Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Overview

The Terrain Editor lets you modify the terrain of your level. With this tool, you can make mountains, valleys and everything in-between.

You can also assign textures and materials to the terrain, making it look like any kind of surface you want.

The Terrain Editor is displayed on the right side of the UI by default, but can also be opened by going to Tools -> Terrain Editor.

The Terrain Editor has three modes: Sculpt, Paint and Mini Map. We'll discuss these below, but first, we'll discuss the menu bar.

Menu Bar

The menu bar is always the same regardless of which mode you're in. It contains the following options:

File

OptionDescription
Generate Terrain Texture

Generates terrain texture that will be used in Game mode. Generates only the "tint" texture, not the material layers.

When you choose to generate the terrain texture, you'll get the following options:

  • Texture Dimensions - this should be set to the size of the terrain texture. To save time, you can set it lower than the terrain texture resolution. Setting the resolution higher than the actual terrain texture size will not affect the rendering time because it will only render max resolution of the terrain.
  • Terrain Color Multiplier - when the generated surface texture is compressed using DXT, its colors always get somewhat distorted. If the colors use the full dynamic range (0-255), they are preserved better. If artists know that they have used only darker colors in the level, they can use the Terrain Color Multiplier to make the colors use more of the dynamic range. For example, if only colors in the 0-63 range have been used, enter a multiplier of 4 to make them fill the entire 0-255 range and 'survive' the compression in better shape. When rendering, the decompressed color values should be divided by the multiplier in the shader to restore the original brightness.
  • High Quality Terrain Texture
    • Uses more different code for texture compression.
    • Terrain texture generation will take 2-3 times longer but there will be less compression artifacts.
    • Does not affect memory usage or CPU in final game.
Generate Terrain

Randomly creates terrain by setting several parameters. The parameters you can change are:

  • Feature Size - determines the amount of land created.
  • Bumpiness/Noise - determines the degree of bumpiness or deformation of the surface.
  • Detail - determines the number of times that effects will be applied.
  • Variation - determines the random seeding of the islands.
  • Blurring - sets the number of times that smoothing will be applied to the noise filter.
  • Cover (Exp. Substract) - Deprecated
  • Sharpness (Exp. Base) - determines the sharpness of the surface.
  • Sharpness (Freq. Step) - determines the number of times that the sharpness filter will be used on the surface.
Import Heightmap

Lets you import an image to be used as new heightmap (the size of the heightmap must be equal to or smaller than the current level heightmap resolution). Supported files:

  • 8-bit.bmp
  • 16-bit.pgm
  • 16-bit.raw
  • 16-bit.raw r16
Export Heightmap

Use this option to export the heightmap file to be edited in Photoshop (version CS1+ required). Supported files:

  • 8-bit.bmp
  • 16-bit.pgm
  • 16-bit.raw
  • 16-bit.raw r16
Import Terrain Block

Import a block of terrain including the vegetation on it.

Export Terrain Block

Exports a block of terrain including the vegetation on it.

Export Terrain Area

Exports a terrain area as an *.obj file that can be opened in other 3D software.

Export Terrain Area With Objects

Exports a terrain area including the objects on it as an *.obj file that can be loaded in other 3D software.

Export/Import Terrain Texture

Exports and imports terrain texture of a selected tile or tiles. The terrain can be divided into tiles by going to Terrain Editor -> Edit -> Refine Terrain Texture Tiles.

Import Layers

Import layers you have set up and exported.

Export Layers

Exports the layers you have set up in the Paint mode.

Edit

OptionDescription

Select Terrain

Lets you select a part of the terrain.

Make Isle

Sinks the current heightmap.

Remove Ocean

Sets the water level to -100000.

Set Ocean Height

This feature adjust the water level (Default 16m).

Set Terrain Max Height

Adjusting this value will change how high the tallest mountain can be (Default 1024).

Flatten (Light)

Flattens terrain to either highest or lowest point.

Flatten (Heavy)

Flattens terrain to either highest or lowest point.

Smooth

Removes hard edges on the entire terrain.

Smooth Slope

Removes hard edges from steep areas.

Smooth Beach/Coast

Removes hard edges from flat areas.

Normalize

Makes sure the entire greyscale spectrum is used (highest point is the one specified in max height and lowest point is 0).

Reduce Range (Light)

Makes mountains smaller.

Reduce Range (Heavy)

Makes mountains smaller.

Erase Terrain

This option will delete the current heightmap data.

Resize Terrain

Re-opens the initial heightmap creation panel to adjust the Heightmap Resolution and Meters Per Unit scale.

Invert Heightmap

Changes black to white on the heightmap.

Reload Terrain

Reloads the terrain.

Refine Terrain Texture Tiles

Divides the terrain tiles into more smaller sections.

