Outerra Worlds Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

SMF - Just Installed!

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8

Author Topic: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?  (Read 131301 times)

monks

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • ME-DEM Project
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 09:08:14 am »

Ah, there ya go, 8 bit.

We are concerned with underwater- bathymetry is all there and will be developed further, but Outerra doesn't support water at multiple height levels: no lakes. Long Lake is a very deep lake (I'm using ICE here), but it's made too deep by the introduction of the surrounding heightmap. Our next terrain will be much closer to where we want to go. It'll be lower overall, but still maintain a lot of the height contrast that's in the video terrain (not in the terrain you have, which is the release terrain- the video terrain was the version before that). Add to that the fact that we haven't really paid any attention to lakes yet anyway. So, it's your call.
 Rivers will be 8 bit bmp masks, not height data.
 I added a lot of rivers that weren't on the map. There was vast waterless regions.

monks
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 12:21:34 pm »

Ahh, gotcha'. I couldn't help but notice how high the plains were in x=5 y=3. Between the Lonely Mountain and the Iron Hills to the east the plains looked like around 100 or so high (out of 255). Clouds are hardcoded to 128 blocks high, so you're standing on the plains with clouds only 30 blocks (~100 feet) above you. The Lonely Mountain only went up to about 180. I realize with only 8 bits of height to work with things are going to be squashed together, and it's not a problem. In Minecraft, standing at the base of Erebor looking up it still looks like a mountain.

But I wonder what it would look like with better contrast between low lying and mountainous areas. How much effort would it be to export the same BMP tiles with the older "video" data set? Or do you think it wouldn't even be worth it? Plus I hate to think of you spending a large amount of time doing anything for me since I'm basically just mooching off of you guys. Heh. Not that I'm not supremely appreciative!

Anyway, any chance you could export the river and road masks for just x=5, y=3 and let me see if they would even be useful? If you can't export just one tile then don't worry about it. I can hand paint them in myself using a topo overlay.

And you adding rivers, that makes sense.

Take care!
Logged

D3Souz4

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 05:49:25 pm »

I made an account and wanted to chime in because I worked on a ME map in Minecraft for over 2 years and ran into a lot of the same problems you're getting.  Unfortunately I started long before world painter was released so I had to use other mods to custom generate terrain.  Also my map was originally created when the height cap was only 128.

My original goal was to have rivers change height with the terrain as they were flowing out to sea but then when you went to a mountain it just looked like a small hill.  My solution at first was to have just very steep walls so mountains pretty much just blocked your path of travel.  I eventually re-did it so that there was much less of a gradual slope up and the mountains were a bit taller.  I still cut the tops off though.

When the height was increased I created some mountains from heightmaps in world painter and just dropped them in with MCEdit.  They looked like shit.  I eventually cut out sections with MCEdit, ported them to a new map, opened it into World Painter, custom made the mountains, and then ported the terrain back in.  They look much better now but they can be improved upon.  My map right now is 45k x 45k blocks.  I'll post some links below with old pictures.  Its gotten to the point where it is so large I'm not sure where to host the file and haven't taken any screenshots in a while.  I started the map in December of 2010 and I really got burnt out working on it.

Original Map: http://i.imgur.com/Hia2R.jpg
Original Heightmap: http://imgur.com/xtW2C
Early Screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/5JDF7#aqpM7
Updated Screenshots after height increase: http://imgur.com/a/vwRnw#12
More screens: http://imgur.com/a/OypFX#15

I've since expanded the map. It used to on go as far east as the shire, and south to just past Minas Tirith.  I've now completed the entire coast down to the Gulf of the Anduin.  I do not have any pics on this computer (I'm at work) but I can probably get them when i get home.

edit: I should note that Orodruin and most of the rivers have been greatly improved since these screenshots.  I was just looking back at them and saw how low the water was and the river banks are so steep.  I raised low areas up so that the water table could be raised and fix those spots.  Orodruin was probably re-done 10 times from scratch before I got it looking decent.  Still really need to fix Mt. Mindolluin.

edit 2: Found more screenshots. 
All of these were prototypes.  Only the Black Gate looks remotely the same in my current version. http://imgur.com/a/zi6mW#0 . Picture #2 was supposed to be Durthang.

