Now, the level is still a little empty. If this is a lake that people visit to go fishing, then there needs to be a small fishing house and a road leading to it, right? That's why we'll now add those separately.
First, we'll create a flat area on which we'll place a fishing house and later on some trees and grass. We'll do this by once again opening the Terrain Editor and under Sculpt, choose Flatten.
We'll flatten the surface to a height that's just above the water level, so we'll set the Height to 17. Make sure that the brush isn't too big, otherwise you'll flatten the mountains.
Make a reasonably sized flattened area that will be big enough for a house and a few pine trees. Jump into the game to check out the in-game scale of the area that you have just created.
Smoothening The Edge
The slope at the water's edge would probably be much smoother in real life - it wouldn't just drop straight down. So let's make the edge a bit smoother with the Smooth tool. We don't want the brush to 'pull' too much of our newly formed area back under water, so let's set the Radius of our brush to 2. Now we can drag the brush over the terrain edge to make it a bit smoother.
You'll notice that the terrain textures haven't changed along with the now changed height level, but you will have to paint your new flattened area manually. This means clicking the Paint button in the Terrain Editor, selecting the Grass layer (see info below for your flattened area), clicking the Paint button in the bottom section and painting where it's needed.
Let's cover our flat area with grass, apart from the edges of course.
We now have a nice little flat area that we can place things on:
Now it's time to add a nice little house to rest in after an exhausting day of fishing.
To add an object, we'll open the Create Object tool. This is located at the top left of the screen, in a tab next to the Console (you can also find it in Tools -> Level Editor -> Create Object):
In CRYENGINE, static objects that can't be interacted with, like houses, are called 'brushes', so let's select Brush. Now, we can navigate to the specific 'brush' that we want to place in our level, or we can simply search for it in the search box. Let's search for "house". If you click the arrow on the left of the items in the navigation window, you'll see that it only shows folder trees that lead to assets with "house" in their name.
Now we can navigate much more easily to the fishing house we want to add to our level. click the arrows on the left and go to Assets -> objects ->
architecture -> buildings -> fishing_houses, and select the asset called fishing_house_a.cgf. Double-click on the asset and move your cursor into the Viewport. Click when your fishing house is where you want it to be to confirm. Alternatively, you can drag it into the Viewport, but letting go of the mouse button will place it immediately.
This house is placed in the level at a certain angle, but we can rotate it around as much as we want. Let's do that to make one of the narrower sides (the front or back) face the lake so we have a nice view over the water.
We do this by clicking the Rotate button in the toolbar in the top of the screen:
You'll notice that the Axis Gizmo now looks like several semi-circles representing each axis. We want to rotate it around the Z axis, so we click and hold the yellow semi-circle and drag the cursor left or right until the house is positioned the way we like. We may have to move it around if for example, it rotates into a mountain or over the water or the mud on the lake's edge. We do this with the Move button, which can be found next to the Rotate button in the toolbar:
If you need to move the house, make sure you select and drag the square on the X and Y axis, otherwise you'll drag it up and down, and we want it to stay on the ground. You can also use axis constraints to make sure it always moves along the X and Y axis.
To do this, you have to show the Constraints toolbar first by right clicking the toolbar and choosing Constraints:
A new toolbar will be shown. Select the XY button on this toolbar:
Now you can just click and hold anywhere on the house instead of on the axis gizmo, and move it around without being able to move it upwards or downwards.
Once you're satisfied with the position of your fishing house, we'll continue.
Making Room for the Road
You'll probably be wondering how anyone would get to this little fishing paradise. After all, it's surrounded by mountains that are far too steep to climb. Well, we will make a road leading through the mountains to the house. To do this, we'll first have to make a valley of sorts to lead our road through.
Open the Terrain Editor and choose Sculpt -> Flatten. We'll set this to the same height of the flat area we created earlier, so 17.
Because we'll want the slopes of this valley to be fairly gradual, we'll select a large Outside Radius for the brush and a smaller Inside Radius. The Inside Radius should still be reasonable though, to make the bottom of the 'valley' fairly flat for our road. Let's set them to 7 and 2 respectively. Make sure the Hardness isn't too high, so you can sculpt the 'valley' gradually and the terrain won't drop to a height of 17 instantly. Now we're ready to sculpt a valley through our mountains. Click the mountains next to the valley a few times too, to reduce the steep drop right next to the road a little.
For a nice effect, you may want to consider not sculpting a completely straight valley, but a curved one, so that you won't see the lake and everything else right from the beginning.
Now we're ready to make our road that will curve through our newly created valley. We could simply make a new layer, choose a material that resembles a road and start painting, but there's a much better way to make roads in CRYENGINE Sandbox that has a much nicer effect. We'll open the Create Object tool and go to Misc -> Road. If your Create Object tool is still on the Brush tool, click the arrow next to Brush first, or choose Misc in the drop-down menu:
Pic9: Dropdown menu
When we move our cursor into the Viewport, we'll now see an axis gizmo appear. This will be the starting point of our road. Click once where you want the road to start, like in front of the door of our house. As soon as you move the cursor again, you'll see that a wide, red ribbon will follow it. This shows where our road will be. Click again where you want the next bend in the road to be and lead it through the valley this way. You'll see that the road will adjust itself automatically to make sure it has a natural curve to it. When you've reached the end of the road, double-click to confirm.
Don't worry if the road goes up the slope a little bit; we'll fix this later.
Next, we'll choose the material for our road. Make sure you have selected the road. You should see the axis gizmo at the start. if not, click and drag anywhere over the road, making sure you only select the road and no other assets.
Now we'll choose a look for our road. Right next to the Terrain Editor tab is the Properties tab:
Clicking this will give us a long list of properties for the object we have selected, in this case the road. First of all, we'll choose a material for our road. To do this, we'll click the Browse button next to Override Material:
In the window that appears, we'll navigate to materials -> roads and choose forest_trail. Click OK and you'll see that the big red ribbon has changed into a nice forest path.
Now the road might be running over the base of the mountains a little bit and the mountains may be a bit close to the road. We'll make sure there is some space between the road and the mountains by aligning the heightmap to the road. We do this by selecting the road again, going to the Properties tool and click the Align Height Map button at the bottom. You'll see that where the road is, the ground is now flat and the mountains have "moved away" from the road.
Congratulations, we can now get to our fishing spot!
You can add some more objects and brushes in the level, like rocks, a pier to dock a boat at in the form of a piece of bridge, etc. Use your imagination, but leave enough room for some trees and grass!
Next, we'll discuss how to add some vegetation, like trees and grass.