02-11-2013, 01:48 PM
Yes the MeDem project has always been free and non commercial. It is a labour of love (and pain !). Outerra exists in two forms - a demo and a paid up thingy. I dont know much about the paid up direction they are going in but its some kind of world exploration tool or a game engine or something. But for the free download at the mo there is only an earth option. In fact until recently there were no options, you got earth. Soon there will be MeDem listed on the list of worlds to explore and the data is hosted and automatically downloaded from them as you explore it.
It does look very cool now. I got mine going yesterday and had a wander. There is much to do but at least we have outerra support now for tree placement so we have Mirkwood, Fangorn, Lorien etc in there now. We dont have full biome control so the snow in some places looks great in other places there should be some but there is not. As time goes on we can provide all the masks for them to place it better or we can adjust our landscape heights to match up with that which outerra considers snowy. Monks has provided some images above where we draped the GTS texture over World Machine which shows the land types better since we use the programmable texture shader to generate that in non real time. Outerra tho is real time and so much more fun at the expense of some loss of ability to control that biome in its current state.
02-11-2013, 02:28 PM
:-D The standalone viewer is free yes! If you want to add models or make other changes to the landscape then you'll need to buy Anteworld, which is very affordable as you know
//just saw Robes' post-...he explains it more...!
02-11-2013, 06:09 PM
02-11-2013, 06:37 PM
Hi aquarits, thanks..heh...yes we've been working on this for some time. We've had input and help from a number of people along the way (like SeerBlue. another member on here), but at present, the main contributors are Robes and myself. We have another member SkyStrider who provides an online topo map using the data. And I guess I should include our web master who hosts the website and provides us with ftp space, Oshyan Greeene (of Planetside software). Of course we'd have to include the developers at Outerra too: Cameni and Angrypig for their help which is not insubstantial. That's it really! We're now moving into the next phase where we're looking for 3D modellers/texture artists to help populate the enviroment.
Yes, you get to download and install a viewer to view the world for FREE. All you need is the minimum spec hardware- something around an 8800 nvidia or better- and you can fly around it to your heart's content. Google-Earth is the closest thing to describing the Outerra Engine actually, but this is a game oriented engine so it has ocean waves, rustling trees, howling wolves...yes you get the picture! If you want to actually add stuff to the world...like buildings, roads, textures, etc, then you will need to buy Anteworld, which is the commercial world building game using the "Outerra" engine. Anteworld is very affordable too. The Earth data which is in Anteworld is pretty incredible of itself. Worth every penny just to see that frankly.
Last edited by monks; 02-11-2013 at 06:44 PM.
02-11-2013, 07:04 PM
02-11-2013, 07:32 PM
:-D...kewl...the viewer is called...uhmm...well not sure really but it's the Outerra engine bundled with the ME-DEM data. Call it the "Middle-Earth for Outerra demo". We'll be posting links and instructions obviously!
02-11-2013, 09:03 PM
I was under the impression it would be the Anteworld demo which is a demo based on the Outerra engine. So go to Outerra to see all about that and the forum there. You can download a demo of the earth now but if your looking for medem data then hold for a few more days max. Its imminent now. I am not sure if there is going to be a new released version or a patch to the current one for the medem option so to save downloading and installing something twice I would wait the day or so.
I think I am correct in saying that Monks has done all of the terrain. I don't believe there has been anyone else actually sculpting it. Thats done in Global Mapper and then it goes to World Machine and Wilbur in some arcane process and voodoo that Monks does to get it into a set of terrain tiles and some additional properties masks thats then fed into the build system for the project. I write the build system and about half a dozen tools thats part of it with the help of image magick, Perl and GnuMake to grind it through about 20 stages of processing to export a set of height tiles that is compatible with Outerra input. It also generates a set of properties masks again. We use all those to generate the ViewingDale texture and tile set, the topo map tiles, the outerra tiles and a special vegetation mask for Outerra. The donation of large FTP space has been immensely helpful and all of the additional comments and input from the forum has been great not to mention the original reference maps and at the root of it all Tolkiens work. So we are here by standing on the shoulders of giants it is true.
Outerra is a team of a few chaps (4 ?) in Slovakia who can then take these compatible tiles and convert them into Outerras own custom format which is then uploaded to googles cloud servers. The data is then downloaded and streamed dynamically through Outerra engine to show what needs to be seen at any time.
In the coming months and years I think we would be looking for models of Minas Tirith, Isengard and all of the notable cities and buildings to be modelled in 3D. Some people already have such models so we would like to persuade them to join in and set them into this real time landscape. Not sure yet about the technical implications of that since I know some of these models of Minas Tirith are vast ! I think more people would be involved with the project from the 3D building point of view tho as this land form terrain stuff is very specialized stuff requireing significant computing capability, tools etc and I believe hard to implement and keep consistent as a team exercise. If people could each model little bits of Bree, Rivendell or Osgiliath then it would definitely help.
Last edited by Redrobes; 02-11-2013 at 09:24 PM.
02-16-2013, 04:43 PM
It is done ! We have released the first version of the MeDem data with an Outerra Viewer ! So if you've ever dreamed of flying around Middle-Earth, of sitting by the cool lapping shores of Lindon, of strolling through the singing forests of Lorien, or racing over the cruel spires of Mordor ... now's your chance!
Just download and install it.
You can get the downloads from several places. You will need the Outerra (Anteworld) tech demo and a copy of the MeDem data. For the instructions on where to get them I would recommend going over to the outerra forums post:
Middle-Earth World for Outerra released!
Which has the locations of several download mirrors to handle the 900Mb+ download. You will need a reasonably good graphics card of the NVidia 8600 / 8800 type or better or a latest AMD card. The AMD cards have had some issues but I think on the whole most of them have been ironed out now. Check with the Outerra site for compatibility.
At the moment we're using the vanilla Outerra Earth environment and textures. Hence the snow in Mordor. Outerra Biomes are currently in development. That will introduce a complete array of ecosystems for the planet, both textures and vegetation.
We're looking for 3D modellers and environment artists. This is a demo. In the coming weeks we'll be releasing a Builders Version of the terrain, which will be an updated terrain model ready for modding.
Included in the Anteworld demo is an entire world based on the Earth. Think Google Earth but with game oriented graphics and engine! Anteworld enables you to change the world environment. Also you can add buildings, roads, vehicles, change models and textures too!
We have made a small video of it here:
Middle-Earth DEM Project in Outerra - YouTube
Cheers, Monks and Robes.
Last edited by Redrobes; 02-16-2013 at 04:51 PM.
02-17-2013, 11:36 AM
02-17-2013, 12:08 PM
That's very gracious of you Vellum, thanks! Speaking for myself, it's a personal thing this milestone. Closure is important. No point in it sitting on a hard drive now is it? :-D It has been a lot of work yes, the project has been therapeutic in many ways. In some ways it's an ending, in others a beginning. Of course, the project moves forward too. We still need to release the builder's version. That's the next immediate step.
Nah, no applause, just enjoy it for what it is.