More old ones: 50/50 of things kept: http://imgur.com/a/92mUQ#0 (Moria shot in there and a Balrog skin)
http://imgur.com/a/WztBO#0

Old map: http://imgur.com/a/qAz52
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:14:51 pm by D3Souz4 »
Logged

monks

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • ME-DEM Project
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 08:14:52 pm »

 Unfortunately I don't have the older video data set. You can hang around and wait for the next release if you want but I'm not making any promises on when that will be. Obviously it'll be as soon as practically possible. I'm working on a small studio project and it's maxed out my hard drives. So I've got to really get that to a point where I can make space.

Seriously guys, you 2 should team up or something. It makes no sense for 2 people to be duplicating/repeating effort...well, I understand it's also a personal journey bringing it to life, but projects of this scale need teams of people.
 Maybe consider contributing your skills here?

 Is this the M-E I've seen on MineCraft?..pretty awesome Isengard there. Yes, looking at the other pics. Awesome rendition of Middle Earth!  8)
 We've got a ways to go yet until we have it that interesting frankly, there's very little in our world as of yet, but this is a long haul project. It's become a bit of a proof of concept for Outerra since Outerra is middleware, it shows the possibilities of creating planet sized games- although our's is nowhere near that size of course. But having such draw distances does throw up new technical problems, but also problems for terrain artists. Our first draft was using purely procedural terrain and it looked awful from orbit. For a few years I'd intended to move over to real terrain, so that was the catalyst. Mordor was an exploration of that workflow.
 Another advantage Outerra has is extensive use of the gpu. Cameni does as much as possible on the gpu. That opens up the potential to even have new terrain modelling tools on a planetary scale. There are technical papers out there which could solve this whole conundrum of correct hydrology which will be necessary for artist engineered worlds like this (see previous post). I think this is where games are headed.
 In addition Outerra is a hybrid engine which is the obvious choice in my opinion. It can handle heightmaps and procedural terrain generation in sync. there are a few procedural planet generators, even galactic scale stuff but you can bet every planet will be pretty much in one fractal flavour.
 Minecraft looks wicked but I've thrown my hat in with Outerra. The best part of Minecraft must be the possibilities with volumetric tunnels. I think it's a platform more for builders than players if you see what I mean, hence the name. I'd like to see Outerra's support of real world speliological data format or something for creating cave systems on a grand scale. Might not be necessary, but it'll have to be GIS complaint and a vector interface; it'd have to be shp since ai or svg don't support per vertex height. Draw your tunnels as line vectors. Outerra procedurally fleshes them out. The rest can be created by more tradtional modelling methods. Then there's voluemtric erosion to create the additonal details you haven't got time to hand model. Robes briefly looked into this way back but that before gpus and OpenCL and the like. That's technically doable now.
 Since Outerra handles GIS, it's also got access to real world data and file formats, etc. To illustrate the advantages of that, the YT vid I posted, they use Strahler stream order which is used in the GIS industry to organise stream networks.
 
 You can always hook up with us, but I suspect you've got a lot vested in your goals and projects. Maybe you've outgrown MineCraft D3Souz4, I don't know.

 We're looking for someone to head up the 3D modelling, site design, all that stuff. Skill is less important than enthusiasm and perseverence.

monks
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 08:21:57 pm by monks »
Logged

D3Souz4

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 09:15:24 pm »

I would certainly love to help but life gets in the way.  Its partly why I stopped working on the Minecraft map.  I haven't touched it in nearly a year.  I would definitely be willing to share all resources I used to anyone hoping to make a map.  Turning my map over, which I would love to share, defeats the purpose though.  Its really about the journey and the joy of making a world more than the finished product.

edit:  I just saw your list of things you could need help with.  I'm not sure about 3D Modeling since I haven't done it in about 7 years but I have done the research and have the experience to know proper sizes.  I bought and read nearly all the books pertaining to Middle Earth and reread them when building my map.  If you have any questions or want to discuss any landmark I'd be happy to help.

