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This page provides explanation and support for our free Marketplace assets featuring the environment presets and heightmaps showcased on this page. The environment presets demonstrate concepts covered in our Environment Editor tutorial series, which we highly suggest you look at first to understand why these presets are set the way they are.

Since terrain and ocean heights are linked to the Environment Editor settings, the heightmaps are also provided on the Marketplace so you can download and import them into your own levels. Make sure the size of your heightmaps matches the sample you wish to use before importing it into your level.

Heightmaps Installation and Use

  • Download the heightmap package from the marketplace page into any folder where you'd like to keep sample heightmaps. We suggest keeping it separate from any CRYENGINE project folders.
  • Unzip the file. The following three heightmap RAW files appear:
HeightmapSizeMax Terrain HeightOcean HeightImage






  • Open or create a CRYENGINE project.
  • Open or create a level whose heightmap size corresponds to the size of the sample heightmap you wish to import.
  • From the Terrain Editor's Edit menu, set the Terrain Max Height to the height shown in the table above.
  • From the Terrain Editor's Edit menu, set the Ocean Height to the height shown in the table above for the heightmap you plan to import.
  • From the Terrain Editor's menu, choose File Import Heightmap and choose the sample .raw file to import. The heightmap is created.

The example images shown below (except where otherwise noted) were captured in a level created by importing the heightmap mountains_and_river_2K.raw into a level with the maximum terrain height set to 562m.

Environment Presets Installation and Setup

  1. Launch your CRYENGINE project.
  2. Download the Environment Editor Presets package to your project's libs\environmentpresets folder and unzip. The .env files will appear.
  3. In the Environment Editor's Asset Browser, click on the name of each environment preset to load it temporarily in your level.
  4. Make sure you set the correct time of day in the Curve Editor as listed beneath the name of each preset on this page. (The correct time of day is also in the .env filename; filenames without a time of day are set up for 12:00.) Also, note whether volumetric clouds (r_volumetricClouds 1) and/or volumetric fog (e_volumetricFog 1) need to be enabled for each preset.
  5. If you decide that you want to use an environment preset permanently in your level, drag it from the Environment Editor's asset browser onto the Perspective Viewport to permanently assign it to your level. Don't forget to save your level!
  6. Make sure that you click on the sample images below to view them full screen so your perception isn't skewed by the white background.

Environment Preset Examples

Night with Clear Skies


Set TOD to 12:00. Volumetric fog must be enabled. Volumetric clouds have not been configured and should be disabled.

In this example, three volumetric fog volumes are used (river, valley, lighthouse). Additional light components are also used: projectors (headlamps on AIs and vehicle) and point light (lighthouse, radar dish, area light (without shadows) supplementing moonlight appearance on lighthouse and vehicle).



Set TOD to 16:30. Volumetric clouds and fog must enabled. Moon and stars are dimmed to balance to brightening sky. One global environment probe is used in these screen shots.

Dawn Stormy Fast Clouds


Set TOD to 16:30. Volumetric fog and clouds must be enabled. SVOGI is not used. Strong wind influence on low altitude volumetric clouds (135m) creates a wide variety of lighting conditions.

Sunny, Windy Midday


Set TOD to 16:30. Volumetric fog and clouds must be enabled. Strong wind influence on clouds to give them rapid movement. Global and local environment probes are used in detailed areas in these screen shots.

24 Hour Day - Night Cycle


A full 24 hour night-day-night cycle, with keyframe values set at the times shown next the screen shots below. Volumetric fog and clouds must be enabled. In these screen shots, one global environment probe and several 200x200x200m probes are used around key areas, with a separate set of probes generated for each time of day shown. Fog volumes are deactivated at certain times of day.

Not that if you want to have dynamic time of day, environment probes can be blended by making each pair of adjacent times visible and using visual scripting or code to fade their diffuse and specular multiplier values up and down to effectively crossfade them. See the Creating a 24 Hour Cycle tutorial for additional information.

4:00 AM

5:00 AM

5:45 AM

6:00 AM

 8:00 AM

12:00 PM

 4:00 PM

4:30 PM

8:00 PM

4:00 AM

Stormy Sunrise


Set TOD to 06:30. Low heavy volumetric clouds are used to create stormy skies. SVOGI and volumetric fog still need to be enabled. Note that camera height is approximately 350m in these screen shots.