Layers

OptionDescription
Create LayerCreates a new layer.
Delete LayerDeletes the selected layer.
Duplicate LayerDuplicates the selected layer.
Move Layer UpMove the selected layer up one place in the list.
Move Layer DownMove the selected layer down one place in the list.
Flood LayerPaints the whole terrain with selected terrain texture layer.

Sculpt Mode

Sculpt mode is enabled by default when opening the Terrain Editor.


This mode lets you modify the terrain height in various ways: flattening it, raising/lowering it, making holes, smoothing it, moving it and filling the holes.

Flatten

When clicking on the Flatten button, the following options appear:

Brush

OptionDescription
Share Parameters

Sets the values of the brush (inside/outside radius etc.) to be applied across all the tools within the Terrain Editor.
Untick the box to make these values independent again.

Outside Radius

Changes the outside radius of the brush that is used to modify the terrain.

Inside Radius

Changes the inside radius of the brush that is used to modify the terrain. If the inside radius is the same as the outside
radius, you'll make a column of terrain. If the inside radius is smaller, when you modify the terrain, you'll create a dome effect.

Inside Radius = 20, Outside Radius = 20 -> columnInside Radius = 0, Outside Radius = 20 -> dome
Hardness

(0 - 1) The higher the Hardness value is, the more quickly the terrain will be modified.

Height

Used as a multiplier for when you paint with the brush. Using a Height value of 1 with a Hardness of 1 will move the
terrain up 1 meter with 1 click. A Height value of 2 with a Hardness of 1 will move the terrain up 2 meters with 1 click etc.

 

Icon

The Pick button next to the Height value lets you pick a Height value directly from the terrain in the Perspective Viewport.

Displacement

Here you can choose and use a displacement map, which lets you paint with a texture map, allowing for example to use multiple photogrammetry or pre-made displacement maps to quickly build detailed terrain.

OptionDescription
Enable DisplacementWhen enabled, the Editor will immediately load the displacement map set below and use it during painting.
Displacement ScaleSize of the area the displacement map will be painted on (basically the size of the brush).
Displacement MapSelect the displacement map to be used.

Reposition

OptionDescription
ObjectsWhen enabled, will make sure objects remain placed on the terrain when flattening the terrain to a different height.
VegetationWhen enabled, will make sure vegetation remains placed on the terrain to a different height.

Raise/Lower

This mode lets you raise or lower the terrain. It is the primary tool for terrain sculpting, allowing you to make mountains, lakes and adjust terrain freely.

When clicking on the Raise/Lower button, the same options appear as above, with the one exception that there is no Pick button:

This mode has the following options:

Brush

OptionDescription
Share Parameters

Sets the values of the brush (inside/outside radius etc.) to be applied across all the tools within the Terrain Editor.
Untick the box to make these values independent again.

Outside Radius

Changes the outside radius of the brush that is used to modify the terrain.

Inside Radius

Changes the inside radius of the brush that is used to modify the terrain. If the inside radius is the same as the outside radius,
you'll make a column of terrain. If the inside radius is smaller, when you modify the terrain, you'll create a dome effect.

Hardness

(0 - 1) The higher the Hardness value is, the more quickly the terrain will be modified.

Height

Used as a multiplier for when you paint with the brush. Using a Height value of 1 with a Hardness of 1 will move the terrain
up 1 meter with 1 click. A Height value of 2 with a Hardness of 1 will move the terrain up 2 meters with 1 click etc.

Displacement

Here you can choose and use a displacement map, which lets you paint with a texture map, allowing for example to use multiple photogrammetry or pre-made displacement maps to quickly build detailed terrain.

OptionDescription
Enable DisplacementWhen enabled, the Editor will immediately load the displacement map set below and use it during painting.
Displacement ScaleSize of the area the displacement map will be painted on (basically the size of the brush).
Displacement MapSelect the displacement map to be used.

Reposition

OptionDescription
ObjectsWhen enabled, will make sure objects remain placed on the terrain when raising/lowering the terrain to a different height.
VegetationWhen enabled, will make sure vegetation remains placed on the terrain when raising/lowering the terrain to a different height.

Make Holes

This mode lets you cut holes in the terrain. This is not the same as lowering the terrain until it's under the level of the ocean; it actually cuts a square piece out of the terrain. It can be used to create cave entrances or cliff overhangs (built with meshes).

In this mode, only Brush options are available:

OptionDescription
Share Parameters

Sets the values of the brush (inside/outside radius etc.) to be applied across all the tools within the Terrain Editor.
Untick the box to make these values independent again.

Radius

Changes the size of the brush.

Smooth

The Smooth mode lets you create smooth edges in the terrain, making the change in height more gradual.

Terrain before and after smoothing
 

The Smooth mode has the following options:

Brush

OptionDescription
Share Parameters

Sets the values of the brush (inside/outside radius etc.) to be applied across all the tools within the Terrain Editor.
Untick the box to make these values independent again.

Radius

Changes the size of the brush that is used to modify the terrain.