Also what program do you prefer for modeling?  I have Bender on my computer but I never really learned it.  I used Unigrafix when i worked as a Drafter and ProEngineer in High School.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 09:23:04 pm by D3Souz4 »
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 02:39:36 am »

D3Souz4, hey man. Really nice work. Very impressive. I'd love to try and import some of your structures into a map once I get monks/robes heightmaps ran through World Painter. It's really exciting to me to be able to try and create a map of NW ME based off of a real-world modeled elevation map. To be able to have awesome structures like the ones you created would just be icing on the cake.

I was working with thebearman85's massive middle-earth map for starters, and trying to import various mappers' works into it. I'm seriously anal about a lot of things in life, especially Tolkien, which led me to being a little dissatisfied with a couple of things he was doing (not that his work thus far isn't awesome!) But that led me to coming up with the bright idea of begging the ME-DEM guys for something I could use that might be a little more realistic. :P

My main problem with importing structures was the fact that the mappers used flat world to showcase their structure (i.e., using almost the entire 0-255 height range). This ended up in me not being able to fit the structure into a real world modeled map without scaling it down. Take Divici's Minas Tirith over on Planetminecraft. Epic, right? Well, when I scaled it down to 50-75% I took a huge fidelity hit. Parts of stairs were missing, walls were gone, etc., etc. Really frustrating. Same with Isengard.

It looks like the structures in your map, however, are built into the existing topography. This would probably work out great.

Anyway yeah, really exciting to see somebody else that has worked on something like this! It looks like you were coming more from a movie angle than the books? I plan on trying to do my own Minas Tirith based on the books and some paintings by Nasmith. And Moria. I want my Moria to be as close to the books as possible. I have a serious pet peeve about how PJ portrayed Moria in the movies. Makes me angry just thinking about it. Bleh.

Gonna' try and fiddle with those BMPs some more. I really want to get a methodology working that produces nice, believable rivers that run downhill. :)

Take care.
Logged

D3Souz4

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2014, 04:05:07 pm »

I've never seen that "massive" Middle Earth map before.  Funny thing is mine is almost 4x larger and includes less of the map.  I think his does look better from a cartography view though.

The model sizes are closer to normal because most of them were built before the height was increased to 255.  The exception being Barad-dur.  That was remade so that it could be more accurate and is 254 blocks tall.  Minas Tirith actually didn't most of the tower on the top level due to the previous height cap so that is more like 155 blocks tall now.  I tried to stay with a book perspective but many of my models were donated to save me time which gives it a movie look.  I thought Barad-dur was done excellently in the movie though.  Lothlorien I used a forest generator to get massive trees and just made tree house likes steps and platforms through them.
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2014, 06:05:25 am »

Figured out a way to get much better contrast between mountains and plains in the BMP before importing into World Painter. Paintshop Pro has a Histogram function called 'stretch'. It preserves the highs while darkening the lows. This serves to keep the high, majestic mountains while at the same time lowering the plains. It looked much nicer.

As for rivers, I tried painting water below a certain threshhold, and "walking" it up the slope towards the source one or a few blocks at a time. This looked ok, but not great. Next I'm going to try a lot more prep and actually make the river a couple blocks deep everywhere it's supposed to be, then use the fill command judiciously and see what happens.

Monks, I've noticed odd striations in the x=3 y=4 tile's mountains (which covers Eregion, Moria's west and east gate, Lorien, Fangorn, all the way down to Helm's Deep). Notably the Misty Mountains around Moria and northwards. Why are there so many valleys in the actual range? Is that normal?