Night with Dense Fog


Set TOD to 12:00. Volumetric fog and clouds must be enabled. Note that in this example, camera height is approximately 55m. Global volumetric fog: Height (Bottom) is set to 50m, Global Density is set to 1.3. Variables → Shadows → Shadow Jittering is set to 7 to soften shadows, but in reality the shadows are still much harder and stronger than they would be in such dark, foggy conditions. One global environment probe with a Diffuse Multiplier of 0.3 is used in these screenshots.

Dark Clear Night


Set TOD to 12:00. Sun Intensity (lux) is set to 300. Volumetric fog must be enabled. Note that in this example, the camera height is 55m.

Night Vision


Set TOD to 12:00. Color is desaturated, HDR is used to tint everything green. Grain effect and depth of field blur are used.

Magic Hour, Low Clouds


This level was built by importing the 4K heightmap magic_hour_low_clouds_4K.raw into a 4K level with maximum terrain height set to 500m.

Set TOD to 12:00.

Volumetric fog and clouds must be enabled. Volumetric clouds are placed below the terrain to mimic fog volumes, strongly affected by wind. Level Settings must have the following options enabled:

  • Env State → Sun Shadows from Terrain
  • Vol Fog Shadows → Enable
  • Vol Fog Shadows → Enable for Clouds

Dark Night Lit by Fog Volumes


This level was built by importing the heightmap craters_2K.raw into a 2K level with maximum terrain height set to 500m.

Set TOD to 12:00. With Variables → Sun → Sun Intensity (Lux) set to only 800 lux, this level is lit mostly by Point Light entity components set to emit flickering light to simulating light coming from the very large emissive fog volumes to which they're attached, each using various noise settings to create animated patterns. SVOGI and volumetric fog are enabled. A full grid of environment probes with box sizes of 200m which overlap by 10m cover the entire heightmap as well as a global probe (see the respective image below).

Partial environment probe grid that covers the entire heightmap is shown in this image.

Foggy Night and Day


Set TOD to 18:00. Volumetric clouds and fog must be enabled. The look of this environment preset depends wholly on the use of a large (effectively global) emissive fog volume. The first row of images show how the environment preset looks without the fog volume. To the right, you can see some key settings, including the settings for the global fog volume that's currently disabled. You can also see in the environment preset that there is no sunlight and only the slightest brightness in the sky. Effectively, there is no light on the terrain or meshes except from the light components and environment probes, and the lightening effect of the emissive fog between the camera and the meshes (even though emissive fog does not actually emanate light except onto itself).

This row of images below shows how this environment preset was intended to be used for a foggy night look. Global and a few local environment probes were used. The fog provides a significant lightening atmospheric effect (combined with environment probes).

Finally, this exact same environment preset is used in the images below to create a daytime foggy look simply by changing ConstantsGlobal IlluminationSky Color Multiplier to 10, changing the fog volume's Emission Intensity from 0.2 to 1.0, and disabling the nighttime light components. A different set of environment probes was also used. Note that setting Variables → Sun → Sun Intensity to 0 removes the hard shadows that it would produce, leaving only soft contact shadows that are consistent with overcast/foggy conditions.

Here's the same daytime version of this environment preset used in a different level. A sky dome was used for clouds. The first two examples use a snow texture; the second two do not.

Monochrome Silhouettes


Set TOD to 12:00. Volumetric clouds and fog must be enabled. 

This preset creates a highly stylized monochrome palette (via HDR → Saturation). Variables → Sun → Sun Intensity (lux) and Variables → Sky Light → Sun Intensity Multiplier are set to 0, and SVOGI is not used. A large fog volume set as emissive (settings shown below right) is used throughout this sample sidescroller style level. The fog volume is placed behind the player and foreground elements, and employs a fairly hard edge to keep the foreground elements silhouetted/black and cleanly separated from the background forest elements. It also creates an atmospheric effect/progressive lightening of objects behind the player and foreground elements.

Since emissive fog volumes only illuminate themselves, there is actually no light source in this entire level; the fog merely overlays the objects, but they are always black. No textures are even needed on the objects because of this unusual technique.

Camera FOV was set at 30 degrees, and the level was built in a sidescroller layout. See the HDR and Filters environment tutorial for a video clip.

Night with Custom Moon Texture

Although this example is not downloadable, it demonstrates the use of a custom moon texture using a Hubble telescope image of Titan, tinted red using Variables → Night Sky → Moon Color, the color of the sunlight is set to a similar color to cast red light on the terrain, and just for extra fun, set the fog color to dark green. SVOGI and volumetric fog were both disabled.

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