Hardness

(0 - 1) The higher the Hardness value is, the more quickly the terrain will be modified.

Reposition

OptionDescription
ObjectsWhen enabled, will make sure objects remain placed on the terrain when smoothing the terrain to a different height.
VegetationWhen enabled, will make sure vegetation remains placed on the terrain when smoothing the terrain to a different height.

Move

This mode allows user to move one area of the map to another based on Source and Target boxes.

 

This mode has the following options:

OptionDescription
Select
  • Source - lets you place a box around the terrain you want to copy.
  • Target - lets you place a box aon the position you want to copy the terrain to.
Size

Determines the size of the Source and Target boxes.

Target Rotation

Rotates the terrain in the Target box by 0/90/180/270 degrees counterclockwise.

Only Vegetation

Only copies the vegetation in the Source box to the Target box and leaves the terrain as is.

Only Terrain

Only copies the terrain in the Source box to the Target box.

Sync Height

Synchronizes the height of the Source and Target boxes so they are always at the same height, independent of the height of the terrain.

Move Objects

Moves objects on the terrain from the Source box to the Target box instead of copying them (the objects in the Source box will disappear).

Terrain
  • Move - copies the terrain in the Source box to the Target box.

Fill Holes

Fill Holes is the opposite of Make Holes. The sole purpose of this mode is to close the holes made with Make Holes.

This tool has the same two options as the Make Holes mode:

OptionDescription
Share Parameters

Sets the values of the brush (inside/outside radius etc.) to be applied across all the tools within the Terrain Editor.
Untick the box to make these values independent again.

Radius

Changes the size of the brush.

Paint Mode

Paint mode lets you change the textures and materials of the terrain, making it look like any surface you like. The default is a checkerboard, but you can replace this material by any *.mtl file you want.

 

The Paint mode consists of three sections:

  1. Layers window
  2. Brush parameters
  3. Layer parameters

1. Layers Window

In the Layers window at the top, you'll find all the layers that are painted on the terrain in your level. You can re-name them by double-clicking on their names.

Right-clicking anywhere in the Layers window will cause a context menu to pop up with the following options:

OptionDescription
Create LayerCreates a new layer.
Delete LayerDeletes the selected layer.
Duplicate LayerDuplicates the selected layer.
Move Layer UpMoves the selected layer up in the list.
Move Layer DownMoves the selected layer down in the list.
Flood LayerFloods the layer according to the parameters set in the layer's parameters.

2. Brush Parameters

The brush parameters are shown when you press the Paint button in this section.

OptionDescription
RadiusChanges the size of the brush.
HardnessThe Hardness slider changes the strength of the brush in applying the material. A lower value will give a softer translucent effect, whereas 1 means the material painting is completely opaque.
Paint Layer IDWhen set, the painter will only paint the detail texture of the terrain material.
Mask by Layer Altitude and SlopeSets the material to only paint between the Altitude and Slope (deg.) parameters defined below.
Mask bySelect a layer from the drop-down list to make sure this is the only layer that is painted on.

3. Layer Parameters

The Layer parameters determine what the layer will look like and where it is painted on the terrain.

OptionDescription
Filter ColorLets you select a color for the layer.
Min HeightSets a maximum height mask for painting - the layer will only be painted above this height.
Max HeightSets a minimum height mask for painting - the layer will only be painted under this height.
Min AngleSets a minimum angle mask (in degrees) for painting - the layer will only be painted on terrain that is steeper than this.
Max AngleSets a maximum angle mask (in degrees) for painting - the layer will only be painted on terrain that is less steep than this.
TextureLets you choose a texture for the selected layer.
MaterialLets you choose a material for the selected layer.

Context menu

When you right-click in the Brush or Layer parameters, a context menu will appear with some of the options below, depending on where you right-click.

OptionDescription
ExpandExpands the Brush and Layer parameters.
CollapseCollapses the Brush and Layer parameters.
Pick ColorOpens the Select Color window in which you can choose a color or enter specfic RGB values.
Pick ResourceLets you pick a texture or material (depending on whether you right-click on the texture or the material box; same functionality as the browser button next to these boxes).
ClearUnassigns the texture or material (depending on whether you right-click on the texture or the material box; same functionality as the browser button next to these boxes).
UndoUndoes the last action in that particular box.
CopyCopies the value in the selected box to the clipboard.
PastePastes the value from the clipboard to the selected box.
Copy AllCopies all values in the Layers parameters (apart from Filter Color) to the clipboard.
Paste AllPastes all values from the clipboard and replaces the Layers parameters (apart from Filter Color) with these.
Filter...Lets you hide all brush and layer parameters that do not contain the text in your search.
Filter byLets you hide all brush and layer parameters that do not correspond with either the name, value or type of the selected parameter.

Mini Map

Icon
This part of the Terrain Editor is known to be broken. It will either be fixed or replaced in the future.