depend at what detail you built it.


    I forgot that he wrote the last 4 books..! I've not read those.


    There are other worlds that'd be more challenging, like you say Harn. That'd be really nice to see, and I half think it must have already been done surely. World of GreyHawk, Runequest, Powers and Perils...Rolemaster worlds, the list goes on! )


    Good luck with the studying. Yeh, I think you'd get a bit more job security from teaching!


    Haha, the world ending..? that's warped! Yeh, I should read them at some point. Nothing wrong with being a geek anyway- most of the pioneers in computer games came from the pen and paper roleplaying world- even Carmack ran his own Campaign!

    Good news!..I think the software bug should be fixed within the week, so we can crack on

    monks

  5. #295
      Silverleaf is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by monks View Post
    There are other worlds that'd be more challenging, like you say Harn. That'd be really nice to see, and I half think it must have already been done surely.
    Well, there was a thread at Lythia (the official home of the Harn Forum) sometime back where a guy was designing some 3d models and had modded what was going to be a single town. He had just the basic terrain laid out, otherwise nothing substantial has been done with the world proper. Truth be told, I have no interest in modding the entire world of Harn - the mainland is called Kelestia. The island of Harn, now that is a different story all together.

    The Last Chronicles is, IMHO, the best work that Stephen R. Donaldson has done in the series. Well worth the read.

    Cheers,

  6. #296
      monks is offline
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    Didn't get a notification of reply for this thread in my inbox...hmmm. So apologies for not responding.
    Yeh, I bet there's loads of personal projects like that that have come and gone over the years, Minas Tirith project for one (unbelievable that that all went to waste like it did) I suppose the hard part is finding a permanent home for them, for the assets. I think at least with ME-DEM we've been around for quite a long time now. We're not quite there yet but I'm hoping that in a month from now we'll have a version 1.0 finally...!

    Well, I've got my license for World Machine 2.2 Pro so we can move on with the project again now!

    monks

  7. #297
      monks is offline
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    After a bit of trouble (bazungus understatement ha!), I've combined the Mordor quad with full tile set and added hills, lowlands and wetlands. I've also added flowmaps from Wilbur to add tributaries to the rivers. Not sure how well that will work out but I though I'd try it.

    www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Te...1/WM_tmds/Pic_01.png

    www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Te...1/WM_tmds/Pic_02.png


    The next step is to build the tile set to put through Robes' Make and create the mountain masks which control the mountains blended in with the texturer.

    monks

  8. #298
      CP Sennett is offline
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    Some great work here guys.

  9. #299
      monks is offline
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    Thanks CP Hopefully we'll be able to post some pics of progress in a couple of weeks.

    monks

  10. #300
      Ihmemies is offline
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    Correct me if I'm wrong.. but apparently there are no files available for public yet?

    I'm planning to do Minas Amon in Minecraft (I know it's been done a thousand times) and I'm in need of a b&w heightfield.

    Would you happen to have a heightfield of the White Mountains? A smallish 2-4km area with some mountains and a small part of Pelennor would be more than enough

    Making realistic, good-looking terrain is not that easy and seems you have a lot of experience in doing that... Anyways, whatever the answer, thanks in advance and good luck with the project. Hopefully it will get finished & published some day!

    Edit: seems my reply sits in some Adminstrator limbo, and I can't use private messages, so I suppose I can only wait >_>
    Last edited by Ihmemies; 02-15-2012 at 10:00 AM.

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