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Thread: Final Fantasy 4 map rendered into a height map.

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    Help Final Fantasy 4 map rendered into a height map.

    Hello! I am new here and I figured this was the right forum to go to for cartographic help. I like minecraft. I like final fantasy. So naturally I want to enjoy both at the same time. I want to render the Final Fantasy 4 map into a height map so I build on it in minecraft. The use will be completely personal and I am willing to pay (via paypal) if the quality is well-done.

    The map in question is: http://www.fantasyanime.com/finalfan...4map_wsc01.png

    As you can see, the map is rather large.

    Then there is the underworld (http://ian-albert.com/games/final_fa...underworld.gif) and the moon (http://ian-albert.com/games/final_fa...l/ff2-moon.gif)

    I do not need sizes of 12,000x12,000. Something like 4,000x4,000 will work since I can just scale. However, if you think you can add more detail by going bigger go ahead. All I really want out of all this is just a terrain heightmap that is greyscale, I suppose. I do not know much about heightmaps so if someone can tell me an easier way to do this, please do. Also, how hard exactly would this be? I've managed to make a white sillohoute on my own but I am missing the mountains and such and I really do not want to manually brush in every hill and mountain. Thanks for reading.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Just as an exercise, I played with this one a little bit. Photoshop lacked some of the tools I wanted to use, so I did this in the feature film compositing program Nuke. Unfortunately, that means that the source file is worthless to most anyone else, but somebody else might at least find this image useful.

    For the sake of explaining what I did, in case anyone wants to know: I dilated all of the channels by 4.5 pixels, then reversed the dilation. That gave me soemthing pretty close to the original shape of the landforms but without the high-frequency detail from the repeating textures. Then I ran a color key on the blue channel to isolate the water. I inverted the resulting key (making the water dark) and played with the levels to get the water black, the reefs just a little bit brighter, and everything else a little darker than middle grey.

    I ran another color key on the red channel to isolate the mountains. I then ran my dilate filter at -3 and again at 9.5 to remove most of the remaining texture in the mountains and pop the big peaks out a little higher. That was mostly undone, though, when I did the blurring a little later. But first I used a levels control to set the mountains to the brightness I wanted. Then a large blur of 19 pixels and a huge Gaussian erode at 120 pixels.

    I then shuffled the alpha channels for each branch into the color channels (turning the transparency into grayscale layers), and I merged them with a maximum blend mode. I suppose the Photoshop equivalent would be "lighter color."

    I think if I were going to continue working on this image, I'd find some real-world heightmaps at an appropriate scale to overlay on the image.

    The end result isn't super-accurate, but it didn't take long, and some painting would probably get it the rest of the way there.
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Name:	ff4_heightmap_v001.png 
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    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It occurs to me that if someone does want to pick this up to do more work on it, it might be helpful to have the layers broken apart so they can be treated separately. So here they are.
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ID:	43106   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ff4_heightmap_water_v001.png 
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    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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    Thats a good start, better then what I could do. Thought I don't have that program, only photoshop. Can you sugest any specific resources I could use to make the mountains? In the heightmap you made, it's all one big mountain, but I want to make it several mountains, understand? thanks for the start, though.

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    What I was thinking was to use the mountain layer as a mask for some heightmaps downloaded from the USGS or something. I don't happen to have a DEM (digital elevation map) handy at the moment, or the time to go out and find one, but I'm pretty sure there's a thread in the Mapping Elements forum with links to sources for them. Or you could use this as a start and run it through Wilbur, which is a free heightmap generation and editing tool. It's a little difficult to use, but its creator, Joe Slayton aka Waldronate, is a member of this forum and is usually happy to help people use it. I'm not sure how it does with continent-scale erosion, though. I've only used it for maps less than 6400 square miles.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midgardsormr View Post
    What I was thinking was to use the mountain layer as a mask for some heightmaps downloaded from the USGS or something. I don't happen to have a DEM (digital elevation map) handy at the moment, or the time to go out and find one, but I'm pretty sure there's a thread in the Mapping Elements forum with links to sources for them. Or you could use this as a start and run it through Wilbur, which is a free heightmap generation and editing tool. It's a little difficult to use, but its creator, Joe Slayton aka Waldronate, is a member of this forum and is usually happy to help people use it. I'm not sure how it does with continent-scale erosion, though. I've only used it for maps less than 6400 square miles.
    What is the USGS? I'm looking now.. and been playing around with this Wilbur program, it seems like all the commands are through filter and the top menu. Would I have to redraw this or could i import or what? thanks for reply

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    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late reply. Haven't swung by here in a while. USGS is the United States Geographical Survey. I am fairly sure you can import a height map into Wilbur and work on it. I did that with a bit of terrain a couple of years ago, but I don't remember the procedure, and I don't really have any time to play with it at the moment.
    Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
    http://www.bryanray.name

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