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Heightmap Calculations

In order to start properly with the terrain we must cover a few settings within the New Level panel that define the heightmap resolution of the terrain and the Meters Per Unit. You can mathematically calculate this in space by using simple arithmetic such as the following:

  • (128x128) x 2m = 256x256m
  • (1024x1024) x 2m = 2048x2048m

The heightmap resolution depends on a black and white image that has a neutral point of grey for the flattest plane. To put it into terms that are understandable with size: you could easily relate 1 single pixel on the image to be a 1 meter block of your actual terrain. Generally speaking you want to be careful with these values since if you scale too large with a heightmap resolution too low, you will lose fidelity to really sculpt believable terrain.

How to Create and Calibrate Your Terrain

Follow the steps below to create your default terrain:

  1. Go to File -> New Level in order to begin setting up our heightmap resolution and then set our size to 1024x1024 at 1m units for a 1km map.
    For our terrain texture we will set this to 4km. This represents the overlay texture for distance textures and coloring. This is why the Terrain Color Multiplier is included in the selections beside the texture size.
  2. We have multiple options to remove or hide our terrain for performance savings given it has such a large memory footprint within our scene.
    Firstly, in the Level Explorer you have the ability to hide or remove the terrain completely by deleting it. Hiding can be done by clicking the Eye and deletion can be done using the Delete key.
  3. The final option to hide the terrain can be found under Viewport -> Display Settings -> RenderTypes -> Terrain. Uncheck this box to hide the terrain. 

Keep note that each time you restart the Editor you will have to click this box.

Steps 1 and 2

 

 

Step 2

 

 

Step 3

 

 

 

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