Easier way of making elevation grids?

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Barr
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Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by Barr » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:12 am

Hey there, just a simple question...

One map project I have has half of an island with an average altitude of 76 ft with 100 ft cliffs off the south shore. Its difficult trying to make accurate cliffs with the reference bitmap under the elevation grid. I've tried prioritizing the bitmap and elv grid, nada. what I'm doing now is making small 10 ft long elv grids, its quite a pain and its taking forever but its lurching forward.

Is there an easier way? I've read up on an article on Skipper's blog about how he managed to IMPORT an elevation grid. Ive sent him an email asking for some advice and guidance but no response.

Here is a link to the article:
http://skipper-blog.blogspot.com/2013/1 ... -into.html
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:06 am

This is actually quite interesting. I'll take a look into these some more and maybe I'll be able to make an excel tool that would generate the basic mesh. I don't want to even think about the colors. :lol:

Either way, understanding the .ter file is the first order of business. ;)
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by vandal » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:01 pm

Decaff_42, that'd be amazing if you could do that. Would make, making real life elevation ranges easier and quicker.
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:34 pm

Started on de-constructing the TER file this morning. It's kinda interesting, and I think I can make Excel do what I want here. It's a lot more complex coding than the DAT File helper I made, but it's also a smaller project.

EDIT

Just realised I forgot about the side walls for custom elevation grid buildings. Simple enough fix if I can figure out the order.

-- Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:28 pm --

[glow=red]DECAFF STRIKES AGAIN![/glow]

Well, I think I got it! It's actually quite interesting how the TER File works, and for once it is straightforward and easy to understand (compared to dnm, or srf files :? )

I'll have to do a write up about how the TER file stores data and then another document on how to use my excel workbook. (maybe even a video!)

And testing, to be sure... but after all that I should be able to release it. Maybe in a week or so!

I had to put a limit on the number of nodes at 30 wide by 50 tall, to keep things from getting crazy, but I might increase this before releasing now that I have the framework ironed out.

Any ideas for a reasonable limitation? (I need the limitation to help keep the code from getting to0 wishy-washy)

-- Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:34 pm --

Woops :oops: ...testing reveals that it crashes my version of scenery editor every time I try to import an elevation grid made with my tool... :evil:

Size of the grid doesn't seem to mater :cry:
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by Barr » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:23 am

Well good luck... I tried to copy skippers method but never got anywhere since he doesnt exactly specify which program created the raster files and really cant seem to understand much of the article :D

I understand it... its just to much general information. Hopefully you can make something happen!!!

If ya need any help just shout (though i really wont be of any help at all :lol: )
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by vandal » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:43 am

You broke it Decaff... You broke it real bad... Hope you get it working it will be interesting.

I'm still not sure of the best way to replicate real elevation of hill/mountain ranges. Would this excel file make it easier?
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by ysmajor » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:41 pm

Isnt it quite easy to save TER's and FLD's as files on your computer, and then simply import them in others?
I do this all the time with my favourite mountains and ranges that I use in several maps.
You can copy tons of identical TER's if you like, then select the ones you want to alter to make for more interesting scenery.
Make sure there arent too many grids though, or it will be too laggy.

The fastest way to make nice TERS is simply set a line of connected nodes at a certain altitude (for instance 76ft). then keep them selected and do that smoothing effect. next select nodes randomly and move those up and down to get an uneven terrain. then select the initial grid points and smoothen again. hide flat surfaces, and you're done. Dont know if Im making sense here, but I think simply using scenery editor and importing TER's is easier than excelling and making formulas.

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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:51 pm

Glad to see you poking around Major!

The idea with my tool (It's almost done) is that you get everything roughly into place before getting into scenery editor's interface. Myself and a few other people find the way to manipulate all the nodes in Scenedit is a bit repetitive and tedious, especially for larger elevation grids. All my tool allows you to do is define the elevation of the nodes by typing a bunch number into a table, and then exporting.

I don't have much experience with the smoothing or color gradation (Which is weird in the test version) so I don't bother trying to re-create that. Those are simple clicks in Scenedit, and the re-engineering of that would be kinda insane. (I'm not the greatest excel programer)

anyhoo, I'll probably have the excel tool finalized next week, and have a video about it the following week.
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by vandal » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:49 pm

Great to see you from behind the great Chinese fire wall YSMajor. Hope life is good.
Decaff, enough explaining, and fix it. :P
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:59 pm

vandal wrote:Decaff, enough explaining, and fix it. :P
Yes master, right away master. :D
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by aeTIos » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:54 pm

scenery editor newbie here: Is it possible to create for example 1-km high mountains?

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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:02 pm

Yes it is. You can make elevation grids of all sizes.
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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by aeTIos » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:07 pm

Great. That should keep me busy for a while :P
/me goes off to create switzerland (jk, maybe later on)

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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by decaff_42 » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:37 am

Okay, as promised, here's the tool. Instructions are on the first page, and I'll be posting a video about how to use this next week.

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Re: Easier way of making elevation grids?

Post by aeTIos » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:14 am

Did you get it to work? Yays.

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