Just wondering.
Logged

monks

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • ME-DEM Project
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2014, 09:13:31 am »

That's one way of doing it. Photoshop has the levels and curves functions- pretty much allows for the same kind of manipulation. That's what I use to alter the satellite dems.
 Yes, I think you'll find that our dem is far from perfect. Heights are out as mentioned. Also, rivers might well require a lot of work. We use a bottom layer to create a gradient along them but it's got its problems. I need to put a lot of work into them, but I'm still finishing off the broad strokes of the terrain, and frankly I could even continue with that for some time if I wanted everything to be just so, but that's not really practical.
 I'll take a look in Outerra, see what gives.

monks
Logged

Redrobes

  • Administrator
  • Newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 43
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2014, 12:06:31 am »

Wow there is a lot to take in on this thread. I have seen Minecraft had some Tolkien stuff but not really gone into it to find out much. The low res of Minecraft is a serious impediment to making a good map but on the other hand its a huge benefit to making buildings. Being just so ridiculously easy to build things is such a low barrier to entry for anyone to get involved. I think thats our problem with the requirement of Outerra in the 3D department. It needs Collada format files but sketchup and OBJ could be converted no probs. Blender would be fine I am not sure about the other one mentioned as I had not come across it before.

Regarding scaling of the height in Minecraft, what kind of sampling did you use. It sounds like you used nearest neighbor or pixel sampling in which case you would loose a lot of detail. Tho you must loose some, if you used a more intelligent sampling algorithm like say Lanczos then you would probably not have noticed it quite so much. But fundamentally having only 255 height values is a problem.

Im gonna have to chew on these posts a bit more. Interesting stuff - thanks for posting them. I am wondering if it is at all possible to get the minecraft data and then strip off the buildings and see if they can be of any use whatsoever. I don't think so but its a thought just rumbling around my heat at the mo. I really like some of the interpretations esp Barad Dur.
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2014, 03:27:50 am »

My apologies for being lazy, monks. Here are the relevant tiles (in jpg format to save space) so you can see 1) what I'm talking about re: the "striations", and 2) the before and after using PSP's stretch function.

Before and after...

       

I really like the results, speaking from in-game of course. As I said, the image on the left produced plains west of the Misty Mountains at a height around 100 blocks (out of 255) with the cloud level only 28 blocks higher. The image on the right produced plains at around 50 blocks. Doesn't sound like much but it makes a huge visual difference in game. :D

Also note the striations in the Misty Mountain range. Notably the long, uninterrupted valley extending from the top of the tile all the way down to Isengard. In addition the spurs almost seem like they're uniform in angle. To a large degree at least, they appear to mostly extend from the ridges in the same directions. Contrast that to this picture of a RL mountain range in Colorado, where the spurs seem more random in formation. Or do they? lol maybe it's just me. Feedback appreciated.

For the record, in game it looks nice. I'm not gonna' lie. Just something bothers me and it may just be me.

Here are some in-game screens of the area where the west gate of Moria should be. I've added some trees and a door to locate it...



The last is a pic of the minimap of the area. Sorry I haven't explored all of it yet. It shows where the west gate would be, and the east gate which would be a little to the west of the lake on the right (Kheled Zharam?). Just noticed it has some artifacts on the west end. I just imported part of this one DEM tile, so that's where Minecraft started auto-generating extra terrain.

The 2nd screenshot shows a bit of the scale standing at gate level (height around 70) looking at the peak above (height around 180). The Sirannon (river flowing down from the west gate) was just a placeholder job. I'm going to set my map in the 3rd age, around the time of the Fellowship for continuity-sake.

Of course the dirt/mossy stone/stone/snow on the mountains leaves a lot to be desired. I just picked some sensible height values and made it use those blocks if the map at a given spot was >= that height. I'd like to eventually at least attempt something in the vein of this gentleman's fine work as far as detailing the mountains. This guy is just awesome. Note that he's using a custom texture pack that gives more variations in the stone blocks, but still! Sweet!

Enough for now. Laters!

EDIT: Forgot to answer your questions. World Painter takes the BMP, which is an 8 bit (greyscale) heightmap, and imports it straight into a minecraft format. If in the BMP a pixel = 0 (solid black), then the block at that x/y gets placed at height=0. If the pixel = 255 (solid white) then the block at that spot gets placed at height=255. So there's no sampling per se. What determines WHAT block gets placed at that height is up to you on import. As I mentioned I chose a handful of parameters that basically takes any height less than say 100 and makes it grass, anything from say 100-128 would be dirt, 129-150 would become mossy stone, etc.

But yeah, having only 256 possible heights results in some low fidelity landscape. Quite fun and playable though!

As far as cutting out some buildings from minecraft maps...yes indeed. That's exactly what I was doing prior to getting DEM data from you guys. I was taking mapmaker's works that they've made publicly available (http://planetminecraft.com for example), opening them up in MC Edit (another Minecraft world editing tool - think less paint, more CAD) and cut and pasting structures out of them. I would then import the structure into the part of the ME map I wanted to put it in. All super easy to do stuff, just time consuming especially on low end hardware.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 03:39:45 am by Morcrist »
Logged

monks

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • ME-DEM Project
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2014, 09:15:59 am »

 Looking good man :)
The striations...not sure what you mean but I think you're referring to the valleys; to the terrain itself rather than any artifacts. Yes, they are a bit streeeetched I think but I can live with it for now. If you want to make any changes feel free. It's a wip. You'll find lots of imperfections in it. For eg, some of the mountains on the north-west flank of Mordor are too tall and thin to be credible spires, but then in Minecraft they might look suitably caricatured. The spurs yes, I think they're a bit too crisp to be natural, but they look ok in game and are probably what Tolkien had in mind. But then, if he had our tech, I think he'd make them look more natural.
 What you did with the heights is essentially what we'll do. We have a base layer. It's way too high at the moment. What happened is, way back- we decided that the base layer would hold the entire span of the dem data but in low detail form. All terrain data would be replaced. Then I decided to use the base layer to add to, which was way better. The base layer remained at the original span for so long it became part of the furniture, and in our biomes tests we were a bit foggy about just what the problem was. Then I saw the elephant in the room. Next run will change that.

I think we should get those buildings if we can from Minecraft. All we need right now is very basic placeholder forms for the locations- that's what we were planning to do anyway. Any help would be appreciated. ;)

monks
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2014, 03:55:13 pm »

monks, Redrobes, what are your thoughts on me sharing those greyscale tiles you exported if anyone asks? Nobody has, as of yet, but I'd like to know how you'd feel about me uploading them to my website for anyone to download.

Completely up to you.

Thanks, and take care.

EDIT: Oh, and as far as exporting some buildings from Minecraft maps...how would that be useful for you guys? I mean, it's in a proprietary format as far as I know (.schematic). How would you go from Minecraft blocks to a 3D model? I can't find anything after a quick search, but I dunno'.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 04:04:23 pm by Morcrist »
Logged

monks

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • ME-DEM Project
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2014, 04:17:13 pm »

How about setting up a terrain for models deal here? At least it will give us the option of using the MineCraft sites as initial placeholders. Who has a repository of site MineCraft M-E models?
 Other than that, I don't mind as long as the original source of the terrains is cited... but this is a democracy so Robes has to cast his vote too.

monks
Logged

Morcrist

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
    • View Profile
Re: 8 bit Heightmap [for Minecraft]?
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2014, 05:13:03 pm »

Guess what?! Found something to export minecraft maps to .obj files. And it worked! I created a ~140 MB obj of Divici's Minas Tirith. I'm uploading it to my website now. Will provide a link when it's done in case you guys can do anything with it. Note that I'm not uploading the textures right now, just the obj.

Although I've been downloading obj files viewers with no luck so far. On my third one. First one crashed. Second one didn't do anything. Third one got to 52% then hung. Wtf.

Does anyone know of a solid (free) obj viewer that can handle 140+ MB file sizes?

I'm really excited to see what this would look like in Outerra.

EDIT: Found an old post from Redrobes suggesting MeshLab. That did the trick.

EDIT: I'm an idiot. Re-uploading as a ZIP file. Derp. Cuts size from like 140 MB down to 20, and WITH the textures. I was checking it out in MeshLab...it modeled every little room and everything. Would be really cool to see this in Outerra and walk around in it possibly, if it could be scaled correctly.

EDIT: http://morcrist.com/files/minecraft/MinasTirith.zip
« Last Edit: January 31, 2014, 05:49:33 pm by Morcrist »
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8